Unlocking Ecommerce Growth:
Strategies for Success
- with AJ Saunders

In the last decade, AJ has launched an eBook publishing company, a global ecommerce shop (built first on WooCoomerce, then Magento), and started offering digital marketing services under the Audacious Commerce brand.

AJ has built countless websites for a range of clients and advised many on how to develop and implement a digital strategy for their business.

EPISODE SNAPSHOT

[1:44] – AJ’sBackground: AJ shares his journey and the foundation of Audacious Commerce.

[6:38] – Defining Strategy: Discussion on the importance of strategy in Ecommerce success.

[10:42] – Understanding KPIs: AJ explains the role of Key Performance Indicators in measuring success.

[15:53] – Winning Tactics: Insights into choosing the right marketing tactics for Ecommerce growth.

[23:38] – Client Success Stories: AJ recounts stories of client transformations and successes.

[32:09] – Ideal Client Profile: AJ’s ideal client and how he tailors strategies to fit their needs.

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

In this episode of the Ecommerce Optimizers Show, host Scott Reid sits down with AJ Saunders, founder of Audacious Commerce, to dive deep into the strategies that drive success in the Ecommerce world. AJ, hailing from Bath, England, shares his journey from operating a global business to advising Ecommerce brands on optimizing their online presence for maximum impact.

The discussion covers the importance of setting realistic goals, identifying key performance indicators (KPIs), and designing a flexible, adaptive marketing strategy with accountability at its core. Learn how AJ’s approach to holistic marketing strategy, including leveraging unique platforms and focusing on high-value customer segments, can lead to increased revenue, higher profits, and a loyal customer base. Whether you’re an Ecommerce brand looking to scale or just interested in the intricacies of digital marketing, this episode offers valuable insights into improving your results!

MENTIONED DURING THIS EPISODE

SPONSOR

This episode is brought to you by Ecommerce Optimizers

At Ecommerce Optimizers, we specialize in helping Ecommerce brands in one focused area: and that’s making your website easier to use so that more of your visitors buy from you. 

An easy-to-use website delivers a highly intuitive, straightforward, and smooth experience throughout the customer journey – making it much easier and more enjoyable to do business with you. This translates into a wide variety of business-building benefits, including increased revenue, higher profits, and happier, loyal customers who buy from you time and time again. 

If you’d like to learn more about how we make Ecommerce sites easier to use and how our services might benefit your business, head on over to our website at EcommerceOptimizers.com and check out all the details.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Scott Reid 00:00
Welcome to the Ecommerce Optimizers Show. I’m your host, Scott Reid. This episode is brought to you by Ecommerce optimizers. We specialize in helping ecommerce brands in one focused area, and that’s making your website easier to use so that more of your visitors buy from you. An easy to use website delivers a highly intuitive, straightforward and smooth experience throughout the customer journey, making it much easier and more enjoyable to do business with you. This translates into a wide variety of business building benefits, including increased revenue, higher profits, and happier loyal customers who buy from you time and time again. If you’d like to learn more about how we make Ecommerce sites easier to use, and how our services might benefit your business, head on over to our website at ecommerce optimizers.com and check out all the details. All right on today’s episode, we have a guy by the name of AJ Saunders. AJ is from England. He lives in Bath England, and he is the founder of audacious e commerce. We met I don’t know it was probably about six months ago or so Ajay, I’d say you’re introduced by a mutual business associate Carrington, Crothers. And ever since that time, we’ve been talking regularly and I just thought it’d be a good time to record an episode to learn more about AJ, what he does, and then we’re gonna kind of talk about how strategy drives what we do in both of our businesses. So without any further ado, welcome, AJ really appreciate you joining me on the on the show today. They’ve

AJ Saunders 01:44
heard me Scott’s been Yeah. I’m really excited to be here to talk to you. Yeah.

Scott Reid 01:51
Why don’t you once you tell us about yourself it we’re we’re joking around about about the about the rain because he asked me before we before we started recording how the weather wasn’t. I said, it’s been raining like hell lately. And he said don’t talk to me about the rain. So so why don’t you tell us where you live in England, Ajay and what? When? We’re not being subjected to a for not right. And your neck.

