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Interview

Interview: Math, Magic, and Art: Optimizing for Growth in D2C

Excelling at ecommerce and digital marketing takes a certain combination of diverse skills, often difficult to find in one human being. Aaron Zagha, CMO of Newton Baby, thinks of it as a mix of math, magic, and art. Aaron joined Lauren Livak and Peter to walk us through how that mix shows up in the daily battle for consumer delight, well-rested babies, and optimizing for total growth at Newton Baby.

Transcript:

Peter Crosby:

Welcome to Unpacking the Digital Shelf, where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age.

 

Peter Crosby:

Hi everyone, Peter Crosby here from the Digital Shelf Institute. Excelling at ecommerce and digital marketing takes a certain combination of diverse skills, often difficult to find in one human being. Aaron Zagha, CMO of Newton Baby, thinks of it as a mix of math, magic, and art. Aaron joined Lauren Livak and me to walk us through how that mix shows up in the daily battle for consumer delight, well-rested babies, and optimizing for total growth at Newton Baby. 

 

Peter Crosby:

So, Aaron, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast to share your strategies for winning on the digital shelf. We've been so excited to talk to you.

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah, it's great to be here.

 

Peter Crosby:

So, after we initially spoke, I went product page diving on Amazon and checked out Newton Baby's flagship product, your baby crib mattress. First of all, your product page experience is beautifully optimized for SEO, for customer confidence and conversion as well as brand experience. I just thought it was excellent. So, how do you and your team think about building and maintaining your product page experience? What is the mindset of what you're trying to create for the consumer?

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, what we're always selling is peace of mind to parents. And the beauty of our team and the company and the origin story of the company, is that many more, more than half of us, are parents ourselves, and the product was born out of a parent's desire to improve the sleep of his own babies. And so, we try to keep that mindset of... Especially the first time parent who's a little nervous, doesn't really feel like they know what they're doing, really close to heart.

 

Aaron Zagha:

And so, everything we do and everything we design is always with that perspective. First of all, how do we reassure someone who's about to undertake one of the biggest, most important momentous occasions of their life and provide them peace of mind, provide them a better product, ultimately help the baby, of course. But at the end of the day, the customer buys the product, not the baby.

 

Peter Crosby:

And the customer also gets better sleep. Because the baby's asleep.

 

Aaron Zagha:

There's no question. There's a bit of a virtuous cycle there. So, if the baby actually sleeps better and safer, the parent does too. So, everything we design, everything we look at, every image we select is really laser focus on providing reassurances, peace of mind, other customer relatable testimonial, reducing marketing speak, wherever humanly possible, really providing that core's human desire to feel safe and know that you're doing the best you can for your baby.

 

Peter Crosby:

Well, that human desire really came out as I scrolled down the page and came to the review section. And I just have to read this one review that I saw, that to me, just highlights... Just brings to visceral life, the relationship you have with your consumer. So, the title of the review was, baby face sleeper meets his match. He prefers to sleep on his face, not head tilted, slightly left to the right, he sleeps square on his tiny baby face. We tried moving him again and again and again, and failed miserably each time. We tried explaining that his choices were poor, but that also ended in failure. We tried reasoning and failed before we started.

 

Peter Crosby:

I found this mattress through Google at 3:00 AM with search terms, baby face sleeper or something equally desperate. I bought it immediately, arrived two days later and it works. I know my kid will continue to make questionable choices and I will have to continue to try and find solutions. This is the best solution for our face sleeper. A, I want to meet this parent because their writing is awesome. But I'm guessing that there lies the Newton Baby super power, which is the delight and loyalty of your consumers. A, confirm that's true. And B, how do you encourage or tap into that? What's that process like for you?

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting, the greatest gift I was handed as a marketer was inheriting a marketing organization that stood behind a product that actually is better and actually works and addresses this need. And my own baby was a face down, tushy up sleeper also. And it boggles the mind that this is a comfortable position for anyone, let alone a baby, who isn't all that good at breathing in the first place, probably. They love smooshing their face down in the mattress, which obviously is a problem. And obviously, always was historically, when mattresses were always made very firm, wrapped in plastic, so that diaper messes couldn't get through.

