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Daniel Tejada is the Co-founder and Amazon Growth Wizard at Straight Up Growth, an Amazon advertising agency that he started earlier this year. Daniel has extensive experience in the digital marketing and Amazon space, having previously worked with companies such as Blue Wheel Media and Quiverr. He has spent over $10 million on Amazon advertising and has helped his clients reach over $100 million in sales.

Daniel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Multi-media Design from Pepperdine University. He has been featured in various advertising publications including Digiday and Amazon.

 

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Daniel Tejada’s extensive background in digital marketing and his evaluation of different Amazon advertising tools
  • Can brands run a 7-figure Amazon business using the online marketplace’s internal tools only?
  • Daniel talks about the added value of external software compared to Amazon’s internal analytics
  • The smaller advertising software companies that sellers should look into
  • How the functionalities of each external software program differ in terms of optimizing ad spend
  • How to figure out which advertising software you need for your business
  • The seller tools that brands can use to assess and optimize their Amazon listings—including Daniel’s top five
  • How to get in touch with Daniel Tejada

In this episode…

With all the Amazon advertising software and tools currently in the market, Amazon sellers have a number of options to choose from when it comes to collecting data about their listings. These include Kenshoo, Jungle Scout, and Helium 10—and the list keeps growing.

However, with all of these options, it can be challenging for sellers to find the software or tool that meets their specific needs. There are external programs for everything from researching keyword data, to boosting conversion rates, to optimizing ad spend. So how can Amazon sellers find the right software for their businesses?

In this week’s episode of Buy Box Experts, host Eric Stopper interviews Daniel Tejada, the Co-founder of Straight Up Growth, about finding the right software tools for your Amazon business. Daniel discusses the different advertising software currently available in the market, how the functionalities of each program differ, and the important metrics to look out for when building an Amazon marketing strategy. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace.

The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace–not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload.

Buy Box Experts prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management.

Learn more about Buy Box Experts at BuyBoxExperts.com.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:09  

Welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast we bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e commerce world.

Eric Stopper  0:18  

Hey and welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast. This is Eric Stopper. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. Buy Box Experts takes ambitious brands and makes them unbeatable. We’ve got a team of consultants, I am one of them, go to our website, buyboxexperts.com click on the free analysis button and you’ll be connected with me or a member of my team. It is a crazy, crazy world out there and everybody needs help. Everybody needs insight. If you’re listening to this, first of all, just take a deep breath. Everything’s gonna be cool. Your business is gonna survive. You are a fighter everything’s gonna be alright. Today I am so happy to be joined by Daniel Tejada at Straight Up Growth. Amazon advertising agency that he co founded earlier this year. Daniel has extensive experience in the digital marketing and Amazon space. Having worked with companies like Blue Wheel Media, where Trevor George actually came on our podcast go check out that episode, and Quiverr. He has spent over $10 million in Amazon advertising. He is absolutely an expert in the space and I am pleased to have him on the show. And Daniel, welcome.

Daniel Tejada  1:24  

Thanks for having me on today. Really excited to chat with you guys. You guys were back in my private label days one of the first content drivers where I was I was learning stuff. So excited to be on.

Eric Stopper  1:37  

Did you know we’re always we’re always driving content. That is that is totally our thing. I you know, I’m curious. The $10 million that have been spent on Amazon made much more than $10 million in revenue, right?

Daniel Tejada  1:50  

Oh, yeah. No, we did. Let’s see probably sold a little over half a billion dollars. Test costs two years there. So my gross wasn’t bad. Hopefully.

Eric Stopper  2:00  

Yeah, I’m hoping so. So I I brought you on the show. We get we can talk about a lot of things I feel like one thing that I haven’t had a chance to address on the show is just kind of a synopsis and evaluation of all the various tools that are out there. On on my videos, I talked about Helium 10, and Jungle Scout and ZonGuru and Perpetua and Sellics and Teikametrics  and Kenshoo and PPC Entourage and like anybody who’s listening from those agencies, like Hello, nice, nice to have you here. But we want to talk about each of them in our experience, and we want to understand some of the nuances of these various platforms. And and I personally like I have some preferences as well. And by no means do they represent Buy Box Experts at all. They’re just like, what I’ve what I found to be useful. And so Daniel, can you can you just give us a little bit of your background before we hop into all this where you been? What do you know?