AJ Saunders 02:18
So yeah, so I lived a little city called bath, which is famous for Jane Austen. Or, more recently, Britain. If you are familiar with the Netflix series, your wife probably loves it. So yeah, so we’re 100 miles southwest of London. And yeah, it’s a it’s a Georgian city. So it’s very beautiful. And obviously come visits. We have robots.

Scott Reid 02:42
Oh, yeah, that’s right. Yeah. That’s something that we do not have in the US. No. So tell us about tell us about audacious ecommerce. What do you what do you do there? And who do you want? Yeah, sure.

AJ Saunders 02:55
So well, they’re just kind of born out of my my belief that a lot of agencies just talk and don’t actually understand what they’re doing. I made a bold claim, because I actually only have business, I went global, we had customers and talk countries. And so you know, that the work that I do these days, is based off the fact that I’ve done that I spent my own money, you know, on PPC on CRO, on marketing in general. And so I understand how to do what I’m talking about. And actually, for me, this is why both meet you currently, and get on really, really well as I think we don’t see marketing as just this silo that’s in the sea. Like, yeah, well, I, like we’re currently she takes photos, but you know, I still, you know, emails already PPC or ID whatever, right? And you don’t think I just do taking the text or to the fonts or whatever, right? I think the reason that the three of us really are worried well is we, we understand that we’re a cog in a massive machine. And if we’re not looking at the map of the entire machine as a operational unit units, optimizing different little things, a little part is insignificant and therefore has no impact. But when we take a step back, we look at the grand scheme of things. We start to see how well I’m doing affects what you’re going to zero. Kirsten does, both of us and how we can collaborate and work together. Yeah. So that’s my methodology behind what I do and how I do it. And yeah, just really, really excited to help ecommerce businesses grow and understand how to grow in and have a achieve what that whatever their goal is.

Scott Reid 04:52
And that’s I agree with you 100% In terms of really seeing the big picture and how everything that you’re doing fits together to drive that business forward in its own unique way. So specifically with with your clients, AJ like, what if I, if I was an E commerce brand, and I was selling some type of sporting goods? What types of things could you could you help me out with? If I was like, Listen, you know, I just had some, some marketing agency, I had some guys want to traffic for me, you know, kind of like different ad hoc projects. What could you do for me? Because I just fired all of them? Where could you help me?

AJ Saunders 05:40
So yeah, so at the heart of what I do is, is strategy. And so there’s this misunderstanding of what strategy is. So for me strategy is trying to figure out how we can play a game that we can win at. And that’s only how we can win at play in that game. And so for me, strategies is figuring out what cell we should be using, that will help us get to the outcome that we’re trying to get to. And then in you know, Mark, so milestones, KPIs, benchmark with all of that in a second, that allow us to delineate between what success looks like what failure looks like, but also gives us the roads, the is the measurement on the roadmap to actually make the critical success and incremental change towards making the outcome come possible. So

Scott Reid 06:38
your, if I understand you correctly, are you kind of doing some goal setting with the client so that you’re understanding what their goals are, so that you can kind of backfill the strategy to fit that would allow you to, in fact, that was the wrong word design, the strategy that will allow you to execute upon those goals? Is that is that is, Am I hearing you correctly?

AJ Saunders 07:01
100%. And the other thing so the reason I love gold so much? Is it really gold really talk to what that person is who they are? Yeah. Because you know, I think you know, it, we sit here talk for an hour about goal setting and about gold and what what we have old, you know, we have your life professionally, personally, whatever, right? We probably have a very, very different set of ideals, or various different sets of what we’re trying to achieve. So for me, goals are super important. It outlines why we’re doing what we’re doing. Because we’re trying to get to vision. And for me, we have goals. And if you have a vision of what you’re trying to achieve, it then gives you the substance when things get tough to be able to draw on them as a mechanism of overcoming when things are good, you then have that that momentum that you can draw up on and say right, we’re getting closer to this goal.

