S4 E3: Testing out different types of content and UGC with John Coyle (CMO, Andar & Host, Modern Commerce)


On this episode of Retention Chronicles, we’e joined by John Coyle, CMO of Andar and Host of the Modern Commerce podcast. John, Noah, and Mariah discuss:

  • learning through networking,
  • starting a career in Facebook ads and paid social,
  • building a media company and podcast to be indispensable,
  • why John believes an agency model isn’t aligned with a merchant business model,
  • creating a flywheel relationship where both businesses grow together,
  • content marketing in B2B and SaaS,
  • macro vs micro influencer marketing,
  • testing out different UGC templates, and more!

Be sure to subscribe to our pod to stay up-to-date and checkout Malomo, the leading order tracking platform for Shopify brands.

Subscribe to Retention Chronicles on Apple Podcasts


This transcript was completed by an automated system, please forgive any grammatical errors.


podcast, brand, work, big, creators, agency, business, influencers, people, content, network, newsletter, good, company, product, year, ads, clients, talk, andar


Mariah Parsons, Noah Rahimzadeh, John Coyle

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:04

Hey retention pros. I'm Noah Raheem today and I lead partnerships here at Malomo. I'm super pumped to continue to chat with ecosystem experts alongside Mariah, who you all already know and love, say hi, Mariah.

Mariah Parsons 00:16

Hey, everyone, as you probably know, retention Chronicles likes to bring in some of the best retention focused brands in the Shopify ecosystem.

John Coyle 00:24

Well, we don't just feature brands, we also feature some great thought leaders in the Shopify ecosystem that serve brands.

Mariah Parsons 00:31

And because we always want these conversations to be fun, you'll hear us talk with our guests about what they're excited about and what's helped them get to where they are today.

John Coyle 00:40

We hope you'll stick around to learn and laugh with us retention Chronicles

Mariah Parsons 00:43

is sponsored by Malomo a shipment in order tracking platform improving the post purchase experience, be sure to subscribe and check out all of our episodes at go malomo.com.

John Coyle 00:58

This season four, episode three or four?

Mariah Parsons 01:02

Merchant they alternate between between merchant and partners. But I think it's yeah, it's three. So season four, episode three.

John Coyle 01:10

Okay. Yeah, season four guys. Every, every half of the year, right? We do a new one new season.

Mariah Parsons 01:20

The first season was a year long, but same amount of we were doing like two episodes a month. So same amount of episodes in the season, but just spread out along one year and then drafted up in season two, and then started doing once every week. So now it's been each

John Coyle 01:43

half of the year. That's a little background on retention Chronicles.

Mariah Parsons 01:48

In me roll

John Coyle 01:49

Yeah, I'll leave it in I'll leave that's the Yeah, that's the behind the scenes right?

Mariah Parsons 01:56

We always now I'm gonna go on a tangent because we always say we should be recording so every time we'll just always be recording should

John Coyle 02:03

always be recording that's my abs put that on merch and sell it. I think you should. ABR my favorite podcast not always be closing. I legit just thought about this. Like I did a little LinkedIn series every quarter and kind of do a new topic or like new theme. And I thought about one that would be like a be some like each post is always be something. Yeah. Like always be hiring. I'm not hiring right now. But well, it should be things that you're doing. Or it could be the opposite theme of like, here's things you should always be doing that I'm never doing or that I'm not doing. Funny. Yeah, always be drinking water. Always be exercising every day. Eating healthy.

Mariah Parsons 02:51

Take it from me. Okay.

John Coyle 02:54

Okay, we're definitely leaving this in welcome John season. If you didn't catch the beginning of season four, episode three. And it's been a long time coming. I think we reached we rescheduled yours that I came on a couple times. You rescheduled on us a couple times. So we're even now but yeah, founder of modern commerce. And like I said, I was I think we released the episode that I was on just a few weeks ago and did some promotion around that it was I'm and it's one of our one of our most downloaded episodes in the last like three months. So no kidding. Oh, I think that's probably because you guys know something. That's all you? We did. We did promote right? We put it in our newsletter and everything. So that was a fun time. I think we had a gross. So we've always done our pot, a little background. We've always we've always done our podcast live. Yeah, we've recently started not doing it live. And so we uploaded that one like later, like we recorded it several weeks ago, and then we help them with that one later. And I legitimately laughed, listening back to it. Like I like actually, like laughed out loud by myself. Which is a strange thing to do. Like usually when you're just by yourself. You do like, you breathe through your nose and

Mariah Parsons 04:13

like a little like a little a little

John Coyle 04:14

chuckle Yeah. But I actually laughed. We went on a whole cat tangent. It was a good time. Yeah, yeah. Cats and milk, or those are the main topics actually. Yeah. It was like 30% You know, good, like business advice. And yes, I was fashion on people who have cats.

Mariah Parsons 04:36

We're big. We're big fans here for people who don't know big fans of meshing personal and professional so that's the best way to do it. You know, some entertainment, some education. All right. All in a pretty package. Do you want to know about pretty actually but in a package package? Yeah.

