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EPISODE 71

Making Your Brand, Marketing and Logistics A Bit More Human

With Jay B. Sauceda, CEO of Texas Humor and founder of Sauceda Industries

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After his first trip down the eCommerce road ended in failure, Jay B. Sauceda swore to never again travel down that path. But life has this funny way of coming full circle and turning your failures into successes. Today, Jay is the founder and CEO of Texas Humor, an eCommerce shop so successful that Jay decided to take the leap and also build Sauceda Industries, which helps manage not only Texas Humor logistics, but the logistics of many other D2C companies.

The journey from failure to repeated success was a winding one, and Jay takes us through it all on this episode of Up Next in Commerce. Along the way, he digs into what it takes to build a company from a base of loyal supporters and his advice to marketers, including how to be a trusted friend rather than a bother in a consumer’s life. Plus, he explains why customer expectations around fast shipping don’t always have to apply to the products you offer.

Main Takeaways:

  • Small Now, Not Forever: Many eCommerce shops rightly want to outsource their logistics to a 3PL, but if your company is too small, many of those companies may not even be open to working with you. This is what Jay experienced in his early eCommerce days, and he has some ideas on how to approach this if you keep hearing “no.”
  • A Good House Guest: Think of advertising like being a guest in someone’s home. You don’t want to walk in and overwhelm the conversation with talk of yourself. Your content shouldn’t act that way either. Bring something more to the table.
  • I Want it Now!: Companies with fast shipping — the Amazons of the world — have led to new consumer expectations when it comes to delivery times. That may be true, but this may not be the expectation for every type of transaction. For necessary commodity goods, fast shipping is critical, but for unique items or products that customers are buying from a company they are loyal to, they actually are much more willing to accept a slower delivery timeline as long as there is transparency throughout the process.
  • The COVID Effect: As the COVID-19 vaccines are approved and shipped, more logistical resources will be deployed to achieve that task. Stephanie thought that this could have a big impact on shipping, but Jay doesn’t necessarily agree. Tune in to hear his take!

For an in-depth look at this episode, check out the full transcript below. Quotes have been edited for clarity and length.

Key Quotes:

“We were just shipping the orders out of my home garage, but over time, basically we had decided to try to outsource the work because we had just gotten so sick of dealing with the scale and having a tough time getting out of our own way as business owners. I reached out to some 3PLs and one of the ones here in Austin just had a very snarky and negative approach to telling me that it wasn’t really the right time… ‘You’re too small for this to be worthwhile.’ And look, I don’t have a problem with that. I run an organization that has to say that to people as well. The difference though, is that culturally our approach is to say that it’s not a no, it’s a not right now. And what we’d rather do is try to be a resource for some of these companies to help them understand what would make them qualify to work with the 3PL and/or make it cost-effective for both parties to be in a mutually beneficial relationship….small merchants just get in this mindset that their business is worthwhile and they’re ready to just offload and go. And in my case, I recognized that we were too small at the time. What I was trying to point out to the guy was that, “We’re not big enough to be worthwhile today, but let me sit down and show you the marketing plan and all the things that we’re going to do that will make us worthwhile in the near future. And that was just not something he was really willing to listen to. So that was very much an approach that just rubbed me the wrong way and was something that has definitely informed how we coach brands as they come to us.”

“I started from nothing, started just tweeting about Texas as a whole and that’s ultimately really where we developed the idea. There was no specific ecommerce goal in mind. But once we realized that we had a few million followers and this captive audience that we could do something with, that was the point at which we decided, ‘Why don’t we try to make this into a little bit more of a business?’”

“I just see content and advertising as like a guest in people’s homes. Most people do not want someone who’s going to come over to their house for dinner and spend the entire time talking about themselves. And so as brands or content generation organizations, if the only thing we’re doing is going ‘me, me, me,’ then of course people are going to be turned off by it. That’s the exact definition of bad advertising. So for us, and for how I thought about building Texas Humor initially, it was really trying to think and put myself in the shoes of the people who were our audience and try to say the things that they had on their mind already.”

“There are probably some formulas for ‘going viral, but a lot of the things that do ultimately go viral have this weird X factor that people have a hard time wrapping their head around. And in my mind, that X factor is that it comes from the heart and it resonates with people.”

