Merged Marketing Podcast

193 – Unleashing the Potential for E-commerce Growth – Matas Kemzura

Unleashing the Potential for E-commerce Growth

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, what is the best way of Unleashing the Potential for E-commerce Growth? Digital marketing has become the cornerstone of success for businesses operating in the thriving realm of e-commerce. With the ever-expanding reach of the internet and the growing reliance on online shopping, mastering the art of digital marketing is essential for e-commerce ventures to stay competitive and reach their target audience effectively.

In episode 193, we link with Matas Kemzura in Lithuania to discuss digital marketing in e-commerce. Matas Kemzura is Sugatan’s Chief Growth Officer. He has single-handedly spent over $75k in daily ad spend as an Ad Buyer whose efforts have been synonymous with Sugatan’s $175MM EBITDA positive revenue generation for eCommerce stores. Matas has risen over the ranks in the e-commerce space, starting as a junior staff to Director of acquisition and Head of growth to Chief Growth Officer at his company. 

Matas’ career journey into marketing:  He started as a social media specialist while still in high school, serving as the educator of his boss about the workings of Shopify after self-educating himself. He then had unsuccessful stints at drug shipping before curiously developing innovative projects, systems, and strategies for personal and business growth. His innovative ways have helped to stay ahead of the competition in the e-commerce category in Lithuania.(You have the potential and power to reach many people and do big things from the comfort of your small room).

Enabling factors for his company’s growth: Matas attributes his company’s growth to continuous innovation that he manages, realizing at least a couple of meaningful innovations per year. He says he has kept strict discipline about money management and investments, attention to detail, and analyzing existing and emerging customer problems. He has also studied money flow patterns in the market, which helped him develop a large purchase intent database. He advises that a business person should know the best time to sell to the target audience when they have money and intend to spend. (People either have their wallets open or closed).

How to distinguish buyer intent: Our subject matter expert today says he can correctly establish buyer intent by tracking the monthly revenue flow. He can make projections about customer buying behaviors from the percentages and averages. For instance, his analysis has shown that spending is often high during the first half of the month while Europe picks up during the second half. (Analyzing customer buying behavior helps you to understand their unique cases).

Major challenges and growth opportunities for e-commerce businesses in 2023: Matas reckons that the downturn in the global economy poses the greatest obstacle for e-commerce businesses. Customers’ increasingly reducing purchasing power forces change in buying behavior, with most customers seeking brands that offer the greatest value for less dollars. He attributes this to the stiff pricing competition among e-commerce businesses through discounts and reduced prices over the past two years. Thus, reduced buying power among customers translates that e-commerce businesses have major difficulties in keeping up the pricing competition. He advises e-commerce businesses to figure out ways of providing the same or more value for less. In terms of opportunities, our subject matter highlights the area of messaging. He advises on the need to understand the ideal customer profile to evoke the right desire for the product or service. (We must understand our customers to the most intimate possible levels).

Role of multi-faceted marketing approach in e-commerce business: Matas explains that the choice of marketing approach for an e-commerce business depends on the stage of the business and its goal. However, he highlights the importance of multi-faceted marketing for real brands, especially those without a quick exit plan. He says an e-commerce business under 1M MRR should seek to accumulate acquisition quickly to scale faster.

His strategy for attracting new clients: Matt says his company gains new organic customers through the extensive network they have built over the years. As such, they undertake little advertising, which makes them work with an exclusive number of accounts because of scalability challenges. They believe in quality over quantity. 