Scott Reid 08:00
Exciting. And so if you know after we’ve set we’ve kind of set the goals and let’s just say that Reno right now I’m a $10 million a year business. And my goal is to grow by 25%, year over year. So I want to I want to end at least half 12 and a half million. Yeah. So what was the next step? After you understand what those are? And were like, yeah, yeah.

AJ Saunders 08:28
So then so other than the basic goals, and for me, it’s about credit, figuring out what KPIs matter. So KPIs were not aware of key performance indicators. And the most basic technique that we use as humans every day is when we get up in the morning, we ask ourselves, How do you feel? That is a KPI? Because if you wake up every morning, you say, I feel bad. I feel good. I feel okay. You’ve essentially give yourself yeah, a binary choice, right? And that’s an indicator for us. It doesn’t describe how you feel infinitely in much detail for the describes how you feel as a big picture number.

Scott Reid 09:07
Yep.

AJ Saunders 09:07
And that sets the tone for the day that sets Hey, Phil it’s that’s how you react to solenoid says he react small wins, etc. Throughout the day. As he imagine if you are free, it’s from 10 minutes to 12 and a half. Right, you will yield KPIs that you can set daily with these you know, yeah, what tells the driving the micelle so, you know, is SEO greater than less sales is yes, PPC, you know, we can do things like you know, we can bet Evie So every dollar value then we can say right, you know, in order to hit the 12 million we need to have an average order value of say 300 bucks, right? Yeah. And then we can everyday we can ask ourselves does Yes, do we yesterday we hit the Three Rivers, low average value, right and we did the research plan we’re going to do today to improve that as a KPI for me I literally just a health check that we can ask Sell within seconds and get an answer the outlet, the big picture, and then it’s about then diving into the minutiae and dialing detail that then allows us to for what tactics we’ll take in order to move forward towards hitting or exceeding those KPIs.

Scott Reid 10:18
So do you have KPIs? Like for your typical in quotes $10 million a year, direct to consumer ecommerce brand. Maybe there’s, you know, a couple 100,000 visits a month? What, how many KPIs are you talking here?

AJ Saunders 10:42
So top level isn’t meeting two or three. Okay? Because you can’t compete more than two or three on a daily basis. Right. And you don’t want to become like a McKinsey ask. We’re just filling out a form because we talked about that form, because Harvard says that we should fill out forms, right? Because that’s not at the end of the day. We all know that it’s bright. So. SOC, level three. And then let’s tell you, when we have another three, you’re probably an executive nacelles specific in your activities daily. Yep. And therefore you’re relying on your team to execute on that tactic.

Scott Reid 11:21
So So when we’re talking about like, 50 KPIs. Okay, so you’re looking at a smaller number. Yeah.

AJ Saunders 11:30
You may have 50, across the pores, right, is the channel specific, tell specific KPIs, but uns like the CFO, we’re gonna be looking at probably two or three of the outline everything, okay. And then it’s down to your, you know, it sounds to your subordinates to then be able to paint that up or a picture with their KPIs and how they then illustrate that and talk to you about that. And

Scott Reid 11:56
so, what, you know, after we’ve after we’ve got the KPIs drilled in agreement with that, like, what’s, what are those, like one or two areas that that you that you specialize in when you’re helping your clients achieve those objectives? Right,