“I think if people are buying toilet paper, yeah, they need that in one to two days. But if they’re buying something very specific from your brand, they’ll get it when they get it. I actually think that there’s more price sensitivity to shipping than most people think. As a result, people know what they’re paying for and in the case of Amazon, like sure, if what you sell is available from 75 other people on Amazon, yeah, you better hope that it’s prime enabled and it’s cheap and all of the above. But if you’ve built a brand that sells something very specific that only you carry, then if you build the desire, then people, they’ll get it when they get it.”

“In general, there’s more attentiveness to better and more targeted marketing that I think people are going to be excited to interact with. So from a just overall perspective, I get excited by the idea that I’m not going to get emails that are just boring and seem to be broadly targeted to everybody. So I think that as more small brands leverage tools like Klaviyo and Shoelace and things like that, I think that just overall marketing as a competitive sport becomes more fun. And as a consumer, it’s a lot more fun to watch.”

“I think the phrase ‘email blast’ is a bad phrase because you definitely should not just be blasting people with anything. I think it’s really critical that you be more surgical with how you send emails out to your customers. So that way people feel like they’re having a conversation with the brands that are emailing them.”

 

Mentions:

Bio:

“Jay B Sauceda is the funny man behind Texas Humor and CEO of Sauceda Industries – an e-commerce logistics and shipping company. After a decade in the advertising industry working as a photographer for numerous brands – such as Texas monthly, The New York Times, YETI, and BMW – he found the laughs behind the Lone Star state, and decided to dedicate his life to showing people why everything is bigger (and funnier) in Texas. Jay B is the author of “Y’all Need This Book” and “A Mile Above Texas”. He currently resides in Austin with his family.”

Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Respond quickly to changing customer needs with flexible Ecommerce connected to marketing, sales, and service. Deliver intelligent commerce experiences your customers can trust, across every channel. Together, we’re ready for what’s next in commerce. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce

Transcript:

Stephanie:

Hey everyone, and welcome back to Up Next in Commerce. This is your host, Stephanie Postles, co-founder at mission.org. Today, we’re chatting with Jay B Sauceda, the CEO of Sauceda Industries. Jay, welcome.

Jay:

Hey, how’s it going?

Stephanie:

I’m really excited to have you on. As we mentioned before the show, I’ll be moving to your neck of the woods here in a month or so.

Jay:

It’s a very popular thing to do these days.

Stephanie:

It is.

Stephanie:

Yeah. I’m excited to get there. So today I want to talk about two things that feel very dispersed. We are talking about Texas Humor and logistics, but I think the best place to start would be your background so then I can guide the listeners through the story in the way that makes the most sense.

Jay:

Yeah. I grew up Southeast of Houston in a blue collar town called La Porte, Texas, which is where there’s a lot of the chemical plants refineries that most people can picture with the whole oil production industry of Texas. But the really great thing about La Porte that I loved was, it fostered really any kind of career development and adult development that you might want. So if you wanted to go to high school and upper education or undergrad education wasn’t your thing, you could still graduate and go make 70, $80,000 working in the chemical plants close by and really support your family and do a really great thing. If you were a creative kid like I was, the high school there was really fantastic about fostering creativity of young people and developing their careers dependent upon what direction they wanted to go.

Jay:

So it wasn’t like one of these small towns that you see in a movie where everybody works at the coal mine and you got generations of people doing the same thing like that. That may be the case for some people, but there was a lot of latitude to figure out what you’re going to do and have people who could help you chase some of those dreams. So for me, I was always a creative kid and was really into photography and those types of endeavors. So I was able to exercise and work out those muscles creatively speaking when I was a kid, and then ultimately ended up coming to University of Texas, where originally I thought that I was going to study political science and which I did. But ultimately went down the path of advertising and the creative field.

Jay:

I spent four years at UT and ultimately just realized that doing the law school and the political science thing wasn’t really my GM and ended up in advertising and working for a small ad agency here in Austin, which was the beginning of my creative career and ultimately what led to me ending up in e-commerce some years later.

Stephanie:

Okay. Cool. When I was doing a bit of research, I saw that the creative agency or advertising agency was only six people. So you were able to hear about the business deals, learn about the business side of things as long as the creative piece as well?

