In this episode I chat with Charley the Disrupter, a long-time Facebook advertising strategist, about why your ad creative really is the best form of targeting.
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Thanks so much for being here.
Thank you for having me.
I appreciate it.
So today we wanted to chat about.
Facebook ads and how the targeting
is basically set at the ad level.
Um, but before we get into it, I wanted
to ask a bit about your background in
advertising and how you got started.
Cause I know you've been in
the field for a long time.
So first off, thanks for having me.
I'm super excited to be
talking about this stuff.
I'm a bit of a nerd.
This is the kind of thing that like,
I literally, like, I dream about it.
I wake up in the middle of the night.
I literally can't think
about other things.
So it's nice.
I got to find a passion.
So a bit about where I got started,
um, I was a touring musician 15,
two years ago or longer, and I got
really good at promoting my band
on tour and coming home with money.
And then eventually I started
working at radio stations.
I was an on-air radio personality.
I got really good at promoting events and
then using like my space organic types.
Um, and then I put myself through
grad school, uh, while being a
musician, promoting events, doing
marketing and promotions for folks
and put myself through grad school
for marketing and business management.
Um, ended up in LA.
My first job was at a social media
agency at the time, make making,
uh, fake views for like, Pop stars.
Uh, primarily at the time it was, I think
like Ariana Grande day, I think it was the
big client at the time giving her false
bottom line was organic growth hacking,
um, and falsifying numbers and stuff.
And then I went out on my own and my
biggest client at the time fired me one
day because he said, Hey, I dropped a
hundred bucks in Facebook ads and it did
more for me than I pay you 2000 a month.
And we were buddies.
He was just like, look, I, I tried
this thing and it's, it's better.
So I'm going to just pay you out
for the rest of our contract, but
know that like I'm, I'm, I'm good.
I'm going to go do this other thing.
And I licked my wounds.
I ate very poorly that night.
You know, I had some carbohydrate therapy
and the next day I put my credit card into
Facebook and started promoting my bank.
And within three months, I was
promoting stuff for Jamba juice
and Jay and silent Bob like Comicon
speaking events and things like that.
And then within nine months of that, I
was a supervisor at Omnicom spending,
managing million dollar daily.
Um, because at the time when I started,
literally nobody was doing Facebook.
It was the ugly stepchild, right?
Like it was the thing that nobody
really wanted to do because everybody
knew email and everybody knew Google.
And so I was the one
person that had any spec.
I had nine months when the average
person didn't even know you could get.
Again, just out of like luck, right?
I had a client that was ahead of the game.
They fired me, I dove into it.
And that was like 2013 that
all of this stuff started.
So by the time 20 14, 20 15 rolled
around, I was managing million dollar
daily budgets for international brands.
At eval, faceless, conglomerate
ad agencies, um, managing
big groups of people.
And because I was very early on in the
Facebook game, like I remember after
about six months, Facebook introduced
the Facebook pixel six months after me
having these like seven figure budgets,
you know, to actually have conversion
campaigns instead of just being a paper.
Network, nobody else wanted to do it.
So when Facebook came to the ad
agency to try to pitch, you know,
advertise on Facebook, I was both the
most experienced person in the room.
And also because of my MBA and just
the way that I was raised, my parents
were both computer scientists.
I was really, really good at conducted.
Case study research like empirical
data analysis and studies.
So every time they came with a giant
coupon of, Hey, we want to test
this brand new product lead gen.
We're going to try to do this
crazy idea of a lead gen ad unit
when they were like, Hey, we'll
give you $5 million to test this.
Who do you have?
I was the only person in the room
that could raise their hands.
So I did.
And so long story short.
After years of that, I got to know
everybody at Facebook that was leading
the engineering and the product team
I brought DPA to market and was behind
a lot of the testing around CBO and
advanced matching, primarily just because
at the time I was three months to six
months ahead of anybody else, which
meant, you know, I was two generations.
Earlier than them because
of the cutting edge of tech.
And because of my education, I had
the ability to put, to, to give their
research team actionable feedback, and
we just had this great relationship.
So over the last nine years or so, I've
now gotten to the point of a couple
of hundred million dollars in spend.
My students and clients have done
well over a billion in revenue.
And I've just had the.
Luxury by luck and preparation to be in
the right place at the right time, the
right person is to raise their hand and
say yes, to be a part of a lot of how the
Facebook ad platform was put together and
what it looks like and how it behaves.
I don't think I'm not going to take
credit for what it's doing, but it
will say I was there and a lot of
the pieces and understanding how to
use it and to be, give that feedback.
One of a handful of people that was there
at the majority of this step of the way.
And, um, that's kind of brought me to,
to, to where I'm at now, which was, you
know, having gone through agencies and
clients on it and teaching over years
and years, I'm now at a place where
I just try to spend my days helping
people get the support that I never had.
Because I'll put it like
this and then I'll answer it.
I'll finish with it at my job.
When I was at that ad agency,
running million dollars a day, if
I didn't know how to do something
on Facebook, most people, and you
don't know how to do something.
You go to your boss, you say
like, Hey, look, I tried, I
researched it the best I can.
Can you help me out?
My boss literally took out her head.
Told me to check my job
description, put her headphone
back in and went back to work.
And that was the level of support
that I got and that stuck with me.
And so to this day, I just really
want to help people learn from the
experience that I've had because,
and, um, I think there's been a lot of
folks that don't necessarily understand
things, but it very magnanimous.
There's a lot of bad advice out
there that's really popular.
And that's one thing that drew me
to you was you were saying something
that I find to make complete sense.
