~ With Brenden Rawson.
Describe what you do
I'm the CEO and Founder of Andzen, a Customer Journey agency based in Australia with a global team supporting clients around the world. We execute high level marketing automation and ecommerce martech integrations for ambitious merchants looking to do complex digital marketing. Specifically at Andzen, I spend my time developing new markets and productising the latest tech from an agency service model perspective.
How would you surmise the Australian DTC market right now?
Right now, we're coming off an incredible boost to eCommerce DTC channels on the back of COVID. The market has been expanded and there is a tonne of new brands and old brands alike competing for views, clicks and purchases.
What are the key challenges brands in Aus are facing? And how are you helping them navigate the current market volatility?
Acquisition isn't working like it once was. Privacy concerns and tech limitations are reducing volume and increasing acquisition costs - that cheap pokie/slot machine of acquiring constant new customers isn't paying out like it used to and global economic pressures are meaning consumers are more conscious of their discretionary spending.
So we're reminding brands that customer retention and brand messaging are always key but in times like these, you need to turn your customers into repeat customers and you need to turn your repeat customers into brand advocates. Brands need to consider all touch points with a customer from site browse and cart abandonment to transactional emails and customer service.
These are all opportunities to reinforce your brand and continue to build a lasting relationship with your customer. We help brands do this through effective customer journey marketing.
What are the big opportunities for brands in Aus?
Centralised customer data management. There are so many customer touchpoints spread across countless platforms like email, SMS, loyalty, reviews, returns and POS. Marketing automation can be so incredibly powerful when all that data is fed into a Customer Data Platform (CDP).
In 2023 data is open and connected. You can choose the best-in-class platform, connect and centralise all your customer data and make smart and relevant marketing decisions to engage better with your customers and subsequently increase their spending with you.
What are the best things about working in the Aus DTC / eComm space? What’s the most challenging?
Due to Australia's smaller population size, a brand needs to go global to achieve relative success compared to those operating in the US or EMEA. This means Aussie eComm brands are ambitious and open to trying new tech to achieve greater international growth and in my experience generally more sophisticated than a US brand that can do similar numbers in their local county without much effort at all.
The challenging part is that it cuts both ways. Getting traction outside of Aus where other brands are well-established and funded takes a lot of work. You need to take risks, experiment and spend money - this applies to an agency like Andzen as well.
Who are your favourite Aus brands and why?
Personally, I'm pretty vanilla when it comes to what I like - I order the same AS Colour plain black tees in bulk that I wear most days. But some Aussie brands that I appreciate are:
TradeMutt, as they're doing great things in the trade industry that they sell to with their community counselling service TIACS.
Muscle Nation, as they embody the 'build and support a community' model.
Moana Bikini, as they have embraced body positivity in a truly genuine way and have grown its international customers by developing products and marketing campaigns that are true to that community.
What piece of advice would you give to somebody starting a brand in 2023?
It's a global market and the tools available mean it's easier than ever to get started. Find a niche market that you feel drawn to. Become a part of that community. Work out what products and brands speaks to them. Build on that, be influential and provide value, and that community will support your brand. There are over 5 Billion people online now, you don't need to have a high street location to service your niche global community.
Thanks, Brenden. You’re a legend 🙏