THE DIGITAL MARKETER'S #1 DAILY BRIEFING. BE IN THE KNOW - IN JUST 5 MINUTES.

November 1, 2018

Oh, look, a newsletter with an interview! We're bringing these back based on popular demand. Today's guest, someone who knows Amazon advertising inside-out! We also bring you 3 clear actions to take if your FB accounts get banned. There's also news about Mark Zuckerberg doing a round with the UK and CA Parliaments now as well, after EU and US. Let's see what happens...

November 1, 2018

November 1, 2018 2160 1440 The digital marketer's #1 daily briefing!

AMAZON

5 Signs of Amazon’s Upcoming Domination:

The big G should be scared. Why? Because Amazon is taking over, and here are the 5 signs of this upcoming domination in multiple fields.

1. Amazon Web Services: The Gold Mine

Cloud computing is a big market, and even Amazon is smart to know that. What’s more surprising is this number: AWS accounted for 55% of the company’s net income in Q2! All that with only 12% coming of net sales.

2. Alexa, play Mozart

Amazon was first with their voice-enabled assistant Alexa, and this early start helped it gain dominance in this category too. According to a report by Voicebot, Amazon had a 72% market share with their smart speaker.

Google Home assistant came in second (why always second little buddy?), with only 18% market share.

3. 50% e-commerce share?!

Yep, you read that right. But don’t worry yet. Amazon still has a long (or short, depends) way to that milestone. 2023 to be exact, so about 5 years. Right now, Amazon still dominates with 40% market share.

Do keep a few things in mind. Holidays boost Amazon’s dominance, as a survey by Survata clearly shows. Amazon outnumbered Google 3:1 at which sites customers wanna use to buy.

4. Solo $10b contract for Pentagon – The Jedi way?

10 billion. WHAT THE AFF? It is a state offer, but the taxpayers do pay for it. The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project was announced earlier this year.

The gig? Building a cloud computing platform, to support classified information and weapon systems. Now that’s a lot of responsibility

IBM, Oracle, Google, all the big players applied. But only Amazon won, which is quite unusual. As Oracle’s petition pointed out, it “(…)is contrary to statutory and regulatory requirements(…)”

All losers are blaming the Pentagon for designing the program specifically so, that only AWS would meet these standards. The response? Nowhere to be found.

Google did, however, rescind its bid, as many employees spoke out about the ethical issues with the JEDI project.

5. Whoops, my 1 trillion dollar bill slipped

As you know, Amazon was the second tech giant to hit a 1 trillion dollar market cap. It lost that status, for now. The achievement was still great and we wouldn’t bet against Bezos these days.

All these signs should ring an alarm bell in your head. Why? Because competition is healthy, and Amazon is slowly building monopolies in many branches, and we all know how a monopoly changes the market… We’ve also prepared an interview with someone who knows Amazon much better than us. Read on!


FACEBOOK

Tips to handle the banhammer wave on Facebook

Everyone is getting accounts and even business managers banned. Tactics that worked a few months ago don’t work anymore and some even get you into more trouble today.

Jason Cruz has you covered. He posted his solution to the problem in the Facebook Ad Buyers group.

People recommended setting up multiple ad accounts as a backup if some get banned. The problem is if you have those ad accounts dormant for more than 30 days you risk losing your whole business manager.

The solution to this problem is to set up a new page for each ad account and make sure you spend at least $10 a month per account. And also make sure you add all the business info for each account.

It also seems Facebook is running a 3 strikes rule for your business manager. Which means if you lose accounts you need to do everything you can to get them reinstated. Oh, and when Facebook says the decision is final… it’s not.

Apparently, it also helps to sign up for Facebook Blueprint. It seems Facebook likes certified accounts, and maybe you even learn a few things.

Jason also recommends setting up a second business manager as a backup doing the same things there.

It’s not one magic bullet but the advice there is sound. If you end up getting accounts banned yourself we recommend reading the full post and also checking out the comments!

UK and Canada join forces to summon The Zuccc

Yes, our designer is on vacation so we had to make due.

The UK Parliament really wants to put Mark Zuckerberg in the booster hot seat.