Jay:

Yeah. It was a great little firm called The Butler Bros. The two principals there, Adam and Marty Butler, both had some really high level well-positioned roles at the big ad agency here in Austin called GSD&M. They had that front row seat to these really large deals that bigger agencies deal with. But eventually went and started their own firm, and yeah, in those first few years there were just a handful of them. So I was able to sit in the room and as this college intern had access to a lot of conversations and things that I don’t think that most ad agency interns would typically have access to. As a result, I really think that it propelled my career forward in a way that, when I ended up starting a little design studio with some friends and building out the early years of my career, I felt more prepared to operate ahead of my years because of some of those experiences and the things that you just pick up when you happen to be in the room with the principals of two companies.

Stephanie:

Yep. So where did you jump to next after the advertising company?

Jay:

I had done that for a while and then went freelance after working for them. They gave me some really great advice on the tail end of my career there. I was curious whether they were going to hire me to work for them or not. At the time they were indicating that not likely, that I hadn’t really had enough of a specialty up until that point to make it worthwhile for me to be somebody who was there full time. So really great as an intern, but not so much as a full flung employee. So for that reason, their advice was to go out and try to specialize in something which ultimately ended up being photography.

Jay:

So I went and started to focus on photography as a whole and developed a career as a commercial photographer and ultimately did that for about 10 years. But I guess the eventual destination in this story that’s worthwhile to your listeners is that, during that period, I started a small ad agency, a little designed firm called Public School with a group of friends. We had this motif that was all based off of the 1960s era of graphic design specifically around school books and textbooks. And so when we started publishing to our blog and publishing about our work, people really gravitated towards the t-shirts and the various pieces of collateral that we had designed for that brand.

Jay:

So we were really excited because we thought, “Well, why don’t we capitalize on this and start an online store?” Which we did, and almost immediately had a ton of sales for t-shirts and various items that we were selling, which was massively exciting. But as with most people who sell things online, it’s really funny to see, or it’s real fun to see that money and those sales come in. It’s not a ton of fun to have to deal with getting all those orders out after the fact. And ultimately that’s what we ran into. It was a lot of excitement around making the money, but not a lot of excitement around having to deal with shipments. So the work associated with having to get those packages out the door was so time-consuming and unfun that I, after a while shut [inaudible] and then swore off ever getting back in the e-commerce again. So suffice it to say it’s a little bit funny to find myself sitting here about 11 or 12 years later, the CEO of a e-commerce logistics brand shipping the number of packages that we are every day.

Stephanie:

That’s great. So tell me a bit about, what year was the store live and did you shift right into the logistics business or did that come a bit later?

Jay:

No. I launched our online store in 2013. The social media audience for Texas Humor, I’d developed over a few years before that. Then in 2013, got it off the ground and started trying to get into scale. Initially, we were just shipping the orders out of my home garage, but over time, basically we had decided to try to outsource the work because we had just gotten so sick of dealing with the scale and having a tough time getting out of our own way as business owners. I reached out to some 3PLs and one of the ones here in Austin just had a very snarky and negative approach to telling me that it wasn’t really the right time, which ultimately led to us just getting a little bit of a chip on our shoulder about it and decided to just do it ourselves.

Stephanie:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). What kind of pushback were you getting when you were reaching out to these 3PLs other than them saying that you were too small for what they probably wanted to work with?

Jay:

Yeah. Really, that sums it up. It’s mostly, “You’re too small for this to be worthwhile.” And look, I don’t have a problem with that. I run an organization that has to say that to people as well. The difference though, is that culturally our approach is to say that it’s not a no, it’s the not right now. And what we’d rather do is try to be a resource for some of these companies to help them understand what would make them qualify to work with the 3PL and/or make it cost effective for both parties to be in a mutually beneficial relationship. A lot of, I think, small merchants just get in this mindset that their business is worthwhile and they’re ready to just offload and go. And in my case, I recognized that we were too small at the time. What I was trying to point out to the guy was that, “We’re not big enough to be worthwhile today, but let me sit down and show you the marketing plan and all the things that we’re going to do that will make us worthwhile in the near future.”

Jay:

And that was just not something he was really willing to listen to. So that was very much an approach that just rubbed me the wrong way and was something that has definitely informed how we coach brands as they come to us and we have to turn them away because of a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s just, we’re going to be more expensive than it is even worthwhile for you to be working with us. So until you hit a certain level, you can be spending more money than you are making just to facilitate paying us to do the work and that’s not a good position to be in for anybody. So let’s avoid that and try to find something that’s going to be beneficial for everyone. And that might mean not today, but in the near future. So let me help you fast forward by giving you some tips and some other things that can help you get there quicker.