 

Aaron Zagha:

And so, inheriting a product that is actually better and breathable. And the first thing that our customers do is mesh their own faces into the mattress to see if you really can and breathe through the mattress, like our marketing claims, and you can. And we've even done third party testing in lab showing that you can actually breathe straight through the mattress.

 

Aaron Zagha:

So, it's easy when the product is so differentiated and so much better than the competitive field, and demonstrable in a way to the customer that, we call the breathable challenge, and people go in and they shove their faces in, and you can breathe through the mattress, which is a little crazy. So, having a better product is the first step and really allows the reviews to write themselves to some degree. But then, we do quite a bit and more and more and more to encourage that sense of community among our customers. When I first started, the simplest thing, just simple referral candy, shared with a friend, got a coupon code. The easy, low hanging stuff.

 

Aaron Zagha:

But we branched out into doing anything we can to encourage customer-to-customer communication. So, whether that's launching a massive Facebook group and putting a lot of money and time and effort building up that community, whether it's using actual user reviews and all of our marketing, wherever humanly possible. We also do a lot of seminars and Facebook lives with sleep experts, coaches, birth doulas, anyone to really encourage that sense of community and facilitate the dialogue between our customers.

 

Aaron Zagha:

Because there's nothing better than a customer telling another customer how good the product is. We can do it all day long, they're not necessarily going to believe us, even though we are customers ourselves of our product. But when it's someone else saying, "Oh, you should only get the Newton Baby mattress, it gave me so much peace of mind." Nothing is going to be stronger, more powerful than that. So, we do everything humanly possible to create that community, and facilitate that customer-to-customer communication.

 

Lauren Livak:

And Aaron, I experienced that first hand when I was talking to my best friend who just had a baby, and I was talking about the conversation we had and mentioned the Newton Baby mattress, and she was like, "Oh my gosh, I love it. It's amazing. You can wash it." I was like, "Wow, I've experienced exactly what all the reviews have said." So it was really exciting to see that, talking with someone, who used the product itself and speaking volumes about it.

 

Lauren Livak:

So, Aaron, we talked about the product, we talked about a lot of what you're doing in the space. Love to dig into your career, because it's really unique. So, you spent your first eight years as a banker, and now, transition into marketing and ecommerce, how did that happen? Can you tell us more about that?

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah. The truth of the matter is I never really wanted to work in finance. I didn't really know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought I wanted to start a company. Both my grandparents started their own businesses. And so, I thought that was a pretty cool thing to do. I didn't have an idea for a company though. So, I wanted to finance to pay the bills out of college. And really it was a placeholder until I dreamed up a company to start. Which happened after my first year and a half in banking. I came across this funky semi-ugly art that I thought would appeal to mainstream America. So I quit banking, I started that company. It didn't go so well. It pivoted seven times. Turned out to be okay, sold it for enough money to travel for half a year.

 

Aaron Zagha:

And then, I was broke again. Went back into finance, because that's what you do. And I bounced back and forth between finance and startups for the first half of my career, until my last startup, which was in social commerce, way early days of social shopping and co-browsing way ahead of its time. Until that one basically failed, and I was looking for a new gig. And I ended up in a corporate strategy type role, which was half M&A and half internal consulting. And I was only in that role for about a couple months, when one of the business units, which was Teleflora, the parent company is The Wonderful Company. They quickly needed someone to fill in, the VP of ecommerce left suddenly, and I was the only person in that internal strategy group, who had some ecommerce experience.

