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Best of Dos Marcos 2022 – Pt. 2

Back for more of the good stuff!

We’re recapping the best of 2022 from July to November in this episode.

In July, Dos Marcos connected with Outward Inc., and discussed their innovative “beauty box” that is changing the photography landscape. In August, they met with John Merwin and recapped his crazy amazon success story and building his vertical juggernaut. In September, the guys discussed the notion of being sleep experts and whether we’re really doing all we can as an industry to elevate, communicate and educate. In October, Adrienne made a surprise visit to co-host with Quinn and the two discussed over the top customer service that didn’t take all that much work and November brought the conversations back to discounting versus financing strategies.

It’s all on today’s final recap for Dos Marcos in 2022. 


Mark Kinsley: oh, it’s a Dos Marcos show. And we are gonna show you how to automate, elevate, and dominate Outward Ink is on the show today with innovative ideas to catapult your business to a new level.

I’ll tell you garv, one thing that we’ve talked about on the show in relation to visual merchandising is the idea that consumers want to be able to envision the product in their home.

In a way that they are gonna be proud of.

I mean, there’s so many people that wanna make that Instagram worthy vignette.

Gaurav Sethi: Absolutely. We want to enable folks to really. Uh, be able to see these products in situ in a way that’s relevant to them, in a way that’s photoreal in a way that doesn’t look like a traditional background being pasted onto the photograph of, of an item. And so there’s a lot of kind of, I’d say, sophistication under the hood in terms of how we do background environments.

They kind of auto adapt and scale when you hit that button, uh, in our software in a way that looks like it was actually shot in that environment. and, uh, I think that’s been a huge, a huge value to our

Mark Quinn: customers.

I wanna make a comment

For manufacturers out there

I just want you to know like part of how retailers pick any of us, cuz I was on the manufacturing side and sold for most of my career. But part of that is how easy are you to work with, right?

So when you bring a product that’s just part of it, right? So the other thing is, Like your bank of marketing assets, like I can’t do anything with your product unless I have a way to build value in the products that you, you send me to sell. And if you have a killer bank of photography that makes your products look really, really good, then you’re easier for me to deal with than the guide that doesn’t.

And what I love about your system is that you can literally, when you take the pictures of it, you hit the. It goes into the cloud, and then you could link me directly to that folder and I’m seeing the shots in real time, and then that whole folder is available to me and my entire team anytime we need it.

I think that’s brilliant.

I just want you to know like part of how retailers pick any of us, cuz I was on the manufacturing side and sold for most of my career. But part of that is how easy are you to work with, right?

So when you bring a product that’s just part of it, right? So the other thing is, Like your bank of marketing assets, like I can’t do anything with your product unless I have a way to build value in the products that you, you send me to sell. And if you have a killer bank of photography that makes your products look really, really good, then you’re easier for me to deal with than the guide that doesn’t.

And what I love about your system is that you can literally, when you take the pictures of it, you hit the. It goes into the cloud, and then you could link me directly to that folder and I’m seeing the shots in real time, and then that whole folder is available to me and my entire team anytime we need it.

I think that’s brilliant.

Gaurav Sethi: You know, it reminds me of how, uh, west Elm installed our, uh, capture rig. They installed it in Brooklyn a few weeks ago, and they put it right in their receiving area. Of their sample warehouse. And so as soon as the product comes in, it gets unboxed, it goes into the aperture rig, they hit a button, they go put it in inventory.

And that’s been their take on kind of operationalizing silhouettes, small vignettes, close groupings, elevated shots, all of it. Um, and so the velocity without the loss of creative sort of flexibility, because they have a very different look and feel than a lot of our other customer. I think is, has been really key.

Mark Quinn: Are you looking for awesome ideas to create word of mouth marketing, like the kind of marketing with massive return on investment? We have some ideas for you

So have you ever had someone Adrian, like, wow you to the, the degree where when it got done, you just, like everyone you talked to for like the next couple weeks,

Adrienne Woods: I mean, I’m sure there are numerous ones, but I was telling you kind of before we started recording, so I went to primetime this weekend and I flew Delta, and let me just say, in a prior life, I used to fly a lot and I had status on another airline, also known as American. Um, and, and I, I mean, I was platinum, right?

So like I got met at the gate with golf carts and all of the things, so I know what to expect from an airliner, and I hated Delta. Like I had just never had. Experience with them. I will not fly through Denver because of Delta. Like I think Denver is not a great airport either. So when I ended up on a Delta flight, I was like, it’ll be fine.

Like as long as you get there. But I wasn’t, my expectations were so low because of just prior experiences. And that’s the problem. Like when you have one or two or multiple instances with a business, or in my case an airline, you just have this very low expectation for. Quinn, it blew me away the level of customer service that I received from Delta.

And I know a lot of people are thinking, of course it’s Delta. Like I love Delta. I did not love Delta before this event. Okay. But we get on the plane, everything is great, and like in the middle of the flight you have a gentleman, and I wish I had gotten his name. I ended up emailing Delta just part of this to tell them like I was just blown away by this.