They’ve joined forces with their Canadian brothers and sisters to summon this stubborn genie in a joint hearing before both UK and Canadian Parliaments.

No answer from Facebook’s CEO yet but we have a feeling the hearing will give us some good newsletter material so please accept the invitation Mark!

And this shows FB is still swimming in dangerous waters at the moment.


INTERVIEW

Through this series of WHAT THE AFF interviews we want to bring you short (OK, sometimes not that short) and sweet interviews with the top online marketers on this side of the Milky Way.

Today’s guest is Zack Franklin, an affiliate who made a name for himself by selling over 8 figures on Amazon. He also consults 8-9 figure Amazon businesses and will be speaking at Affiliate World Asia this year.

We’ve asked Zack to share more about why all marketers should have their eyes on Amazon. Let’s get to it…

WTAFF Crew: Describe yourself in 20 words or less (focus on personality, not affiliate experience).

Zack: A “Zack of All Trades” I love all things marketing, web development, and ecommerce. I’m living in Shenzhen, China and I eat, breathe, and sleep Amazon.

WTAFF Crew: How did you get into online marketing, what’s your beginner story?

Zack: I had saved up some money while teaching English in Korea, and backpacked SE Asia. In Bangkok, I met a few expats that were making 6 figures a year scalping tickets online and the next day I visited them to see how they did it. 

I never ended up doing that model, but It just opened my eyes that making money online and living in Asia was possible and that’s what I wanted to do.

My friend Mehdi sent me some Charles Ngo articles a month or two later, then I joined STM which made a huge difference, then I joined some masterminds and started to run some campaigns. After my first conversion, I was hooked.

Around the same time, I also found the Amazon community. I started with Retail Arbitrage – flipping things you can find around you for a higher price on Amazon. 

I sold saxophones and other musical instruments, which I bought from all the band kids that stopped playing after high school for around $150 and was selling them for like $700 on Amazon – they always sold out instantly. 

I did very well with Retail Arbitrage, and one of my Chinese friends in the states told me he had a few thousand laptop stands in his garage that I could sell on Amazon.

WTAFF Crew: What is your main business now?

Zack: Currently, I’m doing a lot of consulting for the 8 and 9 figure Amazon Sellers in Shenzhen. I’ve sold more than 8 Figures on Amazon, and I’m one of the few in the Amazon business that has real expertise in digital marketing, so I can provide a lot of unique insight for Chinese sellers. 

I also offer software and service solutions for Amazon sellers such as AMZKungfu, a PPC Automation tool for Amazon advertising. 

Also, a successful review system for large sellers, which has generated more than 20,000 real five star reviews within the last year. I have a few new tools under development which should launch in Q1.

WTAFF Crew: What’s great about selling on Amazon?

Zack: Traffic and Conversion. Conversion Rates on Amazon are on average 10-25%. Combine this with the 100 Million Amazon Prime customers that LOVE to buy with Amazon and you have the perfect platform to build a sustainable, whitehat ecommerce business that you can eventually sell.

WTAFF Crew: What are some of the main challenges for Affiliates looking to expand on Amazon or to move away from the dropshipping model?

Zack: Product Quality – Small differences in review scores matter. If you send in a bad shipment and your review score tanks, the product can die quickly. Going from a 4.2 review score to a 4.3 can double your sales. 

Inventory – Inventory adds a whole new dimension to your business. As you grow, you need to buy more and more inventory to sell. More and more money is trapped in your inventory. You also need to think about lead times, Chinese holidays, logistics and more. 

Legal and Compliance – When you’re the offer owner, you take a lot of responsibility. I’ve seen nightmare situations where sellers have had to remove 50,000 units of stock and relabel to get compliant with EU law or get sued for $1 million on a $6 remote control because a kid ate the battery. I would recommend outsourcing this to a company like AsiaInspection for peace of mind.

WTAFF Crew: Where do you see Amazon, with its ad business too, in 3-5 years? What should all online marketers look out for?