 

Aaron Zagha:

So, they asked me to go sit in the position, on an interim basis, while they recruited someone with a little more experience. And I did that. And shortly thereafter, they offered... It went pretty well. And then, they hired a VP of ecommerce, and they offered me to run the international business. And it was at that point in my career, where I was getting senior enough that I had to make a decision, "Do I want to do another startup?" The answer was pretty much, no. I was getting settled down, had just gotten married, kids were probably in the near future. And I was pretty much sick of failing at startups. And I knew I didn't want to do finance anymore. And I really liked ecommerce. The thing I like most about the internet in ecommerce is that it changes every year, two years, max.

 

Aaron Zagha:

I mean, you could look at this past year and the entirety of ecommerce has changed with the iOS changes. So, unlike other jobs that I'd had, I didn't get bored nearly as easily, and I didn't feel the need to change everything every two, three years. So, I made the concerted effort to pivot squarely into ecommerce and that's where I've been ever since. Stayed with The Wonderful Company in Teleflora for three years. And then, I had known the founder of Newton Baby for years and years, and we had stayed in touch and I had started doing some high level consulting for him, until the company was big enough and he made me an offer to move over as the CMO.

 

Peter Crosby:

We were talking to somebody for the podcast just the other day, he was talking about ecommerce being math and art. Am I getting that right, Lauren, is that?

 

Lauren Livak:

Math and magic.

 

Peter Crosby:

Math and magic.

 

Lauren Livak:

Math and magic.

 

Peter Crosby:

Sorry. Yeah, yeah. Which I loved and of course instantly forgot half of it, but now that Lauren reminds me. And I think that's where I'm so impressed, and note your finance background. Do you agree that there's a lot of math going on to get this thing right?

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah. I would add, I would say math magic and art, all three of the above. And it depends what kind of a CMO you are. If you're more on the branding side, "Let's create this insane super bowl ad. That's a bouncing ball that you have to scan with a QR code." That's more the art and magic side. If you're more the test and iterate and make sure everything is statistically significant, that's more the math side. And I agree, I think you definitely have to have both.

 

Aaron Zagha:

I think it's really hard if not impossible to be successful on the strategic side, if you don't have a math background. I would for sure credit my success squarely with a financial background, statistics, statistical significance, iterative processes. But yeah, I mean, throughout our evolution and in every ecommerce gig I've had, it's always test and learn, test and learn, test and learn.

 

Aaron Zagha:

And because things change so often, you have to be continually testing and learning and iterating, AB testing, multivariate testing, incrementality testing. And that, especially as tracking has gotten worse and worse, the statistical sampling side has gotten more and more important. And if you don't at least know how to do that, there's no way you can be successful. You can guess. And maybe that's where the magic morphs into luck and you can get lucky and say, "Hey, I think this thing's going to be huge on TikTok and Senegal." And maybe it will be. And if you have amazing gut instincts that could work for you that way. But if you want to do anything methodically, you have to have that test, statistics, iteration mentality. So, I agree math, magic and a little art.

 

Peter Crosby:

And maybe a little science, because if you're going to have a bouncing QR code, as your super bowl ad, you better freaking make sure your website stays up when everybody... I mean, I guess there's no such thing as bad publicity, but whoa boy, that piece of science was missing.

 

Aaron Zagha:

Unbelievable.

 

Lauren Livak:

I also think it's interesting that you need to understand the math, magic and art of the company you're in. So, the foundation of finance and understanding statistics and how to understand a P&L is really important. But would you agree, Aaron, that every single organization's math, magic and art are so different, that you also need to understand how to work within profitability, and what that means for your own company?

 

Aaron Zagha:

I think that's absolutely right. And I think that's something that we bandy about in the DSI group, which is that every business in there is so different. And if you're working for an old line CPG manufacturer that has very... That's public and has very, very strict margins, you have to maintain, you have one set of constraints. If you're working on a VC company that's raised $5 billion, you have a very different set of constraints or no constraints to work with, maybe a vanity metric to shoot for only. So, it really is unique to the company. We had the fortune/misfortune of not taking outside capital lever.