I completely agree with, although it's
sometimes seen as wildly controversial
because it doesn't necessarily agree
with whatever is the, you know, common
DigiTour, you know, strategy of the day.
And, um, that was really appealing,
which, which, which drew me in into.
So this idea that kind of the creative
instead of the ad level, why do you
think it's so why do you think it's
so controversial for so many people?
I think the primary reason when
we're talking about ads to the
targeting, I think the primary reason
comes from the lineage of ad tech.
So when I started in ads, everybody who
was an expert, everybody in managerial.
Had gotten into that space because
they came over from television
or they were really good at
Google search or programmatic, or
they were really good at email.
So inventory and demand based platforms
that were really good at that.
And so what happened is this ideology
of not necessarily respecting
the end customer experience.
But trying to monetize the attention
that you had being the primary focus.
And we see that all of the time, even in.
And the idea that I think people have
a misconception around what an audience
does and around how the platforms work.
And primarily this comes from
that idea of, well, these are
the segments of my audience.
I just need to hit them all at this spot.
If I get my cost per click below
a certain rate, or if I get my
click through rate above a certain
number of my conversion rate is
this, then everything will work out.
And what they miss out of all of that is.
Facebook is a completely
different animal, right?
It's a, it's a revolutionary idea around
respecting the end user's experience
and what they call an optimized CPM
environment and Snapchat copied it.
Pinterest copied it, Instagram, copied it.
Vine copied it, rip, uh, you know,
Tik TOK, copied it, YouTube copied
it of, well, our goal is we want
people to come and this stuff.
And he spent as much time
as possible on the site.
Basically what Facebook did is took what
Yahoo and what these old portals had done
at the end of the nineties and keeping
people on the site as much as possible.
They took that into a social feed
where my space kind of fell short.
And I think that ultimately the
majority of folks that run ads or do
marketing, they don't come from that.
They don't come from organic.
Social being their foundation and
looking at ads as an amplification
of organic, they, they might have
any number of a dozen other pathways
and it's no slight against them.
Like everybody finds their way one
way or another, but I think that's
the biggest gap and the biggest piece,
because almost every time when I talk
to people, they have a strategy this
or that I can reference it back to.
Oh, you learned that
from, as we're fighting.
Great smart guy, really successful,
not a Facebook marketer, right.
Or they learned that from dispatch
smart guy, really successful, not a
Facebook marketer or from Ty Lopez or
Tim bird or, or cat Howell, or, uh, you
know, any of these, if Savannah Sanchez
who was more of an organic person,
but still not a Facebook marketer,
not a paid media marketer first.
And I think that because they look
at information is colored by that.
Knowledge, they're always
looking through the information
they received through the lens.
Do you know whether the woman or the man
that they've learned from very rarely
are those people organic social into
paid social and that in that aspect?
So I don't know if you were organic first,
but you totally got the right idea, which
was drew me to you on, on the, on the ads,
do the targeting piece because ultimately.
The entire system is just built
around the end user experience.
And if you can monetize that
great, but you have to have
respect for the other person.
And I think that ultimately is something
that, for what it's worth, I don't
know that email, the email marketers
and the search advertiser people.
I know them.
It's, it's, it's, it's a certain number
at a certain rate at a certain cost.
And they do as much as.
Whereas Facebook advertisers it's very
much like, well, does this person,
like you, can you have a relationship?
Who's going to appreciate
this type of content.
And I can be polarizing at times.
And I understand sometimes people
like me, sometimes they don't like me,
but I understand who see my content.
I try to be better at it.
But my point to that is
I think Facebook is so.
Driven by that user experience
in a way that not a lot of
people have been taught to value.
And I think that's nothing more than the
most successful people didn't come up.
Facebook first, they just took, they
were already dominant in the field and
then they ported that over to Facebook.
And we're now seeing generations
of individuals who learn from
somebody who learned from
somebody who learned from that.
Fruit of the poisonous tree.
If you want to.
I love that concept of the
amplification of organic.
I really think that that's how we should
think about advertising, even in terms
of the creative that you're making.
I always tell my clients that
should be something that, that looks
like it fits into that newsfeed.
Like if it's on Tik TOK, it needs to
look like an organic TechTalk video.
And I think sometimes businesses get.
Caught up in wanting to make
something that you know, is,
is super professional or really
reflects their brand in that way.
But making something that, that
feels organic and that matches the
platform is, is really key for that.
Yeah, I think so.
I mean, at the end of the
day, I look at it like this.
I said this once to somebody in passing
it lunch and it stuck with me for years.
What we're doing is Facebook
advertisers is trying to monetize
being a burden to somebody else.
Like I don't go on to my Facebook or
I don't open up Instagram specifically
to get sold to by salespeople.
I go on there for whatever
reason it is to share something
or to just engage new content.
Sometimes I'm just in bed and I open
up reels and I sit there for 45 minutes
just going through, you know, whatever.
That's a curated experience to
try to keep me on the platform
and be happy and entertained.
So just like a billboard
is some burden in the sky.
Like I'm trying to enjoy the sunset.
And then all of all of a
sudden there's this like thing.
Like that's, that's the
idea of a billboard, right?
Or print ads in a newspaper you're
meeting a whole bunch of stuff.
And then boom, here is 20%
off at subway or something.
I don't know why I'm not
trying to take shots and stuff.
It's giving you an example.
My apologies people, one of
my first ads was a subway ad.
But in that way, I think we have
to respect that if you want to be
really successful, try to take that
burden into something that people.