Time codes

  • (02:14) Matas’ career journey into marketing
  • (06:52) Enabling factors for the growth of his company:
  • (11:45) How to distinguish buyer intent:
  • (13:46) Major challenges and growth opportunities for e-commerce businesses in 2023
  • (18:25) Role of multi-faceted marketing approach in e-commerce business
  • (22:10) His strategy for attracting new clients for his company
  • (24:43) Matas contact information: Instagram – Matas Kemzura
  • (25:48) His choice of brand ambassador

Transcription

[00:00:01.060] – Intro

You’re listening to the Merged Marketing podcast with me, Jason Hunt. The mission with this show is to discuss all things marketing, sales, and mindset. It’s my hope for entrepreneurs like you to get the most from your efforts so that you can focus on what you do best. Let’s go. You’re listening to Episode 193 of the Merged Marketing podcast. In this episode, we’re talking about unleashing the potential for e-commerce growth. My guest on today’s episode is Matas Kemzura. Matas.Is coming to us all the way from Lithuania. He’s Suggitan’s chief growth officer and has singlehandedly spent over 75,000 in daily ad spend. I bumped into Mataz months ago at a trade show in Istanbul where he was a speaker on stage and I was introducing him. And we did it all again months ago in Bucharest, Romania. So through these experiences of meeting Matas and sharing food and drinks with him, I got to know him really well. But I also got to know his expertise in e-commerce and get to understand his knowledge and why he would be a perfect fit to talk about this topic on the podcast. If you’re an e-commerce business owner, you’re not going to want to miss this episode. Without further ado, let’s kick it to my chat with Matas Kemzura.

 

[00:01:17.430] – Jason

Matas Kemzura, welcome to the show. How are you doing?

 

[00:01:20.690] – Matas

Good. Thank you for having me here. How are you today, Jason?

 

[00:01:23.980] – Jason

Doing good. Okay. Before we get into the weeds, let’s talk about your background and your beginnings and what led you to your journey into marketing.

 

[00:01:32.980] – Matas

Everything started with a kid that had a lot of dreams. I started all of this when I was 16, I think, and just exploring. The beginning of everything was super random. I was just looking for any job. Back when I was in school and I found a job for social media manager that was like, what now nine years ago, I think, something like that. Back then, the Shopify just started was like Shopify 1.0 version with super old school admin panel and everything. I don’t even remember what I was doing in that social media role. But the funny story that I’ll always remember is that my boss back then one day just sends me the Shopify URL and he has just researched what the fuck the Shopify is because it was just released. In the beginning, I thought that it’s a place to advertise your product somehow. That was literally the best definition of my skill set was absolutely zero. I couldn’t understand what Shopify is at the beginning. But automatically I had to learn because I had to train my boss on whatever the Shopify is. I started doing a lot of YouTube, then discovered drop shipping, then discovered buying, and then somehow automatically all of that hooked me up.

 

[00:02:45.790] – Matas

I guess the whole thing was this potential and power that you can have of reaching people anywhere around the world, sitting in your small room in La Pueyne and being 16, 17 years old and having the ability to do big things and rich people. So I started from there. Then I did a lot of drop shipping, failed. I don’t even know how many times, probably first three or four years was failure after failure, just losing all of my money, then finding a way out to earn money and then lose it all again. Something along those lines is basically I was self made from the very beginning. A lot of YouTube, a lot of shitty fake courses that I spent so much money on and got no value back from all of that in most cases. Step by step experience started adding in. I found my way into Subitan and that’s where I had those perfect conditions to grow and bloom, I guess. A really amazing team with unique approach and mindset to people, to businesses, to personal growth, not only business growth, etc. I guess I just always have this inner curiosity to try to innovate, to understand things, ask questions that maybe don’t even have the answers, really tough, difficult questions.

 

[00:04:00.030] – Matas

But the whole process of just being curious and trying to innovate always leads to something new. And automatically from that curiosity, it happened that I started developing these systems and projects and strategies, mainly from ad buying side because my background was mainly ad buying. I was paying over two million months by myself on Facebook ads when I was actively ad buying. And innovation just led me to a place where I’m trying to stay ahead of competition ahead of game and lead instead of follow what’s happening in the current ecom game, basically.

 

[00:04:33.750] – Jason

You went from director of acquisition to head of growth to chief growth officer at Suggitan.

