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It’s tempting to try to get more out of your existing customers when CAC is rising. But is it worth it? In this episode, Richard and Taylor discuss the second principle of the Enterprise Scaling Guide: the concept of the shrinking sponge. “You need to keep your active customer file growing as you grow the business.” 

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[00:00:00] Richard: This episode of the E-Commerce Playbook Podcast is brought to you by Parker, the credit card that's built for e-commerce with no interest and no hidden fees. Unlock up to 80% of your monthly sales to finance your holiday ad spend with the link at the show notes or

Hey everyone, welcome to the E-Commerce Playbook podcast. I'm your host, Richard Gaffin, and I'm enjoined again by my co-host and CEO, a common threat collective, Mr. Taylor Holiday. Taylor, how you doing? 

[00:00:24] Taylor: Hey, Richard, last week I was medium plus. Today I'm doing well. 

[00:00:27] Richard: Wow, medium plus as well, thats pretty good. So what's behind the lift and spirits tale? 

[00:00:31] Taylor: So Travis Matthew, one of our customers, had a meeting in their office this week and they finally let me go shopping. So I don't normally wear a collared shirt, most people are like, is everything okay? What's happening, if I wear a collared shirt? But trying it out, trying to look a little more professional, seeing how it affects, how people perceive me. I don't know, we'll 

[00:00:51] Richard: Yeah, right. Well, I wasn't gonna say anything, but are you much of a golfer? 

[00:00:54] Taylor: I mean, I'm like a recreational golfer who loves it, but who has three kids and who has time for six hours, you know, nobody. So top golf, enjoy a trip to play some top golf. 

[00:01:06] Richard: Cool. All right, well, so today we're talking about, we're gonna do another installment rather in our semi-regular series, breaking down the Enterprise Scaling Guide which is kind of our again, comprehensive bible, so to speak, of CTCs philosophy and a set of guidelines really for growing your business past 50 million dollars. So last time we talked about the scaling guide, we discussed the hierarchy of metrics, which is the set of metrics that you put together to contextualize your performance and to avoid the trap of falling into the single channel. Or rather I should say, falling into the single channel ROAS trap. 

Which ends up creating behaviors that may look good in the short term, but don't pay off in the long term. And that's essentially what we're gonna continue to talk about today because really that's the thrust of the entire scaling guide, is that you have to accept short term losses for the sake of long term outcomes.

So we'll get into part two and or rather I should say part two of chapter one. And this is the second basic principle that we discuss in the guide, and that is the idea of the shrinking sponge, which is you need to keep your active customer file growing, as you grow the business generally, and we'll get into a little bit of some of those definitions and how we think about them.

But first off, if you follow any of our content, especially if you follow Taylor, you'll be familiar with this concept of the shrinking sponge. So Taylor, why don't you break that down for us. What is the shrinking sponge and why is it so dangerous? 

[00:02:31] Taylor: I try to think about metaphors that illustrate complex points more simply, in the e-commerce is full of jargon and metaphors, or it's jargon and acronyms, and so this was a illustration for me of how in each month you have a choice to either fill your sponge, which is illustrative of fill your customer file with new people, but put more new customers into your business.

Or you could squeeze the sponge, which is to extract value out of the existing customers you have. So in this case, the water are customers. They're coming or going in some ways, or the money in customers pockets in some way is that you are either filling up your coffers with potential future customers where you can realize the value later, or you're squeezing that value out now.

And so the shrinking sponge is a sort of illustrative of a dried-up, waterless sponge that comes after you have squeezed all of your existing customers for all of their value, but not added any new ones. And this is an exercise that can occur over different periods of time for businesses.

So this idea initially came from, Shane Purry, who is one of the hosts of the My First Million podcast, wrote this thread about, he was drawing this illustrative story of why Clubhouse was gonna fail, the app that we all got really addicted to in Covid.

And he wrote it in this story form of like, there's a company and these things happen, and he wrote this like really clever story and it went super mega viral. And so I thought that format was super compelling. So I took it and I wrote a story about why eCommerce brands fail, and it was all about this idea of a shrinking sponge.

And so this thread that I wrote got a bunch of traction, and so this idea sort of took off of this idea of there's a shrinking sponge, your business has a sponge and every month that's either growing or shrinking. And so that's the origination of the idea. 

[00:04:30] Richard: Yeah, so let's break down then how the problem starts to happen, right? So we should start off maybe by saying squeezing the sponge and getting value out of those customers is not necessarily a bad thing, but refilling the sponge is the bad thing, sorry, not refilling the sponge is a bad thing cuz people are attracted to the idea of squeezing it, and filling it can often be scary because it's expensive to acquire new customers. 