John Coyle 04:53

Speaking of which, prettiest it could be. Yes. Blending personal life. Tell us one or two things that you're excited about right now, John? Person. This is a good one you sent over like, you know, some bullet points of questions. Yeah. And I was like, This is the hardest one for me to answer. Which is funny because I have I'm married. I have three kids. And I have like five dogs. And holy. Yeah, I guess so that's one thing. You know. That's

Mariah Parsons 05:21

you and your cats.

John Coyle 05:23

That's a great. That's a great way to put it. It is exciting. It's not always like, exciting in a good way. Yeah. But there's a lot happening. Right? It's chaotic. Yeah. So it's a good time. So my kids are my eldest is, so I'm like, it's like seven? No, she's not seven yet. So it's six, five and two. And then I got a bunch of dogs that are mostly some form of golden doodle. So that's going on, and then also, what was going on in my personal life. Not a lot. I've been traveling a lot, not for personal but for work, which is strange when you've worked at home for like four months to go out into the world and like, go into an airport and be around people and stuff like that. You're like, oh, this is or like when lift. Like when Lyft drivers talk to you. I'm like, I don't want to do this. Like, I'm got my headphones in for a reason. Why would you assume I can hear you? Yeah, you're like, I'm sorry, what I'm doing? Yeah. Oh, let me take that thing. If there's nothing playing, you know, they're on transparency mode. And there's nothing playing, but I just want them in so you don't talk to me. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Where do you where'd you travel? Anywhere? Yeah, so I am a fractional cmo for a company called andar. Which, you know, for your audience, I guess if you want to buy a wallet or a bag or something like that, you should check them out on our.com. So ecommerce brand, and I go there once a month, they're based in Phoenix. And then I'm also consulting and sort of fractional cmo going for a company called DAP sports, which is another ecommerce brand, but they do like sports cards and sports memorabilia. So that's a good time. And they're in LA. So I go there twice a month. So I'm traveling like three weeks out of the month. Wow. Which is not like a new. It's like a that's like an old school thing to do. You know what I mean? Yeah, yeah, that's like old school. I've always be closing. Yeah. style, you know? Yeah. Or warrior? Yeah, no, I feel like I'm like my grandpa just like, Oh, I gotta travel for why not the way. They're my way now. But those are good places to be traveling to, you know, it's hot right now. But they're still they're still cool places. Got a lot of it is just that they're really good companies. And they have very in person cultures. Which is, and I think that maybe I craved that since I had been working, I started my agency remotely. And then AC is just this kind of business that you can just do remotely. And so I've been remote for a few years. And then also my kids got old enough to make like lots of noise in my house. Five dogs also make lots of noise. And they all so I think I just got like, ready to go like collaborate in person a little bit more. Sure. That's cool. That's cool. I feel like the whole idea of like, in person culture is waning overall. So it's cool that it is a strong one. That's a that's a great segue, like, tell us about the professional background. Obviously, we said modern commerce is the current the current main focus, but would love to know sort of everything leading up to there. Yeah, so I have been in the game for in the in the marketing digital marketing game since I guess 24 Like, like, 10 years. 2013 right around when I got I was, I was even like, I was in like the multimedia program in college. So I was even like, the Social Media Manager for like our radio station and stuff. Oh, wow. Yeah. And which was like four, or yes, yeah, it was in. So back then what that meant was like, when we did videos, I posted them on Facebook. So that was the social media manager job posting on Facebook, and YouTube. So uploading, uploading was the main job. And so yeah, I guess that was even in like, 2011 2012. And then yeah, so I did the I mean, fast forwarding through that early stage, I kind of I managed to restore for a second hated every aspect of that other than the marketing, like all the logistics and stuff were awful. So I went to work at a marketing agency that was an SEO agency, and they had like, 17,000 clients. That's why that right, it was 17,000. That was the number when I was when I left. I got lots of local business clients. So it's like, if you're a dentist, you know, if you're anywhere in the United States, and you look for a dentist in your city, their SEO was probably done by that company, or a lawyer or like anything, really. So they had tons of like, so it was just It was an assembly line. Basically, it was a glorified like factory line. And I went from I liked that a lot. And I like rose through it and stuff like that. But then I went from there to like the opposite, like a super white glove agency that had like 10 people and the agency with only 10 people, or less than 10 people did like $12 million a year in revenue with like, whatever, eight clients or 10 clients or something like that. So, so really big clients that had really big budgets. So it's like the opposite kind of work is. Yeah. So yeah, I went there in that, like, I was trying to go the opposite direction. That's when I first started. They hired me because I have my SEO background. But that was when I first started managing Facebook ads. I was like, 2015. So I knew what ads manager looked like. And that qualified me to be the head of paid social at in 2015. Were like, Oh, you've been inside AdMob Yeah, that was it. was basically my whole career story is I've done a bunch of jobs I'm not qualified for and then figured it out on the doing it. I have I have no lack of too much confidence. That was a weird thing. I have too much confidence. I could have just I have no lack of times in my life where I've been overconfident