Daniel Tejada  2:56  

Absolutely. So you know, on my end, I essentially started in Digital Marketing down here in San Diego, and was fortunate enough to, you know, start to work at Quiverr. Back in the days when the only people that knew about Amazon was private label, right. And none of the big brands actually, you know, knew much about Amazon at that point. And one of the things I really liked about Amazon is the first year Amazon launched ads. So I’m looking at CPCs of 510 cents a click, which was unheard of, you know, coming from the Google AdWords world is just, you know, crazy crazy to see that. And but really, for me, it was really my focus was entirely on figuring out how advertising worked on Amazon, you know, beyond just, there was some content out there, a lot of it was pretty basic, you know, how to create broad phrase, exact match types, create auto campaigns migrate terms over but that was really the extent of where that expertise sort of ended. And so for me, every a lot of my clients were very, very high growth, and we were really fortunate to get to test things when CPCs were so low You know, we’re able to identify that ads on Amazon don’t just affect, you know, your, your ability to be seen, but they can even impact your organic rankings. And that SEO that’s tied to advertising can be a really, really huge game changer. And through that, you know, I’ve been able to work with probably 200 brands in the space, sold everything from protein bars to massage chairs. And what you’ve learned over time is, you know, each category is going to have maybe specific nuances, right or little tricks that will help you sell a little bit better. But for the most part, Amazon is fairly formulaic, right, your idea is increasing the number of sessions, increasing your conversion rate, and overall that should be able to drive sales over time. And it’s really the path to get there. And I think that’s where those tools come in and, and sort of the way you decide to handle Amazon because everyone’s going to have a different strategy or goal. And I think the real key with some of these tools that have been created to help sellers, it’s understanding you know what your goals are, and understanding how to use that tool effectively to get you closer to that goal you’re looking for. You know, we were talking about this earlier, you know, you might have two different keyword research tools for Amazon, you know, tool, like maybe MerchantWords, versus, Helium 10. Both of the goals for those, those tools is to allow you as a seller to identify, you know, potential converting search terms that allow you to expand your business on Amazon. And while both sort of have the same function, you know, they’re both going to give you different results if I put you know, protein bar into MerchantWords. So give me a monthly search volume. If I put one into Helium 10, I’m gonna get a completely different search volume. And then I can look at brand analytics, which is that you know, Amazon derived search volume data, and that’s going to give me you know, a different, a different metric as well, right, we’ll get a search frequency rank instead of an actual search volume. And so what I found a lot of success in is on Understanding that, especially with some of the scraping tools, it’s not going to be a perfect answer. But it’s about understanding sort of trends, right? I know for myself, if I see MerchantWords, I see, you know, 470,000 searches a month on Amazon. I don’t expect there to be 440,000 searches a month for that search term. But I know that in my experience, when I see, you know, over 200,000 searches and merchant words a month, that typically means ridiculously high search volume, right? If I’m running off of Helium 10, my metrics are going to be different because they don’t go very high, right, that might say 30,000 a month, and I know that that’s super high search volume. And I think that’s important, you know, to understand that, that it’s not perfect, but it is going to be you know, how you use the tools can be really important to driving your own success there.

Eric Stopper  6:50  

So I got a weird question for you about struggled to answer it myself. So I tell everybody that they pretty much need a stack right. They need some software. Do this or that. But I’m wondering if just with the tools that Amazon has internally, right, using brand analytics using like, recently, what I’ve been doing is just typing like three letters for the beginning of a word into the search bar. Because people are just gonna click on the things that populate in that in the depths of that search bar, right? Yep. So do you think that it’s feasible for somebody to be able to just like completely get away from all the software’s in 2020 and run a seven figure Amazon business? Or is it just not feasible?

Daniel Tejada  7:35  

So I think it’s feasible but it what it really comes down to is the time savings that that could get you there. So one thing could be, let’s say advertising, right? If you’ve got, if you’re a seven figure seller, but you’ve got one or two or three products, you can run that manually and you can do a really, really good job. The trickier part is if you’ve got a catalog of 100 or 50 different products, right, and I’m trying to manage ad campaigns on 150 different products. And if I’m doing it properly, you know, there’s probably I should have different campaign structures for each product and things like that. So that’s going to get extremely cumbersome to do solely, solely in a manual sort of fashion there. And it has nothing to do with how good you are in advertising. It’s simply, you know, the time it takes to download a search term report, you know, create a pivot table, look at your actual search term data versus your keyword data, you know, and if you’re doing that in the campaign by campaign basis, it can take a very, very long time. I would say, you know, some of the things like the data analytics, Amazon, opening up brand analytics is huge. I think it really, really allows you to do a lot more competitive and keyword research than you were able than you were ever able to do prior to that being open. Other than using third party tools like a Jungle Scout or Helium 10. Now brand analytics, I can look up search frequency data, which is which is pretty valuable. I can do reverse Ace Look up some of my competitors, and I can see where they own, you know, first, second or third in terms of quick and conversion share. And I can do to my own products to see where my traffic is coming from. So that those functions alone are so valuable. You know, I’ve gone to brands that are doing really, really well, you know, maybe they’re selling a million dollars a month on Amazon. And when you put their their items into brand new analytics, you see that all their traffic is branded, right? And that tells me even though this is already a seller doing a really good job, there’s still opportunity to do even better from that point. And I’ve run into that instance, you know, many many times. And so honestly, brand analytics is one of the most underrated tools in that Amazon even offers. Personally, I don’t think enough people will leverage it