Stephanie:

Yep. That’s great. Before we dive too deep into the logistics piece, I was hoping you could touch a bit on Texas Humor so people know how you created Texas Humor, what it turned into and what you were trying to sell to even start talking to a 3PL.

Jay:

Yeah. Over my career, I’ve done a lot of this kind of audience building with our brand at our old studio. And for me personally, as a photographer, audience building has been a big aspect of what I’ve always done. And Texas Humor was just this idea that was born out of a discussion with one of the partners in the design studio I was in, in which we were just talking through what different audiences could we build and where could we go with that? And so I started from nothing, started just tweeting about Texas as a whole and that’s ultimately really like where we developed the idea. There was no specific e-commerce goal in mind. But once we realized that we had a few million followers and this captive audience that we could do something with, that was the point at which we decided, “Why don’t we try to make this into a little bit more of a business?” And ultimately where we got the idea to start texashumor.com.

Jay:

But it wasn’t this big strategic thing in which we said, “Hey, we’re going to go start this and we’re going to build a store and we’re going to do X, Y, and Z.” It was far more organic than that. But I took the background that I had in marketing and advertising and leveraged that to really scale up what we were doing. Probably much faster than most organizations would, who would be doing something like what we were doing at the time.

Stephanie:

Yep. So how did you develop that audience and get in front of people? I think I see now that you have over 2 million followers on your social channels, and so, how long did it take to get a big enough audience that then you were like, “Oh, maybe we should try and sell something to them as well.” And what did that process look like?

Jay:

It was a couple of years before we actually did try to actually sell anything to anybody, because at the time we were just so averse to e-commerce and wanting to develop any inventory position or anything like that. So we didn’t come out of the gates thinking like, “Oh yeah, we’re going to totally go do this thing and have it be focused on e-com.” That was very much later on down the road. The goal that we had initially was to just try to make some form of money. But it by no means was, “Let’s try to focus on e-commerce.” Originally, it was more so of a content advertising play and that’s really what drove it in the early years.

Stephanie:

Yep. Yeah. I saw that you were generating like 40,000 in revenue by the third month of operation with the content piece of it, right?

Stephanie:

What are some tips around building up that audience? What are some tactics and strategies that maybe you even use to this day to build up an audience?

Jay:

I’m a big believer that, I don’t remember who told me this. Maybe I made it up, I don’t know, but I just see content and advertising as like a guest in people’s homes. Most people do not want someone who’s going to come over to their house for dinner and just spend the entire time talking about themselves. And so as brands or content generation organizations, if the only thing we’re doing is going me, me, me, then of course, people are going to be turned off by it. That’s the exact definition of bad advertising. So for us, and for how I thought about building Texas Humor initially, it was really trying to think and put myself in the shoes of the people who were our audience and try to say the things that they had on their mind already.

Jay:

So there’s no science to that necessarily, and I think it’s why yes, there are probably some, I don’t know, formulas for “going viral”, but a lot of the things that do ultimately go viral have this weird X factor that people have a hard time wrapping their head around. And in my mind, that X factor is that it comes from the heart and it resonates with people. So if you really wanted to know what is it that we do that’s different than everybody else, we’re not the only brand or the only feed that talks about taxes, but I do think that we’re the only one that tries not to just purely patronize people. And I think that that’s really what set us apart early on. We were trying to be unique, we’re trying to provide quality and we weren’t just doing social media for the sake of doing social media.

Jay:

The store almost felt like a secondary function of the audience that we had built and not the other way around, which is where I think a lot of brands start. They say, “Well, how do we sell to everybody?” And then they think about everything after the fact, and in my mind, that’s really the wrong way to approach it.

Stephanie:

Yeah. Yeah. I love the idea of building a community first and just focus on making that great. I know we’ve had someone from Food52 on the show previously, and they had the same experience where they’re like, “We’re just here to build a good blog, good content, make sure our community likes what they’re getting from us and can also engage with each other. And then it was just obvious to start selling products and giving them what they wanted based on the recipes we were showing and the maybe materials we were using and whatnot.”

Jay:

Exactly. Really, the strongest brands are the ones that think about the commerce secondly. It depends upon what it is you’re selling. Your brand may be the content, but in our case, it’s not. The content is the brand versus the brand being the content, if that makes sense. Really, the difference is we took that tact.

Stephanie:

So let’s talk a little bit about the logistics arm of Sauceda Industries. Tell me why did you, or how did you even decide, “We’re going to go into fulfillment and logistics?”