Mariah Parsons 11:12

gives listeners a puzzle, you know, they have to figure it out. And no lack

John Coyle 11:15

of too much. Yeah, so need that to dive headfirst into a role? That's right. Yeah. Bigger than you've ever done. Yeah. Also that whole time I forgot this overlaid this like we I was helping launch this thing that was like group I ran I was across country and track, like all American in college, and I ran a professionally afterwards. And so I was helping launch this like group on for runners, which is just an awful idea, because Groupon already is that but like, we thought it was a good idea at the time. Like most people are doing startups, and that was how I knew how to do Facebook Ads Manager and so yeah, like, find me for head of paid social over like multiple six figure budgets instantly. So I learned fast, you learn fast when you spend that much money and sometimes burn that much money. So when I when I left, I got fired from that agency. And like, yeah, it was it was intact. So I, my wife was pregnant with our second child at that time. And she we already had one child, that Pence second child. She was in school, she was in nursing, so she didn't really have a job. She was just in nursing school, we had just moved so that her parents could help us out. And I was like, providing for us with that job. And that was the only income and I got fired. And I was like, Oh man, this is bad. And so I like walked into the parking lot and like usually the first thing you do is you call a significant other whatever you tell them what happened I did not do that. I was like, I don't that's not like what I want to do right now. But I what I had done was when I got made the head of paid social and I gave given these big budgets. I was like I don't know what I'm doing. So I just started networking, like I just started going to every event that that agency would send me to I started getting Facebook groups that's what was more popular than like now it's kind of Twitter but Facebook groups were kind of the thing then and I just started learning I started this mastermind you know, what's funny is like I had no I was not qualified at all to run six figures a month and budget but I like posted in the Facebook group like hey, anyone else who's doing six figures a month and spin want to make a mastermind of like, oh wow in six figures plus, like just acted like I belong to you know, and and like a bunch of people did and I I legit to this day, I'm like, I credit that mastermind with like so much. So I walked out like after they fired me, I walked out. It's like the most awkward thing ever to get fired from an office like an in person. And like, go clean out your desk, like while everybody's like pretending they're like looking at their computer like pretending they're not seeing what's going on. That's so ruthless. Like this was like during the work day. Yeah, no, they specifically said I've been fired. Well fired is a weird way to put the other thing I've been but because it was bought out. But I've been let go or parted ways with twice and it was both times on a Friday and both times. It was like Wednesday or Thursday. They're like, Hey, can we get a meeting with you at 9am on a Friday? So like if you ever if someone ever asked for a 9am Friday meeting be like, um, you know, I'm out of town that day. So I started looking for a job that's my big hot tip. And if you're not going to fire someone don't ask for a 9am Friday meeting. Because apparently that's time you fire people

Mariah Parsons 14:30

no one will ask you for a 9am Friday meeting don't do it I wouldn't even work on Fridays so we have a four day work week. It's pretty yeah.

John Coyle 14:42

Oh yeah. So you guys really double you if you ever get asked for it. Okay, can I need to dust off the resume? Yeah. So I they let me go and there's like this awkward and like I had the wherewithal because you're it's like a very emotional experience when it's that it's like the first time in my like career, you know what I mean? And I had like the wherewithal, because I'd been doing this networking and stuff. And I was like, What am I going to do? What am I going to do? I guess that I had brought some clients into the agency that like specifically wanted to work with me because I was so active in these Facebook groups. So I went into my boss's former boss's office before I left, and I said, Hey, what about these two clients? Are you guys going to continue to work with them? And he goes, No, I don't think so. And I was like, can I? And he was like, yeah, just send them. Like, I had to, like, send some documentation that yeah, sign their rights over to me and stuff like that. So I like googled it and you know, whatever, use Legal Zoom or whatever. And, and, yeah, so I walked out, got in my car and like sitting there thinking, I'm like, Okay, well, that's good. I've got those two, and it wasn't a lot of money. But I was like, I've got those two. And then I'd also been networking. So I was like, Okay, let me make a few calls. I made a couple of calls. And by the time I talked to my wife, so I drove over her to her campus, because studying in the library there, so I drove over there. It was where I went to school, too. So I like parked, went inside and sat down with her. And I was like, Okay, I got fired. And so she's like, that's not good, right? It's just kind of freaking out. And I'm like, but it's okay. I think we're gonna make more money than then we just went wow, like on the drive over you. You had already Yeah, like, like, I made a couple calls while I was sitting there in the parking lot of the place. I just got fired from Yeah, so the lesson is network one to learn because that's the other thing is I had actually gotten really good at running paid social through like everything I learned from everybody. One to learn and then to because yeah, I mean, network is your net worth, like, that was it? I had instant business, I had Instant Pay, like, you know, other agencies were like, Yeah, you can freelance for me are you can, you know, so I had, you know, four or five clients and it was going to be enough, I, you know, slightly more than what I had been making. And plus, because I like, I'd had just this done this thing where I just doing this mastermind and just providing value. I wasn't looking for a job. I wasn't looking for work. I wasn't hunting for clients, right? Like, once people found out like, oh, you're a free agent. Or like, Oh, you just got let go. Like, they're like, Well, you know, can I hire you? Or like, I know someone perfect for you to work with or they just want to help out because they're like, all you do is bring value. Right? So yeah, I mean, I think that's, I don't know if there's a lesson there somewhere. But smarter people can figure it out. Well, one is always be networking. Always be networking. AVN.

Mariah Parsons 17:30

That was the LinkedIn post. Yeah.