Eric Stopper  9:47  

and and real quick to just for anyone who’s like, what the heck, what are you talking about? brand analytics, right? If you have a trademark for your product that’s been registered with Amazon, inside of seller vendor Central. there’s a there’s a tab at the very top of the page under I think it’s, let’s see, I’m just gonna go to Seller Central. So I don’t say this wrong. So you go to reports and it’s a third one down, go to brand analytics. And there’s like all these other things in the side Amazon search terms repeat purchase behavior Market Basket analysis, item comparison, and alternative purchase behavior, right, like Amazon’s actually stepping up to the plate now. Which leads me to my next question. Are these software companies like it? Is the redundancy of the fact that Amazon is offering these these tools gonna Doom them? Or is there like, a lot of really good value that they offer on the analytic side or in whatever API is that they’re plugged into and using that that goes above and beyond what brand analytics is able to provide?

Daniel Tejada  10:47  

So I do think there’s still plenty of value that the software companies can provide to sellers and really, it’s a supplement to what already exists, right. So I think in the early days, you know, understanding sales volume was really important to understanding the competition was really important. But now as as Amazon’s got more competitive, I think that sellers really need to concentrate on, you know, more advanced strategies when it comes to Amazon. Some of my higher growth accounts, you know, they’ll where we see a lot of value is improving our organic ranks on high volume, non branded search terms, right. And so Amazon doesn’t show you, you know, what place you are organically, you can do a search, you know, manually, you can track that on a daily or weekly basis. But if you’ve got 100 products, it’s gonna take a lot of time to track where your rankings are organically, right? You can use a tool like helium 10, track your organic rankings. And now if you’re going with a more aggressive ad strategy, with a focus on rank, you can quantify your results there right and understand that Okay, my advertising efforts are in fact paying it off. And you know, I’ve improved my organic rank from page two to page one organically for this You know, strategically chosen search terms. And so I think really, what Amazon is doing by by opening up more and more data after for sellers is, you know, causing the software companies to have to step up right into have to be able to provide better and better solutions. So I think in the long run, it’s going to end up in the cellar saver because we’re going to just get better and better tools. And we’ve seen that I’ve seen, you know, these tools progress from maybe having one function to now offering a suite of various functions and tools and things that you can leverage effectively.

Eric Stopper  12:33  

Now, since the data is becoming more and more available there the big names like Jungle Scout and Helium 10. Certainly, and I hope I you know, I hope they’re listening and, and are able to, you know, to tune in to what some of the agency people are looking at their product for. But I wonder about some of these smaller companies. Are there any, are there any software’s that you use specifically, that might be provided by a little bit, a little bit a lesser known company that you would you would encourage people to go look at.

Daniel Tejada  13:04  

So I think that is a really great point there is the fact that there are the well known ones. And you know, they do a really good job at what they’re doing. I think that there’s some other agencies that have come at things from different angles and looking at things a little bit smarter approach. I spoke to one one company software company Downstream. And what they were able to do is they really focus on reporting, and creating really, really good reporting tools, which to me as an agency is actually very interesting, because, you know, Amazon’s a lot of Excel that you’re dealing with, and when you have a lot of clients, building reports actually takes a lot of time, but it doesn’t necessarily drive a lot of extra revenue for a client, right? It’s really just to show Hey,

Eric Stopper  13:46  

this is what we’ve done. You know, it’s like a bare minimum. It’s like a point of parody, you know, every agency has to give you some sort of reporting and so, the quickest and best one wins.

