In this week’s Grey Matters, Ryan McKenzie shares how his digital marketing strategy for Tru Earth’s unique eco-friendly product evolved.
Digital Marketing Strategy: Selling Eco-Friendly Products Online
[0:00] – Introducing this episode of the Grey Matters podcast: Agile Marketing with Ryan McKenzie.
- This story begins about a year ago, when Ryan and his partners started to market Tru Earth laundry strips, eco-friendly laundry detergent in little strips that leave no waste or packaging behind.
[2:56] – Ryan McKenzie as an agile online marketer.
- Ryan is constantly looking at different ways of promoting products and campaigns, and is testing out different theories all the time.
[6:25] – Tru Earth laundry strips as the closest thing to a physical product that had to be built, sold, and marketed as a digital product.
[6:58] – How the product was born.
[9:36] – Thinking of Tru Earth immediately as a subscription product upon first sight.
- Looking at everything from the lens of recurring revenue solves a lot of other entrepreneurial challenges, such as cash flow.
[9:55] – The nascent stages of marketing Tru Earth.
- At first, their marketing efforts failed. Anyone who has ever launched anything on Facebook using Facebook ads knows that they're extremely volatile; some days, the algorithm just decides to not give you any boost.
[12:56] – Details about Tru Earth’s quick launch process, and initial challenges with packaging.
- Greenwashing means saying something is green – essentially brainwashing people into believing that your product is healthier for the environment – even if it isn’t.
- They ended up creating ultra-efficient packaging, a self-mailer of sorts.
[14:34] – Ryan’s initial thoughts on incorporating a social media marketing strategy, particularly for Facebook and Instagram, into the overall campaign plan for Tru Earth.
[15:18] – How well the product performed upon its launch, and the process of it getting traction.
[16:40] – Keystoning as the model, and selling in bulk to green/eco-friendly stores.
- Ryan doesn’t actually mind losing on the front end, at least not on a new product, because he doesn't know what the lifetime value would be of that particular customer. But once people like the product, it turns into an investment.
- Initially, the selling approach was just direct to consumers.
[18:00] – Celebrating the first year anniversary of the product’s launch.
- Since the launch, Ryan and his team retained about 93% of their customers.
[19:57] – Going from selling on Instagram and Facebook primarily to selling the product on Amazon.
- There is a large subset of humans that will only purchase from Amazon because they don't trust anybody else when it comes to online purchases. So if you're not also selling your product on Amazon, you are losing out on a lot of revenue.
[21:27] – The warehouse system, and identifying the most efficient way to get products into the United States.
[25:32] – Worrying about social marketing on Amazon, and why it’s considerably less than it is on other social platforms.
- Relevancy means that when somebody searches for your keyword, if they make a purchase after clicking on your product, that keyword becomes more associated with your product.
- One hack to getting that relevancy is you can buy, you can do Amazon ads on the keywords that you want to rank for.
- Unlike Google, when Amazon sees that you're making sales on that keyword, even if you purchased it, it still positively impacts your relevancy to them.
- Ryan’s strategy is simple: pay for keywords that you want to rank for, bid defensively, and let the reviews accumulate organically.
[27:50] – Using Amazon like a search engine.
[28:38] – Retailer rules and relationships.
[29:34] – Creating a trust funnel with the Tru Earth community.
[32:01] – Reinvention, and knowing the customer avatar.
[36:40] – Tools and technology that proved useful during the marketing process.
[38:14] – The state of the influencer marketplace post-pandemic.
[39:55] – Other green products they have in the online store, and how not to water down the appeal of the laundry strips.
[42:05] – A creative alternative use for the Tru Earth product: eco-friendly marketing collaterals.
- Dr. Ralph Papier
Tru.earth sells a unique eco-friendly product, a laundry strip that reduces plastic waste going into landfills by 100%.
A little over a year ago Ryan McKenzie and his team took a bit of a flyer on selling the strips.
The result has been a fascinating masterclass in online marketing as Ryan has shepherded the product through online sales, traditional distribution and Amazon sales.
It is not often that we get this kind of an inside look at how a modern company rapidly adapts and evolves with a product.
Link: Tru.Earth Laundry Strips