 

Aaron Zagha:

So from day one, we had to be profitable, which totally constrained me in a way that was tremendously positive over the long run, because it worked, basically. Survivorship bias, I suppose. We constantly held our feet through the fire. It meant we didn't grow like crazy at times at the cost of profitability, but it made certain that everything we did made rational economic sense. But yeah, every, every math, magic and art needs to be tied to the very foundation and the financial considerations of the business stream.

 

Lauren Livak:

No one size fits all across all of this industry, right? We all wish there was, but it's a different flavor depending on what you are.

 

Aaron Zagha:

It is.

 

Lauren Livak:

And speaking of your role and how it's different in different organizations. It's really interesting how your CMO role is also running New Product Development. You don't see that very often in most organizations, right?

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah. It's a function of a couple different things. Number one, we're relatively small. Number two, when I first started, we launched a product that didn't work out and it didn't work out for a couple different reasons, but one of the reasons was that the marketing landscape changed so much, the product was fine, in and of itself, but the marketing competitive landscape changed so much that when the product was an idea, CPCs were 10 cents. And by the time that we finally had the thing in the market CPCs were $10. And so, we never really, throughout the process, kept an eye on what it would take to successfully market the product and be profitable. And so, the marketing aspects needed to be drawn in from the very beginning, in order to have a much higher probability of success in launching a new product.

 

Aaron Zagha:

So, that was one reason that I took it over. And the second reason was, we were pretty lean. The new products would be ideal by the C-suite, but there wasn't anyone to really usher them through every stage of the process, make sure that marketability wasn't lost, make sure that there were competitive differentiators throughout, as we iterated on the design. And I knew ultimately it was going to be my job to sell the products. And I wanted to make sure that I didn't inherit something unsellable. So I was like, "I volunteer, I'll do it."

 

Lauren Livak:

Volunteer's tribute.

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah. But I think it's been good. I think it's resulted in a much leaner pipeline of products that we can successfully sell. And so, we're pretty excited that the first few products are launching in the next few weeks actually, and really looking forward to seeing what happens with them. Because I know that CPCs are reasonable enough to launch these things, with the price points that we've decided upon and still generate the margins that we have to generate.

 

Lauren Livak:

Would you say the same thing about making sure you consider ecommerce throughout the entire process from start to finish, whether it's distribution or packaging? Because I think that, that is sometimes lost too in the New Product Development process, where you get all the way to the end and you're like, "Ooh, wait, that doesn't really work on ecommerce." So, it's interesting to bring the marketing as well as the ecommerce, into the beginning all the way from, "Hey, we have this idea."

 

Aaron Zagha:

Absolutely. And again, that's one of the things where we're lucky. Where really, ecommerce, almost only, we still do a couple brick-and-mortar, wholesale, but it's a minority of our business. So, the lens through which we look at any new product is ecommerce first and marketing first. And so if there's something that is wildly competitive on Amazon, we're not going to launch it on Amazon. That means that X percent of our potential isn't there. And so, we need to readjust our expectations for market sizing, for example.

 

Aaron Zagha:

But it also, definitely, dictates the order of operation when we launch on which channel. Some things make more sense for brick-and-mortar, but because of dynamics there, because the margins are so bad, we may not launch there ever. So, making sure that you do keep in mind the channel the product is going to launch on and where it has the biggest potential is super important as you go through the development process.

 

Aaron Zagha:

I think that's changing a little bit now that everyone's comfortable buying everything online. The order of magnitude of that importance is probably diminished, but it's still something you should certainly keep in mind. And there's big differences between even just Amazon, Z to C, ecommerce. So those alone merit considerations throughout the process.

 

Peter Crosby:

And so, as a direct to consumer brand, what's the overall strategy that you put in place to optimize growth? What KPIs are you using to run the business?