 

[00:04:40.090] – Matas

I actually joined us as junior in the very beginning because I didn’t have a lot of experience with spending on US accounts, only like Lithuanian accounts. I was like, Guys, I don’t give a shit. Just give me whatever. I don’t care what you pay me. Just give me a role. Give me conditions to touch real big accounts and let me show you what I can do.

 

[00:04:59.920] – Jason

Then you had the opportunity, obviously, you helped the company grow. What do you attribute to the growth? What was it? Was there a secret sauce you were doing for e-commerce clients with Facebook ads at the time that was working really well? Maybe you can talk a little bit about that blueprint and what you found worked best for the accounts that you were crushing it with.

 

[00:05:17.190] – Matas

Jason, throughout the years, it’s now a clear pattern that every year there’s one or two big new things that I developed. I can talk a lot about individual results, but individual examples, sorry, but most of them are currently outdated and the innovation process is constantly even now. Summers like August usually is very busy to me because around August I always aim to get my second new thing for this year before the Q4. One of the things that never will change and it is a key difference, I believe, is the way my philosophy of how I try to manage money and investments and basically ad spend. Everything started maybe roughly four years ago and it started basically from, again, just being curious and now analyzing that because we get a lot of inquiries of consulting clients or whatever. As always, you do audits and analyze and try to identify their problems or whatever low hanging fruits or whatever that be. From analyzing a lot of businesses, it started randomly and maybe it was a luck, maybe it was, I don’t know, something like a good sense for details. But the thing that surprised me is that I see different businesses, different products, different, like these customer avatars, completely the same businesses that have nothing to do with each other.

 

[00:06:32.130] – Matas

But then for some reason, their money flows in a similar percentages, month for month, quarter for quarter, etc. Of course, the dollar values are different, but there’s some a pattern of how money flows in the markets. Basically, I just started doing a lot of documentation and it was interesting for me. I was just curious. Only later, maybe two years after, I somehow connected all of the dots that I have a database of this buying intent. It’s literally a thing that I semi invented myself because there’s, I guess, not any information out there as much as I know about. Something that I always talk on the events and my presentation is buying intent and how I track buying intent and how I proactively plan my budgets and my investments ahead of time, then it’s all about the time. It’s like the principles are simple. You just have to understand, I always say that people either have their wallets closed or wallets open. T here are economic, seasonal, or whatever other factors that does this for a majority of people. Our goal is to adapt to the right time because when my wallet is closed and let’s say I’m not spending money right now or I don’t want to spend that much money right now, your chances of selling me whatever the product you’re selling are lower.

 

[00:07:47.040] – Matas

On the other hand, if I’m spending money, it doesn’t even matter on what I’m spending money. You can be buying Apple and they can sell me, I don’t know, furniture. The fact itself that I’m spending money gives you a way better chance of selling anything else because it’s all psychological. Basic example is, and I’m sure everyone knows this because it’s super simple, but if your customer base is a middle class audience, always go and push down right after they get their paychecks because it’s this hormone satisfaction that they get after they receive a paycheck, after they receive the money, especially people that live in a tendency of spending money and living from salary to a salary. There’s a lot of people like that globally, and you just have to track the timing and take advantage of when they celebrate this feeling that they got the money and they have the urge to spend the money. You have to make sure that you’re there to take their money because if you’re not there, someone else is going to be there.

 

[00:08:43.940] – Jason

100 %. That’s the million dollar question, is how do you distinguish buyer intent? How do you know when somebody is actually ready to buy?

 

[00:08:51.870] – Matas

As I said, everything started from just seeing the data and I have different levels of how I try to track the buying and then to the general level is just these percentages that I have of how revenue is flowing from month to month. I have the averages that are my North Star and whenever I do projections, that’s my number one thing. The minimum criteria is for me to move with the cash. Is it 20 % up, 20 % down, 30 % up from month to month? That’s my number one thing. Then from there, you start going into more specific things, seasonal things, holidays when people are getting their paychecks in different countries, seeing the behaviors of specific account because again, the audiences are very different. The behaviors can also be different. For example, there’s even cases where different parts of the world perform better in different time frames of the month. For example, first part of the month, US can perform much better, and then Europe will pick up in the second part of the month. A lot of that is analysis and understanding the unique case of your customers. But number one principle, it’s really just those averages that I accumulated from so many accounts because whenever I analyze account, I just take all of their history.