And do a positive, like
how do you make that?
So that that end person is actually
happy because of that experience or
engaged because of that experience.
And I think there's a responsibility
that we have to those and people.
And I think Facebook, especially in
the last couple of years has really
be in, has really turned the screws
on making that more and more and more.
Which ultimately has led to the
success and failure of a lot
of advertisers because of what
they've chosen to prioritize.
Why do you think Facebook has
been moving in that direction?
Um, two reasons.
One, I think there's a lot more
competition for social media space.
So as an app, as a resource.
They need to get better and better.
We've they've they were able to kind
of Snapchat came and it hasn't really
went, but like, that was a big flat for
a minute and it kind of held Snapchat
off of the gates and now they have their
own little piece and then vine came and
went and Twitter's clearly been there.
And, and, you know, I'm, I'm,
I'm very active on there.
Actually probably use that a
bit more for personal reasons.
Then other platforms, YouTube
is really encroach into their
space as these social places.
So one is just trying to say, we have
a party, everybody, everybody, every
house on the street has a party.
We want the kids, we want, we want
all the cool people to stay at our
party instead of going next door.
So we got to make our party cooler
and cooler and cooler and part of the
way they do that, it just seemed like,
oh, this is what you want the product.
We've got a lot of that.
You like this?
We got more of it, right?
Because keep people happy.
And I think another side of it too,
is that there has on a, on a, on a
grander scale, I think ultimately
there has been, this is Facebook's
way of responding to a lot of negative
feedback that they have as a business.
No, you go back to Cambridge
Analytica type scandals and
all of these other things.
And one of the ways that Facebook can
ultimately one of the ways that you
can remain into somebody's life and
you can remain a valued member of the
conversation or Facebook is brought
to your home on a regular basis.
One of the ways that you keep that
going is everybody makes mistakes.
Everybody says things or does.
But if you can remain, if you can continue
to deliver more positive experience,
then you are going to, it's going to
be harder and harder to get rid of you.
I mean, how many times have we had
a coworker that wasn't that great at
their job, but everybody loved them and
they kept their job, even though they
weren't that good at it versus other
people that were amazing at their job.
But didn't get along with anybody
that in a real interpersonal
relationship, I think is really key.
And so part of this.
If you open Facebook and it was literally
a non curated, completely Pran, a logical
feed of every page that you would follow.
And every friend that you had, it would
be such a mess and you would hate it
and you would be less and less involved.
But the fact that every time you
open it up, it's a reflection.
It's a mirror on who you are and
what you engage with makes it
more and more engaging in this.
Some of it is healthy.
Some of it is wildly unhealthy too.
Like there's a downside to this also,
um, echo chambers and all of that.
Um, but I think that's
part of their big piece.
The better the user experience, the more
likely you are to stay on their lumber.
And it's, you know, it's
just like any other business.
Like if I go to a restaurant and every
time I go, the food is always good.
I'm going to continue going back.
I live in LA.
I go to El compadre, anytime
I want, anytime I want Mexican
food that is thus spot.
Does your, I'm going to, when friends come
and visit, we're going to El compadre,
we're getting the flaming margarita.
I'm getting a case of D like,
I know what I'm getting.
So it's sort of just become that turn key.
Like I'm going to go
here for a dopamine hit.
I'm going to go here for,
you know, whatever it is.
And I think that they've gotten,
they have solved that problem better
than anybody else has before them in
this space in a way that we hadn't
really seen since the late nineties.
With the portals.
I think Yahoo was the best.
It just being, you went to this
one website and it was your entry
point to Everett or what America
online was in the 97, right?
Where you go to one place, you
never even had to go out on the real
internet because it was chat rooms.
It was games.
It was whatever you wanted.
And I think Facebook is doing
the best they can to kind
of recreate that experience.
I had a, a restaurant analogy there
that I think we can take even further
into like our conversation topic of,
I think when advertisers focus on.
Uh, things other than the ad,
it's kind of like a restaurant
that doesn't focus on the food.
Like they're, maybe they're
focused on like the service or the
atmosphere, other things like that,
but the food is what it's all about.
Just like on Facebook, the ads are what
it's all about and that's the, that's
the thing that people go there for.
And so, yeah, when advertisers
aren't making that, their focus,
it just, it doesn't make sense.
And I mean, you see this all the time.
Like did your point about
the, about the restaurant?
Like, you know, I, I just, I think
ultimately if you want people to come
back, you have to give them a reason to,
and if you want other folks to enjoy it,
that are new, you have to give them a
reason to, and just like Facebook, just
like your brand, if you're an advertising,
You know, everybody had very, very,
very few products are so innovative or
so differentiated that their branding.
So for instance, liquid debt, I'm
drinking some like with death,
shout out to my friends, or like
with that it's sparkling water.
There's about 40,000 of these
bottles on the shelf at any whole
foods from 20,000 different breaks.
I've chosen this one for
one reason or another.
But my experience with
them as a brand is great.
Their emails make me feel happy.
I enjoy the branding.
I'm enjoying the experience.
The point is my experience as an
end-user Topo, Chico and liquid death,
do phenomenal jobs, just making you feel
happy about something way better than.
I don't know brisk.
I don't care if I enjoy brisk.
I don't really care.
I don't know if that makes any
sense, but like, I think Facebook
is just another brand trying to make
the customers happy and trying to
make people have a good time with.
And I don't see really any difference
between one or the other . So as
advertisers, then it's our job to
help Facebook create that positive
experience for their users.
And Facebook will reward us with
lower CPMs and, and we'll also be
rewarded by customers being more
interested than the ad in general.