AJ Saunders 12:13
right. So then next, what we’re looking for is how to actually win. And so if you think about the traditional marketing mix, I know, You’ve been marketing now for for, say, 30 years. Let me right, so, you know, you probably grew up grew up and you’re probably starting your career where it was TV, radio, billboards. Right? Right. We now have things like Reddit, we have Twitch, we have, you know, the gear piece.net, which is a massive guitar players board, right, with hundreds of 1000s of guitar players all over the world that are in that form. Right. Yeah. You know, we now have, you know, things like, I’d say websites that allow anyone to advertise as long as it fits within their their remit, right? Like we now have all these various channels. And yet we the talk is dominated by meta and by x and by Pinterest. Yeah. And so, oftentimes, you see a lot with big brands playing to play. Right? And what I mean by that is, you know, look at American Airlines, American airlines fly, ball, different types of planes on all different types of routes, right? With a influx of seats with eight and perhaps a specification that they play in the game to play the game. Yeah, they haven’t figured out how they can win strategically. Yeah, well, you will definitely let sprinkle Jet Blue they fly once I’ve been playing with one pilots fly for will apple to the next airport. Once the bright, no frills, no nothing and it’s really simple. And they’ve decided that they can win and they can be profitable above the average of the airline industry as a whole by making those those decisions, right. So that’s how I get people to win so for example, I had a picks up last month where I said to the guys you’re starting a new clothing brand, you need John’s letter you’re really gonna get swamped because you just yet and other clothing brands right? Well, because that they USPS are doing X, XL and X etc. X 3x. Out clothing used to be on things like Reddit and Twitch, right? And these other streaming platforms where there are people who are larger people. I’m not saying that to be to be facetious or to be to the ignorance, right. But you can bid on these platforms, the Inca talent, these sorts of these sorts of consumers with a direct route to them without getting lost in the noise without getting cooked. going places. And so if you think about a brand that’s played to play, they may actually say, Well, we’re going to do meta, whereas we think about Morris cheek approach method will actually are five hangs out on this woodworking forum that’s only accessible to people in Boston, and therefore, we’re going to devote my time marketing budget to that thing, you can realize they’re going to actually pay the bills. Right. Right. And, you know, via example, I can think of is laptops. When they got started, as often as they, when they got started with hash hash. Wade, is he made the decision to just invest all of the marketing budget into sell into customer success reps. Right, right.

Scott Reid 15:50
Right. It’s a great story.

AJ Saunders 15:53
It’s a great story. And so he’s not on KPIs and not on targets, and not on, you know, metrics. But run advertising, he said to them, what do you think is best for that customer. So that was a good choice, because he didn’t call now the root of what we call eBay. When you’re on Amazon, we’re here to see website, we can do billboards, we can do, you know, simple halftime that he had the money to do all this stuff. But he said no, the decision is to, to get all of that and just focus on what actually makes a difference.

Scott Reid 16:26
Yeah. So so that’s what, and that’s a great, a great example, with a Zappos, Zappos example. So we’ve got the goals, the KPIs, and then we start getting into strategy where you’re looking at the the ideal mix, from a traffic standpoint to bring the most high qualified customers to the site. Is that, is that correct? And

AJ Saunders 16:54
actually, yeah, okay. Yeah. Because, you know, for me, and I upset, I see a festival all the time and marketing professional all the time with all of that to say, but I know you’ll get this is. And any, given enough resources can can get your million hits tomorrow, or next month. Yeah. Let’s take some real genius to understand that actually, we have a business that runs off 50 care traffic, but they’re eager to buy. Yeah, all they are overwhelmingly eager to buy, right. Yeah. And that 50,000 is going to be far, far more impactful to our bottom line, than just having a lot of noise and a lot of screaming toddlers with headphones, right? As if that’s, that’s the home differences. We’re trying to figure out how we can get the most evangelical if you like people in in front of our products, they then can do a lot of the marketing and a lot of the the advertising for us. Yeah. Rather than just trying to get everybody I think, you know, yeah. And

Scott Reid 17:59
so are you working on those types of organic, you know, non paid channels in terms of creating content and creating, creating that buzz? That’s, that is is the transcends paid media.

