Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer
For those of us not familiar with Menguin, please tell us a little more about your company and business model.
Menguin prides itself as being the world’s highest rated online suit and tux rental company. Simply put, instead of having to go to a store several times to rent a tux for a special event or wedding; with our platform you can build your suit or tux (millions of combos), input measurements through our sizing algorithm (asks few basic guy questions gets fit more accurately than a trained tailor), then we ship out your order from one of our 6 national centers 10-12 days before your event, you try it on and if you have any fit issues we’ll immediately send you free replacements as we’re open 24/7 by phone. Afterwards slap on the included prepaid UPS return label schedule a pickup or drop-off with hotel etc and you’re done! We’re significantly cheaper than the stores for the same designer brands and also give back! A portion of every rental goes to adopting endangered penguins. We’re presently the highest rated suit and tuxedo rental option in the US and our solution is particularly helpful for weddings where you have out of town groomsmen and need to keep track of everyone and make sure nothing goes wrong. Check us out at menguin.com!
On-demand digital tuxedo rentals are an extremely interesting business, with I’m guessing a high margin as consumers are willing to spend more to look perfect at a wedding. Does this give you more to play with when it comes to new customer acquisition?
This is a great question and something quite interesting we toy with a lot. We started the business because we realized how big the profit margins were in the brick and mortar world and how awful the service and experience. We’ve intentionally priced at or oftentimes below our competitors to grow our brand and pass on the cost savings we see from lower overheads etc. All of our investment is in brand building and customer service to the extent that a wide majority of our new sales come from word of mouth referrals – so when we factor that in coupled with the groomsmen word of mouth factor we generally spend less than our competitors and achieve higher returns! Service is key for this – we know we have a great product and we invest in our customers having great experiences.
To the extent that you can reveal, what has been your most successful channel so far: Search, Display, Online Video, Mobile?
While I can’t speak too in-depth, frankly anything that touches on or builds our brand and awareness to new consumers has been incredibly profitable. We’ve seen anything brand worthy and shareable on social networks be incredibly beneficial so all of the above honestly with mobile being a big focus given our millennial consumer base.
Many industry trade publications have touted programmatic advertising as the future of digital and the main mode in which ads will be purchased in the future. What has been your experience so far with programmatic? (pros and cons)
This is a great question. We live in a world where it’s become incredibly difficult to compare marketing channels apples to apples given challenges around true attribution, first touch and frankly to mixed results. While we’ve dabbled programmatic ad buying, we’ve seen that our customers behave very differently during the educational path to purchase we put them on, as such we invest more in key channels we know will work and generally ignore blended metrics or tertiary opportunities.
Publishers are turning to native advertising, branded content, and sponsored posts to combat the depressingly low CPMs they get from RTB. Many of these are beautiful custom units that require input from their editorial team and even and in-house creative department. What are your thoughts onthese types of ad units? Is it possible they one day can be held to performance metrics like acquiring new customers?
At Menguin our primary focus is on branded content and native advertising, we have a very big in-house team focused solely on the creative output of content and native ad units. We’ve invested heavily on these being the future of the industry and our internal growth numbers seem to back that up!
As the Chief Marketing Officer for an up-and-coming e-commerce player, what are some of the biggest challenges you face today?
Attribution is honestly the bane of the e-commerce world. What was truly the first touch point that drove a customer to being introduced to our brand and considering us. There seems to be a million and one solutions out there to this, but none that we’ve found that works well.
To the extent that you can reveal, how many ad vendors do you work with on an evergreen basis per month, or new vendors you are looking to test every month?
We’ve got about 8-14 vendor partners any given month as we’re always testing new channels.
How do you merge the messaging, tracking, and credit attribution for all your channels, both paid and non-paid?
We utilize cohort tracking to an obsessive level and are always looking at past precedent to help guide our thought process.
Do you think that as an Online Marketing Manager, you would ever participate in a private marketplace deal with a publisher, through a programmatic platform? Would you go through those means or just work with a publisher on a direct deal using an RFP / Insertion Order?
If the opportunity were right, absolutely we’d utilize a programmatic ad platform.
What are some of your favorite tools that help you with your Online Marketing efforts?
GA and Optimimzely – we test and iterate constantly.
Lastly, what is your take on the future of digital advertising for e-commerce players like yourself?
Branded e-commerce is here to stay and the advertising players that adopt their solution offerings to answer the unique challenges that brands like us face are the ones that will win this game long term.
Menguin allows the bride and groom to design the tuxedos together, on their couch, while helping to organize the wedding party. We believe, deeply, that being a groomsman should not be a burden. Our solution saves an average of three hours per customer by cutting out multiple trips to the store. This allows clients to spend their time away from high-pressure suit sales and focus their time on the things that matter. We fit all of our guys and gals with a proprietary fit algorithm for accuracy and then ship directly to their doors 10-12 days before the big event. Whether you are big and tall or a ring bearer mastering first steps, does not matter, you will be comfortable and confident. Menguin offers 5 star, 24/7, service. That includes style professionals, color coordinators, fit experts and the nicest people on the planet. Add the industry’s most accurate online fit algorithm as well as six distribution centers strategically placed throughout the US and what you have is stylish tuxedos delivered to any guy OR gal in this great nation. Fast.