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Soso Sazesh is the CEO and Founder of Growth Pilots, a digital marketing agency that partners closely with a select group of high-growth companies to manage and scale their paid search and paid social advertising channels.

Soso founded Growth Pilots after constantly coming across companies that were not able to properly manage their paid advertising channels internally yet were also not able to find an agency that could keep up with the pace they needed to operate at, leaving them stuck somewhere in the middle. Growth Pilots was created to become a partner for these companies, some of which include Betterment, Formlabs, and Gusto.

Soso has been solving customer acquisition problems for the past 8 years and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. 

You can follow him on Twitter: @sososazesh

He will be live on May 16 starting at 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which he will answer as many questions as possible.

  • HA

    Hammad Akbar

    6 months ago #

    Hey Soso,

    I am glad to see you here on Growthhackers.com. I see that you have worked with big names of the industry and managed their ad campaigns.

    Please share some common mistakes which you have learnt through your experience Tech/SaaS startups make while conducting their SEM/SMM campaigns?

    Best,
    Hammad

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hey Hammad. Glad to be here!

      I could write all day about mistakes I've both made and seen over the years. There are two that particularly stand out.

      1. Not understanding or knowing your unit economics

      A business only makes so much money from each customer over their lifetime. Let’s call this LTV or customer lifetime value. A business has costs associated with acquiring a customer, including sales/marketing headcount and advertising costs. Let’s call this CAC or customer acquisition cost.

      If LTV < CAC then you have problems. If LTV > CAC you are on the right track but the magnitude of this ratio matters. It’s important to note that LTV is mostly fixed while CAC is highly variable. You should decide exactly what CAC you want to target assuming your mostly fixed LTV. The importance of this CAC target lever cannot be understated. For most SaaS businesses, target CAC will determine growth rate and profitability of the business as a whole. A higher CAC target will allow for faster growth since you can pay more to acquire each customer but it comes at the cost of lower profitability. And vice versa.

      Your CAC target is a business decision that should be thoroughly developed by first understanding LTV and working backwards to determine whether you want to favor growth or profitability. Many companies skip this step and jump right into launching paid advertising campaigns. This is the equivalent of getting in your car and driving without knowing where you want to go - eventually you will run out of gas :)

      3 Share
    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      2. Incorrect or missing conversion tracking. This is big one.

      There are two aspects to conversion tracking: in-platform and down-funnel

      In-platform conversion tracking relies on conversion pixels that fire when some event takes place on your website after an ad has been clicked. Common events for in-platform conversions include things like lead form submissions, trial sign ups, mobile app installs, and e-commerce purchases. These events are all easily measurable and can easily be tied back to the specific impressions, clicks, and cost within a given advertising platform. But they only tell a small part of the story…

      Does that lead for submission result in a customer? Does the user who signed up for a trial convert to a paying customer? Does the mobile app install result in a purchase? Does the person who checked out on your e-commerce store come back and purchase multiple times? These questions are much harder to answer by purely looking at in-platform conversion tracking capabilities. These down-funnel conversion events require the combining of data from the advertising platform with data that exists somewhere else (i.e. your database, your CRM, your analytics platform). URL parameters are often the link used to match data between the two.

      Both in-platform and down-funnel conversion tracking are critical to a successful paid advertising strategy. In-platform conversion tracking allows you to quickly measure and optimize your campaigns using the events that act as a proxy for down-funnel insights such as likelihood of becoming a paying customer or even LTV. Down-funnel conversion tracking allows you to measure the true ROI of your advertising campaigns and make assumptions about the quality of the proxies/events used for in-platform conversion events. That way you can reliably assess performance and optimize without waiting to collect down-funnel conversion data.

      Many companies don’t understand the need for both in-platform and down-funnel conversion tracking. Or they understand the need but don’t have them properly implemented. We’ve taken over accounts that were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per month on paid advertising without having their conversion tracking set up properly. The time and effort it takes to correct can be painful so be sure to take care of this when you are starting out.

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    5 months ago #

    Hey Soso, thanks for doing this AMA. What is the ideal client for you guys - company size, product type, organizational structure, etc. Why do those things matter?

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hey Sean. Thanks for hosting me here!

      I get this question a lot and the answer has changed since we got started nearly 4 years ago. I started Growth Pilots to become a partner to high-growth companies who wanted the benefits of working with an agency while having the visibility and collaboration of an in-house team. This holds true to this day but the types of clients we focus on has changed. I think this is a pretty natural progression for most good agencies who build a reputation and have the fortune to be selective about who they work with.