I mean, ultimately Facebook's
overall business models,
attention for profit, right?
Like eyeballs for money, if
you want to be crude about it.
Like, um, so when you put up an ad
and people respond very positively
to that comment, they share it.
They watch the video, they
have a good experience.
You're probably going to that
ad will be shown to more people.
Just like if you post an Instagram
real and people watch it, it's
going to be discovered by people
that have no idea who you are.
I mean, my wife went on vacation.
We posted one Instagram
real at the spot in Italy.
And like 8,000 people have watched
this real, I've got like 200 followers
on my personal Instagram account.
Clearly there's this giant world and
people that were just for whatever reason,
engaged with the stupid transition and us
having fun on this, you know, whatever.
And now it's very much the same thing.
And Facebook's even going so much
further than that, where they understand
I was somebody clicked on this ad.
How much time did they spend on your site?
How many pages did they go to?
Did they come back to Facebook afterwards?
When they bought, did they have a
good user experience on Facebook
polls customers up after you click
on a Facebook ad, you'll see polling.
And all of that goes into what
Facebook calls like the page.
And the higher that page score, the lower
your cost for advertising is going to be
because ultimately you're a good partner.
Facebook is giving you, they're selling
you some of their inventory, some of their
eyeballs for profit, some of the attention
that they have, they're selling it to you.
And if you take it with disrespect
and abuse that to the point where
somebody says, I keep seeing
this ad, I want to block this
thing and I'm getting off of it.
If I'm leaving the app, because Facebook
showed me your ad, Facebook's gonna
start charging you more and more money
just to reach people because ultimately
you're a liability of that business
model and I'm a big relationships person.
And I will go to this to say, in
any relationship, if your partner
asks something from you and your
response is to neglect their needs.
That relationship is probably
not going to end well, like if
my wife said I need X, Y, and Z.
And my response was to give her the
finger and walk out of the room.
We're going to be fighting.
It's not going to be happy.
And there's no real difference.
I think, between that and what
we see inside of Facebook or
any paid media platform for that
instance, for that instance.
So we were talking last week a bit about
how the ad is essentially kind of each
ad creates its own look like audience.
And that is how the targeting
works at the ad level.
So once users start to engage with
the ad Facebook notices, who those
people are, find out what they have
in common, and then essentially
finds more people like that.
So in that way, The algorithm
kind of learns who's engaging,
what type of person is engaging
and finds more people like that.
So do you have any tips on, on
how to actually make creative that
that reaches the right people?
Yeah, I, and I love the way you put
that, the ad making their own local.
Like, I, I, you know, I've
been saying that for years and,
and, and I think that that is
absolutely dead on because Hey, if.
I'm in a room with 50 people.
If you've ever done like door
to door sales, I've ever been
like somebody on the street.
Like I was a door to door salesman for.
Safelite auto glass, windshield
replacement, like in, in, in Florida, in
a suit in the summer, it was terrible.
Uh, but I've done that, right.
And I've also been in little league
selling candy to people, and eventually
you find out these people are going
to probably say us, these people
are going to probably say no and
you get better and better at that.
Facebook is just a
salesperson figuring that out.
And so when you're trying to figure
those things out, one of the things.
Did I really focus on what we're
taught about like interest groups
or audiences or customer profiles
and people that we want to talk to.
Part of that that's really important is
to say, you know, if I'm in France and
I have a dog food company, one of the
easiest ways for me to make sure that
my ads get seen by the right people.
Is to write an ad in French that
says, Hey, do you have a dog?
That's, you know, like, like that's
a very easy way of targeting.
And so in a lot of times, what we try to
do is we will focus in on just that one
piece of the conversation, but almost
every product has features and benefits.
There's a million different types of
sales pitches that you can go into.
If you're selling a minivan, right?
It's, it's big, or it's a good value, or
it's really safe and you can have seven
kids or it's got little TVs in the back of
every headrest, but whatever it is, right.
There's a million things.
So you might I'll use this analogy if
you're trying to sell vegetables, right.
If you're trying to sell me on broccoli,
mind you, I'm not a big fan of broccoli
and more of a brussel sprouts guy.
So I'll use that as my
example here, you might say.
Hey, look, we've got the
lowest price broccoli.
I don't care.
Now somebody else is a big broccoli
fan might be like, oh, you got
the lowest cost rate thing.
I'm going to buy it from you.
Or you might say, oh,
I've got the freshest.
And somebody else is not very price
conscious, but because you said
you had the freshest broccoli,
like it was picked off the farm
yesterday, it's strapped to you.
That might be what appeals to them.
And you might have folks.
I have no interest in reading, you
know, long copy on, on Facebook.
They don't look at the pictures.
They just want to go through
videos and they just want to watch.
And it's a, it's a video
delivery device, right?
So your content in a
video for my reach them.
Whereas if you had just a static
image, they might never see it.
Conversely, there are some people, I,
my mom, for instance, somebody that
hates watching videos on Facebook.
So she will only look at.
If there's a video, she won't do it.
She's just like I'm being sold.
I don't care.
But she'll, if there's a picture,
she'll at least absorb it.
My point with all of this is my point with
all of this is, uh, although she demands
videos whenever I travel with my wife.
So like she doesn't care
about other people's videos.
She just wants to see pictures of, I
want to see videos of her puppy puppies.
Um, but my point here is.
In order to try to let Facebook,
when the ads do the targeting,
if you can understand.
And I teach this often in the Facebook
ads, MBA program around concepts, right?
