How Latico Leathers Is Using Creative Content to Respond to Data Privacy Changes

If marketers wear many hats, then Ben Schreiber carries a lot of weight on his shoulders. He’s both the head of growth at Latico Leathers and the co-founder of digital marketing agency Brand Caffeine, which he runs alongside his sister, Liv Schreiber.

Ben sure knows how to build a brand. He’s increased Latico Leathers’ revenue by 2,170 percent in just two years thanks to a healthy 3.5x return on ad spend (ROAS) and 53 percent email-attributed revenue.

Now with Apple’s recent iOS 14.5 changes and the impending third-party cookie phase-out with Google, Ben acknowledges that sustaining this level of growth will be challenging for both himself and his fellow marketers.

It’s becoming harder for a small business to grow and scale with paid social and paid search. Marketers will continue to leverage paid advertising, but the tracking and the attribution is going to get tough, which is very difficult for small brands that need to know exactly where each dollar gets them.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

But even though times are changing in the digital marketing and advertising space, Ben is adamant that brands can still prosper if they adapt. For Latico Leathers and Brand Caffeine’s clientele, this means that three core components will be key to their success.

Moving forward, we’re focusing on collecting Customer-First Data, improving website conversion rate, and creating more user-generated photo and video content. Those are three things we can control and assets we own.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

How Customer-First Data collection can span the entire customer journey

As third-party data become harder to attain, marketers will increasingly rely on collecting Customer-First Data, to better understand and communicate with their customers.

Customer-First Data include both zero-party data (information that someone gives to you, like their email address or phone number) and first-party data (information observed by a brand about someone on their owned properties).

For this reason, Ben plans to invest his time into building out Latico Leathers’ email marketing list in Klaviyo.

Focus on your marketing automations and campaigns, and bring as many people into your email and SMS database as possible. Understand that you don’t own your Facebook, Instagram, or Google advertising performance—those platforms do. With these data privacy changes, more marketers realize they’re on rented land and they need to own as many brand assets as possible. The best brand asset that still exists is an email address or a phone number

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

Ben said he’s focusing on collecting Customer-First Data earlier in the customer journey. To do this, he’s using lead generation ads to capture shoppers’ email addresses with incentives such as a discount off a first purchase or an entry into a giveaway.

Capturing Customer-First Data at the top of the funnel is far more effective than trying to speak to a broad audience and telling them to come and buy a product from a brand they’re not familiar with. The first step you should take in marketing to a cold audience is to spark their interest and capture their email address so you can more accurately remarket to that individual.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

But the Customer-First Data collection doesn’t stop there. Once someone lands on Latico’s website, Ben has several areas where he can capture their email address. He also collects information on their interests and preferences, which he uses to create subscriber segments and personalize marketing automations in Klaviyo through an Octane AI style quiz.

We incorporated a style quiz onto our website, which gets a lot of people into the funnel. We give people personalized recommendations on which bag they should purchase based on their responses. At the end of the quiz, they enter their email address in exchange for a 15 percent off discount code, and they get their personalized recommendations. We generate 10 percent more revenue each month because people take that quiz.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers
A women standing while holding a person and smiling at the camera.

Put your marketing to the test

Now that many brands expect to receive less qualified traffic to their websites because of what’s happening with data privacy, conversion rate optimization will be a priority in order to turn site visitors into paying customers. And that’s exactly what Ben is setting his sights on for Latico Leathers.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working on converting as many people on our website at the highest rate possible while also securing the highest number of qualified email addresses.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

But how do you know the best way to communicate with your audience? And how can you gain insights about what types of content they’re engaging with even as attribution becomes harder to track on third-party platforms?

Ben suggests that marketers ramp up their A/B testing efforts to get a better understanding of what resonates with site visitors—whether it’s the copy on a sign up form or the subject line of an email, for example. Then, implement the winning solutions to improve customer experience and your conversation rate.

A/B testing is essential across the board for your brand to generate incremental revenue and results, and it’s something marketers should deploy across email flows and campaigns, as well as on their website and ads.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

He added that A/B testing in conjunction with testing creative components, like your messaging, in your ads is the most effective way to improve your digital marketing strategy.

With Latico Leathers and our Brand Caffeine clients, testing different creative, including user-generated content, testimonials, reviews, and customer stories, has significantly moved the needle for us. We’re using these tools to show why our brand is a better choice as shoppers are weighing our product versus five other competitor’s products.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

The power of repurposing content

Ben emphasized that brands will also have to rely on exceptional creative now that ads will become less personalized. But actually creating remarkable content isn’t always as easy as it sounds, especially for brand owners who only have so many hours in the day to experiment.

