Be an expert: Understand the client and understand the tools you are using. Get creative with your social media strategy. Adaptability: Stay up to date with the best new tools and software. Authenticity: Be honest, never promise results you cannot guarantee.
Marketing a product or service today is easier than ever before in history. Using platforms like Facebook ads or Google ads, a company can market their product directly to people who perfectly fit the ideal client demographic, at a very low cost. Digital Marketing tools, Pay per Click ads, and email marketing can help a company dramatically increase sales. At the same time, many companies that just start exploring with digital marketing tools often see disappointing results.
In this interview series called “How to Effectively Leverage The Power of Digital Marketing, PPC, & Email to Dramatically Increase Sales”, we are talking to marketers, advertisers, brand consultants, & digital marketing gurus who can share practical ideas from their experience about how to effectively leverage the power of digital marketing, PPC, & email.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gregory Zaks.
Greg Zaks aka Greg Grillz, a celebrity jeweler best known for creating one-of-kind, decadent Grillz. He recently has partnered with Steeler’s wide receiver JuJu Smith Schuster for a new online jewelry venture, Grillz.com. Zaks, who leads the creative direction, works exclusively with the highest-end precious stone retailers in Manhattan and LA’s diamond district to create some unforgettable pieces. Though the focus is on custom Grillz, which is the most sought-after product, the site will also allow for purchasing of decadent, one-of-a-kind pieces such as chains and watches that are beloved by celebrities and athletes. Zaks and Schuster have also revolutionized the way you can order custom Grillz online by having mold kits delivered to your door which allows people the safety and comfort of staying home while having a custom piece made for them. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Zaks has made Grillz for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars like Justin Bieber, Hailey Bieber, Bryson Tiller, Ty Dolla Sign, Post Malone, Jake Paul, and many more. Zaks is most known for his over-the-top extravagance, however, the site features more of a range of products and a variety of stones and metals to make everything more accessible. He wants everyone to be able to feel the feeling of putting in a fresh grill. It’s your jewelry and grill one-stop shop.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
In 2013, as a struggling college student, I began working with a jeweler whose business was growing at a rapid rate. I came up with many ideas to improve the business that were rejected and ultimately led me to start grillz.com.
Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Logan Paul, a known influencer, reached out to me to make him a custom diamond Grillz. In exchange for a better cost, he gave me a shout-out in a YouTube video. I received an overwhelming number of messages from thousands of young fans begging me to introduce them to Logan. I became extremely frustrated because I was hoping to make a sale but most of the messages were not from serious buyers. Overall, it was a funny experience, and I learned a couple of lessons from this. The first one is to know your audience and the audience of the influencer you’re working with in exchange for social media support. The second one is to be prepared to handle the traffic before you put something into motion.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Starting in the jewelry industry, I had no family or friends in the business. I found older mentors in the industry who took a chance on me. Getting jewelry on consignment was crucial when I couldn’t afford to invest in my own. I am still friends with many of them and continue doing business with them to this day.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I am extremely grateful for my employees. I take pride in knowing that my company is like a family to me. Everyone I work with cares so much about the success of the business. There were times when we had unhappy customers threatening to do horrible things due to circumstances that were out of our control. However, we handle our business and clients with such care that we can remedy whatever comes our way. Most of the time with the customer satisfied with the outcome.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
1. Decisiveness: Being able to make decisions on the fly. Sometimes they are tough ones but at the end of the day to move forward you need to make decisions quickly and feel confident in them.
2. Fearlessness: Never taking no for an answer and outworking everyone even with very limited resources.
3. Humility: Be open to feedback. Always be coachable and willing to hear other people’s opinions and advice. Take pride in your work but you must eliminate your ego.
Additionally, you must be versatile (adapt to the environment) and be RELENTLESS! Never take no for an answer.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I am working on a way to make all of my inventory accessible through a drop-shipping platform. It will allow other jewelry companies to connect to my inventory and sell it on their websites. This exciting advancement will ensure jewelers always have access to the inventory they need, always at a wholesale price. I believe this will help everyone in the industry get the merchandise they need.
Ok super. Now let’s jump to the main questions of our interview. As we mentioned in the beginning, sometimes companies that just start exploring with digital marketing tools like PPC campaigns often see disappointing results. In your opinion, what are a few of the biggest mistakes companies make when they first start out with digital marketing? If you can, please share an example for each.