So do you, what are the various forms
of trying to get somebody's attention
and make the sales pitch that you have?
One of the biggest things that she
will say is, well, I have an ad
I'm just going to make five ads
more that are exactly like it.
And I'm going to be able
to scale my business.
I mean, arguing.
You've got the, it's the safest
minivan on the market sales pitch.
Now you can say that 12 different
ways, but if it's 35 grand and a
family has 30, they're never going
to buy like, so you have to come
up with a different angle, right?
You have to, you have to figure out
like, if they're not interested about
safety, because they're all safe,
but they want to put seven kids in
there or they want the lay flat seats.
Whatever it is.
If you're not able to overcome that
person's objection or get their attention,
then that ad doesn't really scale.
So you can scale your efficiency
inside of your little market, but
ultimately those lookalikes in a way
to think about creative and appeal to
more people is trying to think of my
ads, probably all appeal to roughly
people that look and behave like this.
How do I appeal to somebody else?
And the last analogy with this that
I'll make, and then try and move on.
It's like when I was running Jamba
juice, we had a really big point of
the brand was convinced that their
target customer was, they put all their
jumble juices next to colleges, and
they were convinced that it was like
a health conscious college students.
They didn't have a lot of money
that wanted to be on the go and what
we found through market research
and some ad tech and serving was.
That was 20% of their customers.
70% of them were parents, primarily
moms that like had kids and they want
to just feed them something healthy on
the go, but they had like three kids.
So it was just, yeah, I worked in college.
Towns was primarily lower income
neighborhoods around college.
With one parent, a dad or a mom, um,
with like four kids in the minivan,
screaming, uh, back home from soccer
practice or something like that,
like, okay, we'll stop at the job to
do something, to give them something
healthy and we're good to go.
But the point is once they
started to appeal to those types
of customers, they were able to
massively expand their business.
And so the point here is to understand
who are you currently appealing to
and how do you sell them something,
somebody completely different.
And sometimes that's video versus images.
Or men versus women or price
versus features and benefits or
GGC content versus something else.
And then ultimately the last point to
this that we'll make is that because we
try to work on a consolidated campaign
structure, we might have four or five
of these different ads and ultimately.
If some user happens to be in the
I'm price conscious, I also wanted
a minivan that has seven people,
and I want to be super safe.
You might see three or four different
ads and some combination of those
different sales pitches put together.
It's going to get you
to want to buy that car.
And when somebody says, oh, this
is all I need is the best ad.
And I'll scale my business.
They're completely missing.
We're talking about here.
It's the Venn diagram of
all the lookalike audiences.
Where did the circles of.
That's where you're
going to get the easiest.
When people think that one ad is going to
scale them, it's like, they're, they're
not considering that different people
resonate differently with different ads.
So essentially what you're saying is
kind of focusing on, I would call this
like the ad angle, like basically the,
the angle that you're taking, whether
that is the cheapest cost or, you know,
a specific feature that it does or it's
environmentally friendly or whatever,
it's kind of like the angle or the way
that you're positioning the product.
And those will all appeal
to different folks.
I mean, you and I have probably
bought the exact same product
for completely different reasons
at some point in our lives.
Do you ever worry that you might
have inconsistent messaging?
Like if you've got a bunch of different
ads running, they're targeting
different angles and people are
seeing different things, would that
create kind of like inconsistency
for the people that are seeing those.
I think so.
I see that a lot.
I think that comes from a lack of
structure around how you do it.
And so the way that I was taught,
plus here's our brand a message.
And we would literally
create personalities, right?
So there'd be a Leah, there'd
be a Charlie, there'd be a,
an Allie, there'd be a Steven.
Then we put in like attributes of these
people and what they might look like.
And there was a customer person.
Um, and we try to sell each one of those
customers, but ultimately under the
umbrella of this is what the brand is.
And when you have a very clear
brand identity, um, then you
don't get too off topic with the
conflicting nature of things.
Um, and I think one of the biggest
sources that people have with
the conflicting nature is they're
trying to sell too many things.
So most big businesses that I've seen be
successful, small businesses that have
grown come around a flagship identity.
Our flagship offer a
flagship product, right?
One or two things.
They can spend all of their money on
to scale the rest of their business.
And everything makes sense because
the people coming in are solved.
You're solving this one problem,
and then you're expanding on it.
When you try to solve a bunch of
them, it becomes really, really easy.
To have a conflicting nature.
Um, I mean, one of my brands that I'm
a part owner in is a, is a women's
clothing brand, like a shape wear brand.
And one of our biggest competitors
at one point is trying to be.
Um, appeal on a very aesthetic nature.
And at the other point, trying to
appeal on a very like shapely thing.
So they have this big conf conflict of
some of their models have what I would
consider wildly unrealistic body types.
And then other models are the, every
person, but there's a big miscon
GRU insi in, in the messaging.
And so it happened.
You know, I did some tests buys with them
and if you buy the shape where then you
see the, like, you also see messaging for
like, you know, these, these supermodel
body texts, it's like, there's no way
I'm ever going to buy any of this stuff,
but you got me because of like the Cammy
shaped where like compression, whatever.
And it's just that brand is struggling
because they don't have an identity.
And I think that's the biggest point.
I think of it the same way.
When we work with clients, I always look
at what I call the core benefit, which
is kind of like the main benefit that
the product has that appeals to everyone.
And then make sure that each angle that
we're testing still has that messaging
of the core benefits so that we can
have that kind of cohesive message
that runs through all the campaigns.
I mean, at the end of the day,
most brands have one unfair
advantage on the marketplace.