Jay:

Mostly for the reason I described earlier. We were already doing it for ourselves and it ultimately just was a way to cover the costs that we had as an organization. Most fulfillment operations are cost centered, not really a revenue driver. So those types of things tend to be an area where you’re losing money or you’re killing your margin. So we saw it as an opportunity to make some money rather than just have people carrying it as dead weight.

Stephanie:

What kind of mistakes do you see brands making today when they start exploring the path of working with a 3PL?

Jay:

I think most brands just make the assumption that their time is less valuable than they think it is, or the leaders of the brands tend to think that. And so as a result, they don’t farm out the things that they should be. Not having accounting firms from outside handle your books, not working with a logistics company to handle fulfillment. There’s this idea that most entrepreneurs have that they can do things for cheaper and faster than most people. And that’s probably the case, but in terms of opportunity costs, having a CEO of a online brand handle all of the orders simply to save a little bit of money or to not have an invoice to have to pay for that it’s like, that’s not really the right way to be thinking about it. So we just really try to coach people on opportunity costs and help them understand those types of things.

Stephanie:

Yep. Are there any bets right now that you’re making in the world of logistics where it’s headed? It seems like consumer preferences and demands are definitely increasing around everyone wants one to two day shipping, Amazon’s made everyone expect that now. What kind of things are you guys leaning into or investing in right now to keep up with those trends?

Jay:

Everybody says that, and I actually don’t believe that at all. I think that everybody thinks that that’s the case because that’s, in my opinion, what the major news outlets say are pundits on TV, but I’ve not found that to be the case. I think if people are buying a toilet paper, yeah, they need that in one to two days. But if they’re buying something very specific from your brand, they’ll get it when they get it. I actually think that there’s more price sensitivity to shipping than most people think. As a result, people know what they’re paying for and in the case of Amazon, like sure, if what you sell is available from 75 other people on Amazon, yeah, you better hope that it’s prime enabled and it’s cheap and all of the above. But if you’ve built a brand that sells something very specific that only you carry, then if you build the desire, then people, they’ll get it when they get it.

Jay:

But it’s not this type of thing where just because they can get toilet paper or Mrs. Meyers baths or a kitchen soap in two days means that they need their Texas Humor shirt in two days too. I’m a pretty adamant person when it comes to that case because I get that question a ton and I think a lot of people say that, but no one has actually really proven to me that that’s true. Now, if you ask people their preference, they’re all going to tell you two days. But I think that we don’t deal, or we don’t work in this vacuum in which every single store and shopping experience that happens online is compared equally. I think most customers who are shopping online are doing so with it in mind that like, whatever it is that they’re buying is unique to that experience.

Jay:

And so, so long as the brand is setting their expectations up front about what the experience is going to be for the customer, I really just don’t think it’s as much of a challenge as most people think it will be to get the orders out the door whenever they’re going to get them out the door.

Stephanie:

Yep. Yeah. I definitely can see that. It definitely depends on what the product is, like you’re saying. If it’s diapers, yeah, I need that like right now, in an hour. First, because I probably didn’t think about it until last minute versus, I just ordered earrings from this one company, Marjorie, I don’t know how to say their name, but I don’t mind if it comes in a week. That’s okay because they’re the only ones selling this product that I want and I’m okay with waiting.

Jay:

Correct. Correct. Yeah.

Stephanie:

Yeah. I definitely think there’s a lot of room for brands to be more transparent around the shipping though. And I would rather have someone under-promise and over-deliver than tell me something where it might actually get delayed where I’m betting on that.

Jay:

No, and I think that that’s absolutely correct. I do believe that there are a lot of brands who do a pretty poor job of being clear about those things. So no, I’m 100% with you on that. But I do think that a lot of people will just make the assumption that everybody’s going to care about it more than they actually do. Which is partially why I’m adamant about trying to dispel with that rumor.

Stephanie:

Yeah. Well, you’re doing it here. Yeah. The one thing I was just reading about too, was about delays in shipping and how there’s going to be a lot of shake ups in that area, especially if the COVID vaccine gets approved. I don’t know if you’ve read about this a bit, but how, if it starts being something that’s going to be shipped everywhere, which is what would happen if it’s approved, it’s going to delay all the postage everywhere. Have you read any bit about this or thought about things like that, that are a little bit less predictable than other things that would maybe delay shipping [crosstalk 00:27:42]?