 

[00:10:06.820] – Matas

If it’s active for 10 years, I look at 10 years history of revenue and how revenue was flowing. And if you do this with 100, 200, 300,000 accounts, you’ll get the average.

 

[00:10:18.150] – Jason

What are some of the biggest challenges facing e-commerce brands in 2023? And where do you see the biggest opportunity for e-commerce brands to grow?

 

[00:10:28.670] – Matas

Biggest struggle I think the biggest struggle this year is going to be economy and economical things. And it’s not only for e-commerce, for everyone. Buying power gets is decreasing this year, and I’m seeing that from my data. I think the behavior also changes in people a little bit. The winning formula that we see this year in particular is figuring out how you can deliver the same value or more value for less dollars. That’s basically what people want nowadays. Because, again, part of that was just that e-commerce competition was growing too fast over the last two years, I would say. And there were too many businesses that were playing too much on the discounts and reducing the prices and all of that. So matching that with a decreased buying power and economy, we get what we get done. The one secret sauce for this year is just thinking how we can do the same value for less or even more value for less and just be more creative because of course, it’s much difficult but still with smart offers, with smart back end system, we can still make it work. Of course, it’s much harder for everyone, as far as I know, to drive profitable acquisitions, but used to be much, much easier.

 

[00:11:41.750] – Matas

At some point, I just have to become, I think, realistic about the situation that those acquisitions don’t necessarily have to be profitable. If you have a good product and a good brand and a good back end, all you need is a break even. Because, again, there’s so many companies out there that just played their card smart last year, secured their their Series A in last spring and all of that. I know some of the companies myself that have a game plan of earning some cash for another two years, so they could take over the market share. When the economy will pick up, there’ll be a sexy account, sexy business for an investor because they’ll be look like, we just went through the shit storm and we own the market. I’d say those are the biggest struggles. Opportunities, it’s a good question. There’s always different opportunities for different types of products or let’s say for different audience groups. But what I see overall as the biggest low hanging fruit is in messaging always because still too many accounts try to sell the product, whereas you never try to sell the product. You have to sell the desire because the product is just some a tool for you to achieve whatever the desire that is.

 

[00:12:50.720] – Matas

Once you crack more emotional, more psychological levels and you really understand your customer to intimate levels, I like joke that we have to understand our customer to a level where we know how many times they have a sex a week. Basically, to the most intimate possible levels, do whatever it takes, but you have to know them as your brother, your sister, or your friend. Once you start understanding them and knowing them super deeply, that’s when you discover these emotional things that are just much bigger than saying that your product has these features or these benefits or does this or that. Nobody gives a shit about that because whatever your product is, there’s hundreds of other people out there with the same exact product. Yeah, maybe some unique small difference, but in reality, nobody gives a shit.

 

[00:13:39.910] – Matas

Real quick, guys, are your messages on social media falling on deaf ears? Are you having trouble converting those leads from social media? Well, there’s a better way to do it, and that is by use of a lead magnet, something that provides immense value to your target audience that’s irresistible and they can’t say no. The goal here is to get that contact information from your ideal clients off of social media so you can put them into a nurture sequence so they can know, like and trust you. If this sounds of interest to you, we’ve done dozens and dozens and dozens of these type of campaigns for our clients and we can help you out as well. Head on over to merged. Ca and book your discovery call today. Merged. Ca.

 

[00:14:23.410] – Jason

How important is it for an e-commerce product or brand online to have a multifaceted approach to marketing? So not just putting all your eggs in the Facebook ad basket or TikTok ad basket, but having an approach that involves SEO, that involves newsletter marketing. How important is it for an e-commerce brand to have those in 2023?

