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Ryan Tiong Of Supercharge Lab On The Top 5 Ways To Market, Advertise & Promote An Ecommerce Business Today

An Interview With Eric Netsch

Paid traffic is getting expensive and will get even more expensive in the future. Search engine traffic is one of the most targeted traffic you can get because of the search intent behind it.

As a part of our series called “The Top 5 Ways To Market, Advertise & Promote An Ecommerce Business Today”, we had the pleasure of interviewing Ryan Tiong.

Ryan has over 15 years of experience in digital marketing in multiple industries. From Search Engine Optimization to Performance Marketing, Ryan has a big picture view of the whole digital marketing landscape.

Ryan has helped companies in Southeast Asia such as Carsome, Green Packets and Wego achieve their performance goals. Ryan recently joined Supercharge Lab, a global Marketing AI company, to help drive outcomes for its clients through Sigmund AI.

Thank you so much for your time! I know that you’re super busy. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I did my college degree in traditional business management but saw how small businesses were shifting online and it intrigued me. So I clicked on the banner ads and started to dissect how everything works — from algorithms to the less predictable creative part of marketing. I then joined a small boutique agency doing Search Engine Optimization at that time and the rest is history as they say.

Can you share the most exciting story that has happened to you since you began at your company?

Seeing how machine learning and artificial intelligence generates marketing copy excites me more than anything, I love technology, and working with the bleeding edge of tech has always been one of the most exciting aspects of my job. I also have the opportunity to lend my knowledge and experience to the development of new AI-powered technology solutions, which brings new meaning to the work that I do.

What’s the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson did you learn from that?

Well, it’s not a funny mistake per se, but digital marketing has a lot of moving parts and it’s easy to miss a step or make a mistake so being organized is important. Planning on an excel sheet before launching a campaign sounds redundant but it can help you avoid many small but critical mistakes.

Looking back, forgetting to insert tracking URLs and being frustrated at the campaign “not working” seems funny but at that time I was probably contributing to my receding hairline.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I’m working on an artificial intelligence campaign optimizer program that will make it easier for companies to create a fully customized digital marketing campaign. The AI will choose the best strategy for the company according to its profile and optimize the campaign automatically.

This will make digital marketing more accessible to early marketers than it already is.

You’re a successful business leader. What are three traits about yourself that you feel helped fuel your success? Can you share a story or example for each?

The love of learning, persistence and clear communication are very important traits in my opinion.

The world is changing quickly so everyone needs to keep learning and adapting even after formal education. This is even more true for digital marketers as entire algorithms can change at the tip of the hat. The latest IOS 14 update has thrown a wrench into many Facebook campaigns and marketers have had to study and master Conversion API, which many have not even heard of before this.

Persistence is critical because it’s hard to get a breakthrough in digital marketing, you have to do hundreds or even thousands of tests before you find a winning campaign.

This is why clear communication is so important as well. At the end of the day, marketing is about communication. If the customer understands why your product is the right one for him or her then he or she is going to buy it.

For example, a startup I worked with, Carsome, was not seeing the results they wanted on their Facebook ads even after a lot of testing. Turns out the consumers don’t quite understand how the platform can help them sell their cars. It sounds obvious but the messaging that won was “evaluate the price of your car” vs “sell your car to us because our platform has x, y, z benefits” (which every platform was claiming).

A tweak in their messaging led them to become a unicorn today and that took a lot of thinking from the consumer point of view.

Awesome, thanks so much for sharing that. I want to shift gears and talk about eCommerce. In my work, I focus on improving shopper engagement, so I’m very passionate about this topic. As you know, mobile has taken center stage in terms of how people are engaging and transacting with eCommerce stores — leading a lot of stores to lean into mobile-first shopping experiences like mobile apps. Can you help articulate a few reasons why an eCommerce business should consider creating their own mobile app?

First of all, as you mentioned, shoppers are increasingly turning to mobile to shop. It’s a pocket-sized computer that’s always with them and where most of the product discovery is done (be it from social media influencers, web research, or any media they consume).

That means the mobile phone is one of the most important touchpoints you can have as an eCommerce company.

Why an app though? Overall the user experience is just more intuitive as compared to a phone’s browser. It’s loads faster, is more responsive, and users stay logged in. Plus, it’s just intuitive to navigate on an app as opposed to using the browser to navigate to your site. Guess who’s going to win if your competitor has an app and you don’t?