The first thing you must understand before jumping down the digital marketing rabbit hole is the concept of “marketing funnels.” There are many variables in this equation and if one is missing the result will be wrong, it’s math. There is no one size fits all solution either, although most online businesses are extremely similar. It doesn’t matter if you are a subscription service, an eCommerce store, or an app. All successful businesses are using the same strategies in their funnel. The funnel includes and is not limited to: SEO, blog posting, content creation for social media, email marketing, Google/Facebook/Instagram/YouTube Ads, retargeting, and most of all money.
If you could break down a very successful digital marketing campaign into a “blueprint”, what would that blueprint look like? Please share some stories or examples of your ideas.
You must build out a fully sealed funnel that allows you to capture leads and convert as many sales as possible.
1. Content is first and foremost for any campaign. The customer wants to buy into the lifestyle and content is crucial to the brand image.
2. Consistently sharing content on all social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok, Twitter in an engaging way. Making sure captions are creative and are relevant to the business.
3. Utilizing videos for Instagram/Facebook/YouTube ads. Video advertisements oftentimes perform better than pictures.
4. Public Relations outreach to secure press and media placements. This will boost search engine results and increase your credibility and brand visibility.
5. Lead Generation. PPC (Google and Bing account for almost 100% of the searches online).
6. Have patience understanding that most people do not make purchases on the spot. The traffic will fall through the cracks if you do not retarget them. All your potential customers must be targeted on all social media platforms so the money you spent on lead gen does not go to waste. Once you have your PPC and social media posts, paid traffic through Google and retargeting them across social media.
7. The next is email and text message marketing. I like to use Emotive for texting customers and ManyChat once the customers are on my website.
8. Sales and Customer support is crucial- you need to be answering your customers promptly. It is also imperative you have a solid infrastructure of the business in place is there to minimize the number of unhappy customers.
Let’s talk about Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC) for a bit. In your opinion which PPC platform produces the best results to increase sales?
The digital game is always changing. There is always new technology and new ways to encourage consumerism. As I said, there is no one size fits all. You need to have your funnel built and have all your ads working for you on different platforms. You must evolve with your marketing strategies and add to the funnel as you go. I recommend trying as many sales and marketing tools as you can to find the best fit. Lastly, it is important to analyze data and know what method works best to be ahead of the game.
Can you please share 3 things that you need to know to run a highly successful PPC campaign?
It comes down to knowing who your customer is and how they like to shop, or what triggers them. Then you will have the best idea of how to target them moving forward. The best strategies here are to use strong keywords, make sure your website and advertising content are optimized, and come up with a budget that will allow you to maximize your reach.
Let’s now talk about email marketing for a bit. In your opinion, what are the 3 things that you need to know to run a highly successful email marketing campaign that increases sales?
I like to use email marketing in a way that does not bombard our customers. Too many emails can easily put you on the unsubscribe list. Be creative, give good incentives, use catchy subject lines, and don’t be annoying.
What are the other digital marketing tools that you are passionate about? If you can, can you share with our readers what they are and how to best leverage them?
Shopify is the best company to build your website on if you’re interested in starting your online journey. They have a lot of great resources! Shopify also offers buyer and seller protection against fraud. I also like using ManyChat is a great tool for lead capturing. Shopify and ManyChat will be your two best friends.
Here is the main question of our series. Can you please tell us the 5 things you need to create a highly successful career as a digital marketer? Can you please share a story or example for each?
1. Be fairly priced: Make sure you are selling your service as promised and for a reasonable price.
2. Be an expert: Understand the client and understand the tools you are using. Get creative with your social media strategy.
3. Adaptability: Stay up to date with the best new tools and software.
4. Authenticity: Be honest, never promise results you cannot guarantee.
5. Timing: Timing specific releases or sales to important moments throughout the year and understanding spending patterns.
What books, podcasts, videos or other resources do you use to sharpen your marketing skills?
I generally listen to self-help podcasts and read books to help me grow or stay motivated on a deeper level. A lot of the marketing I learned was through my own research and studying other brands I admired. I spent many hours educating myself by researching on google. The web has all the information you need to create a successful business. But you must piece together information from multiple reliable sources and run tests to see what works best for you. Nothing comes easy, you will have to go through a lot of trial and error.
Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. Here is our final ‘meaty’ question. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I hope to impact the greatest number of people I can. My resources are limited still but if my answers from this article can help just one person succeed, I am already on the right track.
How can our readers further follow your work?
Instagram: @grillz_dot_com, @greggrillz
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!