      When we started out we were working with early-stage startups with budgets ranging from $10K per month to $50K per month, with most skewed towards the lower end. Oftentimes we were spending the first marketing dollars for a company so we were building from the ground up. We would commonly be working directly with the CEO or other senior-level employee. We worked across a variety of product types - ranging from SaaS to lead gen to e-commerce to mobile app installs. Our goal was to wow our clients at all costs and I think we did a great job given our client mix, their challenges, and their expectations. We wouldn’t be here today if not and I’m convinced this is basically a rite of passage in the agency world. Those early days were a grind but it paid off.

      As we worked with clients in all different shapes and sizes we figured out who our ideal client was and optimized our entire team, workflow, and technology around them. We have always limited the number of clients we worked with so we could live up to our promise of acting as an extension of the marketing team, but we took this even further by choosing to focus on fewer, larger clients. We now focus mainly on working with a small number of companies spending at least $50K per month on paid marketing, with most of our clients spending well into six figures per month before we take them on. We are still focused on high-growth companies - but the size of company has changed. We now are now typically working with a VP or Director of Marketing, or in the case of some of our very large clients, a marketing manager. We are still pretty industry and product-agnostic and we have a lot of variety here. As long as the product is “transactional” in some facet then we will consider working with them. That could be a B2B SaaS company trying to acquire leads, an on-demand delivery company trying to acquire users, an e-commerce company looking for purchases, etc. We need some kind of target ROI, CAC, or CPA metric to work with for measurement and optimization.

      I think it’s important to note that choosing an ideal client is not purely a revenue vs. cost decision (but that certainly plays a part). It really depends on your agency’s goals, capabilities, and philosophy. While we are focused on working very closely with a small number of high-growth companies with large budgets, there are other agencies that focus on working with many small clients with small budgets and it works well for them.

  • VP

    Vinay Patankar

    5 months ago #

    Hey Soso, can you give us some examples of successful PPC campaigns you've seen in SaaS. Any data you could share would be awesome too :)

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hey Vinay! Good to see you here. We successfully run PPC for a number of SaaS companies. I don't have any anonymized campaign data I can share handy but we are putting together a pretty in-depth guide that's geared towards PPC for SaaS companies that should be helpful. I'll share it with you once it's ready :)

  • AK

    Angelo Kwek

    5 months ago #

    Hey Soso,

    I'm trying to get my foot in the door with a PPC job. I've taken courses, but eager to get my hands on some campaigns.

    What would you do if you were 22 and looking for a job in PPC?

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hey Angelo. I’d optimize for learning and not making money for 6-12 months if you can. Once you become an expert and learn how to manipulate the ad networks to squeeze out results you will have no shortage of options for jobs.

      Offer to help companies for free to develop your skills and gain credibility. Startups are particularly in need of PPC help and when they can get something for free that would otherwise cost someone on their team valuable time you should have no problem finding opportunities to help. This is basically the same framework I used to start Growth Pilots - although I wasn't helping companies for free.

      Alternatively you could try to join an agency that hires entry-level employees with no experience and learn PPC in a more structured environment.

      Good luck!

      5 Share
  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    5 months ago #

    Hey Soso - great to have you on finally!
    What do you think the top 3 gotchas are when considering where to spend your first $100 in paid marketing.
    How can you avoid these traps?

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hey Anuj. Thanks for having me on and organizing! Having a lot of fun :)

      1. The first thing to consider before spending a dime on paid marketing is who your audience is and where they exist in your marketing funnel. Are they actively looking for what you’re selling or do you need to convince them they have the problem first? These questions determine not only the channels to use but also which creative, ad copy, and landing pages to use. Take the time to think through these elements before jumping in. It's easy to start spending money on paid advertising without thinking through these things and the ad platforms will happily take your money if you want to spend it in that manner. Take the time to develop a sound strategy before diving in.

      3 Share
    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      2. I mentioned this in another answer above but you need to make sure you know what you are trying to get out of your paid marketing efforts. If the answer is “traffic” or “customers” then you have work to do :) There should be a very clear goal that you can measure your spend against. Whether that’s a cost per lead, cost per sign up, cost per purchase, etc. That’s absolutely critical for both the measurement and the optimization of your paid marketing channels.