John Coyle 17:34

That was the start of my agency. We ran that for three or four years. And what was that calm, explosive growth marketing. brought on a partner. We worked with some really awesome amazing, like big brands, no teeth whitening. We worked with booty, the like blanket ad company. We got really good at Snapchat ads and my partner was like well known for being the like the Snapchat dude. Diesel Power gear was another big one we worked with they had a show on the on the Discovery Channel called diesel brothers. So now's a good time ended up selling that agency to the structure agency, which is pretty well known now in the DC game. That was an aqua hire. So they hired my whole team, as well as me. And I think that's the main reason they wanted to acquire it with them for so I actually have worked myself more or less out of my agency. So I was with them before even the sale happened for like a year. And then I was with him for about another year and a half after the sale. And then they bought out the rest of my contract and, like bought out my equity because I had phantom equity and in structured, yep. And same kind of thing. Friday morning meeting. We're gonna we're gonna pay you out and don't come on Monday. This one was a little easier to swallow, though. I did there at least there was some money involved. Yeah. Not a lot. You know, it was my Phantom equity. There was so much bigger than me, that my family no equity in them in that company was just, you know, it was like not even a 1%. But, you know, it was symbolic. You know, there was like, Hey, you got wired man like that is I can tell the story that I got acquired. Yeah. So yeah. And then after that, I was like, What do I I've been doing the podcast for about a year, two years, year and a half, something like that. And I was like, I would really love to just do that full time. So that's kind of what what we're up to now. We had this podcast and we'd also started a sports podcast. And so I'm like, alright, well, can I build a media company, which is a whole other thing. And that's kind of what I'm up to now. But then obviously, still doing some work in the E commerce game to because I didn't you know, when you're building a media company, you don't just make money right away. You got to have like, a lot of people listening to you first. I'm sure you're spending a decent amount as well. Definitely spending money. I'm good at that. Right, right. Right. That is something you're very good at. Yeah. experienced it. We learn right. Most of my experience. Yeah, right. It's spending money. It's a hell of an experience. What wasn't Did you decide to go the podcast route? Like what sort of trends or indicators Did you see that made you say like, Man, I think I think there's something here. Yeah, a couple of things. One, I wanted to not be fireable. Again. Right, like, so I looked at the most valuable people at structured, and the most about and I mean, I don't know, maybe I'm putting them on blast, because everybody knows that structured. So I can't like get around it when I'm on these podcasts. Because like, everybody knows I was at structured construction is such a built in public company. Yeah. So like, I don't want to overly put them on blast. But I look at the most valuable people that structured, who I think is the most valuable people that structured and it's chase that diamond and Nick Shackleford, they're co founders. But like, even if they weren't co founders, they're pretty indispensable, because there were all the business comes from. Yeah, right. The internal creators essentially. So I looked at that, and I was like, Okay, well, that's whether I go work for a company again or not, I want to be a creator, right? So what they're really hiring me for is my audience. And maybe my knowledge of ops and stuff like that, like I, you know, I ran big paid media teams, I have a lot of experience running paid media, like I can do a lot, right. And but but I think a lot of the time, it's like, sometimes your skills don't matter if a company just changes directions. And I'm not against building skills. I'm big on building skills. But But like, a structure just went another way. Like instead, they're trying to go into bigger more like fortune 100 fortune 500 brands, and that's not where my skill set lied. So yeah, like I you know, that's a big part of it is I kind of wanted to, like become a little bit more indispensable, no matter what I did, whether it was my company or something else. Yeah. The other thing is something I've been talking about a little bit lately that I'll you know, get a little spicy here. And, and that, is that the spice love it. Yeah. So here it is. Here it is the spice is that the agency business model is never aligned with a client business model. It just isn't. And I don't hear it. I'm not saying I'm not saying it can't work. It certainly can. It can. It can be a working relationship, a vendor partner relationship. But it's never aligned. Right? Like, it's agencies have tried it in so many different formats. I've tried it in so many different formats, to say, what about you know, when you guys grow, we grow when you Yeah, it just, it just doesn't work? And that's like a whole rabbit hole, we could go go down? Well, I got a high level, can you say like, does it not work? Because does what you just described not work? Because it's way too much risk on the agency? Or does it not work for other reasons? And on top of that, okay, pretend for a second that you're a brand. I come to you as an agency. And I say, Hey, you don't have to pay me very much. Like, charge you whatever. Maybe nothing, maybe no case, be sure. But here's what I want. If my work is able to grow your brand, and you hit these revenue, I want XYZ percent of the revenue, or XYZ percent of adspend, or whatever. Sounds good, right? Like, especially if you're brand that's not very successful yet. Probably sounds pretty good. Okay, does it still sound good? When you send me a $50,000? Check? Sure, a month of work? Does it still sound good when there's a lot of other things contributing to the growth besides just my work, because we've gotten traction, and there's like more things involved in growth than just whatever that agency is doing? You know, like, it gets a little bit more muddy. And, like, furthermore, what if I say, okay, but we, you know, I gotta lock you into five year contract, too, because if I'm really going to stake my business on your business, I got to know you're not going to one month be like 30 days notice. Because I'm gonna basically be hiring around your business, and it'd