“… A whole PhD thesis on discounting strategies and the psychological implications of that. So, it can be a drug as a brand … we know it’s going to drive conversions, whether it’s going to bring you the right type of customers that’s for every brand to experiment with”
Most brands selling their product online know how affiliate marketing works. They, often, also know the power of community. But they cannot find a way to marry these two ideas to generate growth strategies.
Growth for online brands in a privacy-first advertising world has also become a challenge. In the absence of deep targeting data from Facebook and iOS, brands have been forced to get scrappy.
In episode 84 of the Customers Who Click podcast, I talked to Srdjan (Serge) Popovic, CMO of Crossrope, about how their brand navigated the challenge of privacy-first advertising by capitalizing on their Facebook community & affiliate partners.
With Crossrope, Serge is on a mission to inspire millions to discover a fun, new way to get fit – weighted jump ropes. He oversees all facets of their marketing strategy (customer acquisition, retention, experience) and marketing team (talent acquisition and retention).
Before becoming a marketer, Serge has been a mechanical engineer and a pretty successful YouTuber.
01:46 – 04:17 – The Power of Community Combined With Affiliate Marketing – Partnering with fantastic affiliate content creators, expert agencies, and building a community have contributed the most to Crossrope’s growth over the years. They also started with free fitness challenges in their Facebook group which helped introduce jump rope fitness to a whole new class of people.
04:18 – 08:56 – Finding the Right Affiliate Partners – Affiliate content guidelines are a good start but the great affiliate partners who have a genuine connection with your audience have to be filtered out from the crowd. Prefer affiliates that care about your industry rather than those who only want your brand to succeed.
08:57 – 13:56 – The Role of A Private Facebook Group – Facebook Groups (private to customers) is a good place to share discounts and gather feedback from the audience. For Crossrope, their group includes leads and customers and it serves as an acquisition tool into jump rope fitness through their free fitness challenges. When non-customers see Crossrope’s products being used and enjoyed by customers, it shows them their “end-state” after buying the product. They get inspired to try Crossrope’s products out.
13:57 – 18:43 – Using Your Community for Valuable Content Creation – Use the UGC library from your community to experiment with new content by mixing and matching and repurposing content across platforms and formats. It’s a lot easier to do than shooting from scratch.
18:44 – 24:26 – D2C Marketing For Online Brands in a Privacy-focused Period – Accurate forecasting is a big challenge for Crossrope and indeed most online brands because of global conditions and customer trends that were altered due to the pandemic and have begun normalizing. Because of less accurate data due to IDFA deprecation in iOS, stakes are now even higher for ad creatives.
24:27 – 29:00 – Maximizing the First Purchase Profit for D2C Brands – Educate the lead at every stage of the funnel because you may be competing with users’ existing lifestyles as well as your competitors in the niche. Offer effective no-questions-asked money-back guarantee so that the first purchase becomes a “no-brainer”. Maximize the use of reviews, customer stories, and testimonials in the product funnel because social proof is one of the biggest drivers of persuasion.
29:01 – 37:47 – Are Discounts Good For Your Brand? – Heavy and frequent discounts might lower the commitment of the customer to your product and might cheapen the brand too. Focus on convincing the customers of the value of your product so they feel the product is worth the money and they don’t need the discounts. If you offer discounts every time for a long time, customers might find it hard when you lower the discounts or cannot provide any more discounts.
37:48 – 43:19 – How to Use NPS to Improve Customer Satisfaction – Crossrope sends detractors to the customer service team to help understand the customer’s side and improve their satisfaction with Crossrope’s products. Passives are goldmines for feedback that they use directly to extract insights about their product and use them to improve Crossrope’s customer experience. Promoter feedback is a great source of high-converting ad copy.
43:20 – 53:09 – Lessons From Crossrope’s Unique Strategy – The recent privacy-related changes have forced brands to be scrappy. Crossrope has tried unpaid experiments such as product gifting to celebrities to generate brand awareness and get them to share. Innovative product growth techniques may not generate a huge increase in sales but they help tip the word-of-mouth in the brand’s favor. Serge also discusses YouTube Ads and TikTok content as innovative growth strategies.
Who Would Srdjan Popovic Like to Take For Lunch in the D2C Marketing World?
Srdjan would love to take Nik Sharma of Sharma Brands to lunch to learn about marketing for a wide variety of eCommerce brands with different pricing points.
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