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah. From day one, I think, I've been fortunate in that the founders have always been focused on total company marketing efficiency ratio, and total company ROAS, people call it certain things. But basically, total sales over total marketing spend, which has given me a lot of leeway to be really flexible on channel optimization, testing, iterating, because I haven't been micromanaged to the degree that Google paid search on a last click basis, has to have a ROAS of four and Facebook can have a ROAS of two and whatever else. So, we always manage basically the total marketing P&L, and that's the only thing that we've really ever optimized for, with, to some degree, a small, separate brand budget. But I don't look at it as a separate brand budget anyway, even if sometimes the boss does.

 

Aaron Zagha:

So, it's really the only thing that we ever optimized for. Historically, we've been able to do that in a pretty simple way, because all of our products had similar margins. That's not the case going forward. And so, when we manage down to the product level, once all these new products launch, that's going to have to change. And we will need to manage further down the P&L, more towards even operating margin, not just gross margin, but at the end of the day, it's still going to be total marketing efficiency first, and then probably gross margin or operating margin dollars as second.

 

Peter Crosby:

Yeah. I would imagine having that flexibility in your budget where you're thinking about total overall growth, rather than growth by channel or anything like that, particularly as you mentioned earlier, the iOS changes. And I would imagine if you didn't have that flexibility, shifting around, where are we now going to be more efficient now that channel is in transition, if that's the kindest way to say... When you look at you're like, "I was able to move more quickly maybe than some of my competitors because of that flexibility?"

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah. I mean, we were absolutely a net beneficiary of the whole COVID situation, just because... For a couple reasons, number one, we're DDC first in Amazon, and Wholesale was by the time that it hit, wholesale was already third, brick-and-mortar was third. So that already kind of gave us a head start. But the other thing that really allowed us to level up, very significantly, during COVID, is when CPCs and CPMs plummeted and everyone else pulled back from advertising, we leaned way in, because I was only managing into our total ROAS and conversion rates weren't dropping at all. In some instances they were increasing, but costs were plummeting.

 

Aaron Zagha:

And so, when everyone was cutting budgets and freaking out and pulling back, we leaned way in. And so, I was able to scale much, much faster than we had historically. Whereas, if I was curtailed at a set dollar budget level, it would've been a problem. We would've lost a lot of potential market share that we ended up gaining. So, that ability to be nimble and manage at the top and at the total roll up level really, really helped us.

 

Lauren Livak:

And how, as an organization, do you stay nimble in terms of structure and design? I know you're still small. So, how do you enable that through your organization?

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah, it's a growing challenge, because it used to be pretty simple, where I had everyone on my team as a subject matter expert on one thing. That's no longer really the case, and it's going to be less and less so. Our email list has grown so large that one person can't possibly manage all the products and flows at this point. So, we're going to have to start going a little deeper. But to the extent that... Wherever possible, I do still like to have the one subject matter expert that knows the channel.

 

Aaron Zagha:

But the other way that we've been able to stay much more lean than any other comparable sized, in terms of dollars of revenue organization, I know is by relying very, very heavily on agencies. And so, we always, always have used agencies from day one. I think, especially given my past roles, interviewing agencies and choosing agencies has been a core competence. And wherever possible, I like to lean on them. For a number of reasons, taking Facebook and Instagram as an example, there is no way that one person can really know best practices on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Aaron Zagha:

It's so complicated. There's so many different options. There's so many different setups, the algorithm changes. But the ability to leverage learnings of a group of people across 500 clients, if the agency has 500 clients, and use best practices across all of those, especially when 10 of those 500 are probably in a similar industry or targeting a similar customer base, is really, really valuable. And there's no way you can get that from one, two or even three internal hires, that group learning and that wisdom of collective experience. So, wherever possible, I do like to use agencies.

 

Aaron Zagha:

And then, I'll have an internal person who knows the subject matter well enough, to hold the agency's feet to the fire. And that's really how we've stayed lean and nimble.

 

Peter Crosby:

So, I feel like our listeners would kill me if I didn't follow up on your core competence of agency evaluation. Is there anything you're willing to share about your process around that? Because that's really cool.

