MageTalk Episode 210 – An Interview with Ampjar Founder Pete Davis

In today’s episode, the boys mix up the format a bit by starting with a recap of MagentoLive Europe and then moving into an interview with Ampjar’s Pete Davis in which they discuss social media and Ampjar’s unique way on capitalizing on healthy social engagement.

Listen now!

Show Notes

1:02 The Foundah From Down Undah

Phillip wisely chooses to do his terrible Australian accent before today’s guest comes on the show later in the episode.

1:46 MagentoLive EU

Phillip just got back from MagentoLive Europe 2019. The boys debate if Phillip is the American Guido (@guido) or if Guido is the European Phillip.

Phillip recalls seeing Sander Mangel (@sandermangel) and Guido podcasting and commiserates with the hustle of podcasting live from an event.

3:29 A Quick Highlight Recap from MLEU

Magento has acquired a B2B product from Accorin which was the highlight of the product announcements. This is essentially a B2B purchase approval workflow.

In other news, Adobe Sensei is now going to be integrated within Magento.

There have also been continued efforts with PWA, a topic that Kalen wants to jump into headfirst because he has some thoughts. He got some traction from the Tweet below.

6:38 B2B API

Kalen thinks that B2B API coverage needs to get done like yesterday.

Phillip goes a little deeper into the B2B announcements from MLEU. Over the last two years at Something Digital, they have put a lot of effort into creating a healthy B2B practice, but they rely on Magento to have a proof of concept that they can then build off of.

Both Kalen and Phillip agree that it feels like with these product announcements that Magento has made an inch of progress over a mile-wide product map.

Maybe they should just work through one thing to completion and then move to the next thing.

Kalen has discovered the root cause of all of this: the magic quadrant. Phillip agrees that this is the reason why we are where we are.

9:14 “We’re killing it in the quadrant”

Kalen asks Phillip to explain exactly how this quadrant works because we’re talking about functionality that has been committed but not complete, yet Magento is a front runner in the quadrant.

Magento is only as good as its partner ecosystem.

-Phillip Jackson

The Magento ecosystem has always been comprised of technology partners. Forrester, the research company, performs a lot of research and want to see things first hand before they award their quadrant rankings.

commercetools has been named a visionary on the quadrant two years in a row and they are an API only product.

Gartner and Forrester aren’t going away, so the best thing that can happen is for the community to make their voice heard so that Adobe sees things through to completion. Losing business to other platforms due to better API integrations also might make Adobe see the light in this regard.

14:24 Some More MLEU Announcements

Sadly, this was the last MagentoLive and there won’t be another one. It was also announced that Magento Imagine at Adobe Summit 2020 will be the last Imagine and from then on it will be only Adobe events. The next Adobe-centric event that will take place in Europe will be Adobe Summit London.

Phillip and Rebecca Brocton (RebeccaBrocton) led a Health and Wellness/Mental Health table that went really well. Phillip and Kalen want to do a Wellness episode on the show and want Rebecca to be a part of it.

17:39 Any Last Thoughts?

Phillip would love if the people who didn’t like hearing from him would just unsubscribe.

Kalen has been putting out a lot more content and he’s been thinking a lot about what people think about him.

Phillip brings up a quote from Bernard Meltzer that sums up his feelings on releasing content or putting your opinions out there.

Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.

Bernard Meltzer

If you can say that what you are going to say is true, kind, necessary, and helpful then who cares how often you post?

24:42 Pete Davis in the House

Founder and CEO of Ampjar, Peter Davis (@petedavisuk) joins the boys for an interview.

Pete grew up in the UK and then moved to Australia when he was 21 (and picked up the Australian accent in just three months).

He then takes us through his personal journey through sports marketing and the eventual founding of Ampjar.

Pete also takes us through the golden age of Facebook and his struggles with being the smartest person in the room all the time: mainly when dealing with teams at various big brands that kept asking him to repeat what he had done at other brands.

When you are an expert in a field, you rarely learn new things. Phillip deeply understands this. Spending all your time being the one who is talking can leave you feeling unfulfilled.

33:03 Social Media: Beyond the Standard Conversion

In the Golden Facebook Era, Phillip remembers agency life with people telling him that social media didn’t convert. From the people who did pay attention to social a decade ago, we learned that not every conversion happens at the moment, but brand affinity/awareness has a lasting value that is hard to quantify.

The people who did pay attention to social during this time are reaping the rewards now.

The boys also talk about the shift from organic reach to paid reach.

36:10 So what does Ampjar do?

Pete starts off with a disclaimer saying he is terrible at giving “the pitch” because it is evolving all the time.