 

[00:14:43.920] – Matas

Good question. I think it has to be broken down by stage of business, first of all, and by business goal because there are a lot of and it’s a trendy thing now to start an e-commerce, scale it up as quick as possible in X, or at least acutely it’s a number of brands under your holding company. So in those cases, not necessarily you always need the diversity. If you have the right product and you have the right machine and numbers, even us ourselves, we have cases where we use only Facebook and Google in some cases, and we scale from zero to 1 million a month in the first year, achieving 3,000 % annual growth or stuff like that. On the other hand, if it’s a real brand, because there’s a big difference between an e-commerce account, e-commerce shop, and a brand. A real brand has so many other things that are outside of Facebook ads, TikTok ads, or whatever, like brand of voice, all of those things that I’m not an expert in because I’m more of a performance push, Ross, and skill guy type of guy. For real brands, of course, diversity is important, especially if there’s no quick exit plans, if you’re not planning to exit in three, five years and you’re going for a long run with this brand, sure, you have to do everything.

 

[00:15:54.420] – Matas

I think the IIS was a great lesson for a lot of accounts when so many accounts dipped, at least temporarily, when all of their money was in Facebook and they just couldn’t adapt quickly enough to IIS changes back then. And there was like three months of going down for a lot of the guys out there. I’d like to make it sound as an easy answer, but in my head, the way I understand it, it truly depends on stage of your business and what’s your business strategy. Because again, if you’re under 1 million much in monthly revenue, a CEO is not going to be a thing that’s going to scale. And if you want to scale fast and your goal is to accumulate acquisition as much as possible to feed your retention coh and all of that, I guess we always have to do this prioritization. It’s nine to 10 rule. At least me personally, I like to do the thing that with all of my effort and energy into a thing that will make me give me the fastest and biggest result possible because at some point it will be impossible to do everything. We have to get to a certain level to afford to do everything.

 

[00:16:52.290] – Jason

Now, obviously, and just switching gears to agency now, because you are known as the, quote unquote, chief… Or no, not chief growth officer, but your girlfriend, favorite growth officer.

 

[00:17:03.010] – Matas

So if.

 

[00:17:04.570] – Jason

You’re focused on growth, obviously growth for clients, but does that also entail growth for the agency as well? Because it’s becoming feast or famine for a lot of agencies out there getting new clients. So what’s your strategy towards getting new clients in the door for Sougetain?

 

[00:17:18.660] – Matas

I guess Sougetain as a brand always had some upper hand because of their community. Maybe in the past few years we weren’t that active in building and developing that community. But in the earlier stage of Sougetain, that was a big part of the business. And thematically, that helped you build the network around the company and around people that work in the company. And nowadays, most of the kids just people find us themselves. And we don’t do much of… We don’t do any advertising for ourselves at all for a while now. It just happens organically, word of mouth, something like that, or you meet people at events, you talk something, someone needs help, start developing relationship, maybe a year after you’ll start working with them. We don’t like to call ourselves an agency because our approach is very different. We always work very exclusively with only limited number of accounts because it’s hard for us to scale our manpower because our operation systems and the way we do things are very unique. Sometimes even with ad buyers, we can hire an ad buyer from a top agency that’s managing millions of spend, let’s say, a month, or more, or more to adopt our principles.

 

[00:18:27.610] – Matas

Now our way of doing things will still take a year or two sometimes. So it’s a long process and I guess we just don’t have any intentions of scaling the manpower and scaling the labor and scaling the clients because it’s quality over quantity and not white stories.

 

[00:18:43.590] – Jason

Awesome. Matias, this has been awesome. If our audience has any questions for you and the best way to get in touch, how can they do that?

 

[00:18:48.880] – Matas

Instagram, my name and surname. Matias Canziolini. Here you go.

 

[00:18:52.950] – Jason

Boom. And are you a millennial?

 

[00:18:54.990] – Matas

Actually, I don’t know those age groups. I think.