Zack: The first thing marketers need to think about is where they want their traffic to go. if they’re driving traffic on or off Amazon. If the traffic is going straight to an Amazon listing, it’s a no brainer to use Amazon ads. It can be difficult for smaller advertisers to work with them if you’re looking to send traffic off of Amazon.

Amazon Advertising is broken down across a few different platforms – Sponsored Products, Amazon Marketing Services, Amazon DSP, and Amazon Media Group.

Sponsored Products is the one most of us are familiar with. It’s the PPC Platform for Amazon Sellers. It’s dead simple to use and typically provides a great result. There’s no need to come up with a creative or any copywriting, you just select the keywords, match types, and bid. 

It lacks a lot of options that other PPC platforms consider standard, and you have little data to optimize with other than impressions, clicks, and purchases. Average CPC across Amazon (According to CPC Strategy) is 84 cents. It’s very high-quality traffic with a very high conversion rate. This traffic can only be sent to Amazon listings.

Amazon DSP and AMG can be sent on or off Amazon. These are hard to get access to, and expensive. The minimum buy on AMG is $35,000. However, this lets you do retargeting on Amazon, as well as uploading custom audiences to Amazon. 

It’s fully managed by Amazon. I’ve heard mixed reports of success from others, but last Q4, we were able to scale spend to $1.3 million with a 5x RoAS for one of my Amazon clients.

Amazon’s ad business is growing even faster than Amazon Web Services. Now is the time to get in, because costs will rise quickly as it grows. Amazon has a tremendous amount of purchase history data, making this a goldmine for ecommerce advertisers. 

The future is bright and we’re seeing some new capabilities such as offsite retargeting. Offsite retargeting ads for Amazon sellers are currently in closed beta. However, there is no control over placements or frequency. Amazon is also testing new ways to track with “Amazon Attribution” to win over brands.

WTAFF Crew: So in order for them to be ready for this, where should they start? Can you recommend 2-3 resources?

Zack: Here is the official portal for Amazon ads. It’s not nearly as comprehensive as anything by Facebook or Google, but it is a good starting point.

Other than that, there’s very few resources for anyone that wants to advertise with Amazon!

Readers can get in touch with me if they have any questions about anything Amazon at Zack@Amzkungfu.com

Also, I’m starting a new group buy/daily deal site on software, services, courses and consulting for ecommerce/Amazon sellers at Dealjutsu.

WTAFF Crew: Switching gears a little, what conferences and events do you attend throughout the year and why?

Zack: At the end of the day, internet business is all about people and your relationships. Attending conferences and events has always had a huge ROI for me. 

Especially the Affiliate World Conferences. I try to go to at least AWE and AWA every year now. I think anyone that’s serious about performance marketing needs to attend these.

For Amazon, Shenzhen has at least a few events every day, so I’m usually speaking at least once a week. My favorite Amazon conferences are the Global Sources Summit in Hong Kong and Cross Border Summit in Shenzhen.

WTAFF Crew: Throughout your whole business career, what is your biggest regret? What do you wish you had done differently?

Zack: My biggest regrets have typically been not taking the time and effort to visit people I’m doing projects with remotely at least once or twice per project. I think it would have sped up most of my projects and lead to a better result. 

WTAFF Crew: Just about all online marketers like to show off… We want to switch it around so as our final question – What’s the purchase you are least proud of?

Zack: Probably any of my advertising spend on campaigns that didn’t work out. Either that or some of the shit info courses I bought when I started out.

WTAFF Crew: Zack, it’s been a pleasure having you. Thanks for your time and insights! See you in Bangkok! 


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Fun both for you and the kids!

If you remember your childhood revolving around Cartoon Network that is…

Or maybe it would be a nightmare. We’re talking about the fact that Cartoon Network is planning to open a cartoon-themed hotel in summer of 2019!

To quote directly from their website…

From the front lobby to the kitchen, you’ll see characters from Adventure Time, We Bare Bears, The Powerpuff Girls and Ben 10 working to make your stay that much more special…and hilarious.

Enjoy bacon pancakes made by Jake from Adventure Time. Let Ice Bear make you a latte.
The Crew has some nostalgia from 20 years ago when Cartoon Network was the thing. We might just make a company trip there ourselves!

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