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      3. Also from another answer but proper conversion tracking is a must-have. If you spend the time to develop a great strategy (#1 above) and build out clear goals (#2 above) then you better be sure you are able to accurately track what’s going on. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen botched or missing conversion tracking from companies spending insane amounts of money per month on paid advertising. I honestly think that someone could create a conversion tracking consulting practice and do really well - it’s such a common problem. Thoroughness really counts when it comes to conversion tracking and it's best to put in the time to get it done right up front.

  • JF

    jawad farooq

    5 months ago #

    HI Soso

    Glad to see you here.
    I am a freelancer who's been developing sites using WordPress since 2006,
    I want to start my own business now.
    How would you advise I get my first customers?

    Thanks

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hi Jawad. What type of business are you starting? A WordPress development agency? If you can share more details I can try to provide some insight.

      • IA

        Imran Alam

        5 months ago #

        insights about customer acquisition for WordPress development agency; is what I am interested in too.

  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    5 months ago #

    Hi Soso,

    Thanks for doing this AMA!

    We recently had a great discussion on GH about what the right time to star paid advertising was (https://growthhackers.com/questions/when-is-the-right-time-to-start-paid-advertising-what-needs-to-be-in-place-first/). What would you say about this and what pre-conditions need to be satisfied before you take the plunge?

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hey Javier - glad to be here!

      There’s two approaches to this depending on who you ask. One is to start without having all of the pieces figured out. The benefit here is that you get up and running quickly but the problem is that your results are not going to be representative of what doing things correctly will yield. The other option is to flesh everything out first and then get started with the right strategy, framework, tracking, etc. The upside here is you get a clean read on the data and can assess performance accurately. The downside is it takes time and if your budget is very small then you might determine it’s not worth the effort. I sit firmly in the second camp - anything you do in marketing is worth doing right IMO. The future of most companies often rests on finding scalable acquisition channels so I’d recommend not taking short cuts.

      See my answers to Anuj’s question for the three ingredients needed to successfully start with paid advertising.

  • PM

    Pierre Martinow

    5 months ago #

    how do you structure your research on keywords and phrases, the target audience of your clients is searching. How can I do this research, to identify on which keywords or phrases I should place paid ads?

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      We approach keyword research in four phases:

      1. Initial keyword ideas based on your understanding of your product and target customers. This is pure intuition. No one knows your product like you do and this initial brainstorming is an important part of keyword research.

      2. Once you have initial keyword research you can use the Google Keyword Planner tool to get additional ideas. Many of these will lack context but they will provide a lot of breadth for keyword coverage.

      3. Then you can leverage third-party tools like SEMrush or Spyfu that show insight into what keywords other advertisers are bidding on. This will help round out your existing keyword research.

      4. Once you have done 1-3, you can build out your account structure around the various themes you've uncovered. Once your campaigns are live, you will begin generating data on which keywords are performing and you can optimize accordingly. You will also be able to see which search terms are triggering your keywords. This allows you to expand your initial keyword coverage using data on what people are actually looking for and even better how these people convert.

  • RB

    Ry B

    6 months ago #

    HI Soso,

    Thanks for doing this AMA!

    1) Can you talk about the types of funnels and strategies you see working best for eCommerce companies today for facebook ads and google adwords? Could you also talk about what ad formats work best at each step of the funnel.

    - What strategies do you use to convert cold leads (people who have never heard of your brand) to warm leads (someone who has shown interest in your product ex. sign up for your mailing list, or liking your fb page)

    - What strategies do you use to convert warm leads into hot lead (people ready and willing to buy)

    2) What effective uses cases have you seen with chatbots in the e-commerce space?

    Thanks

    • RB

      Ry B

      5 months ago #

      Hey Soso,

      Just a quick amendment to the previous question, can you also talk about what type of ads are working best for each type of the funnel?

      Cheers,
      Ry

  • JQ

    Jason Quey

    5 months ago #

    Hey Soso!

    1. What are the biggest wastes of time when doing PPC?
    2. What do you believe true related to PPC that you think most do not?
    3. What are some commonalities you've seen from PPC campaigns that returned an exceptional ROI?

    Thanks for doing this AMA!

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hey Jason - thanks for the questions.

      1. There are definitely time-sinks when managing PPC but I can’t in good conscience say there are explicit wastes of time. We spend our time focusing on things that move the needle and if something takes a lot of time, so be it. We have programmatically automated a lot of the things that take a human a lot of time to complete manually that don't require strategy or creativity. One thing that takes a lot of time that requires strategy and creativity is developing really good ad copy that's tailored, and testing it iteratively. It's definitely not a waste of time though :)

      4 Share
      • SS

        Soso Sazesh

        5 months ago #

        2. I think my biggest philosophy difference from industry norm is that the best recipe for PPC success is lots of context with smart people driving strategy and tools amplifying that strategy. There is a tendency in this industry to over-index on technology and/or under-index on context and strategy. PPC is a service-based business and I don't see that changing anytime soon. It requires a lot of time to understand what's going on behind the scenes and shortcuts or over-reliance on technology won't get the job done long term.