So breakdown, maybe in terms of that story that you told on Twitter, like what starts to happen when people, or rather maybe I should say, what red flags should you look out for that the sponge is starting to get too squeezed.

[00:05:05] Taylor: So the problem happens when a business has an expectation of short term profitability, let's just pick some numbers. Let's say every month they're used to running at a 20% net profit, and that comes in the form of a eight to one MER, total sales over total ad spend, marketing efficiency, ratio, and this happens every month for a business for a long time, they're able to sustain that growth for a long period of time. 

Then suddenly, whether it's iOS, whether it's the general maturity of their acquisition at some size, and we use the 50 million as an illustration of where this point generally happens. CAC degrades could be for a number of reasons, but it starts to become less efficient to acquire new customers.

What brands will often do to offset that is they'll maybe send an extra email at first that's like the lightest version of this. Just get a little more outta the customers that they have, then it starts to become like a promotion. Oh shoot, we're missing revenue, somebody run a sale to our customers to squeeze a little more out of them to offset that deficit, because this month we have to hit our 20% margin. We have to hit our eight to one mer, and if tax degrading, then we have to get more out of our existing customers.

And that can work, that's the problem is it works. You go to run a sale, big revenue day, best day ever, things are awsome. But all you've done really in that sale is take all those customers and you've brought the revenue that they would've generated over a longer period of time forward.

You didn't really create any new revenue, so next month, the same problem happens. Hack's still bad. Now my existing customer revenues down a little further cause I've squeezed that sponge and I have to go deeper and deeper, and further and further, and squeezing, squeezing, squeezing, because I haven't been conscious of the relationship between filling my customer file with net active new customers and the rate at which I'm squeezing them. 

And this happens because the efficiency, I was not willing to sacrifice on that premise of my short term profit objective for the sake of the long term health of the business. And that's where these short term financial incentives end up driving businesses into these behaviors that are really detrimental.

[00:07:13] Richard: Yeah, it actually goes back nicely or connects rather nicely to the first episode that we did on the Scaling Guide, which is about the hierarchy of metrics. And one of the ways that you combat this problem is by everybody having a clear sense, or rather a metric that ladders up to the ultimate business goal and they're all interrelated.

Because what happens is when you give each channel a single or rather you create single channel ROI goals, what ends up happening, or rather I should say, siloed goals, what happens is everybody tries to hit those by the end of the month so they don't get fired. They don't feel bad, you know, they don't get scared.

[00:07:46] Taylor: Yep. 

[00:07:46] Richard: And then in trying to hit that monthly metric, they sort of act as if once the month is over, and they've crossed the goal line successfully, that's it, they won that month, and then the next month, the entire thing restarts and it's a brand new race, even though it really is a continuation of what had happened before.

And so what ends up happening is that because nobody is communicating about how their goals connect to everybody else's goals, you end up with these scenarios. There's some very specific ways that sponge squeezing happens in all sorts of different channels. Do you wanna break down a couple of those? So on Facebook, for instance, what does that look like? 

[00:08:20] Taylor: That's great. So if you tell me my goal is ROAS in the Facebook ad account, guess what customer has the highest ROAS potential, it's the ones I already have. If I go try and sell my product to the customers I already have, ROAS is gonna go up in my Facebook ad account.

So if you give me a single channel goal, I'm gonna move and that's the entire driving premise that I'm held to, I'm moving all my money to selling to existing customers. Then what's the next level of that funnel? Website visitors, people who have already been to my website, then engagers like you're moving from the lowest hanging, cheapest fruit out.

So if you give me a ROAS goal, I'm very unlikely to spend a lot of my money on prospecting because that's gonna be the least efficient form of acquisition. So if you just give a media buyer a ROAS goal, that is exactly how you have incentivized them to behave. 

[00:09:10] Richard: Yeah, and same with let's say your email team. If the idea is that they need to hit a certain revenue target by the end of the month, and then generally speaking, your whole marketing team, they need to generate X dollars in revenue without any view to how that impacts the entire business over the course of the entire year or two years or three years, you're gonna end up in that situation as well where they feel like if they hit a number at the end of the month, they won, but that's just not the case. 

[00:09:33] Taylor: At Bamboo Earth, like to illustrate the point you just made, on any given day, we know, cause we've done it a couple of times in our history, that we could generate north of a hundred thousand dollars in any given day at any point that we want. If we queue up a 20% off sale, or we run our best selling skew, we will make $100,000 in that day.

