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Marketing Agency Exposed Podcast

Sep 8, 2021


In today's episode, we dive into the evolving world of ecommerce. Every agency should be executing their services on their own business to gain valuable experience and learn how to truly innovate. There’s no way to truly innovate if all you do is work on other people’s projects. We talk about channel diversification and marketing diversification. Although Facebook ads and Amazon can be helpful tools, you don’t want a primary source of your revenue dependent on 3rd parties. Ecommerce is more complicated than most people think and we jump into the advanced side of the pool today.


Top 3 Curtain Pulls in this episode: 


  • Innovate on yourself. Let’s be honest, you can’t innovate without being able to fail and failure isn’t exactly what you’re hired for. So, if all you do is work on other businesses projects, you don’t have the ability to truly innovate. You need playgrounds of your own. “ “By definition, agencies aren’t the most innovative people, because, by definition, they're hired to not fail, and innovation takes being able to fail”
  • Platform diversification. Imagine that you’re solely using Facebook ads to market your product and suddenly, they get shut down. You would lose a primary source of revenue at the whims of others in power. This is why it is crucial that you’re in control of your ecommerce platform. “Never ever, ever build your strategy on a platform that you do not own and control.”
  • Think competitively. A business is solely used as a tool to make money, so it’s acceptable and even encouraged to be competitive. Make a list of all of the apps, websites, and tools your business uses on a daily basis and then figure out how to be less dependent on them. By being independent, unique, and competitive, you can give your business an edge that will set you apart. “Start thinking competitively versus being dependent.”


For more tips, discussion, and behind the scenes:

About The Guys: 

Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from 2000-2017. He is also the author of 3 books. More on Bob: 

Brad Ayres: Founder of Anthem Republic, an award-winning ad agency. Brad’s knowledge has led some of the biggest brands in the world. Originally from Detroit, Brad is an OG in the ad agency world and has the wisdom and scars to prove it. Currently, that knowledge is being applied to his boutique agency. More on Brad:

Ken Ott: Co-Founder and Chief Growth Rebel of Metacake, an Ecommerce Growth Team for some of the world’s most influential brands with a mission to Grow Brands That Matter. Ken is also an author, speaker, and was nominated for an Emmy for his acting on the Metacake Youtube Channel (not really). More on Ken: 


Show Notes:

[0:58] Bob opens today’s episode with a quick chat about last week’s episode.

[2:28] Bob begins today’s conversation about ecommerce.  

[3:15] Ken talks about Black Friday and some of his expectations for it and the future of ecommerce.

[4:47] Ken discusses his philosophy that, “Every agency should be doing ecommerce themselves”

[5:02] Ken mentions how important it is to effectively plan for the holiday season, especially when it comes to ecommerce.

[6:19] Bob says that it is crucial for agencies to develop their own products so that they can experiment with ecommerce and gain some valuable experience.

[6:43] Ken talks about how, “Innovation takes failing”

[10:14] Brad discusses how addictive ecommerce can be.“It's so addictive, when it's working”

[12:52] Ken talks about the amount of risk he believes an agency should take regarding ecommerce and marketing. “If you're running Facebook ads, you have no control over the revenue, or if someone buys. All you have control over is can I get someone to click on this thing… You're walking into a potential minefield, and that’s bad.”

[16:27] Ken discusses the true complexity of ecommerce and some of the factors that influence it. “It is a lot more complicated than people think… There's a perception that ecommerce is just like a magic slot machine.”

[22:04] Ken talks about the three stages of ecommerce he typically sees. 

[24:46] Ken breaks down the issue of measuring a business by their lifetime value. 

[25:41] Brad asks, “What percentage is ecommerce driving revenues for most customers?”

[27:15] Ken discusses how, “The platform that you can control the most or the channel you can control the most needs to be the biggest channel. And that's ecommerce.”

[28:33] Bob asks how the Amazon effect impacts those in ecommerce.

[34:06] Ken talks about how having a unique brand is vital when trying to transition from selling on Amazon to selling on your ecommerce site. “Brand specifically plays a role in increasing the value.”

[35:43] Bob says that an agency should, “Never ever, ever build your e commerce strategy on a platform that you do not own and control.”

[44:59] Brad asks what platforms Ken would suggest for agencies who are getting started on their own ecom.

[50:50] Bob uses two analogies to drive home the importance of having your ecom primarily on a site or platform that you control and that competition is not a personal thing but rather a part of business.

[54:51] Bob summarizes his two takeaways from this week’s episode. “Start thinking competitively versus being dependent.”... “Have a short term vision and goal for ecommerce, have a midterm and then have a long term vision goal.”

[1:01:12] Brad talks about his agency, Anthem Republic. “You can find us at and you can see the type of work we do there, the clients that we work for, some case studies, and a lot of fun videos on how we think.”

[1:01:35] Ken talks about his hybrid agency, Metacake. “Our hybrid agency is We have a store at where you can see some of our t-shirts and apparel and those kinds of things. We also have a YouTube channel.”

[1:02:14] Bob wraps up today’s episode by talking about his agency, Five by Five. “I'm at and we do lots of different things. But we primarily focus on research, strategy, ecommerce, marketing, and creative.”