AJ Saunders 18:21
So I think you have to, you have to take a multi a multi channel approach, I think you have to, you know, I think what a lot of times, you know, if you’re just running SEO, SEO is great, but it’s also tops out at some point. Yeah. And if we have to dig right, can we run some remarketing which is obviously paid? Right? And then what else do we use for remarketing? Are we going to use two lads? I’m going to use Bing Ads, and we’re going to use a method with the pixel right? How to retarget these people to actually Hi, keep them going. I think, you know, the primary driver for a lot of DC revenue is email. And, you know, I was certainly of the channel people are talking about is SMS and WhatsApp and those sorts of channels that are able to answer for me, I’m smart enough to know that I can pick the right table for the right person. Yeah. I’m also smart enough to realize that I’m not competent and capable in each of the channels. As I work with people like yourself, like the character and like with other people, to be able to bring to my client, the right team, the understand what the strategy is understand the purpose of where we’re trying to get to, and the goals and the KPIs and the benchmarks and the milestones and do it in a cohesive, meaningful way that everybody stays on track and stays Topsfield alive, isn’t

Scott Reid 19:51
really what you’re describing really, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s it’s really that, that what many could think of Be like a fractional cmo model? Pretty much. Yeah. And and so you’re working on, you know, designing the strategy, crafting the KPIs to support the strategy, working with senior management. And then you are bringing in contractors, if you will, or outside resources, you’re assembling that team of people that’s been vetted by you, that you are then bringing into the end of the mix. And you’re managing those relationships for the company. So it’s really kind of like, it’s, it’s, it’s that cmo level, role and responsibility at a fraction of the cost. Yeah, exactly.

AJ Saunders 20:43
Yeah. And the other beauty of having this Lean model where basically a fractional number of staff, it also means that I don’t have to deal with the politics. Yeah. Because I can go and I can say, right, what you’re not seeing, as that’s one says. So I can be quick laughs I was, I was contracting last year for an SEO agency here in the UK. And I was able to see what they want to deliver for their clients. And yet, there’s a lot more services. So I was able to say to them, like, you know, nobody’s gonna buy those services, because you’re not delivering on the basics, let’s figure out how to build process improvement is what we’re doing on a daily basis. So we actually get closer to do the outcomes that our clients are asking for. And obviously, that’s very uncomfortable for me to say that it’s very gasping in the air and isn’t ours in the room? But that’s why it pays to be there. I’m not, because I’m a nice person, obviously, I am. But I’m paying I’m getting paid to deliver better, faster, quicker results for people.

Scott Reid 21:58
Yeah, that says, Well, that’s the name of the game at the end of the day, is it do you, you know, with with your, with your services outside of what we discussed, like, do you execute any of the any of the services that you might be recommending?

AJ Saunders 22:18
Yes, for sure. So my background is SEO paid and email. I don’t really get social, so that do social. And that’s why I have competent people to do that, again, I understand how to do these things, very, very high level. And so I rely on people who are actually specialists in either an area of say, SEO, write, or understand how to, you know, help you how to do X, Y, and Zed to come in and sort of be able to interface with me who then I can interface with the clients. I will seamless, and therefore they can actually work. And they can actually get cracking on what they are being hired to do. And I don’t have to worry, it’s not getting done. And so yeah, so then they rely on the experts, I have to for intelligence gathering to understand what to ask them to do. But then also allowing them to actually then crack on and say, well, actually, you know, what you’re suggesting is wrong, because you need to be thinking about X, Y and Zed. And here’s what we’re doing. And to really take leadership and ownership.

Scott Reid 23:38
Do you see like with the companies that you work with, are you are let me let me rephrase this, when you start are introduced to somebody is it many times because they’ve grown to a point where they really need a CMO, like somebody in that role because of all the challenges and the intricacies associated with executing a marketing strategy. And maybe they handled it maybe the founder or somebody that wore a couple of different hats was doing the marketing and piecing it together. And now and now they’re thinking I need something a little bit more formal. Is that typically who you’re coming into contact with? Or is it that plus, say, the CMO left for whatever reason, and we just we need a replacement. I mean, any anything in between

AJ Saunders 24:33
is slightly different than those two. So I typically who are working with firms that have high latency as it was for what why call they have the current the toolkits that every problem that they face deserves a whack.

Scott Reid 24:49
Would you say that one more time? Sure.