Daniel Tejada  13:58  

Exactly, and what I love about them is You know there’s some ad software companies are the majority of the early ones they focused on you know full automation right Downstream decided you know, we’re not necessary we know that there’s a lot of advertisers that don’t necessarily want 100% automation but rather they want to do their job faster and so they give the ability for day parting and to make reporting easier and almost automated there. Which I thought was super interesting and pretty valuable. And so there’s there’s various other companies coming out even add software specifically. Originally, really Teikametrics was sort of the the one and one and only then you got Sellics that came along, Kenshoo and now you know, I’ve done many many demos with with various software companies and a lot of the smaller shops are less well known ones actually offer some pretty interesting ideas or approaches to to add add software.

Eric Stopper  14:53  

Yeah, I mean, I’m thinking just just on on the shortlist of folks that I’ve had the opportunity to interview. I just talked with them. An at revenue wise, I have never I’d never heard of it and his philosophy is, is is to like leave it alone, right like to hands off growth, just make it so that you don’t have a headache about it and it saves you time. And it seems like almost like it’s the same tool that a lot of the other guys are using. But the position and the way that they’ve created it for the specific Amazon user is different. Is is the functionality of these advertising software’s, from, from your perspective, significantly difference in terms of their ability to perform the basic functions that are necessary to like optimize advertising spend, or are they are they really all the same with with just different positioning, what do you think?

Daniel Tejada  15:53  

So I think that there’s different levels, in my opinion. So I think that sort of level one is your fully automated tool, you’re probably optimizing off of either an a cost target or you know, some people use like that tacos are sort of total revenue target. And I think that’s really fruitful for a lot of sellers to, especially if you’ve got a big catalog, right? It allows you to manage those campaigns and have trust that it will do its job, right. If you set a 20% a cost target, it will work to get you to a 20% a cost target some of the issues that arise for for someone that, you know, kind of optimizes for my position, we really focus on new customer acquisition, right, that is our real focus in our growth. And so I look at metrics like conversion rate a lot more frequently than I look at a cost depending on the client and what their goals are. And so with a fully automated tool, because it’s 100% automated, it boxes me in and doesn’t really allow me to do my strategy, which is a little bit more higher growth. Sometimes, you know, like I had a client in the pet space was looking to be you Number one in their in their space, right, they were doing about 30,000 a month really not much on Amazon. And so for them for their goals, they really, really needed to focus on improving organic visibility. There’s some really high traffic search terms in their space that I knew I could rank with my ads, but I knew was going to be sort of a loss leader strategy, right because they have a low A ob high CPC in the space with a high conversion rate. So that’s naturally going to create a high a cost just because a ob CPC and a cos are always directly related. But conversion rate is one of those metrics that gets missed a lot of the time. And if you have a high conversion rate on your ads, you can leverage that effectively from a ranking perspective. So for this brand, I basically told them, Look, we’re going to break even on ads for the first three months, it’s going to be aggressive. We’ll start to be profitable at month four, and post month four, you’re going to see your total revenue increased consistently with your ad, your ad spend constant, and so I literally painted that picture, three months down the line there on page one for these specific high volume search terms that I wanted them to be, to be on, total revenue starts to increase because their organic visibility was increasing repeat buyers coming in. And you know, that client went from 30,000 a month to 670,000 a month on Amazon, you know, in 10 months. So rapid, rapid growth, I couldn’t accomplish that with a fully automated tool, because there’s no way that I could tell the tool Hey, focus on conversion right there. Right. So now there’s more software companies that are a little bit that’s still offered some automation, machine learning AI driven, but a lot of them will allow you to sort of create rules, right, which for me is a little bit more efficient. I can use rules to kind of run through some of the more basic tasks, right taking, you know, harvesting search terms from research or automatch types. I can automate that process, because that, to me is more of like the basics. And then that allows me to have more time to focus on the optimizations that will really drive the most revenue for the business.

Eric Stopper  19:00  

Well, so we’re talking about conversion rate and advertisements, I kinda want to take a step back because a lot of the folks that that listening to are, are those looking to do keyword research or are looking to do product research. And there are a bunch of seller courses out there. I just I just interviewed Brandon Young a few weeks ago. Great course, by the way. And he goes through and you and basically says you can use any tool. It’s, it’s about the philosophy that you apply to it, and what you’re trying to get out of it. And so I’m a little dubious, right, I’m wondering, okay, well, there’s gotta be there’s gotta be one that’s best. How, how can the person shopping? Figure out which thing they need? You know, how is there? Is there a playbook that you would give to people to say, okay, like, Look, you’re in this position. These are the questions you need to ask. yourself to figure out what tech stack you actually need.

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