30 March 2023 |

From Newsletters to DTC, This is Advice ALL Marketers Need to See

By Daniel Murray

Our special birthday guest, Ari Murray, is the VP of Growth at Sharma Brands, the gold standard of ecommerce.

When she’s not killing it for her clients, you can catch her on LinkedIn and Twitter spilling all the Marketing tea in her weekly newsletter, Go-to-Millions.

I was able to steal Ari for a few minutes and pick her Marketing brain.

Here’s what she had to say on The Marketing Millennials Podcast in her own liiiightly edited words. 

1. The #1 Marketing Trend:

Channel diversification has always been important.

Being on TikTok doesn’t mean you are “diversified.” Channels that are less thumb stopping and more experiential are the future. 

Right now it’s podcasts and audio dollars, those are going to win long term. 

When iOS 14.5 came out, brands struggled. They relied heavily on Facebook.

They weren’t testing audio channels, out of home, or other touchpoints to build a brand (owned channels are HUGE).

It’s super important that you nail more than one channel

At the end of the day, you never know when Apple is going to have a privacy policy that screws you over.

Build up your email list, SMS, and your brand’s socials.

2. How to Handle Paid Sponsorships:

Always make sure to call out your sponsored section. 

If it’s a social post, use a hashtag that indicates the post is an ad. For your newsletter, give the ad its own sponsored section. 

The last thing you want to do is sneak the ad in. 

It’s an ineffective way to get someone to trust you enough to do what you want them to do, once they’ve clicked the ad.

Be transparent that the section is a sponsored ad for your free newsletter, people are smart.

Be careful with who you let sponsor. If you recommend a product and your audience buys it and hates it, they will be pissed at you.

Then you’ve ruined a significant portion of trust with your audience.

(Don’t sacrifice trust for $$.)

3. Advice for Those Starting in Marketing:

Be the hardest working person in the room (YES).

Raise your hand for projects. Take on as much as you can chew when you’re young or new in the industry. 

No one’s going to go out of their way to teach you. If you can prove that you are a self starter, people will trust you. This will benefit you later in your career too.

You don’t want to be the person in charge with no knowledge of what it takes to do the things you’re asking for.

Executives who have been in the weeds and understand their requests are better for their team. 

It’s better for their business and a better look for your culture.

Your dreams don’t work, unless you do (quite literally my life motto).

4. The Right Way to Run Performance Marketing:

Growth and digital teams have to be your final approver on every aspect of your website and on all performance marketing across all CRMs. 

Email, SMS marketing, anything that’s not organic should fall under growth and digital teams.

You want a growth marketer to make the final call on what’s approved.

That way you’re optimizing for what’s going to sell and not spending 75 years in edit rounds (worst nightmare right there).

Brand marketing is why people love the brands they love.

But people have to buy brands in order to be super fans and for businesses to survive. 

I come in peace, but that is my strong, harsh opinion.

5. Diving into DTC:

It starts with laying the tech stack, the design, and the analytics down. 

That way you have all of your pieces and you’re able to really understand what’s happening on this site that’s launching. 

Then it’s about bringing in email and SMS agencies to think through what’s going to happen on CRM.

We then think about how we’ll present as a brand on Instagram and TikTok organically, and via paid.

Laying the right agencies and partners down for social is VITAL.

(Anyone can click “post” on socials, but few can build a BRAND.)

Then think about what the go to market launch plan is. How we’ll announce to the super fans of the brand that we’re here, we’ve arrived, get your credit cards ready, it’s time to shop.

It’s a lot of tech meets launch planning meets partner planning.

6. Crushing Your Product Launch:

I always start with 5 or 6 SKUs.

The most common combo is 4 individual SKUs, and 2 bundles merchandised together.

At launch, there’s only so much you can teach people and there’s only so much every customer can be expected to spend. 

You really need to think through what’s going to happen on day one.

That’s going to give you the momentum to get to day 30. 

Wait lists and early access to allow your fans to shop can set the expectation that if they don’t set their alarm, they’re not going to get your product. 

Then keep SKUs in reserve that no one’s ever seen or heard of.”