That is a very tempting lever as a shortcut for a marketing leader who is struggling or behind on their revenue. And you understand why people take it, it's because it's sitting there and somebody who's putting pressure on me to hit a target will get off my back if I go and pull on that lever. 

[00:10:11] Richard: That kinda brings a question to mind, like, how, and I don't know that I know the answer to this really, like how would you incentivize that behavior?

So there's obviously, there's the creation of the interrelated network of goals and that means something, but how do you create a measure to point to that reassures everybody that a short term loss or something that feels like a loss may actually benefit the long term outcome? 

[00:10:36] Taylor: So the first thing is I stumbled upon this metric that I didn't really know existed that beautifully illustrates the shrinking sponge.

We call it the net active customer graph or quick ratio, so on a visual basis, we'll put one up here in our edit, this is a net active customer graph, right? It's the sum of new customers plus continuing active customers, plus reactivated customers, overturned customers. And now what do each, how let's define each of those groups.

Okay, new customers are obvious, they bought your product in whatever time period I'm measuring, they are net new. Okay, continuing active means that they have made a purchase and they are in a period which is inclusive of the normal time in which a customer would buy twice. So let's say if the normal purchase average time between purchases is 90 days, then continuing active means they've made a purchase within 90 days.

They didn't buy in that period, but they've made a purchase within the last 90 days. They are still in the active customer state. Reactivated our customers that were outside of it, they were churned and you brought back to life, those are your zombie customers. And then you're taking that and dividing it by the number of customers that lapsed, they reached outside of that purchase window.

In like an agency world, this like metrics, like really simple, right? How many customers left CTC versus how many customers came into CTC? What was our net gain of revenue from customers in any given month? That's like one of the most critical metric for us to look at, did we have net positive gain or net negative gain on our customers? But at e-commerce, it's not as intuitive to think about it that way. 

But the illustration is really obvious, and then the line in this graph represents the net change one minus the other. And so you wanna have positive net active customers every month, then what you'll see is you're growing your active customer file.

That means your future predictive revenue will be strong, will be greater than it is this month. Next month's existing customer revenue will be greater than it is this month if you had active customer growth, and that's a really important illustration. 

[00:12:38] Richard: Yeah. So it's about, I mean, would you say then it's about giving your teams net active customer growth goals?

[00:12:46] Taylor: That's right. 

[00:12:46] Richard: The channel? Along those lines? 

[00:12:48] Taylor: Yeah, so one of the things I think we have to accept is that there's no one metric that you can give to somebody and have them behave appropriately. It just isn't a reality, like you can't do it, not even contribution margin, our favorite metric in the world because in the short term contribution margin could be totally offset.

By squeezing the sponge, I could maximize contribution margin by squeezing the sponge at any given month. It's insufficient on its own, so you have to give them a profit goal, and a new customer acquisition goal, holding those two things in tension. Short-term financial outcome, long-term customer health is the way to get to and ensure that you're not sacrificing today's goals for tomorrow's outcomes.

[00:13:30] Richard: Right, so then, Let me ask a question around, let's say the topic of discussion last week, which was sort of about how difficult the current situation is rather the current macroeconomic environment is. And so I can imagine somebody listening to this and saying, Taylor, I don't know if I can handle taking a loss in the short term right now, because there is no long term for us unless we squeeze the hell out of this thing. So, in that situation what's the solution? 

[00:14:00] Taylor: Survival's always the number one priority, okay? So if it's truly life or death, then you choose to live because then you get a chance to solve the problem tomorrow. If the genuine alternative is death, then okay, I just would make sure that's really what you're choosing between, 

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[00:15:03] Taylor: and instead, what I think you might have to do is slow down, slow down. And be disciplined and say, we will only take new customer, in the event that, this is like the bamboo story. We had to slow down and be disciplined that every new customer was gonna be first order profitable, right? And if we did that, that would reduce our growth rate, but it would ensure that we didn't run into this problem where we would get to this situation where our payback period moved from 60 days to like a year and we were in destroying cash. 

So you're gonna likely have to slow down, be disciplined, and I don't actually think that, I would argue that take a loss, is necessarily the thing I'm always suggesting is gonna be required, it might involve slowing down, but the take a loss thing is that for bigger brands, I do think that if you're a larger 50 million dollar company, that the loss I'm asking you to take is gonna be on the bottom line margin percentage in order to right size your new customer acquisition as a percentage of your total revenue.