AJ Saunders 24:51
So a lot of agencies, that toolkit had a big hammer it and so everyone has a counter they feel deserves to hits. Yeah. And therefore, oftentimes, there’s a misalignment between what the founder what the CMO has asked for. And what the agency has delivered. Yep. So the, the reject I use when I’m talking to founders is always say, so did you set the agency KPIs? Or did you just didn’t take back the money to go blow? COVID Huckins. Right, if she were us, but the underlying point is, I’ve dealt with so many people that have higher agencies, and they go to the sales guys. And the sales guy has painted in this wonderful photo where they’re, you know, living in their 3 million pound house, you know, with, with 70 of staff and forklift leaves, and, you know, a boat in the south of France. And you know, and the budget is 2000 pounds, or $3,000. Right, right. It’s a realistic. And because they’re salespeople, they’re never held accountable. dilemma they, they jump, hop, hop, right, they hop do the job. As a usually I come in, I say, Well, I’m not a sales guy, I do sell, but I’m not a sales guy. But my approach is different because I know how to market your business. Because I’ve done it, right. And so my whole thing is, I talk to people all the time. And I say, Well, I don’t know what tools we’re gonna need. But I have a toolkit full of various things. But until I’ve actually opened the hood up, and you get to tap on a bed and have a look at the knees. I can’t really say what you need. Yeah. Yeah. So my diagnosis isn’t? Well, it sounds like this prospect for your $2,000 a month year. And here’s an SES BBC. No, I just, we need to actually think about what you’re doing. Right. And I find that people who get that approach are amazing people who don’t get that approach. It’s not ideal for

Scott Reid 27:04
working with us, right? Yeah. And who is who is like, if you were to define your ideal client, what is that? Yeah.

AJ Saunders 27:14
Yeah. So I, I thought reading an insert said there are stages, right. So you have people that are probably doing under 300, or 300k. And as a 3k, as you well know, it’s, it’s about being tactically driven. So you’re just trying to get as many people on the website as possible to get as many orders as possible to get things packed and shipped out the front door, right? It’s tactile, you don’t have time to think, where we’re going in six months time where we’re going in the year, right? Where you get over the 300 to 400 500. Mark, we then get into the point where strategy starts to matter. Yep. Because you start to see that things start to fail. Right. So you know, Doris, who is picking packing who’s been set for a week, you know, you’ve now got a backlog of parcels to pick pack in the slacks. And you don’t have a press document for that. Right? Yeah. Chloe, who is doing email marketing, you know, has gotten the job. And so we didn’t know what she was doing. So we need to figure out what her abilities were and what that looks like, instead of documentation, right, etc. Yeah, at that point, that’s really is her marketing strategist or a fractional CLC?

Scott Reid 28:36
Because Because those people, but you know, at that stage, either we’re handling the Facebook and Google ads in house, and then there maybe started moving towards agencies, and because it got to be too much. So this is kind of like that natural progression, you know, what happens when companies outgrow themselves? Yes. Right. Various and so what’s that inflection point? Again? It’s about after maybe? Yeah, yeah. And yeah, and that’s when fractional really starts to kick in. Yeah. And in terms of E commerce brands, you working with primarily direct to consumer business to business, a combination of both. I mean,

AJ Saunders 29:18
I have a range of effects that have dealt with the last five years. So whether that’s been DTC, whether it’s been omni channel that’s been the it’s the, you know, for me, it doesn’t really matter. I’m just trying to find problems I can solve and then figure out the best way to solve so I can’t see a roots. So going back to a previous example, assume in the field, here’s me and said, we’ve got a new clothing brand that looks identical. So what Nike putting out or putting out or what we’re putting out, I would have said to them loved I’m sorry about not interested because it’s not a vision for what I can do for you how we can win. Yeah. And therefore I’m just going to waste money. The business of wasting your money on business getting results. Yeah. Right. And so for me, it’s about trying to trying to find people that have problems, I can solve them being able to help them solve those problems in a meaningful and methodical way.

Scott Reid 30:15
Yeah, and it’s it’s definitely something that we’ll never run out of steam. That’s That’s yeah. The How about geographically? I mean, you you work with companies all over the place, right? Yeah.

