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Connecting the dots is critical.

Most Challenger Brands Are In Trouble. Here's What They're Missing.

Kai Ravariere
Cofounder at Next Level Ambitions
Mindset Shifts
Challenger Brands
Trends & Insights

Founders and marketing decisionmakers don’t trust marketers and coaches on the grassroots side of the industry. Really, they don’t trust anyone.

And yes, they’re right to be wary. There are absolutely marketers out there unworthy of their invoice and they grow in number every day. 

But what if I told you that the reason why the agency you were referred to didn’t get you results, even if they did well for someone else or boasted great case studies, or the reason why you’ve had to hop from agency to agency, marketing coach to marketing coach, Is because your brand is actually missing key elements that prevent some or even most strategies from actually being effective? 

Take a look at those case studies you saw that attracted you to those marketers in the past.

  • How much do you REALLY know about the brands they reference? 
  • How large was their email list? How engaged and active were they? 
  • How much data did they already have to work with in their ad accounts? 
  • How tight were their operations and what was their operational capacity? 
  • What were their cash conversion cycles? Were they vertically integrated? 
  • Did they have a content team? Analytics team? Strong SEO to support SEO-driven keywords in the copy for paid traffic campaigns? 
  • Are the marketing and operational infrastructures of their business anything like YOURS? 

All this, and SO much more, impacts how well your brand is able to scale. It affects whether your brand is able to scale at all. And 98% of marketers, agencies, and freelancers aren’t factoring in any of this when deciding whether you’re a good fit. And they certainly aren’t helping you optimize in these areas, either. It’s hard to blame them. Asking them to peer into every key facet of your company before taking your money is a near impossible task. 

So is running your traffic and helping you scale your business while helping you identify and optimize all 126 elements that contribute to scalability so that ALL of your marketing and advertising becomes more profitable, not just the traffic they’re responsible for. 

And unless you know to view and operate your company holistically, which simply isn’t discussed even in the $50k - $75k masterminds of your favorite gurus, you don’t know what to look for, what to focus on, or what to optimize and when. 

If you’ve ever succeeded in sales but took longer than a week to fulfill and for blowback from your customers,

If you’ve ever poured capital into a marketer or media buyer and didn’t even break even,

If you’ve ever hopped from agency to agency and still struggled to get the results that could help you scale and grow,

If you feel like you’ve been “just getting started” for years and can’t seem to get the traction you see others in your niche benefitting from, 

If you’ve 3x’d your marketing team budget but are getting 20% more sales,

If you’ve ever taken paid traffic in-house but still aren’t seeing the progress you’d hoped:

You and your teams have missed something dire.

And it’s this:

Only 20% to 30% of your paid social performance and your ability to scale is impacted by the levers pulled and strategies employed in your ad account. Traditional media buyers (who make up 98% in the performance marketing space) don’t actually have as much control as they claim over your overall profitability or the degree to which your brand can scale. 

So what’s the other 65% to 80%? 

In eCommerce, everything is connected. Think of it like a web. There are direct and inverse relationships between every node of that web, all of which ultimately affects the efficacy and performance of not only paid social, but every other marketing program and initiative that exists in your business.

Here’s a real-world example.

After a wildly successful influencer marketing campaign, Brand X garners $1.3 million in sales over the Black Friday weekend. However, the brand’s fulfillment division was poorly structured and poorly managed and as a result, it takes over 4 months to fulfill all the orders. 

Refund rates skyrocket into the double digits. Your warehouse staff is worn out and you lose 10% of them to greener pastures. New and long-time customers alike no longer trust you and sales and conversion rates decline across channels. The influencers get a barrage of complaints from the followers they referred to you. Comments on social media and in ads are flooded with pissed off customers and are met with silence or deletion. 

That means your broken fulfillment systems, inadequate reputation management efforts, and gaps in your team’s management capabilities all contributed to plummeting conversion rates, declining performance on email marketing, the brand finding itself on influencer blacklists shrinking its reach, AND… wildly unprofitable advertising campaigns. 

And the impact is far-reaching. A year later and your Black Friday campaigns only generate 1/3 of what they did the year before. 

And because your brand lacks anyone on the team who is analyzing data and evaluating all of the cogs in the machine holistically…you don’t see the culprit. You only know that sales are down, you have some peeved customers, and that your ads aren’t working and haven’t for some time. 

This is an extreme, but real example. The issues are often far more nuanced and obscured from view. 

The reality is this. Your marketing and operational infrastructure is the single most important revenue-driver of your entire business. And it comprises the entirety of your marketing program and so much more. 

And ensuring that that web, the infrastructure of your business, is optimized and running on all cylinders is the difference between: 

A 1% conversion rate and a 4% conversion rate. 

A 1.4x ROAS and a 4.1x ROAS.

30% profitability and -8.3% profitability. 

A $35.29 AOV and a $92.53 AOV. 

Yielding an extra $1.3 million in revenue YoY and losing $1.3 million in revenue opportunities. 

A liquid business and one that’s constantly strapped for cash and having to make short-term, quick revenue decisions that won’t yield high returns.

Your data infrastructure, the tightness of your marketing strategy, the diversification of your channels, the efficiency by which you solve operational challenges, your approach to hiring, managing, and growing teams, and 114 additional qualitative and quantitative elements we haven’t even gotten into here, all have a massive impact on your company’s ability to be Truly Scalable. 

What do we mean by that? 

While there are many brands with scalable products and scalable operations, being Truly Scalable goes several levels beyond. It refers to an ability to scale when competitor brands cannot, regardless of the economic, market, or channel climate, in a way that the business remains profitable overall.

There’s a certain type of brand that’s growing faster and achieving more stability than ever despite the downturn. Insulated from channel volatility, they’re spending on advertising and growth even when brands like yours feel they cannot. They can zig when everyone else is zagging. And that's because they possess the right attributes.

The articles featured here in The Vault will largely cover or revolve around these attributes. Our events and mastermind programs will go even deeper. 

Make sure you’re watching this space. 

Happy Scaling, 


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