        5 Share
    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      3. I’ll add the criteria of scale to your question since ROI is a relative metric that you can easily maximize. Generally speaking, products and services that a lot of people are looking for where there are not several competitors tend to do well with respect to ROI and scale on SEM. Products with very large target customer bases and frictionless or incentivized conversion funnels tend to do well on Facebook. When you have either of these scenarios and you have a superior product or service, you can expect to see higher ROI.

      4 Share
  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    5 months ago #

    Bonjour Soso,

    Thank you for doing this AMA with us.

    1) Is Paid Search a scalable channel?
    2) If answer to 1) is yes, to what extent from a quantitative standpoint?
    3) Have you experimented with paid Instagram ads? Any learning to share vs. Facebook ads?

    Merci!

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      3. There are several differences between advertising on Facebook and Instagram. The main ones are audience size/reach and quality of traffic.

      We've seen higher quality traffic (i.e. higher LTV, ARPU, etc) in general from Instagram. Combine that with smaller audience sizes and econ 101 and you can probably guess what the outcome is - higher CPCs due to increased competition for the higher quality, but lower volume audiences.

      The types of creatives that resonate on Instagram also vary from what works on Facebook. Instagram audiences tends to prefer a more "creative" ad unit that's less direct-response oriented whereas that works very well on Facebook.

      4 Share
    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Bonjour Arsene! Happy to be here.

      1. Depending on the industry, product, business model, and your definition of “scalable” - not at all to very much so :) Paid search doesn’t work for everyone. It works ok for others. And it works very well for some. It really depends on the ingredients you have to work with. But it’s not uncommon for companies to be spending into the low to mid hundreds of thousands of dollars per month on paid search, with outliers spending into the millions of dollars per month.

      3 Share
    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      2. ROI and conversion volume are the two metrics that most companies evaluate when determining the scalability of a channel. These two metrics are inversely related so the challenge is to find the place on the curve that achieves maximum ROI and conversion volume. That’s a lot easier said than done given the tradeoff but that doesn’t stop companies from asking for both :)

  • JP

    John Phamvan

    5 months ago #

    Hi Soso
    In your bio, you noted that you've been solving customer acquisition problems for the past 8 years.
    Can you talk more about how the challenges of acquisition have evolved in that time?
    What's become easier that used to be tough?
    What's become tougher now that used to be easier?

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hi John. Thanks for the question.

      I think the biggest shift in challenges from difficult to easier goes to Facebook advertising. When I was first starting out Facebook advertising was in its infancy and was very challenging. They didn't even have a way to track conversions and the idea of a Lookalike Audience was probably not even conceived. Fast forward to today and Facebook is extremely effective, scalable, and has the best measurement and tracking capabilities of any other advertising platform. Big kudos to them for making the lives of performance marketers easier.

      In terms of what's become more challenging that used to be simple, I'd give this one to Google AdWords. With the advancement in technology and the competition from Facebook and other advertising platforms, AdWords has had to prove itself by keeping up. There are new features that get pushed out regularly and it's clear there is a big shift taking place for AdWords to function a lot more like what Facebook is doing than what SEM marketers have traditionally been used to.

      3 Share
  • VW

    Vanny Wu

    5 months ago #

    Hello Soso,

    If a competing company is bidding on one of your client's branded terms, what options are there to combat this? I know that conversion rates can be terrific because of user intent so it can be profitable for the competitor.

    Should you in turn try and bid on their brand keywords? Maybe bid slightly higher on your own branded terms, and achieve results still because of relevancy/quality score?

    Always wondered about this, as it can be a really dog-eat-dog world out there but I assume there might not be a clear answer as it can vary on a case-by-case basis.

    Looking forward to your response, and thanks for always trying to spread your paid acquisition expertise wherever you can!