An application also serves to provide significantly more control from a technical standpoint and marketing-wise as well. As an example, through an application, you can choose audience segments to push notifications to, and how you wish to promote, reward, and retain your users.

A great example of this is Shein, which has become a billion-dollar juggernaut in the ecommerce industry today.

The death of the cookie is going to happen. By 2023 marketers will no longer be able to track consumers online using third-party cookies. How do you think that will impact how businesses acquire and re-target customers? What can they do to pivot?

These sweeping privacy regulations and rules will definitely impact many businesses but at the same time, I’m confident we will see better tracking technologies that respect customers’ privacy. We’re already seeing solutions like Conversion API from Facebook that solve this problem, albeit imperfectly.

I also think investing in other channels like emails has gotten even more important and it’s one of the best ways to “re-target” your customers.

The cost of paid ads is at an all-time high. What are some alternative strategies to reach your target consumers that don’t involve paying a third party like Facebook and Instagram?

Content is one of the best investments you can make in the long run because there are so many platforms that will give you highly targeted traffic for free in exchange for great content.

I’m talking about platforms like Google, Pinterest, YouTube, Tik Tok, and others.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experience and success, what are your “ Top 5 Ways To Market, Advertise & Promote An Ecommerce Business Today?” Please share a story or an example for each.

Ok, the top 5 ways are:

  1. Build and Use Your Email List.

As I mentioned, email is going to be an important channel and it is still one of the highest ROI channels simply because it’s so personal and cheap after you’ve gained a subscriber. Email marketing can be a potent force for conversions, if you’ve done the needful to stay out of spam, created the right audience segments, and have the right types of content to engage, recruit, and retain your customers.

2. Social media.

It’s one of the biggest channels in the world and when done right, startups can grow their following significantly to drive themselves into unicorn status. Of course, social media has significant facets to it — from communities to content, engagement to advertising — brands today need to make sense of the different platforms and their algorithms to turn their flywheel.

3. Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

Paid traffic is getting expensive and will get even more expensive in the future. Search engine traffic is one of the most targeted traffic you can get because of the search intent behind it.

It’s one of the big reasons Zouba (a travel app I worked with) gained traction and got acquired. All I did was some basic SEO that’s accessible to anyone. Understanding the inner workings of SEO can prove to be an important investment in knowledge for oneself, even when starting up!

4. Use Google Ads.

Google ads is kind of underrated these days because of social media platforms like Facebook and Tik Tok but Google still has one of the most targeted and highest-quality traffic in the world. You know exactly what someone wants when she types in “buy running shoes” into Google, there’s little guesswork involved in that!

This is why Google shopping ads remains one of the best channels for ecommerce brands.

5. Working with influencers.

There’s no doubt that working with influencers is one of the highest ROI marketing activities you can do right now. For the right brand like Shein, it can literally be worth billions of dollars.

However, not all brands have a fit with influencer marketing. I worked with payment startups that failed to see any meaningful traction from influencer marketing before.

It’s all about testing and audience fit.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I think productivity is one of the most important factors in the success of a person. Whether that’s in one’s personal life or even as an employee, or even as an entrepreneur.

If you are able optimize value delivery in everything you do, your worth increases. Thus, many more people should learn productivity.

In fact, the reason why we’re in a golden age of sorts right now is because of the industrialization age which saw a 50X increase in productivity. Without Frederick Winslow Taylor we wouldn’t be here (looks like that traditional business management degree has paid off after all!).

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can follow or add me on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryantiong/. Alternatively, you can follow Supercharge Lab on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/SuperchargeLab

I want to thank you so much for your time and for sharing your expertise with us. I wish you continued success!

Thanks for having me!

About The Interviewer. Eric Netsch is the co-founder and CEO of Tapcart, a codeless mobile app builder that helps Shopify’s fastest-growing brands to create an owned marketing channel so that they can reach, engage, convert, and retain their audience without ever relying on another entity for access. Eric has been featured in TechCrunch, Business Insider, The Verge, etc. To launch your mobile app, visit Tapcart.com.

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Eric Netsch, CEO of Tapcart

Eric Netsch, CEO of Tapcart

CEO of Tapcart, a codeless mobile app builder that helps Shopify brands to create an owned marketing channel to reach, engage, & convert its audience

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