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah, absolutely. So, it's a bit of echolocation, but the first place I always start with is my peer group. So, I'll ask the people I respect most, who have products that are the most similar, which agencies they use or have used and which ones they like, and don't like. Then, I'll probably go have an intro call with the agency and have them audit my existing setup, and see, who either takes the time to do a deep enough audit to really understand or seems like they understand. And especially who seems to understand our core customer well enough or takes the time to get in the mindset of our core customer.

 

Aaron Zagha:

And then, one thing that I think is a bit of secret sauce and that I'm coming to see more and more lately, is the ability and openness of an agency to align incentives. For so long agencies were flat percentage spend, which makes no sense, just aligns incentives completely. They're incentivized only to spend more. It makes no sense. I don't even know how this thing ever started. Why would you incentivize someone to spend more and not make you more?

 

Aaron Zagha:

So, structuring the contracts themselves, I think, is a real key to success. And we've gotten positions where we've paid agencies based on the profitability of the channel. And they've just done such an amazing job that they end up making big, big multiples of what they would've made, if it was on a percentage spend. But, I'm happy with that. If they can scale Facebook 10 X and we're scaling 10 X, I don't care if we're paying them five X, if that's what they would've otherwise made. I'm happy to share that.

 

Aaron Zagha:

At some point, I'm going to cut them off, and probably restructure that contract. And we've had to do that with a couple different agencies. But a good agency is happy to align incentives. A good agency is happy to provide a contract out if they are not hitting whatever numbers they think they can do and whatever numbers they sell you on.

 

Aaron Zagha:

And the agencies that, generally, are not good to work with, are the ones that won't provide a contract out, charge a lot upfront and really try to lock you in. It's just a bad sign, it's bad form. It doesn't make sense. If they believe in their work and they believe that they can do a good job for you, they should be willing to align incentives and let you out whenever you want out.

 

Peter Crosby:

Are there characteristics of the agencies that are... I don't know which way it's better to answer that, that is either not willing to do that or are willing to do that? Is it size, is it newness, is it... Or is it all over the map? And it just varies on the people?

 

Aaron Zagha:

I think it varies a little bit. So I always prefer working with smaller younger agencies, because, typically, the older ones have rules in place. Like, "We can't work for less than 12% of spend, or we don't customize contracts." Or at least hard and fast rules, that come from the top down and probably the need to hit numbers or whatever it is. So, you generally see the flexibility come more from the smaller ones, but not always. A number of our larger agencies, once we dug into the details, we're willing to, at the very least put in... Maybe there's a base percent of spend, but a big bonus based on actual performance and do some kind of a hybrid.

 

Aaron Zagha:

So, in general, yes, it's the younger, smaller agencies that are hungrier and more willing to work with you on a structure that aligns incentives, but not always. And you should never be afraid of asking any agency, no matter how notorious they are, for contract rigidity, for some incentive system that works for both of you.

 

Lauren Livak:

And would you agree, Aaron, that the other component of working with agencies and I've heard this a lot, whether it's through social, through content, is really being clear on the briefing and making sure that you're both on the same page and it is a mutual conversation about the same thing. I find that, especially when I was working with agencies, that briefing piece, you really need to get down to a science and be super clear, so that your expectations are the same as the agencies. Would you agree with that?

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah. I mean, I think, of course, communication from the company to the agency is probably the most important factor. They can't do their jobs, if you don't tell them everything they need to know and all the things they probably didn't think they needed to know. So, that's absolutely the case. And then, one other thing that I'd be remiss to leave out is you should really fire fast. So typically, especially with bigger agencies, the quality among people there can vary greatly. And if you know, fairly soon on, and I mean, month one, even month two, that a team doesn't get your product, your customer or something, go to the highest up person you can find and say, "I want a new team." Just swap it out right away.

 

Aaron Zagha:

There's no... I've never seen a case where someone really turned it around after one or two or three months of sucking. If they suck up front and it's clear they're not getting it, they're not going to turn around and just ask the agency for a new team right away.