He’s a flight attendant and he’s coming down to the main cabin economy where US peasants sit. Right? And he’s just, Thank you. You know Mr. Williams for being a Sky member. Thank you. You know Ms. Davis for doing this. We appreciate you flying with us. I mean, and three or four people back there that were Delta Sky members.

That were just flying in economy. But he made a specific effort to go and find them during this flight and to tell them thank you for selecting Delta and flying with them. And it’s the little things Quinn like that’s just not a big thing. It didn’t take, he didn’t have anything else to do other than pass out snacks.

But he took the time and he took the effort and it made an impression on me just as a former small business owner and now just kind of in this space. I’m like, it took him no extra time and that meant something to me. And I’m not even a sky miles.

Mark Quinn: so the point of this conversation for us is what are the things that have happened to you in your life if you’re listening to this show? That have wowed you. Right? And, and maybe it didn’t take much time or effort or even money, but it’s just something that they did that was a little bit extra that was so big that now here we sit on this podcast telling thousands of people these same stories and, and, and, and it’s got a major, it had a major impact on us, but it gets us excited for their.

Mark Kinsley: Brooklyn Bedding Helix Bear and probably some other names that you haven’t heard of yet. The man that connects the threads between all of them. The product of Southeast Montana, Mr. John Merwin, the c e O of Brooklyn Bedding is on the show today

Go, go back and I want to fill in a couple. Key question. So whenever you’re talking about that first Tuesday when the story went up on Amazon, what year was that?

Because I was thinking about that in relationship to some of the single mattress, you know, mattress in the box players that started pushing, you know, tuck the needle probably around 2012.

John Merwin: Yeah, it was, it, it was like 10, 2010 or 11, right, right around there. Because it was, it was pre, it was before t the needle.

T the needle started on Amazon, um, with like a little five inch futon. And then, you know, then kind of went, went down the path that they went. But it was, it was like 10, 2010, 2011. And I still, here, here’s. I still have this, I still keep it, but I don’t know if you guys can see this, but here’s the, here’s the little, they sent me this after the nine months, and you know, I don’t know if you can see it, but it says dream foam gets you back.

But that was the, this was the little heading and on the homepage of Amazon above the fold. Right. This was, this was before, and you know, , this was before Amazon realized, you know, I I, they were selling other things obviously, but you know, they weren’t charging, you know, now they have co-op fees. And I mean, to, to get a heading like that, I don’t know how much you would’ve to spend.

But, um, you know, at, at, at the end of that nine months, the lady called me and I, and I said, Hey, you know, I, I just gotta ask, you know, you guys said that you were only gonna run this for one week. You know, how come, you know, how come you kept running it? And she said, well, you know, to be perfectly honest with you, We would always highlight, um, authors, you know, we would highlight, you know, authors that were, that had just wrote a book and, and so we would put them on that heading and then they would sell a book for, you know, 1499 and Amazon would take their, you know, whatever cut they were getting and she said, we ran your ad, and all of a sudden we’re selling $600 mattresses.

We’re selling as many $600 mattresses as we were. , you know, $15 books and, you know, so it was, you know, the, the, the return on that ad there, you know, that ad placement was phenomenal for, and then I kept adding skews and so I just kept adding selection. And then it just, you know, I, I, I kept, I would keep track of, of the Amazon rankings and it, you know, when at the end of that nine months of the top hundred beds on Amazon, I had 25 of.

and in the top hundred, I think I had like 12 or 13 of ’em. And so, you know, we were, and you know, we were doing a tremendous amount of, of volume, at least back then. To us it was a tremendous amount of volume. And we’re in this, we’re in, at that time, we’re in like four different buildings because we’re still liquidation.

You know, I’m, I’m buying different things from everyone and. And, uh, you know, I’m trying to, you know, I’m trying to get as, as vertical as possible, and this is, you know, I’m sorry, but this, I mean, it’s a crazy long story on how we got to where we got. So we, you know, we would buy liquidation stuff and so then I got a call from a fxi, had a facility in Phoenix, and, and they would call and they’d be like, Hey, we have some foam.

It’s a little outta spec. So-and-so does Serta. Doesn’t want it. Do you want. . I’m like, well, yeah, I want it. And he’s like, okay. And I’m like, well, you gotta, you gotta cut it for me. He’s like, no, I’m not cutting it. He’s like, you know, if you want to buy this stuff, you gotta buy buns. I’m like, well, I don’t know how to cut foam.

And you know, he’s like, well just come over here and I’ll show you how we do it. And so I go over and he brings, he takes me back there and he’s like, you know, you gotta buy a horizontal saw and you gotta buy a vertical saw. He’s like, you should be able to find ’em pretty cheap. Here’s how you do it. And, and so boom, now we’re cutting foam and you know, we start bringing in bonds and we start cutting foam.

So I like every step along the way, we would, you know, we would learn how to, you know, how to, how to build beds, you know, and, you know, that was us cutting foam. And then it was, you know, , I’ve always, I’ve always wanted to get as vertical as possible. And so, you know, I launched a, I launched a line with a, with a big online retailer, and I sat down with our coil provider and said, you know, hey, I, I really want this business.