And to say, okay, look, we're not playing a one month game here. We're playing a five year game, we're playing a two year game, so let me maximize profit in a different window. I'm not, actually, I don't, you can never ask a business owner to make less money. That's not gonna be a path that they want. I'm just gonna ask them to alter the window in which they evaluate my performance, because my plan's gonna make you more money in the next 12 months than the other one you're suggesting, it might not in 30 days, but it will in 12months. 

[00:16:30] Richard: Yeah, there's a line in the scaling guide around the idea that what you're trying to do is maximize profitability within the window for which it makes the most sense for your business, and all too often people treat that window as tiny. It's like, I should be making a profit all the time no matter what the scenario.

Or rather like, I guess practically speaking, the window would just be a month. And actually what you may find is that for your business, the window in which hitting profitability is acceptable is a little bit bigger than you think it is, and taking the maximum, figuring out the absolute maximum window is the key to making this work, basically.

[00:17:07] Taylor: So, okay. Queue up the TikTok clipper right here, so you've been seeing my videos, we're clipping this. The number one question every growth strategist or someone hired to run growth should be asking is, in what window am I attempting to maximize profit? Without understanding the answer to that question, you cannot design a growth strategy appropriately. Because if you tell me to maximize profit in the next 30 days, I'm squeezing the crap outta the sponge and I don't care about new customers.

If you tell me to maximize it in six months, I'm gonna have a slightly different. If you tell me to maximize it in 12 or 24 or 36, my strategy is going to be different, and it should be, and it's all gonna come down to how aggressive I'm going to be in new customer acquisition because that's going to determine the rate of profitability. And so that question is fundamental to designing an appropriate growth strategy.

[00:17:52] Richard: Right. Okay, so let's play out maybe how does one go about reaching that answer? To what your max window of profitability is. Cause I could see people sitting down saying like, it's gotta be a month. I don't know how it could possibly be anything else, but how do you start to put the pieces in place to understand what that really looks like for you?

[00:18:11] Taylor: Such a good question. So this is where I think our broader forecasting exercise is really important and what best growth strategies do really well is scenario planning. So what I wanna do for you is I want to sit with you and go, okay, if we do scenario A, squeeze the sponge, here's what's going to happen.

Here's what this month's gonna look like, and next month and the next month, and we can sum up whatever period of time you want to compare that performance. If we do scenario B, more new customer acquisition, here's the short term consequence, here's the long term implication. Let's talk about your present capitalization.

What are the needs? What are the pressures and imperatives that you have? Can I alter some months where I need to actually get you a little more cash because you make a big inventory order here. Like it's this level of intimate interaction between demand planning, inventory purchasing, and demand creation that's actually required to make sure that the tail isn't wagging the dog.

And what I mean by that, in a lot of organizations, because demand planning and demand creation are disassociated, demand planning makes a bad inventory purchase and then yells at marketing to solve the. Hey, marketing, we have too many X, Y, and Z, go do a bunch of things to solve it, oh, and hold your MER goal.

Okay, hold on a second. You're creating a set of constraints that are not actually achievable, and the problem isn't my marketing, it's the structure that happened a long time ago that put us in a position where we now have a set of rules for a game that can't be won. And so you really have to intimately link these things.

And you have to look at all the scenarios and you have to say, okay, in scenario A, B, C, and D, what will occur? Which one do you want? What are the implications? And then let's agree together and go forward. 

[00:19:55] Richard: Yeah. So I guess like a lot of the purpose of the E-commerce Scaling Guide, or rather the Enterprise Scaling Guide, this is how I think about it. It's to equip CMOs with the tools that they need to go to the board, say something that, on paper they wouldn't like and make them like it, right? So we've been sort of talking around that a little bit here, like what's your advice to the CMO who is, has to go to the board and tell them that their idea of being 25% profitable or growing profit 25% year over year or whatever is not gonna be feasible? But In the window that they've provided, but in a longer window or a shorter window or whatever it will be play that out? 

[00:20:36] Taylor: Yeah. So I like that the Enterprise Scaling Guide exists to give CMOs a voice at the financial table, right? An authoritative voice at whether that's the boardroom, whether that's the CFO's office, whether that's the CEO office, enterprise Scaling Guide exists that give you an authoritative voice in that room.

And the reason you should be able to do it is cause you have better data than they do. Whatever their model is, you have customer level data that's better for informing and predicting the future of the business than any other department in the organization. Now, you might have to be smart enough to consider macro trends and other things in that room, and that's okay, that's part of the job. 