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hi Vanny. Really good question and thanks for coming in to meet with us yesterday :)

      Bidding wars on branded terms can be fierce. We've had clients where their largest competitors attempt to outbid us on a given client's branded keywords. And we've had clients who want to outbid their competitors on their branded keywords. Deciding whether to bid on a competitor’s branded keywords is ultimately a business decision, but there are a couple of important aspects to branded keyword bidding wars that are worth thinking through before deciding:

      They are typically not based on unit economics. What I mean by that is that while a given paid marketing program might support a CPA target of $X, the ability to capture a customer from a competitor is typically seen as being more valuable than $X. This is dangerous because it's very difficult to quantify and thus set a limit as to how far you're willing to go. As a result bidding gets very irrational and it increases prices for everyone involved. Which leads me to the next point of caution...

      Because of the way the AdWords auction works, when multiple advertisers are increasing their bids on a given keyword, it causes the price of a click to go up. The advertiser with the best Quality Score (in this case it would be the company whose keyword is being bid on) will get a significant discount relative to what competitors are paying for a click, but there is still a price increase.

      As a result, if you understand the AdWords auction you can actually cause your competitors to pay a much higher cost per click by significantly increasing your bids on your own branded keywords since you will get a significant discount due to Quality Score. This is a dangerous game because of irrational bidding per my point above but sometimes you have to employ such a strategy in hopes of pricing your competitors out of competing.

      Company size/stage can play a role as well. As you can imagine, if there is a large, incumbent competitor and you are a new startup entering the market you may determine that you have more upside than downside in bidding on your competitor’s keywords. The situation might be reversed for two established companies and they may mutually agree (either explicitly or implicitly) not to bid on each others keywords in acknowledgement that both will be be better off by not doing so.

      Again, this is a business decision at the end of the day so make sure and think through it from as rational a lens as possible. But to finally answer your main question, if someone is bidding on your keywords your options are either to do nothing, contact them to ask them to stop (although they have no obligation to do so), increase your bids on your own branded keywords as a defensive strategy, and/or start bidding on their keywords in return.

  • GH

    Glen Harper

    5 months ago #

    Hi Soso, thanks for being on the AMA. When working with companies, do you find that they have backlogs of ideas they are looking to test for growth, or are they always looking to you and your playbook? Any discussion about how you, as an agency, collaborate on testing ideas with your clients would be great. Thanks!

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Great question Glen! It really depends on the level of marketing sophistication that exists on the client’s end, but in general we are driving the vast majority of testing ideas. Given the types of clients we work with, the biggest value add we bring to the table is thoughtful strategy that is built by understanding their businesses in and out and without that you can’t know what to test.

      There are a number of ways we collaborate and communicate on testing ideas. Internally we have strategy sessions and then we create a testing roadmap using Asana (Asana’s new “boards” feature is of particular help here). This then gets further distilled and shared with the client in some form depending on how large the initiative is. Testing a new channel might require something more involved like a fleshed out plan that outlines targeting strategy, creative recommendations, and ad copy. Testing a new audience might be discussed during a client meeting or through Slack or email. We are very big on communication and context at Growth Pilots and we are on Slack with each client. This makes collaboration very fluid and keeps communication flowing smoothly.

  • AN

    Aaron Nosbisch

    5 months ago #

    Hi Soso,

    What would you say is the single most effective growth hack today?

    Previously, I would have said Influencer Marketing and Facebook Video ads to lookalike audiences.

    Best Regards,
    Aaron Nosbisch
    CMO - MONQ

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hi Aaron. I'd say that our most effective and sustainable growth hack on Facebook is the "dark post hack" where you centralize the social proof of your ads across all of your ad sets and campaigns to improve the engagement (CTR) which in turn leads to higher relevance scores and lower CPCs, and often times better conversion rates due to the social proof. We wrote a pretty in-depth guide on this tactic awhile back if you're interested in checking it out: https://growthpilots.com/how-to-boost-facebook-ad-performance-with-dark-posts/

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    5 months ago #

    Hi Soso,

    If you had 3 things that you could tell to every CEO about growth, what would they be?

    Looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

    Cheers,
    Dani

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hi Dani - thanks for the question.

      1. Growth has a very explicit tradeoff with cost. Understanding the relationship between the two is critical to finding the right balance for a company. Venture-backed startups usually need to grow much faster than a bootstrapped startup and that changes what the unit economics look like.

      2. Growth is usually more of a product problem than a marketing problem. Great products typically grow organically and activities like paid advertising can amplify that growth. Bad products tend not to grow organically and doing things like paid advertising will rarely compensate.

      3. Make sure you are looking at the metrics that matter and drive the business forward. Growth in total signups and leads are commonly touted vanity metrics but growth in quality signups or leads is far more important to building a sustainable business.