be hiring people just to take care of your business. So if you drop me, I'm dropping, whatever however many people, four people, five people, however many people that I've just hired to take care of your business? No, no, on the brand side, you don't want to be locked into that kind of contract. On the brand side, even if it makes sense, even if mathematically it's like, it makes all the sense of the world when I send them a 550 $1,000 Check $100,000 Check. There's an amount of money that just feels not right, right? Like, can I just hire a full internal team and really high level people for this amount? or anything? Like can I get a similar level agency? Aside from that, once you get traction with a brand, they get so many pitches from so many, like they're just constantly getting bombarded with like, oh, I looked at your, your facebook ads account or your like your ads, your running or your Google account, or whatever it is. And I noticed all these and then they get fooled, that stuff gets forwarded to you. Like basically people are bombarding them and constantly tell him, I audited you without, you know, really being able to audit. I audited you and I found all these mistakes, right? So you start like, like, subtly undercutting your work. And a lot of times, it's like, you're not using audience targeting. I'm like, Yeah, we tested that 50 times and it doesn't work. So just chill. So and I'm not saying all like some clients are good. It's just, that's just it like that's, you know, you can't build a business around that on the agency side. You can't build a business that way. You can't build a business around three, four clients. That's the dream. You really want to work with three or four clients and do really incredible work and share in the upside. Yeah, without equity, you just it right tried it, we've we've cut it, you know, every way we can we try to every way we can. This is one of mine and Nick Shackleford favorite things to talk about it just it doesn't work. Do you got to build the agency model differently? You got to build it as like a vendor, you know, hey, we're a vendor if that business goes out of business, if that gets business, right, like, we can't be that reliant on that. But we want to be a vendor who provides value as much as we can within scope. Right? Well, it's interesting, like the parallels between what you just described from an agency business standpoint, and your personal experience, I'm trying to de risk right, like your personal career. Right? Yeah. It's well, and so that's the other thing is that I'm like, Okay, if if that's the case, then what is a flywheels? What is like more of a flywheel relationship, where what's best for the business is also best for you. So this is what I've been thinking about a lot in media lately. A great example of this that already exist is in the sports world. The Pat McAfee show is huge. Right? Yeah. We're big fans. We're in Indianapolis. Hey, all right. All right. So Pat McAfee shows you so I chose the right example for you that McAfee shows huge. Their relationship with FanDuel is symbiotic. Right? FanDuel FanDuel benefits from promoting the content that they make that promotes FanDuel. Right, right. FanDuel not even if people are already users of FanDuel. Like they want people following Pat's patent events, or they want people taking AJ recommendations, you know what I mean? Like they want people betting more, right. So it's, it's symbiotic. That makes sense for FanDuel to actually promote him in his content, it also makes sense for him to promote FanDuel, right? Like they're so FanDuel gets customers from him. And then they get in this cycle of like, we show you, you show us and then you bring customers in and then cycle and become more and more valuable as we as we, like, share more content with them. And they become more bigger fans of you. And they use us more often. So I just started thinking about that is like what are the more symbiotic relationships where as the brand grows, you also grow and its content, and it's the traffic source, right? And then that content, ultimately, that's what it is. It's the trout, it's a traffic source. Right? So so that's kind of the route I think, yeah, man, that's so like, for me personally, being the partnerships guy here and Malomo you're, you know, music to my ears, where, where do we find this sort of like symbiotic alignment that makes it sort of a no brainer to spend time together, and your podcast go to market together. And in b2b podcasts are amazing for that, I think because, one, you can easily network with people that otherwise maybe would be hard to network with, for partnerships. And to you know, if you bring someone in with a piece of content with partnership with like, um, do a newsletter into a podcast or whatever, you know, they might not be customers right away. But over time, they're just there's the trust factors way up. And then on the Malomo side, even with the current customers, it just like behooves them to promote the podcast. So Malomo groves podcast grows, if they go together, it's symbiotic. Right? So So b2b has figured this out, right? And that content marketing is big and b2b, it's big and SAS big and info. Ecommerce hasn't quite figured it out. But right. Yeah. Who like, Are there any brands? We might have talked about this a little while we talked about community on the episode I was on with you and sort of like influencer marketing, if I remember, but are there which kind of ties into this? Right, like you're building building a brand around content? And communities sort of conform through that as well? Are there any brands that you think are doing the content game that you just described? That's working well in b2b really well in DTC right now? No, I mean, I can Yeah, you know, you know, the b2b brands, right? Yeah. Malomo? Sure, triple is one triple Well, yeah, triple crushing it. Definitely. Hotspots been crushing it for years. Yeah. Funny thing about triple Well, real quick, Mariah, I don't know if I shared this with you, but they like promoted some event that we were hosting recently in their newsletter. So like, they're not even. I love that approach. Because it's like, we're gonna highlight the the other content engines that we think are doing a great job, and they're probably just doing it so much. And so well at scale that they're like, this will come back in spades in the form of reciprocity spots, like your triple whale is just so big. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. And everyone who goes to work there is kind of a mini creator to it. Yeah. That's cool. Yeah.