AJ Saunders 30:32
So roughly, sorry. So I was on a call last Friday. So essentially, we should go right, with somebody based just outside Nashville. And she was saying, I just want to see stuff locally. And I was like, that’s cool. That’s fine. And then I was talking on my call, I flipped back through my business records. That’s where I started in consulting in 2021. Our first customer remember, I remember it only in the UK. My first customer was a guy in Florida. So yeah, right. I will insert a story about how that happened. And that’s, that’s completely the time to international, full international from day one. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And so for me again, you know, I think I think a lot of people do this thing called niching, which I believe is wrong. Yeah. Especially whenever it is services business. Yeah. It’s I think that they have to get after thrillingly unicorns that are pink. Because that’s like, that’s who makes their heart sing. And they don’t ever realize that there’s no markets. In Max. Yeah, worse than me. I’m just like, okay, I can help people understand marketing better. And as long as we get along, as long as we are, we have shared values, I see that there’s a vision of why we’re trying to get to that I can buy into and I can actually help with, right? I’m there. Whereas you always say, why don’t you help beauty brands? Because that’s what they understand. But I think that you lose something or you lose your capability to actually think laterally rather than from the loss rate line. Right?

Scott Reid 32:09
Yeah, absolutely. And so so one thing I did want to follow up with you when you were talking about your skills that were focused around SEO and email. So is that will you do SEO for for a brand as part of this? Or is that something that you’re outsourcing it or the email?

AJ Saunders 32:27
Yes. So it really relies on people’s budget. So what people that comes to me that have tiny budgets, and so we just can’t outsource? Right? So I have to either run personal tactics, we have to redirect budgets into tactics that we know will work as an England budgets, and we can bring in other agencies to do certain things. Yep. So that is quite stressful, because it’s not really where my value lies. Right. I know you have a background in sales and marketing. And so I know that, you know, you probably could write a direct Google ads. Right, right. But that’s not where your competency and your capability really, truly lies in a way to actually have the most marginal game.

Scott Reid 33:15
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s, um, I agree with, with what you’re saying 100% In terms of, you know, sticking to what you do best and hiring out for the hiring out for the rest? What how have you seen the market as a whole over the last year? What would you how would you describe it? Do do do you feel? optimistic about the future? What are your What are your thoughts are?

AJ Saunders 33:47
So I was actually asked this on Monday. And I think he gave the same answer. I believe it still holds true. Always later. Well, three years later. I am an accidental optimist. I’m actually an optimist. But I’m also a realist. And I feel so we’re in 2024. We’re right, right at the end of the first quarter are still the actually, we have three major elections coming up this year, like they will impact consumer confidence in some ways. We’ve come out of 2023, where, especially with the talk here in the UK was the big R word recession. I believe. I don’t mean to sound a bit like Oprah here. But I believe, truly, that when people talk about well, there is a recession, the sky is falling, everybody starts to behave differently. And they start to that. That implied undercurrent of turbulence then is imbued in people’s subconscious and therefore they act differently because of it. And so We’re nice and to recession to the fourth quarter last year, and then we had three quarters before that if people say the sky is falling, you must sell his children and buy five more potatoes. Right. Right, right. Yeah, exactly, exactly. So I did that there’s all the facts in terms of of that. So I’m optimistic that we’re going to have 2423 advisedly, amazing years. For what? What does that translate into growth, extreme confidence and rising consumer spending? I think is yet to be seen. I do think at the three major elections, we’ve got Russia this month. We’ve then got the UK we’re thinking I think, April May. Time. Yeah. And then we’ve got the US election. Yeah. I think it’s pretty predictable. Who’s gonna win all three? Yeah. And therefore don’t see that being a dip or being taken into confidence or some major

Scott Reid 36:08
difference? Yeah, that’s probably already baked in. Yeah, right. Wherever.

AJ Saunders 36:13
Right. As and therefore, I think that the the outlet for me, whilst that is optimistic.