Mark Kinsley: Challenging the notion and the idea of sleep experts. Are we truly in a position as an industry to own the idea of helping people get better sleep?

how are we gonna position ourselves in this sleep conversation as a trusted resource when people don’t trust the mattress to be a significant part of what most delivers quality rest for them.

And I think I’m like, I don’t. I want to, I don’t want to be the unconscious and competent that’s trying to shoehorn something into a space that the consumer doesn’t trust us for. Now, can we be mattress fitting experts? Can we be people that connect the mattress to the sleep conversation? I think so. I think that’s a reasonable connection that we can make.

Mark Quinn: So let me ask you a question. When you go to a gym, and you go in and you want to change your life, you wanna change your lifestyle, and you wanna start working out, and let’s say I’m a novice at that and I go in and I don’t really know a lot about it, right?

And so when I go in, what am I gonna do? I’m gonna get paired with?

 A trainer, right? So at the gym, they’re gonna pair me with the coach. Now, what gives that coach, that trainer, the right to have a conversation with me about my fitness?

Mark Kinsley: Typically that person would have some sort of certification. They would look the part like, Hey, this person’s more fit than I am.

Mm-hmm. , I mean, that’s a pretty good filter for me. I’m like, if the dude’s less fit than me, I dunno if I’m gonna, Justin’s help get to the place I want to go.

Mark Quinn: No. Right, so, so, but there’s an assumption made that that person standing in front of you has had some education. We don’t ask ’em for his credentials though.

It’s not like, Hey, show me your certification. Even So what certification would he get? I don’t even know what they would call that. I’m sure there is one. Right. But because their company has invested in the message of, come here, we can help you train, we can help you. in shape, we can help you live a right now because of that.

That’s what they stand for, that’s what they represent. And so I, I look at it through this lens, like if we are retail, say, look, look at it from the retail perspective, right? So how many hours. of education.

Do, do doctors, MDs of general medicine or probably many different disciplines of medicine, how many hours of sleep training do they get? Do you know? Two on average? Two. And I’ve heard four even. So let’s go big and say it’s two to four. What if you’re training your people with almost 200 hours? Of sleep training, or let’s say it’s a hundred hours of sleep training, are they considered in the, the, the grand scheme of things, consumers?

We heard that sleep doctor, right during Dream Camp tell us that if they were gonna grade consumers knowledge about sleep, what, what grade did he give us?

Mark Kinsley: It was like a low c. No,

Mark Quinn: it was an F. He told us that consumers got an F score because they don’t know very much at all about their sleep. Right? So what is an expert in our field, right?

If we’ve done our time, we’ve paid the price, we’ve gone through some education, we have like, you know, earned our way into some of that convers. But you have to earn your way in. And then on top of that, you also have to message that, right? It’s like, Hey, look, you can go anywhere to buy a bed, but if you come here, here’s what we’ve done for you.

We put our people through training. We understand the dynamics of how substrates and how different comfort layers react with your body. We understand temperature regulation, we understand the entire ecosystem. So if you do that, then all of a sudden. , you are the expert to that consumer. And keep in mind that they’re an F on their score.

So to us, mark, and they think they’re, they’re an A. They think they’re an A. But so with not much heavy lifting, if we make an effort to educate our own people in the category, then holy cow, like how could we serve? Like how much does it take for us to know more than them? And it doesn’t take long.

Mark Kinsley: is a tale of two strategies. Are you going to discount heavily or strong financing offers? We have real insights into which one is working best right now.

What do you think retailers out there? Some big retailers are discounting heavily. And then in a Tale of two strategies, you have another group that’s promoting strong financing offers, like same as cash type offers. So if you were gonna just say, at face value, heavy discounts or strong financing, which of these.

Is working best with consumers right now.

Mark Quinn: Wow. Either or. I don’t know that it is an either or. I think it’s a yes, and I think that, um, because of where everything is now, I think people are trying to figure out any way they can to bring consumers to the table. And so I think it’s deep discounts. I think it’s focus on promotional categories.

Mark Kinsley: Finance offers Anecdotally, I will tell you there is a clear winner.

Mark Quinn: we have done a lot of research around finance and we’ve had a lot of those guys on the shows recently. And so I think it’s an interesting thing. I think it’s always a big part of our business. Right. Um, uh, the, the mattress category and big ticket. The cool thing about financing too is when you get that open to buy from the consumer because of their credit card, um, then all of a sudden, uh, price points can.

Because now they know that they’ve got like, you know, and then you know, a lot of guys Kinsley, I like making it bite size or site, you know, like snackable content. So they’re saying, Hey man, like that’s, that’s less than a dollar a day. You can be in that bed, like that kind of language. So the consumer goes, wow, okay, so would I give a dollar a day to sleep on that bed?

That is going to deliver a different quality of life for me and my family. Hail yes, where do I go? And if you’re connecting those two things, then even better.

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