When Pete saw all of the DNVBs doing social media so well and getting a lot of engagement but not capitalizing on other very important parts of the marketing, he saw a niche opportunity to fill those marketing gaps.

Pete asked what would happen if they could grab all of the great social content that these companies were producing and pull that content into a pre-built email campaign. When the brands go into Ampjar, they can edit the automatically generated campaign which is then sent in a mobile-optimized and spam-optimized format via Ampjar.

Just to throw some numbers out there, the average open rate for an Ampjar email is about 39% with a click rate of 4.8%.

After bringing some clients on board, they started getting questions from those clients asking how they could get more customers. So what if there was a way that Ampjar could put pieces of content from compatible brands into each other’s campaigns?

Kalen asks if was a brand that had a great engagement rate with his audience, why wouldn’t he just send more email of his own brand to his own audience as opposed to sending a referral campaign based on another brand?

Pete gives some of the reasons that he has received from actual clients as to why this arrangement works.

45:49 Email is Evolving

Email is becoming more social.

-Pete Davis

The skincare brand Lush just closed their social media channels because the organic reach they were getting just wasn’t good enough anymore. Now they are focusing on creating good content and sharing that content through email and their website. Emails are tailored to sell, but now these emails are focused more on storytelling, something that is typically reserved for social media.

Pete also talks about how some brands are sending emails that have nothing to do with their brand to build customer rapport and trust.

Most people would tell you that they enjoy finding products that fit a need and make them happy, and they would want to share those products with others.

-Phillip Jackson

Kalen points out that these emails aren’t just ads, but are also forms of content.

There is an element of repurposing content that you have elsewhere to ease the creative process. Kalen confesses that he has a newsletter for Commerce Hero that he hasn’t sent in in two months because he’s lazy about it.

50:26 The D2C Marketplace?

Pete brings up how Brooklinen was a callout on the post-checkout page on Casper’s website. This was an incredibly important part of Brooklinen being able to generate a significant amount of sales.

Brooklinen has started something called Spaces by Brooklinen that pulls in like-minded home goods brands and creates a curated marketplace of brands that don’t compete with but complement their brand. These marketplaces serve as a discovery mechanism that also adds to your trust of the brands you discover due to your feelings of the main brand on the marketplace.

Giving a customer the excitement of discovering something and being able to share that discover is very powerful.

57:05 Do you know Jason?

Phillip is curious about the Syndicate money that Ampjar received from Jason Calacanis and asks if Pete knows Jason.

Pete gives us the rundown of how he met Jason and the events that led to getting backed by the Angel investor.

You can also reach Pete by [email](pete@ampjar.com].

Mentions / Links

Guest: Peter Davis (@petedavisuk)

-Guido (@guido)
-Sander Mangel (@sandermangel)
-Rebecca Brocton (RebeccaBrocton)
Jason Calacanis

MagentoLive Europe 2019
Magento Accorin Acquisition
Adobe Sensei
Adobe/Magento Integration
Forrester
commercetools On the Quadrant 2 Years in a Row
Adobe Summit 2020
Adobe Summit London
Ampjar
Lush Shuts Down Social Media
Brooklinen
Casper
Spaces by Brooklinen




Validation rules, REST APIs, and multidomain support

Jake and Michael discuss all the latest Laravel releases, tutorials, and happenings in the community.

This episode was streamed live

Show links

Community Links

Submit your own link on Laravel News at laravel-news.com/links


PHP Internals News: Episode 35: Cryptography






MageTalk Episode 209 – “Just-in-Time-Doc’ing”

The boys are very energetic in today’s episode where they talk about the future of the world as we know it, what they would do with a billion dollars, and the spooky Magento 1 end of life looming ever closer.

Listen now!

Watch the video live stream here.

Show Notes

2:40 The Old Radio Style

The boys seem particularly spunky today.

Phillip brings up a podcast called The Jason and Scot Show and talks about their podcast style that is very “old radio.” He then gives examples of what this sounds like…

Kalen points out MageTalk’s capability to play to all ends of the podcast spectrum because they are the most flexible team in podcasting.

7:18 Remember When We Used to Clap?

Back when Kalen and Phillip started the show, they had to clap in order to synchronize the audio, so to give a nice “throwback” they do so again.

I’ll have whatever they had for breakfast this morning that gave them this much energy.

8:37 A Little MageTalk Quiz

Phillip asks Kalen if he remembers what the title of the first MageTalk episode was.

Feel free to play along at home.

Kalen doesn’t remember, but it was a good one.

Here’s a hint.

Kalen also gets quite the kick from Phillip’s Twitter bio. Kalen comes up with a great idea for a T-shirt.