But when you do that, okay, and if you can come with that, the way that we describe this is that your job is to start with what is likely to happen, based on the data that you have available to you, your job is then to listen to what they would like to happen. Okay? The delta between what's likely to happen and what you would like to happen and to exemplify for them what would need to be true in order to reach that objective and what the likelihood of that occurring is.

So if they say to you, I wanna do an extra $2 million in bottom line, you say, wonderful, that means we would need to be able to acquire this many new customers at this level of efficiency, this is a 98 percentile outcome, that means that we have a 2% chance of success. So let's just be clear on what we're endeavoring to do, and I would suggest that you build in the appropriate risk consideration for that plan. 

And I think that you can then offer, and here's a key, don't say no, that's never your job. And this is where on our side, our people get in huge trouble, when they tell a client the thing they want to happen can't happen.

You should never say that cause it's not true. You as the data holder can never represent that the future will not occur, you are not that certain about the future. Who you are is the person that represents a spectrum of possibilities and likelihoods. Like if you ever listen to Nate Silver talk about forecasting election.

He's brilliant about this, he never talks in what he says is going to happen. He represents to you the likelihood and possibilities and percentages that certain scenarios will occur. That's your job when speaking in those rooms, and it's how you gain trust and authority in those spaces is you never tell them no, you always tell them what would need to be true in order for what they would like to occur, matching what is likely to occur, and then asking for what resources you would need to accomplish it and the likelihood of it occurring and the risk that it won't. If you do that, you'll be light years ahead of everybody else speaking in that room.

[00:23:12] Richard: Yeah, there's a couple things there I think like calling out or like doubling down on that piece of advice and that it is something that we've struggled with generally is that people, always want what they want. You're not gonna be able to get them to want something else that's, you have to tell them that you will be able to give 'em what they want, but with these caveats because of this modeling that I've done or whatever.

[00:23:32] Taylor: That's right. And that part especially there's a certain personality type, so like it at CTC we use something called Five Voices, but whatever personality test you want. So like, I'm a pioneer. A pioneer is like future focused, take the hill, let's go solve it no matter what. And then there's a personality type called the guardian.

And the guardian is sort of, before they go take the hill, they need to make sure everything's okay. And they're not really gonna accept a mission unless they're very clear on the certainty that it'll, will get there. And a lot of the growth strategists at CTC are actually guardians, which I think really interesting. 

And one of the things they will often struggle with is that when a customer who's a pioneer, a visionary or something is giving them a goal that they don't believe is possible, their brain will logically, fundamentally reject it and cannot accept it. And that infuriates clients, it actually makes them really mad when you just tell them no.

And I can resonate this with as a pioneer entrepreneur, if someone just tells me the thing you want to happen is not gonna happen, my instinct is to go give me someone new who will say that it's possible. And so you can't speak to people that way, you have to say like, okay, that sounds like a really awesome place, like, I want to go there too. 

But here's what we would need to do in order to achieve that, and maybe it might take this long instead of this long, and people will get on board with that. They'll support it, but if you're just like, nope, that's not what the data says you're using data in a way that's actually not gonna be very useful to you in your career? I would say. 

[00:24:56] Richard: Yeah, totally. Well cause there's definitely like, the message behind the message or what people hear when you say that the data says otherwise is that your idea was dumb, basically. 

[00:25:05] Taylor: That's right. 

[00:25:05] Richard: Or like, what you want is wrong and why it's wrong is honestly not that important, cause what you've already moved onto is telling them what they should do instead, you know? 

[00:25:16] Taylor: That's right. 

[00:25:16] Richard: And so that there's just something basic about like, recognizing and honoring, for lack of a better word, what the person wants as reasonable and not insane. And then going from there, yeah. 

[00:25:27] Taylor: Like literally, honestly, just on this last point, because I love what you said, which is to go even a step further instead of saying no, like if someone says I wanna do $2 million in EBITDA, be like, okay, yes, let's do it like I'm in, could we do it in 16? 

Like you've actually just started by agreeing with the premise and now you're gonna alter some of the dynamics of it. But what you did from the start is you fundamentally agreed with the idea and that ground, that soil of conversation, it can be so much more fruitful than, no, that's not gonna happen.

Yeah, it's just so different. And I think that's a real skill to develop. 

[00:26:05] Richard: Yeah. Okay, so the other thing that I wanted to call out from, what we were talking about a few minutes before was that idea that the scaling guide gives CMOs a financial voice at the table, right? And we've talked a lot about this recently, the idea that financial literacy is a absolutely critical skill for most people in your business to have honestly. 