Jay:

Yeah. I’ve actually spoken with some people on the inside of FedEx and a few other places. There are two major vaccines that are out right now. There’s the one by Pfizer and then there’s another one by the other organization, I’m trying to blank on. Both of which require cold storage for the transit. The Pfizer vaccine in particular requires cold chain storage that is very, very specific to medical purposes. And so you’re not sticking this on a FedEx truck. This is going on a very, very specific type of vehicle. None of which carry any of your packages from my store to your house. The other-

Stephanie:

The won’t be shared, you’re saying? Even if there was a cold storage company like a computer company or food, they would never be shared on the same truck anyways, so that it’s not like a-

Jay:

Correct.

Stephanie:

… same pie that you’re pulling from them then is what you’re saying?

Jay:

Correct.

Stephanie:

Okay.

Jay:

It is not a similar supply chain, cold chain storage is wildly different or cold chain transit is wildly different than the type of process that we have in place for your regular parcel. So, yes, I would believe that a massive amount of distribution taking place all of a sudden would certainly strange FedEx as a organization but the van delivering packages to you from Amazon or from myStore, or any of the stores that service us is not the van who is going to be carrying these products to the end locations. Even the other vaccine, although it doesn’t require the same -20 Celsius or whatever temperature requirement that the Pfizer one does, it does still require refrigerated storage on its way to the end point.

Jay:

I think it’s a lot of people circling the word logistics and saying everything under this is going to be affected, but within logistics, there’s so many different styles of shipping or needs around shipping. And for that reason, not everything in a Venn diagram of like who services what, in large part, the cold chain network is not really one that is as easily affected or would affect the networks that you and I typically expect our packages to come through.

Stephanie:

Got it. Okay. Yeah, that’s interesting. I didn’t read too much into it, but I’m like, “That’s a good black swan event to prepare for, for some brands then if they do do the cold chain shipping.”

Jay:

If you’re buying food subscriptions and things like that from your… Like Blue Apron or one of these, yeah, you’re more likely to, but you know what, more of that is actually the result of limited supply of dry ice. And that’s the result… I can get into all of that, but the dry ice shortage is a result of less driving, which means lower cost of oil, which means less drilling for oil, which means less petroleum byproducts, which means less carbon dioxide, which ultimately means less frozen carbon dioxide, which is dry ice. So yes, there aren’t aspects of the industry that will be affected, but the underwear that you’re ordering from Amazon should not be affected by a ramp up in cold chain transit volume overall.

Stephanie:

True, good. I was worried about that. I really need my underwear on time.

Jay:

Yeah. Exactly.

Stephanie:

All right. Cool. The one thing I was thinking about too, when it comes to logistics, if I’m a new brand, and I’m thinking about having a 3PL to work with, what are some things that I need to get in order before going that route? Because I can imagine some companies coming to you with it being chaos behind the scenes, and you’re like, “I can’t work with you until you at least have this, this and this in order for us to plug and play.” How should a brand prepare before even reaching out to 3PLs?

Jay:

I think a lot of brands will never really give things like their skews and the tags that they used and all of that, like a second thought. They’re cobbling together a plan, and then you’re two or three years in, and you’ve got a store with three different naming conventions and all that. And clean data is really what makes the world run smoothly in the logistics world. And so if there’s not a really strong focus on attention to that, you end up with a pretty significant issue trying to work with the 3PLs, because you have to go back and clean all that up. So most of my suggestion is, look, try to think through that and it’s the spring cleaning exercise that I think a lot of brands have or should go through every year looking back and saying, “Are the ways that I structure my data and my reporting the way that will allow me to be really successful at scale?”

Jay:

And if the answer is no to any of that, then go back to the drawing board and try to make sure that you’re adjusting for that because it certainly creates a lot of issues as you try to scale your business up.

Stephanie:

Yep. That’s a good point. Yeah. We’ve had a couple people on the show talk about making sure that you plan for your data dictionary and have it cleaned up from the very start, if you can, so that you’re not trying to fix everything after the fact.

Jay:

Correct.

Stephanie:

It sounds like you’ve definitely been on top of the market or trends or even news, just like we mentioned earlier about the vaccine and stuff. What kind of trends or patterns are you excited about right now over the next couple of years?