One thing that sets them apart from the
other people or the completely ignored.
So I love the idea that you're
trying to make sure that, that
one identifier, that one single
identifier is present in all messaging.
I mean, Nike has the, just do it.
They got a million different ads
that appeal to a million different
products to billions of people.
But there's this ethos that goes.
So I know that as part of what you
teach, they talk a lot about broad
audiences and not using a lot of like
interest targeting or things like that.
Do you ever have clients that,
or would you ever recommend that
someone, you know, you talk about
all these different angles, would you
ever recommend that someone creates
separate audiences for each of those?
For example, if you're promoting
an environmentally friendly angle,
would you want to market that to.
A sub audience that has more, that has
more specified targeting than broad.
I generally don't and I haven't for years.
And I'll be honest.
I fought that tooth and nail
when CBO was in developing.
I have I called bucket based CBO, which a
lot of people know as cloud CBO from Tim
bird, they may or may not have come out
and around very similar periods of time.
And they may or may not have
been in an audience when he
introduced them to that stuff.
And I may or may not have known
what some of the slides are
going to be later on either way.
I was a big fan of custom messaging for
a bunch of audiences and I micromanaged
everything and I worked really hard and
I believed in that whole heartedly, I
knew that by force of will, if I worked
harder, I could make more money and.
That was really empowering,
but at some point there's a
law of diminishing returns.
Like I can't work 30 hours a day.
I can't be on top of 200 ads.
And ultimately I'm a big, I think
hard work is valuable, but Facebook
is the thing that's doing the
hard work you're its manager.
And so if you have an employee
that's working really hard and
then you work really hard to
micromanage everything that employee.
The likelihood of that employee being
any good at their job or happy with their
job or sticking around, it's pretty low.
And so my point to that is ultimately,
I don't think most brands are in
a spot where they have the luxury
of trying to itemize out every
bit of messaging that they have.
Most brands wish they could spend.
And what that means is that
you're probably not taking
advantage of the opportunity that
you have right in front of you.
Um, very few people have saturated
the entire audience of like
my wife owns a Pilates studio.
So as is any brand reached every Pilate
students in the United States fans?
There's probably no.
Um, and there's a lot of saturation,
but my point to all of that is
if you're trying to change your
messaging for the individual person,
It becomes your responsibility
at that point to then figure out
what test is worthwhile improving.
Like, is this ad working better
because it caught a good audience or
is it because it's the third round
of testing, does that deserve more
investment than something else?
Is that ad set doing better?
Because it's had more spend because it's
been alive longer or is it doing better?
Because that ad is, is because there is
all these questions and ultimately then.
You have no way of knowing.
And instead of trying to go down, solving
all of these effectively impossible to
solve questions, if you focus on the way
I do testing is I will testify concept
and I will very much try to have every
test and solving a business problem.
Do I want to get more
efficient at my lowest cost?
Or do I want to, you know, going back
to the minivan example, do I want to go,
do I want to get more and more efficient
at saying our minivan is cheaper than.
Oh, do I want to get more efficient at
saying our minivan can lay flat seats and
great features and benefits, or don't want
to say I've got those two things down.
And when I really want to do is
scale, the people that I appeal to.
So I'm now going to have messaging saying,
Hey, we're also the safest and that will
at the same time bringing in new eyeballs,
because some people don't care about
price or don't care about the lay flat.
They just want the safest manner.
And also it will help the other two sales
pitches by giving another validated angle
and an option for an impression of an ad
because the end, the ultimate, ultimately,
a Facebook user might see a dozen ads
from somebody before they ever even click.
And so they might see different
ads in different ad sets.
And my biggest focus is every ad set.
Is a bifurcation of data.
So the more data you can have in one
place, the smarter that thing is the
more experienced your salesperson is the
better she's going to be at making a sale.
So my focus is, let me give her
the best possible sales pitches.
And I'm going to test to say, Whether
or not, let's say she's a telemarketer.
Don't want to give her a new script.
That's better at closing this customer.
I don't want to give her a new script.
That's good at closing customers
that you might not be talking to yet.
And every test is either getting more
efficient or appealing to new people.
And then I'll just let my
sales person do their job.
And when I've taken that approach, every
time I've taken that approach, even
though I fought it today, Um, I did
better than me trying to micromanage my
employees, um, which took me about six
months of eating humble pie and about $10
million of Facebook ad spend to finally
just throw my hands up and be like, all
right, I've got a, we learn everything.
Um, which has been so appealing.
So feeling this idea that we can,
you know, have that much control
over things and really optimize.
And I think advertisers get
excited about that, and it is
fun to think about different
messages for different audiences.
But I agree with you that it's
just, it's just micro-managing and
you're not allowing the algorithm
to really do what it does best.
And the other point to that, I
will say to people, and I just
did a thread on this yesterday.
Um, I know today I just did a thread on
Twitter about this, um, either way, um, it
was about like, is that worth your time?
So incremental lift in your
business is what's important.
So a lot of people focus on trying to
make the Facebook ad as good as possible.
My question is, if you're worried
about audiences and worrying about
ads and trying to hack all of this.
Is that more or less important than
figuring out how to make sure that you
understand the relationship of, if I
spend more money on Facebook, does that
lift my Amazon, my Google, my email,
my revenue that I see everywhere else.
And then ultimately, how do I best
create an environment to improve
my site's conversion rate and the
AOV of my customer, the LTV of my
customer and that customer related.
There's only so many problems you
can try to solve for, and you can't
test what happens after the click.