Mariah Parsons 29:51

Yeah, that's a really cool strategy of like triple whale just to kind of like piggyback and make a network of like, all these different events and then During their communities other places

John Coyle 30:01

their pillars are like community content and education and like they I mean if you look at what they do they live in well their team is really good and their team is all really bought into it. So that's a big part of it but in the on the DTC side there's not a lot of really great examples. Black rifle coffee has attempted to do some stuff like this diesel power gear used to but but they got to the point where they actually just liked being creators and more so they're kind of like not you know, they haven't been as big on their on their DTC business. People who are creators first so Chamberlain copy Chamberlain coffee you know, Magnolia, whatever Magnolia wrote the the the like, Chip and Joanna Gaines brand right. So people who are creators first Feast of

Mariah Parsons 30:51

stones road beauty Florence, my Mills, Millie Bobby Brown.

John Coyle 30:56

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So Jones road beauty festivals. So everything that was creator first that, you know, it kind of does that. But brands that were not created first, I don't see a lot of them like cracking it. But that's sort of what I'm working on. So that's an I mean, I guess the plug kind of my own brands that I work at, yeah, my own and my own content product properties that I'm launching with them. I'll give you an example of what I think it might look like, right? In the early stage on this. So I don't know if it's gonna work. But here's here's like, maybe two examples of what I think it might will look like. So andar they've done a lot of work over the years with influencers, right? They all the way back to the paid posts, right? Just pay influencers to post they've done something I've not seen a lot of DTC native brands do. And they've done a royalty deal like, like Jordan, like Air Jordan type deal with a with an influencer. And then so they're really really good at influencer marketing, they have this really robust brand ambassador program. They have like 3000, ambassadors, influencer small micro influencers, all the way up to large influencers are very valuable to them. So and they also have some people working there internally. So myself and two other people who have like, they have a person who has like 800,000 followers on Tiktok. In other words, like 100,000, so they have some creators who kind of work there internally. So I was like, what if we, what if we launched a podcast and YouTube channel, potentially a newsletter, I don't know, for creators, right. And it's like content for creators. But the ultimate value to andar is that it brings more creators, micro influencers, aspiring creators into their brand. And then the same thing with b2b, it helps us network, right? So if we want to try and get I don't want to say anyone who's actually on our on our list. So let's say we want to we want to, we want to do a collab with their big they want to do athletes, right? So like, let's say we want to do a collab with like DEVIN BOOKER. Yep, makes sense, right? It's a lot easier to get him in on a podcast than it is to be like, hey, come in and do a collab like, it's just, you know, come, let us sell you something, or let us sell you on an idea or whatever, just come to a podcast, and we do it at their headquarters, their headquarters are really cool. And it's like, you know, it's a vibe, they come there. And it's like, the lead gen kind of machine for those high end creators that you want to do collabs with. And then also, it attracts a lot of low end creators. So this is the idea, right? So we're launching episode one, probably, I think this month, there's only one day left in this month as we're recording. Do you know what this might not be? Called? Yeah, you should be called create what matters if you want to check it out? If you follow me anywhere, then I'll probably post about it. But yeah, the show will be called create what matters, I'll put it onto the modern commerce feed. So if you listen to my show, modern Congress, I'll put it onto there. And then I'll show I'll tell you a link there where you can where you can find their feet because we haven't even set their feet up yet because there's no show. So yeah, like that's one example. Another example is like the way the reason I partner with that sports is because our our our brand, our podcast, our sports podcasts, the live show, we do a lot of giveaways, and we're doing giving away these like NBA shop gift cards, NFL shop, gift cards and stuff like that. Like what if we just give away to apps gift cards? Right? Yeah, somebody I mean, in the thing is they do these, they do live shopping, so they make all their money with live shopping. So kind of what you need for somebody to get in on it is you need them to experience it. Right? It's like why don't we give people a gift card, that's an amount where they're probably gonna have to still spend a little bit of their own money. But the main thing is that they get to experience right large shopping experience where I buy into they do like, live, like sports card breaks, which is another whole world but like, I buy into this team, and I'm like my favorite teams, the Kansas City Chiefs so that, you know, I'm gonna buy the Kansas City Chiefs in this break and any chiefs card I'm gonna get, right? They buy into it with 50 bucks, they had to spend 25 of their own 25 came from the gift card and a pat mahomes autographs pulled right? In so they get that because they bought the chiefs. And so that okay, well, I'm hooked now, right? Like, now I know I'm in and then even if they don't get anything daps does a good job of like giving people something even if there wasn't any chiefs and that whole pressure. So so like that kind of work. but then also like dabs already live streams all day. So it's like a really kind of like, congruent congruent sort of thing where there's just a lot of opportunities there. So I think that, yeah, I think there's ways but I think that you can't necessarily it can't be on the nose, it can't be about the product, right? Like ours isn't about the product. There's gonna be about tech, right, because all of their products go along with tech, or it could be about creators influencers, but it's got to be it's got to be valuable content in and of itself, I think. Right. Absolutely. Like, tactically, I think I understand that the clear value props for like lower level influencers, not the Devin Booker's of the world, right. How are you getting the Devin Booker's of the world? Is that an upfront fee? Is there you know, refer affiliate question percentage in perpetuity? Like how are you getting him to come HQ to record a podcast at that level? At that level? There's no one way. So one, it is easier to get someone who's a little bigger to do a podcast. So that that's just that I'm not saying DEVIN BOOKER is an example of someone Yeah, but yeah, it is, it is just easier than to say, hey, we want to do a deal or whatever. And even like, you know, for their agent, or whatever, like sometimes they just want to talk business. They're not really into doing a podcast. Sometimes they're just the person who's like, yeah, I can do a podcast. And then you can give them Pro you can see them product right there. If they think the product is cool, then what we're ultimately stepping toward is a royalty deal with someone that big because if you just bring on DEVIN BOOKER as an influencer and pay him to do a post, it's not going to actually work out great for you as a brand pay for post is just not a super high ROI model. Now, there'll be some ancillary benefits, just the brand cool factor will be there. And you'll have other people who want to wrap it because he wraps it or whatever. But But yeah, like if you pay DEVIN BOOKER to post, it's not going to or any any big green or like that any big like anyone with a big following like that, it's just