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Welcome to Growth Interviews!

This is possibly one of the biggest questions all marketers have asked themselves at least once: what is a customer’s reason for buying?

When it comes to e-commerce, you may gather a huge pile of data on your website users on each step of their journey, from source to conversion. What, however, do you do with all this information and more specifically, how does it help you gain more customers in the long run?

Welcome to Growth Interviews, the fun, stimulating and engaging series of conversations driven by digital business growth.

Our mission is to provide insights and ideas from world-class professionals on the topic of growth and to cut through the noise of so-called marketing tips and tricks, revealing the money-making strategies behind e-commerce.

Each episode is an intriguing challenge involving an insightful expert who reveals some of their best-kept secrets, which you can use right away to boost your business. 

In this week’s episode of Growth Interviews, we invite you to join our conversation with digital marketing guru, Dennis Yu, about a very important factor that can make a huge difference in your e-commerce success.

Dennis Yu portret

“A lot of brands will say that they’re customer-centric, just because they have data and lots of tools […] I would argue that most of them are not.”
Dennis Yu

Here are 4 aspects you should take into consideration right now.

Marketers are spammers!

Nowadays, there are various types of online marketing spam, from email to search engine. The term “spam” actually comes from a food product that is stereotypically thought of as being cheap and unpleasant by many: precooked and canned spiced ham. Dennis Yu goes even further: “A lot of people think spam is Viagra or is about disgusting things.”.

The key is to target and customize your ads accordingly. No one is interested in what you have to say if they find your ad intrusive and irrelevant to their needs.


“If you have a one-percent click-through rate, that means ninety-nine percent of the people went by your ad and didn’t click on it.”
Dennis Yu

Content is king. Proper targeting is great, but ad personalization makes the real difference. However, it’s not just any kind of content that can bring in leads. Authentic content should not be vague and it should face the challenge of telling stories of the users themselves. Use your data wisely and ‘interview’ your users through your ads.

Targeting + Content = Perfect Ad Combination

Be personal with your customers


“Personalization occurs when brands actually zero in on their customers.”
Dennis Yu

Simply put, customizing your text or display ads implies adding elements that reflect your customers’ tastes, values and preferences. By asking more personal questions, you can do more than just advertising your product or creating a sort of testimonial – you create stories. Consumer behavior analysis is crucial for what comes next in your conversion process. This is the point when brand trust is created.

You may think, “What if the story I create has nothing to do with my product?”. Dennis Yu argues that potential customers might identify with the life situations of current customers as described in the marketing material, even if it has nothing to do with the product itself.

This, Dennis believes, is why people buy goods and services.

Shift your perspective from What? to Why?

There are many ways to attract customers. By changing your thinking from What? to Why?, you can bring quality traffic to your website, gain leads and hopefully, in the end, new customers. In e-commerce you can gather users through email, Facebook Ads or Google Ads and drive them into the shopping cart landing page. You can even include more advanced methods such as dynamic ads or Google Shopping and get amazing results.

However, can you be satisfied with only these results in the long run? Here is an honest take on customer relationships:


“That’s the disconnect that people have; they’re going straight to the product. That’s kind of like a prostitute, where they try to go straight to the sex, instead of you needing to build a relationship.”
Dennis Yu

Changing the paradigm from What? (the product you are selling) to Why? (the reasons you are buying it) requires moving one step further towards knowing your users’ story, or what Dennis describes as “everything ‘them’ as a person”. This knowledge can then be transformed into successful remarketing campaigns, for example, when at the end of the campaign period your users may already be using your product.

Moreover, thinking about customer retention, gaining a new customer is much more expensive than retaining an existing one.

Should you cover all marketing ground?


“Look at where your sales are coming from. Go into Google Analytics, go into Shopify, go into the cart, and see what’s the number one source of driving sales and try to get ten times more of that.”
Dennis Yu

This is one simple point that proves how you can get more sales. Dennis believes that it is unnecessary to cover all available channels, and obviously, where one channel does not provide significant traffic, you need to use another type of channel (such as Facebook and Google Ads). Other than that, you should “double down on the content that’s working”.

Be aware of the marketing tactics you are using, though. You can be conservative in your approach if you represent a small business, but good strategy and the ability to take a long-term view may positively transform your business in ways you may not notice immediately. Marketing tools are diverse and sophisticated, so combining them with a strategic mindset – and not a “channel-level tactical mindset”  – may lead to great success in e-commerce.


“It’s not a motivational speaker that’s magically saying, ‘Oh, I will change your mindset and all of a sudden you’ll be successful.’.”
Dennis Yu

Think a little differently.

See the full interview below!

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