Scott Reid 36:20
So yeah, and the thing was with, with proactively managing your marketing strategy, I mean, there was just so much value in that having a set of eyes that that is focused on in that one area, due to the fact that for most, definitely most a high percentage of E commerce brands. Marketing is a large line item on the income statement. I mean, it just is and, and so there is almost always a massive amount of opportunity for many brands to significantly improve the performance of their, of their overall marketing strategy. And that comes in, in a variety of different forms, whether that’s spending less money on things that aren’t working, or spending more money on things that are so that you really get more bang for your buck, and just continually improving upon the overall execution of that strategy. And it is complex. So I don’t know how many brands could really do that? Well, if it’s, if those roles and responsibilities are fractured, across different across different people, you know, because that’s, that’s where the, that’s where the money’s lost, I gotta believe is in the the lack of proactive kind of keeping your finger on the pulse on terms of, of how everything is working, and the results that those individual campaigns are generating, and, and perhaps even more importantly, how everything’s working together to create those results. Because, you know, if you’re, if you’re spending hundreds of 1000s millions of dollars a year, on your marketing strategy, you know, there’s there’s room for improvement. And so that really, what if you were to boil down your so long winded way of trying to summarize what I heard you say about, about, about what you do for companies is you really identify and extract and capitalize upon the areas of that marketing strategy that can be improved or changed or adjusted. And that’s where that’s where you live, and that’s what you bring to the table. That is that all, is that all accurate? That

AJ Saunders 38:46
is exactly why that Yeah. i How I think what is simply as I just translate gold into an actionable roadmap that have accountability baked in, yeah. Let’s, let’s wonder,

Scott Reid 39:02
because you said one more time.

AJ Saunders 39:04
Sure. Yeah. So I saw that I have and how to build a roadmap flexibility a dative.

Scott Reid 39:13
Yeah. That’s a key. Those three words accountability baked in. Yeah. And, and that is the I guess, that’s the hardest part about growing a business is having the accountability baked in. So so your your system and process puts that in and then that’s how you get results. Yeah. Great. Was there anything else that anything else that you wanted to talk about?

AJ Saunders 39:40
No. I think we covered a lot that way. Yeah,

Scott Reid 39:44
we did. That was. That was very enlightening. I learned some more things about your way. Jack Welch, thank you very much. I really got a lot out of that. I think it’s, you know, clearly what as I said, what you bring to the table is you It’s well needed at many companies, you know, just to have somebody with, like AJ, who has that level of experience that can really look holistically at your marketing strategy, make decisions that are third party in nature. In essence, he’s coming in with a fresh set of eyes, and then bringing in team members as needed based on the different requirements of that strategy. So where can people find you, AJ will have this in the show notes, but just say it out loud, just so everybody has it? Yes,

AJ Saunders 40:37
sure. So people can go to all bases commerce.com. That’s the website. There’s a really, really great blog on there. I’m not saying that because I wrote it. But there’s a great blog that talks you through all of these concepts that we’ve talked about today. So it starts with high level strategy. However, the budget has it set. KPIs are good. And what walks you through everything?

Scott Reid 40:59
Yeah, I think I looked at that. It’s pretty good. Thank you. I remember correctly.

AJ Saunders 41:03
Thank you. I actually, I actually realized how to rouse the last post is first and the first. First questions last. Oh, yeah. So that people actually read in the role now.

Scott Reid 41:20
And it’s audacious. compliments.com. It’s not E commerce, e

AJ Saunders 41:26
commerce.com. And they’ll reach out to me on LinkedIn, and on so yeah, LinkedIn on what I like to have on and then Instagram, my personal Instagram. I’m always active on people can reach out and talk to me. What’s

Scott Reid 41:40
your email is at AJ at?

AJ Saunders 41:42
Okay, she’s calling

Scott Reid 41:44
commerce.com. Excellent. Well, thank you very much, AJ. It was a pleasure having you on the show. I’m glad we could do it. I learned a lot and I trust everybody else that as well. We will talk to you soon. Again. Thank you very, very much. I really appreciate it.