 

Peter Crosby:

Yeah. That's so important, I mean, particularly in ecommerce because it's all about time. It's the sprint and a marathon and you can't afford to let things go on. And I mean, and that's true with teams. I mean, you've got to keep evaluating and make some tough decisions and make them quickly, and yeah, that's great advice.

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah. And then, even the agencies I love the most, I'll still have someone else audit our accounts once a year, once every two years max, just to see if there are some new ideas out there, and then I'll go back and I'll be like, "Hey guys, I just got this audit. Here's what they say. What do you think?" And a lot of the time it's like, "Oh, we've tried that 17 times, it doesn't work in the baby segment." Or, "Oh, that's not best practice. Here are the proof cases why." But sometimes they're good ideas and it is what it is. Generally, a good agency will be open to learning, even from other agencies.

 

Peter Crosby:

So, Aaron, I have to thank you so much for just sharing so much knowledge with us in a quick half an hour. One of the things just because I know as with all humans, there are a bunch of our listeners that are parents. And so, I can't let you go without... What's the next Newton Baby product you would recommend to a neighbor or a friend and why?

 

Aaron Zagha:

Well, first of all, I just want to make sure that I do recommend that everyone goes out and makes more babies. That's what's going to make my job the easiest investment. And, COVID was a bit of a baby bust overall. Hopefully that's starting to rebound. Please go home, have a couple drinks and make a baby.

 

Peter Crosby:

COVID is coming to a close we're hoping. So

 

Aaron Zagha:

It's time. It's time. Go have babies. Unprotected sex only guys come on.

 

Peter Crosby:

After this podcast hits, you are totally going to see your sales go up and dime.

 

Aaron Zagha:

I love it. I love it.

 

Lauren Livak:

Great KPI.

 

Aaron Zagha:

I love it. And so, in the irony of this, I guess, is the first public announcement, but in two weeks, the next product we are launching is not a baby product. Well, I should qualify. It's not a human baby product, it's a fur baby product. So, we're launching pet beds, using the same core technology that our mattresses use. So, if you look at the inside of our mattresses, the total differentiator is the composition. It looks like ramen noodles before you submerge them into water. We call it woven air. It's woven polymer, the same materials as yogurt cups. It's mostly air by volume, and is completely breathable. And the other distinguishing factor is that it's completely washable. The core of the mattress is washable. You can hose it down, put it in the bathtubs or whatever. The beauty of it for pets and for pet beds is that, A, pets are messy.

 

Peter Crosby:

Yes. I can testify.

 

Aaron Zagha:

It's crazy that most pet beds aren't washable. But B, as many dog owners and hot climates, no, dogs love cool surfaces. They'll often be sleeping on the cold, the hard tile floor because it's cool. And so our pet beds will be much more cooling than certainly any of the hunks of foam that are currently on the market. So, that's the next one that's launching. My dog loves it. Every dog has loved them so far. It's really nice, more towards the luxury end of the market, but guaranteed your pet will love it. There's also the same, hundred day free trial that we offer on our crib mattresses. But it's an awesome product.

 

Peter Crosby:

Well, I know now.

 

Lauren Livak:

Peter is literally getting a new bed.

 

Peter Crosby:

I know a particular yorkiepoo, who is going to start tapping on my nose to buy her the new Newton Baby dog. That is so cool. Thank you for sharing that. And really super grateful, one, for your involvement in the DSI to be part of the executive forum and to contribute the way you do. And then, to come on here and talk about the art, magic and math. We just really appreciate it, Aaron. Thank you so much.

 

Aaron Zagha:

Yeah, my pleasure. I've loved being a part of the group. It's fantastic.

 

Peter Crosby:

Thanks so much to Aaron for the ecommerce knowledge, and the dog bed innovation. Please share this episode with the ecommerce nerds, particularly those who are parents, whether of the human or pet variety. Thanks for being part of our community.