 

[00:18:57.460] – Jason

You’re on the cusp of millennial and Gen Z. Because how old are you now? You’re 25?

 

[00:19:02.880] – Matas
  1. We’re in 98.

 

[00:19:04.870] – Jason

It’s funny when I ask that question to people and where they can reach out to or how to get in touch with them, depending on their age, I can tell you right off the bat what they’re going to say. Most say if you’re over the age of 30, you’re saying LinkedIn.

 

[00:19:16.060] – Matas

All day long. I used to love LinkedIn, but now they say I started taping it because everyone is spamming me with offers nonstop. I don’t know. Instagram, maybe sometimes while I like Instagram is it’s more personal and you can develop a relationship much easier with people. Rather, LinkedIn is more professional. And at least me personally, I’m not a professional type of guy. I’m more of a bro type of guy. And it just matters.

 

[00:19:41.120] – Jason

Yeah, 100 %. No, definitely. Okay, I end every episode with the same question. That question is this, if you can choose one person, dead or alive, to represent your brand, who would it be.

 

[00:19:50.490] – Matas

And why? The funny thing about me is that I don’t have any idol or people that I inspire. I’m not even sure why. Maybe I never properly put that about it, but hard question. I want to say Kobe, Michael and Kobe. If Michael and Kobe had a baby or a hybrid between Michael and Kobe, I’m a huge basketball fan. And I guess I really love analyzing how Michael Jordan can Because MGA and Kobe, they were both leaders and they were both champions, but they had completely different approaches to team management, how they treat people, how they help others level up. And it was super, super curious for me to understand their mentality and all of that. And I guess it’s their basketball players because I love basketball. Simple as that, probably. Why? It’s because I’m a true believer in that hard work beats the talent and consistency and dedication and commitment and being afraid to fail. Because the funny thing is everyone when they think of people like MJ or Kobe, they’re like, oh, they’re champs. They have so many rings. But I love the Netflix documentary, the Dream Team. Look at how many times MJ failed before he made it into his first final.

 

[00:20:59.870] – Matas

I don’t remember the number. Was it eight years or 10 years or something? It’s crazy. Astor Mathis, okay, MJ is a champion, 7 rings, whatever. But the beginning was tough, but it took so many years for him to get there. I just believe in those things because I always say that my case is the same. I don’t think I had any talent or any magic happened here. It was just a lot of curiosity, a lot of hard work, and just wanting to achieve something, get better, all of those things. So member mentality is a great thing and I like it. Probably those two guys are my answer.

 

[00:21:36.380] – Jason

I think those are great examples. Work ethic, leadership qualities, but also the passion for always growing, too. Not everybody has that in inate passion to actually grow and always get better. I think that’s an important aspect to have, especially even digital marketing or sports. It doesn’t matter. It’s having the ability to want to grow.

 

[00:21:57.070] – Matas

I love when there’s a saying that a man that loves walking will walk further than the man that loves reaching the finish or something like that. I don’t remember. But yeah, like enjoying the process, learning the process, that’s a big part too.

 

[00:22:13.120] – Jason

Love it. Awesome. Metellus, thanks for joining the show. Appreciate you.

 

[00:22:16.800] – Matas

Thank you, Jason. Real quick, guys, if you are active on Instagram or TikTok, I encourage you to go on over and give my personal profile a follow @jhunt official, J AY, HUNT, OFF, I, CIAL. Over there on Instagram and TikTok, I’m posting my favorite highlights from the Merged Marketing podcast, along with some of the highlights from my speaking engagements overseas as well as locally. Ton of value. Go on over and check it out @jhanofficial. I’d like to thank you for listening to the Merged Marketing podcast and I invite you to subscribe so you never miss an episode of the Merged Marketing podcast. One of the best ways to do that is to add us to your Instagram @mergedmedia, M E R GED, M E D, IA. Go on over there, give Merged Media follow and subscribe and never miss an episode. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll talk to you soon.

 

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