  • AF

    Andrew Fu

    5 months ago #

    Soso -- thanks for doing this. I have a pointed question. I'm working on a new product that is a premium version of what's on the market right now; it's hard to let the user know why they should be paying 1.5-2x the current market rates without a bit of education. Is there an easy way to test out the price point here to see if the market can bear it? I was thinking about doing a site with a checkout with 0 inventory and will inform the customer that it's on the way -- but I may need to build a lot of infrastructure before even running this test.

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Tricky question Andrew. You might try creating a simple "pre-order" landing page with a simulated checkout experience to see if people are willing to go up to the point of filling out their billing info and clicking "buy" (at which point you could say you are not currently accepting any more orders, etc). You could easily test different prices as well to see how price impacts conversion rate. Something to keep in mind is that you may annoy people who wanted to buy your product and were not able to complete the process. You could solve this by making it a live pre-order experience which would get you even more accurate data and real revenue :) Hope that helps!

  • JA

    Justin Adelson

    5 months ago #

    Hi, Soso! Thank you for participating today!

    Marketing expensive products can be a double-edged sword; it takes a lot of nurturing and time to make a conversion, but when done correctly the payoff is rewarding (financially, of course). The likelihood that someone will make a short-term conversion from paid social advertising on a high-priced item is uncommon (at least in my experience). What have you learned about marketing high-priced items (e.g. $1000, $2500+) and do you think paid advertising can directly lead to a paid conversion or is better used for top of the funnel methods?

    Thanks again!

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hey Justin. Thanks for the question. We've seen both sides of this. We've had clients with very expensive physical products (as high as $4K) that converted very well without much nurturing and we've had clients with products that have much lower price points that required more funnel nurturing. There is no single formula in my experience and things like industry dynamics, the brand, and number of competitors can have an impact here. At the end of the day most products require both lower-funnel marketing and upper-funnel marketing at scale. We typically start at the bottom since it's the most efficient but usually the available volume maxes out quickly so we work our way up to broader audiences with a softer call-to-action and then nurture those audiences to conversion. Bottom-funnel typically works at some level and if that meets your conversion volume goals then no need to move further up the funnel.

  • SS

    Soso Sazesh

    5 months ago #

    Thanks to Growth Hackers for hosting and to everyone who participated - really great questions! I didn't get to all of them but I will come back later today and answer them.

  • SK

    Shiva Kumar

    5 months ago #

    Hey Soso,
    What are ways other than LinkedIn to reach out to the target customers for a B2B enterprise that could be a reliable source of lead gen?

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hey Shiva. We've seen very strong performance using Facebook ads for B2B companies. Facebook has been increasingly adding targeting options for B2B targeting over the years. In addition, you can use Lookalike audiences if you have existing customer data or high quality leads to build seed audiences with. Lookalike audiences have by far been the best performing targeting that we've found for B2B audiences on Facebook. Here's our guide to using Lookalikes if you're interested in reading further into it: https://growthpilots.com/using-lookalike-audiences-scale-facebook-advertising/

  • IA

    Imran Alam

    5 months ago #

    Hi Soso,
    quick question; any tips on how to find the right target customer for digital marketing for a startup? how can it be A/B tested with minimal budget?

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Hi Imran. I'd highly suggest establishing some hypothesis around who your target customers are before you start doing any testing with digital marketing. Once you know who you ideally want to target, you can come up with a plan on how to reach them using the available advertising platforms and their targeting capabilities. You would then be able to test various audience/targeting hypothesis against each other using a metric like CPA, ROAS, CAC, etc.

  • LM

    Lauren McCrea

    5 months ago #

    Hey Soso, really great to see you on here. I think one of the best things we can do as marketers is to surprise ourselves.

    Any recent learnings that have taken you by surprise? Or any big campaigns that were just a huge success by doing something just a little differently?

    Thanks!
    Lauren

    • SS

      Soso Sazesh

      5 months ago #

      Thanks for stopping by Lauren! What a great question. With how fast the digital marketing world moves I find myself being surprised and learning new things on a regular basis.

      I have a good one for you. Awhile back we learned that on LinkedIn ads, a click on an ad is measured by someone clicking anywhere on your ad and not just on the link to your landing page. This may sound like a small nuance but when LinkedIn ad clicks cost $5+, paying for clicks on non-productive elements of the ad can be the difference between hitting your CPA goal and not. So what we decided to do is test bidding for impressions (CPM) as opposed to bidding per click (CPC). And this netted us more landing page clicks per dollar spent for a number of clients.

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