Like the more people who understand finance the better. And I think the situation most people find themselves in is that, as CMO you don't really know that much about the financials of your business maybe, or if you do, your sort of literacy and finance generally isn't quite up to snuff. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.

I don't know, but the reality is like there is not an expectation that you'll be able to have conversations about the business's long-term financial bottom line goals with the finance people. And there's an expectation you won't be able to participate in that. And so I think it's worth maybe unpacking that a little bit, what it takes to get to the point or why it's so important to get everybody sort of literate and understanding not only the business's finances, but just finance in general. 

[00:27:10] Taylor: It's either gonna occur that in the event that marketing and finance don't speak each other's language, one of two things is gonna happen. Either finance is gonna make an assumption about marketing in their plan, or marketing's gonna make an assumption about finance that's gonna be wrong. And like, if you can't speak to each other in each other's language, you're gonna run into that issue. And most of the time if I see finance making an assumption about an input of marketing that they don't understand. Because they don't trust the marketing person to be involved in the financial conversation.

And I'll give it a perfect example of sort of the overlap of where this thing sits so importantly in this moment in time. So there's a financial premise called hurdle rate. Hurdle rate is the idea of what would the return profile of an investment need to be in order to justify the risk of making that investment.

Like, what is the return that I would need in order to make this investment? And that has to do with, well, what is the cost of the investment? Like, what is the cost of capital in any given moment? So like if I'm gonna make an investment in, you know, Whatever, building out a retail store, like the cost to do that is something, right?

And so then the return on that cost better include the time of return. So there's like a time value of money consideration, as well as like the cost of money right now would like literally the interest rate of getting access to more capital if I had to go get it, as well as then how much money could I make in return.

It's one thing to make like an investment at a 7% interest rate if the potential return is 500%. Like, okay, that's a worthwhile endeavor. But in paid media, the return profiles can actually get pretty small in different time windows, and so maybe the hurdle rate for the financial person, the person in charge of the business is thinking like I have to make, at least 50% every 12 months on an investment that I make, like with the dollars to allocate capital to it. That's how I have to think about it. 

And so for a marketing person to be able to speak in terms of ROIC, return on invested capital with a consideration for the cost of capital is going to give them the opportunity to get their stuff approved versus like, if I do this, I'll get a 12 ROAS, and then depending on finance, to translate that into the thing they care about, which they just wont do. 

Or even worse, speak to them in some sort of arbitrary third party MTA model that is like, they don't understand at all. And so I really put it on the marketer to go there because finance already has control of the money, right?

That they're in the default position of power over the dollars that you need for the things that you want. And so they're just gonna lob direction to you until you get authority in that room. And so the Enterprise Scaling Guide is about building that plan, understanding finance is about gaining credibility in those spaces to start to get access to that thing that you need, which is the money.

[00:29:59] Richard: Right, so you as a CMO are the person most equipped to forecast the things that you are doing and to translate them into language that the finance team can understand, and like I really resonate with that idea of like, essentially what's gonna happen is like, if you can't do that for them, they'll do it for you. They'll sort of make assumptions about what you're capable of as a marketer, because they have to. They gotta get something down on paper, right?

[00:30:24] Taylor: You and I have had this conversation about CTC marketing, right? Where I'm like, all right, Richard, there's one of two choices, you bring me a plan, or I'm gonna give you a plan right as it relates to something.

And the problem with me bringing you a plan is, I might not be as intimately connected to the things that you're doing or what is realistic as you are. And so I'm gonna do it more about what I want to happen again, what I would like to happen versus what is likely to happen. And if you sort of relinquish control of the plan, then you're gonna live in that, like, to happen that emotional want space a lot, it's hard to meet that sometimes. 

[00:30:59] Richard: Yeah, okay. Thanks again for joining us on the E-Commerce Playbook podcast. Please remember the rate and review and if you're watching on YouTube, please remember to like and subscribe.

If you wanna learn more about the Enterprise Scaling Guide go ahead and check out the link of the episode description. And also, this is exciting. Our expert strategy team is putting together audit packages right now for 2023, and this is, Packages that will put into play all of the things we've been talking about in the scaling guide, to give you a sense of what your forecast for 2023 needs to look like to put all of these dynamics into play that we've been talking about.

So if you're gonna kick off January with a clear roadmap to growth, even in these tough times, we think there's no better way to kick off your journey. So if you wanna know more, please go ahead and drop us a line at We would love to chat as always, and so have a good one folks, and happy scaling.