not going to be like high ROI. So what you're ultimately stepping for is you want to do a royalty deal with them, where you actually make a new product or a new colorway or a new version of an old product in collaboration with them. So we've seen Donovan Mitchell, who's used to play for the jazz now plays for the Cavs. We've seen him do this with Stance Socks. We've seen other players other if you look, if you look at andar, their top selling product is a collab with, with a creator with an influencer. It's pretty public. So I don't feel weird saying that. And yeah, so you ultimately want to step toward a royalty deal with them. You know, whatever the stepping stones are to get there, you just kind of consider them on a individual basis, right? If you want if you need to do a pay for posts first. If you need to bring them in for a podcast, sometimes they want to talk business and they don't want to do a podcast. So there's no one way with those people. The podcast is just a tool to level up because it's about creators, right? So it's like we can reach out to trying to think of a YouTuber who's like, not crazy out of reach, like Mr. B's, that'd be crazy out of reach. Sure, you know, an airac, or smaller YouTuber. This is I think, kind of the model with Emma Chamberlain. Right? Yeah, it was like some kind of relationship developed, you're just kind of asking somebody to come be a part of content that they're already a part of. So it's a content collab. It's something they're very used to. And then from there, you know, can we do a royalty deal? Yeah. So is this like, is this where you see modern commerce your company going? Like, do you like on top? Oh, yeah. I thought about that a lot help advise on this sort of stuff. And I've thought about that a lot. Maybe I I wanted to, I wanted it to be content for content sake. You know what I mean? The more I get into building a media company, the more I realized, like most of the biggest creators and media companies do have their own products, even if it's just merch. You know, there's not a lot that are running solely on like an ads. They're just running the ad business. So yeah, especially in b2b and b2b, they usually are an extension of a company. Right. And that's not true for all of them. I think that you know, certain podcasts like the Jocko podcast is technically considered business Dave Ramsey. I mean, Dave Ramsey is an extension of a company. I think Andy for sellers podcast is technically considered business. So it's not all of them. Some of them are content for content sake. And so that's what I've always thought the direction of modern commerce is. So I don't know if that's where we're going. I think I tend to think that that's going to be the direction right now. If if the monetization mechanism changes, that's fine. But the divisive direction of the content itself is to be content for content sake value for value sake. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's a great like to your point, great foundation to build like the base on and then from there, you can be agile to, you know, the opportunities that present themselves along the way. But yeah, you're building any company, you're just you're pivoting based on kind of where the opportunities are. Right. Okay, we this flew by, give us you know, we obviously talked about content but give us some h2, you know, set get half of 2023 trends that brands, especially in the E commerce space due to see squarely should, should keep an eye on at different I mean, there's it's just different advice at different levels. So that's what I mean, we covered that. And I think that's big. And I don't know if that's really going to like formulate in the second half of, of just this year. But a couple things that I've seen, I'm seeing kind of work across brands that I work with our own are like, if you're not a inherently demonstrable product, meaning like, you know, let me come up with an idea. So Purple Mattress had this inherently like demonstrable or, like visual element where it's like, here's, here's an egg, I can, you know, try and crush it on this bed. And you can't do that right? or really any anything like that, where it's like, there's something about this product where it's like, you see it, you get it? If you're not that so you know, kind of looking at you all the supplements out there. And anything else that's I mean, in honor is even kind of like this, where it's like it's a bag. Yeah, like you do want to see it but But ultimately, it's like, it's a bag, there's nothing like that crazy special about it, or it's a wallet or whatever. If you're not that one thing that I've noticed is you don't have to follow the normal e commerce ad framework. And it's gonna be hard to find someone who won't, because like everybody in the game is like, Oh, just UGC, super good hook and show the product and the first you know, great hook and then sell the product in the first 10 seconds and use problem agitate solution. And like, when you actually look at it, it all looks the same, right? Like, it's not as bad and vanilla as the branded ads that we've seen. But it's also like all, it's all vanilla, like, it's all just come to this, like, homeostasis place where it's like, you know, yeah, it's not branded. And that's the best thing I could say about it. Right? It's a little more raw. It's a little more UGC. But it's not, that's like the best thing I could say about it. So we've run some where if it's, if it's not an inherently demonstrable product, where it's like, really, they need to be sold on the idea of like, taking this supplement, as opposed to like, Let's pour the supplement into liquid and mix it and for some reason, that's gonna make people buy, right? Like, we've actually been doing like more like word videos. So thinking a little more like a YouTuber where it's like, I actually want to hook them with again, and this comes from probably like doing more content, actually want to just hook them with content and like, educate, inform entertain them. And sometimes it'll just be like a word video, like legit one of my best performing ads, red background words, like, wow. So that's selling a physical product, right? So that's one thing, it's not going to be for everybody. But I think any brand like that, it's definitely worth the tests, like a three minute video. Works really well. We don't talk about the product till like two minutes in. So and you could sell you could show the product. If it's andar, we would need to show the product. But yeah, that's yeah. So I think that's one thing. And I think another thing we'll maybe see more of is a little more lead gen. Especially building up to q4, I've heard I've, I've hit this a few times. And I'm always like the economics of lead gen rarely work. But I think people are getting a little more clever, like, especially in the newsletter space of like, you know, why can't an E commerce brand launch a newsletter? And there's a lot of ways for like newsletters to monetize, you know what I mean? Yeah. So it can be a little more of monetizable on the front end, doing lead gen, and then you just put your own brand into those ad spots, you know? Sure. Sure. Yeah. It's interesting, like, especially on the first point, I feel like there's again, parallels between what we talked about, you know, on the kind of, it's, that's where my brains at now, it's all it's like, lead with value is like the high, you know, always be the high level. Good job. I took a long time to say that. I guess that was that's podcast, I did somebody the other day was like, Oh, this guy wants me to be on his podcast. I don't know if I'd be good. I was like, can you take something that only takes like 30 seconds to say and do it and like, say it in two minutes and still make it interesting? Yeah. If so, you'd be a good podcast. You know, I think there's, you know, there's value in it, because you're actually getting into the tactics. I'm just saying, like, what is that? Yeah. What does that mean? Build brand? Yeah, always be building brand. That's absolutely.