If you're testing how to get a click,
so you can't test a million ads and then
also do a landing page test, because
if you've got 2050 ads out there, you
can't say, well, I did a landing page
test and dark mode, one over light mode.
Well, you also had a
million different things.
If a million users coming from
completely different experiences
that test that you're running
after the click is completely.
So you can make small changes to
improve your Facebook ad account.
But I had a boss that told me this.
It's like, you can't move mountains if
you're worrying about the pebbles, right?
Like if you're trying to hack an
audience, what that means is you're
not improving the customer journey.
Like there's no way you can do
all of these things at once.
One of these might have a
3% change in your business.
The other one might have
a 300% change in your.
Which one of these things
is really worthwhile and
ultimately you've trusted face.
You, you you've decided to hire
Facebook as an employee because you
trust that they can do their job.
Your job is to give them the
best tools so that they can
go out there and do their job.
You keep it simple and you let it
be stable projectable and effective.
And then you maximize the value of
it until you go back to it and you
say, all right, I figured everything
else out now, I'm going to make.
And when you do that, that's how
you take a struggling three or $5
million business, and you make it
a hundred million dollar business.
I've done that more than a handful
of times of taking folks that are
struggling with six, seven figure and
having eight or nine figure exits.
And the vast majority of what they
all have in common is focusing on
thinking bigger and thinking bigger
and thinking bigger and trying to
stop solving just because there's a
million different buttons you can get.
Doesn't mean that you should
touch any of it, right?
Like I'm sure my car has 20 options
that, uh, I, I've never once used.
I know it's got, I have a Kia.
I know it's got the, uh, the heated seat.
Cause my dog hits it at the time he walks
in to the car and it's got the autopilot
mode and that's about, and Bluetooth.
Other than that, there's probably
a million things I paid for that
I'll never use, but it does the job.
Um, so that's.
Allocation of resources
is wildly undervalued.
So why does Facebook
have interests targeting?
I know you touched on this a bit
in our conversation previously, but
the story on the history of that.
So the reason we even have interest
groups, which Facebook is trying
to get rid of and they get rid of
thousands and thousands of them.
And by the way, side note, if your entire
business is built on an interest group
and then face you wake up tomorrow and
Facebook says, oh, by the way, we got.
What are you going to do?
Like that is a, that is a castle
made on sand that Sri many
advertisers are sitting on right now.
I've got a problem.
I would never try to build my
business on the back of something
that could disappear tomorrow without
my control, very unstable place.
Facebook interest groups basically
come from Google's affinity audiences.
So when Facebook first
came around, Google was a.
And it was the dominant
force in the world.
Facebook came around trying to be what
we call a pay per click was a key PC
platform is cost per click and you,
hopefully something happened and you
have to place a million pixels all over
your site just to track everything.
And you're going to hopefully
try to make it work.
And one of the ways that Facebook
and their teams as a vendor, just
as a product got adoption, basically
people saying, oh, I'll use that.
As they had features and benefits
that other people were used to seeing.
So Facebook interest groups are
their version of an affinity
audience that we see on Google.
They were mentored over 10 years ago.
And the honest truth is the tech support.
The update of that software.
Basically hasn't been
touched in many, many years.
And so the, the, the interest
group exists as a way of saying,
okay, you're a Google marketer.
We want you to feel
comfortable inside of Facebook.
We're giving you things that you're used
to seeing, and that's where it came from.
And, but I think a lot of
people think, well, these people
are interested in dog food.
So I'm going to show my dog
food out to these people.
And Facebook's just going to
sh force it onto them, which
is basically do that anyway.
But now you're paying extra
money to force ads on the page.
And the downside of an interest
group is, and just groups cost extra.
Anytime you lay your targeting on top
of abroad, it comes at a fee back in
the day, you used to literally see
like there's like 10 cents or 20 cents
or 50 cents added to your CPMs to do.
And this was back when the
CPMs are like two, three bucks.
So it was like really costly.
But now what you're basically doing with
an interest group is you are paying extra
to prevent that ads look like audience or
being able to see everybody that wants to.
Specifically to focus in force your ads
on a particular population, then very
likely would be less receptive to that ad.
Then just letting that ad go out
and find that lookalike audience of
that ad is probably not a complete
circle in a Venn diagram with the
interest group audience, right.
There's probably some overlap and
there's some that isn't, well, everybody
that, that ad would not have been Joan.
When you give it too broad
with just letting the ads
look like to the targeting.
Every impression that you serve,
there is a much lower quality one.
And what ends up happening is when
you spend a lot, when you pay extra
to deliver more and more low quality
impressions to people, what that ends
up doing is it raises your costs as
an advertiser across your entire ad
account, which is why even you're good
at it might cost you 30, 40, $50 CPA.
It's because Facebook is seeing
you as a liability to their
bottom line, kind of wrapping up
everything that we talked about here,
putting it in a nice little bow.
Uh, that's a big piece that,
that, you know, where it comes
from versus how it's used.
It was invented to make Google
people feel comfortable on Facebook.
Then 10 years went by.
Facebook is not a pay-per-click.
So it's old technology
meant to solve old problems.
And, but again, because the people
that were really good at Google and
email were the first people that were
big fingers inside of Facebook, those
lessons continue to trickle down.
And so we see this continue to be
something that that's, that's valued,
even though objectively speaking.
When you lay it out on a sheet of
paper, there's not a legitimately good
argument to support it that I've seen
in years other than, well, somebody
told me I was supposed to do this
and it's working for me, but Hey,
look, if it's working for you, great.
Don't just set it on fire.