This is why Ben recommends thinking about how you can repurpose high-performing organic content, such as blog and social media posts, and use it in paid acquisition and email marketing programs. 

For example, having a blog improves Latico Leathers’ organic ranking on Google through search engine optimization (SEO) and also enables Ben to provide more value to consumers across social and email.

Two women standing side by side holding purses.

Though he acknowledges brand owners might not have time to create all the components of a comprehensive content strategy, Ben suggests working with influencers or content creators who can generate multiple videos and photos for each campaign.

Create great content, and then leverage and customize that across the entire funnel—from organic social to ads and to email. With these data privacy changes and limitations that affect your ability to transparently track performance, it puts the focus on your ability to creatively engage people and tell your story.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

Ben noted that many of the brands he works with through his agency, Brand Caffeine, are reallocating budgets to focus on content creation and TikTok advertising campaigns, putting a larger emphasis on viral short-form video content, authenticity, and cultural impact. 

Part of the success that they see on these channels is from rapidly testing high-quality user-generated content (UGC) or following the framework of other top-performing social content.

We pay close attention to the viral TikTok and Instagram trends, and use that to inform the content on our own social channels. If you’ve ever scrolled through TikTok, the videos that are most viral are the ones that get you to watch for more than three seconds, so we try to replicate those patterns and use it to hook our audience.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

Ben noted that, if you do want to try creating this type of content, you don’t need expensive video equipment or fancy editing software to create high-value assets. In fact, oftentimes, the more “raw” these posts are, the better.

Not to mention, as paid social media become less reliable, he predicts many marketers will put more focus on growing their organic social media following and explore driving quality site traffic through other channels.

It’s easy to take out your phone, open the video camera, and create effective content for your brand without needing it to be highly produced. We’ve generated millions of views on the TikTok videos we’ve created, and you’re not really going to get that organic reach anywhere else. Especially with these data privacy changes, growing a following on these channels is going to be incredibly impactful for brands that are focused on building or expanding awareness.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

Why it’s more important than ever to focus on brand storytelling

Nailing down your brand story can sometimes feel like an abstract concept. But to Ben, it’s the key to building a successful business that can outlast any curveballs that come its way. 

This is why crafting the brand story and using it throughout the customer journey, such as in a welcome series, is foundational to Latico Leathers’ marketing strategy.

We created a welcome series in Klaviyo to both encourage shoppers to make a first purchase and to tell them the story of Latico Leathers. We want them to understand that we’re a small family-run company—my dad is the founder and my mom is the designer. We use the welcome series to tell people the story about how we started and how we got to where we are today. We deploy letters from the founders, the reasoning behind donating 10 meals to Feeding America for every purchase, and our acceptance video of the 2020 Carlos Falchi Independent Handbag Design Award.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

Ben said that while this may seem like a small part of their overall strategy, these details help differentiate the brand and set Latico Leathers’ leather accessories apart from other competitors, which will become an increasingly essential approach for customer acquisition.

The privacy implications force brands to do one of the hardest things there is to do: tell your story by creating valuable content. Why are you better than the competing brand, what makes you different, and why should someone care? How do you create content that reflects that? Telling a brand story is hard to do, but that’s the next generation of advertising for brands.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

Ben also emphasized that, although this time is going to be challenging for many marketers, it may present an opportunity to restrategize and concentrate on the core components of your brand.

You have to get away from your computer for a second and understand what makes your brand different. It’s exciting because you can refocus your strategy on the more interesting, creative side of marketing.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers

Identify what makes your brand unique

As marketers consider how to prepare for an uncertain future with paid advertising and third-party data, Ben advocates that creating a resilient brand is all about differentiating your business from competitors and communicating your unique value with current and potential customers.

Give your customers all the validation that they’re making the right decision by buying what you’re selling. Whether it’s email flow or a landing page or an ad, that mindset will motivate you to include social proof, use more urgency, tell your brand story better, and shout louder that you’re a charitable brand, or that you offer free shipping, or that 3,500 people gave you five star reviews, for example. Communicate whatever makes your brand stand out. That shift can help you exponentially in this transition into the next phase of digital marketing.

Ben Schreiber, Founder of Brand Caffeine & Head of growth at Latico Leathers
Find out more about the data privacy changes and what it means to be customer-first
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