Mariah Parsons 44:16

A triple B.

John Coyle 44:18

Okay, we squeezed a lot in in a short amount of time before we hop off. John, you walked us through this super crazy, wild turn turning here, and you're up to some awesome stuff. Now, what's one one thing that sort of helped you along the way tip or trick that you sort of lean on throughout the journey? I am like a I'm a big time like learner and networker. And I think I tried to put that in earlier is like, I consume a massive amount of content, right? Like and this is I'll give you an example. That is like more contextualized or bold to a lot of people Uh, the Game of Thrones books are not finished. But there's four or five of them, I think. And they're long, they're really long. The audio versions are like between 35 and 50 hours long. Oh my god. Yeah, might as well just watch the whole series like, it diverges at a certain point. But I won't get into that. I haven't watched the series, I've only read the books. I'm a purist. But I had a friend, right, like, who read them. And I mean, he's read them as they came out. But it took me from October to January to get through that. And that was like, just because I stopped consuming any of any of my other audio content or any other content consumed. And I just consumed like, I consume a ton, like I'm a consumption machine in terms of like, how much I consume. And when I get into a topic, I just find so many different podcasts, blogs, YouTubers newsletters about that topic that I just like, bring in as much as I can as quickly as possible. And then like, as soon as that starts to feel a little stale, like I'm hearing the same stuff over and over again. Then I get into networking with people about it, right? Like, where do these people hang out? What are the events? What you know, like, can I just start reaching out to him on Twitter and being like, I like your stuff, you know, will they respond to me? And again, like leading with value, I'm not trying to reach out and pitch them. I'm not trying to get into their LinkedIn inbox like that. So much of the problem with what I see is like, people are just like, hey, buy my shit. You know, like, I don't know if I can swear on your podcast. I just, oh, yeah, you're good. The LinkedIn outreach right now is just it's so bad. Nobody reaches out and just says, like, Hey, I saw this video, and I like this about it. Be like, I saw your podcast. Are you interested in me clipping it. I'm like, did you have you actually seen like, so So yeah, like, I think that, like, a lot of it is just like, consume everything people are putting out, right, like as much as I can. And I'll try as many people as I can. I'll find the ones that I like, I'll in like, just take in as much information as I can about any topic that I get into. And this has just happened all the way through, right. Like when I was getting into ADS, like I got really good at running ads really quickly. Because of exactly what I said earlier, I was like, Okay, I'm just taking in as much like information as I can. And then when I got when I'm like, Okay, I have questions. And I can't ask questions in this like one way communication. Then I just started networking. And like, I've always kind of tried to punch up when I network as well. That's I don't know if that's good or not, but it's what I do. Yeah. I feel you said network is the net worth earlier and I didn't come up with someone else said, No. I've heard that one before. And I'm a big fan and advocate of it. And I'm always like, I'm always cognizant of it. And when I say network, I mean like, just like, naturally actually meet people and like, try and build a like valuable to a relation, like bring value to them. You know? Yeah. If you like, let me yeah, let me go to this networking. guy in my local area. Don't do that. That's yeah, that's not good. Don't do that. That's the best advice of the three. Don't do. There's some stuff you don't do. Yeah. Okay, awesome. John, we're a few minutes over. So I'm gonna let you go. But really appreciate you stopping by and excited to see all the cool things you'll be up to over the next couple quarters. Yeah, appreciate you. I didn't get a shout out. Malomo It's good. You should use it. Appreciate you. Well, you guys released my family now. Not nothing. That's gonna say not necessary. But yeah, we can do that for you and the dog. Thank you. Thank you. Okay. Thanks, John. Thanks for Thank you