13:09 Finally Some Content

Kalen brings up an article that Phillip wrote called “So Close to Being Complete” and comments on the ability that he has lost the ability to read long-form text. So to combat this, he asks Phillip to summarize the article for him…

Phillip throws up two minutes on the clock and summarizes the article. Essentially, there are a lot of things that are happening right now that will shape the future of the world as we know it for the next ten years. We are coming off of the greatest period in American economic advancement that we have ever known. A lot of the money we have in the world is being repurposed to see what consumers will react to.

How does the world progress in the next year? And how does Fight Club play into all of this?

Phillip also discusses the repercussions of having frictionless purchasing and how our perspectives have shifted when it comes to buying things.

If we’re honest with ourselves, a lot of what we do in eCommerce is very manipulative. It always comes down to getting people to make the decision to buy.

-Phillip Jackson

20:12 Treating Customer Better

At Future Commerce, they are trying to develop a story around knowing your customers and building a customer Bill of Rights of what good, mindful brands do to engage their customers.

Kalen gives a real-world example of a purchase he made of a cord and connects this to the mentality surrounding purchasing.

How do purchases meaningfully improve relationships? Where do we draw the line of buying things we don’t really need?

Brands that set the standard of not manipulating customers make things better not only for themselves but for people in general.

There’s an interest intersection between commerce, culture, and values.

-Kalen Jordan

24:00 Black Friday is Selfish

Every year, the number of people that buy products for themselves grows. It used to be about starting the process of buying gifts for loved ones but has shifted to be a much more self-serving day.

What are we really motivated by on these manufactured holidays that are designed to trigger a primal part of our psyches?

26:11 PreachersNSneakers

Kalen saw one of Phillip’s recent Instagram stories in which he tagged the account of a brand he ordered from. Kalen was confused by the fact that there wasn’t an actual website for the shoes he bought.

Phillip explains the story behind PreachersNSneakers and the podcast that stemmed from it.

In other news, Yeezy is now a billion-dollar brand.

Awesome Kanye West GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Phillip also brings the whole Yeezy thing back to Magento…

Impressive.

37:00 Monthly Vs. Annual Contracts

Kalen was recently ranting on Twitter about bait and switch tactics on monthly vs annual pricing.

39:43 What’s Happening in the World of Commerce Hero

Kalen recently brought Gary Smith (@askgaryanother) on board who has been doing his own consulting. Kalen needed some help with operations.

Kalen is also slowly but surely realizing that he probably shouldn’t be trying to do everything.

He goes over some of the cool recent jobs and heroes in his database.

Phillip talks about some of the really cool people that have been coming through his office in recent weeks.

There must be something about South Florida…

43:39 What Would You Do with $1 Billion

Kalen asks Phillip is he been following the StartUp Podcast which prompts him to also ask Phillip what he would do with $1 billion.

Phillip starts off by saying it’s an unfathomable amount of money but does give some detail on what he would do with several increments of millions of dollars.

Kalen has no idea how he would even begin to approach this amount of money.

But I have an idea…

Kalen gives some pushback on Phillip’s use of his imaginary money.

Phillip asks if Kalen had a billion dollars, could he build an eCommerce platform that rivals the feature functionality and the community of Magento.

Both the boys agree that the features would be doable, but how do you recreate a community?

They also discuss the ability to create memorable, large scale events with the vast amount of money that would be available.

53:03 Where Do Investment Dollars Go?

The boys discuss the ways in which spending money in the right way can give you credibility for your business. You are going to be spending money on things that the people who gave you the money care about.

Kalen brings up something that he recently saw that mentioned that Apple does not make acquisitions compared to every other large tech company.

Phillip points out everything wrong in this statement, so I guess the gloves are off.

57:52 A Content Plug

Phillip plugs his Magento End of Life Series over at Something Digital. If you get the chance, you should take a look at the blog series because it’s ooky spooky season and the series talks about how the plots of horror movies can be compared to Magento’s end of life story.

Something Digital has spent two years migrating their customers off of M1, so their entire portfolio is now on Magento 2 or Shopify+. Magento 2 itself is a moving target, so the move has been a bit of a slog.

1:03:03 Speaking of Good Content

Kalen only recently discovered Scott Galloway (@profgalloway) and Kalen had responded to a post he had made about Facebook’s inflated viewership metrics.

And he got a sassy reply…

 

Mentions / Links

-Gary Smith (@askgaryanother)
-Scott Galloway (@profgalloway)

Video Live Stream
The Jason and Scot Show
MageTalk Episode 1
“So Close to Being Complete”
Black Friday Is Selfish
PreachersNSneakers Article
PreachersNSneakers Podcast
Yeezy Is A Billion-Dollar Brand
StartUp Podcast
Magento End of Life Series
Kalen’s LinkedIn Post