Just cause some stranger on the
internet told you it's a bad idea.
Just understand what you're doing
is you're paying extra to have a
lower overall quality relationship
that is going to be more and more
difficult and expensive to maintain.
And ultimately limit your ability to grow.
And that's the investment.
Every dollar you spend there
is limiting your upside.
And if you go into it, knowing that,
Hey, look, those are decisions you
get to make, but I want people to
know that that's what they're doing.
That's super fascinating.
And, and really, I hope helps people
to really understand kind of the
nature of Facebook and why the ads
are so important and making ads.
Facebook wants to show people.
Um, yeah, that's super insightful.
Thank you, Charlie.
I know you have a course for sale.
Do you want to plug it a bit here?
So I have a course on my site called
how to build a winning Facebook ad
account, which is like a 50,000 foot
level and more in-depth than that
at a program that I teach, which is.
10 courses over the space of about
12 weeks, including one-on-one
time with me as needed weekly group
calls and a community of people.
When you have access to the community, as
well as that curriculum and perpetuity.
And my big focus there is I am working
on helping people understand how Facebook
works, how to properly measure results.
Prove incremental lift, do creative
testing properly and project manage teams.
And it's called the
Facebook ads MBA program.
And primarily, you know, it's
not how to run a Facebook.
It's not how to set up Facebook ads.
It is how do you take a six or seven
figure business or an eight figure
business that is fired eight ad agencies.
And can't hire a media buyer that
is that you've been happy with.
Take that problem and turn it into
something with an ongoing evergreen
solution, taking all the lessons
that I've had over the last decade
from extraordinarily successful
businesses and terribly uncomfortable
conversations that I've had with
people when we were absolutely wrong.
Um, and what did the successful people
have in common system and process, and
then what do the unsuccessful people have
common and why does this stuff that works?
Why does this stuff that doesn't work?
Why is that a liability?
And ultimately my focus with that
is to give people the confidence to
be able to execute properly, to kind
of demystify a lot of this stuff.
And it's great for really
three kinds of people.
Um, entrepreneurs, business owners
that may have been unhappy with
media buyers or ad agencies.
They weren't, they weren't happy with
the results and they just want to own
that information themselves and maybe
hire internally or get better at finding
a solution for them longterm, um, agency
owners that are losing clients and want
to really scale their business by doing
better work with smaller set of clients,
instead of relying on their sales team
to provide more and more clients to.
Overworked and underpaid, poorly
trained, uh, media buyers, which
is the business model for sadly,
a vast majority of agencies.
And I've seen that, uh, more
than a few times, and I've
helped a lot of those people.
Um, and also freelancers people
that have gone out on their own.
They want to do this for a living.
How can you install a system
and a process that regardless
of the vertical teaches you?
How best appropriately
to think like a CEO.
Use Facebook as a market research
in intent creation device and
ultimately improve your transparency,
communication, and accountability.
Um, because those are the things that
really separate somebody who is paid to
hit buttons and hopefully spend a budget
and prove that they paid for themselves.
What separates them from somebody
who can name their own number
to work with a business because.
The employees at that business, get to
go home at five o'clock and see their
family because they're not there all night
because you're providing that opportunity.
And that is my why.
At the end of the day, I've been in the
hustle porn culture, like, you know,
where like you, if you left before
eight o'clock at night, or you showed
up after 9:00 AM, like you were shamed
and I've seen businesses struggle.
And I've seen what that does to people's
hopes and their dreams and their.
And I just want to provide an alternative
solution for people to have the resources,
to never have to face that issue again.
And instead be in a
position of opportunity.
Like when maybe your issue is you
need to go out and get more funding
or you have to hire three more people
like these really awesome problems.
Like those are the types of things
that I want people to have instead of
working through vacations and being
stressed out and having to fire people.
You know, give up on their dreams.
And so that's really what that's about.
That's a much more
esoteric thing than saying.
I'm going to tell you how to set
up a Facebook campaign because
ultimately the Facebook blueprint
will do that for free I'm here.
If you're ready to take that skill set
and turn it into something much more.
And that's what, again, my, my
days are filled with happy people.
I have the luxury.
I say this, if you want to have
self-esteem do esteemable acts.
And my days are filled with
helping people be happy.
And that makes me sleep
like a baby most nights.
So where can people find that
I have regular webinars that go
through my process of that, and
you can sign up for any of those at
apply dot Facebook, disruptor dot.
And you can see those webinars.
Um, you can't just sign
up for the program.
I interview everybody.
If you want to reach out to
me, I'm literally everywhere.
My handle on everything
is at CT, the disruptor.
Um, you can check out my site, Facebook
disruptor.com, but primarily signing up
for that webinar will give you a really
good idea of the skills and tools.
As well, as ways to just like, if
it's not ready for you, you can take
a lot of it and you get some freebies
and you get some knowledge and
you're gonna walk away probably in a
better place than when you started.
So, uh, it is, it is not one of those
timeshare sales pitch type deals.
If you want, if I can be helpful to you.
If you want more help.
That sounds great.
Thanks so much, Charlie.
Thank you so much.
I appreciate it.
You know, uh, it's nice to talk to
other, uh, men and women in this business
and especially when we're on the same
team and trying to make things work.
That's a great thing.
And one of the biggest things about being
an internet marketers, you can feel okay.
And it's great to actually
have relationships and
conversations with people.
It's not just text on a screen.
So I appreciate you giving me your time.
So I get to know you and
I, I appreciate that.
Thanks for listening to this episode of
the podcast and I'll see you next time.