Jay:

I think just in general, there’s more attentiveness to better and more targeted marketing that I think people are going to be excited to interact with. So from a just overall perspective, I get excited by the idea that I’m not going to get emails that are just boring and seem to be broadly targeted to everybody. So I think that as more small brands leverage tools like Klaviyo and Shoelace and things like that, I think that just overall marketing as a competitive sport becomes more fun. And as a consumer, it’s a lot more fun to watch.

Stephanie:

Yup. So how are you guys leaning into the targeted marketing a bit more?

Jay:

I think it’s exactly what I said. Just mostly trying to think about, we’re not just selling to one person sitting on a couch repeated 3000 times over. We’re selling to 3000 different people. So I think if most marketers think that their job is done simply because they came up with a campaign, that’s a bummer. I think the more work that gets put in to try to wow people so their brand can connect with them directly, the better. And when it comes to email, the way that we do that is through segmentation and we try to look at all the various segments of behaviors that people who might interact with our brand would be members of, and then trying to evolve the creative that we’re developing in a way that seems to speak to them directly. So they feel like when they receive something from us, it’s not just this blanket email that says, “Come shop at Texas Humor,” it’s really touching on the size of clothing that they’ve purchased in the past or the types of content that they’re really into, those types of things.

Stephanie:

Got it. Okay. So you’re looking at types of content or you’re maybe showcasing things based on size. What other kinds of behaviors are you segmenting right now to be able to craft your message differently?

Jay:

The highest or the best way to say it is around recency and frequency. So we look at the various behaviors on a store and try to segment based off of the recency and frequency of them doing whatever that behavior might be. There’s a lot more detail than I can probably go into on this show, but I would say that starting with that is a really great way to make sure that you’re not just… I think the word email blast or the phrase email blast is a bad phrase because you definitely should not just be blasting people with anything. I think it’s really critical that you be more surgical with how you send emails out to your customers. So that way people feel like they’re having a conversation with the brands that are emailing them.

Stephanie:

Yep. Yeah. I think it’d be really great if I were to get an email that said, “Hey, Stephanie, we saw you’re moving to Austin. Here’s a bumper sticker for your drive or something.” Being able to find data like that that connects with me in a different way of like, “Oh, wow, that’s cool. I didn’t think about a bumper sticker,” or whatever it may be, but because you know a little bit about me like that, I’m going to come to your website and explore a bit more.

Jay:

Yeah, exactly.

Stephanie:

All right. So let’s move over to the lightning round. The lightning round is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. This is where I’m going to ask a question and you have a minute or less. Are you ready, Jay?

Jay:

Yup.

Stephanie:

All right. What’s up next on your reading list?

Jay:

I will say I haven’t read much in the last couple of weeks because I’ve been so focused on getting everything out the door. But I’ll probably actually read The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. I read Stillness Is The Key, which was great, but Obstacle Is The Way’s one that a lot of people have been telling me I should read.

Stephanie:

Yep. Yeah. I read that. It is good. What is one trend or topic or piece of tech that you don’t understand that you wish you did?

Jay:

I wish that I could personally write SQL queries and do more database work and business analysis myself.

Stephanie:

Yep. That is a good skill to have that I still appreciate to this day. I used to work at Fannie Mae and I’d be all up in SQL all the time, and it comes back even till today where I’m like, “Hey, I at least know what that query is looking for.”

Jay:

Very good.

Stephanie:

And then the last one, what’s up next on your Netflix queue?

Jay:

I’m eagerly awaiting the next season of The Crown. I know it’s like two years away or something like that, but I’m absolutely eagerly awaiting that.

Stephanie:

Yeah, same. I’m excited about that. All right, Jay. Well, it’s been a pleasure talking to you. Thanks so much for coming on here. Where can people find out more about you and Sauceda Industries?

Jay:

They can find out more about me on my Twitter account, which you can just find my full name, Jay B Sauceda. I’m everywhere on social media on that username. And then obviously our websites, saucedaindustries.com. So if you have any questions about the logistics space and how it relates to e-commerce or you’re just curious about tips on how your brand can best work with the 3PL, happy to answer those or connect you with somebody on my team who can. We’d like to be a resource in our community for e-commerce crane owners, because we know that it’s a big jungle out there and we have navigated it once or twice. So to the best of our ability, we’d love to help people take the shortcuts when we know where they are.

Stephanie:

Amazing. Thanks so much, Jay, and I’ll see you in Austin.

Jay:

Sounds good. Thanks so much.

 

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