Imperfect Marketing

Episode 32: Amazon Marketing and Micro-failures with Annalisa DeMarta

September 01, 2022 Kendra Corman Episode 32
Imperfect Marketing
Episode 32: Amazon Marketing and Micro-failures with Annalisa DeMarta
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

WOW! I knew nothing about Amazon Marketing before my discussion with Annalisa DeMarta, but I learned A LOT during this episode of Imperfect Marketing. I hope you do too!

We explore different advertising techniques used in the Amazon Marketplace and unpack Amazon's keyword ranking. Here's a hint: reviews and service matter, and it's a pay-to-play world.

One other fact I found fascinating is that the people who purchase items from your store aren't your customers. Instead, they are Amazon's customers.

There is a bit of a mindset shift here, but Annalisa shared her wealth of information and the lessons she has learned. She also encouraged us all to make "micro failures"—I LOVE that term and plan on stealing it for myself!

In this Episode:

00:01:03 Why would you want an agency to help you with Amazon SEO?
00:03:11 How is Amazon SEO different?
00:07:32 How much do reviews factor in?
00:13:46 Signs your Amazon listing agency isn't doing well for you
00:19:15 Advice to getting started
00:24:53 Biggest lesson learned?

Related Links and Resources:

Ridgeline Insights
Connect with Annalisa on LinkedIn
Are you here because you're intrigued by Amazon Marketing, but your day job focuses on standard SEO? Then, this episode is for you!

To learn more and sign up for my List Building 101 Course visit kendracorman.com/email

Kendra Corman:

Welcome back. And thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of Imperfect Marketing. 

I am super excited to welcome Annalisa DeMarta of Ridgeline Insights. She has more than a hundred million dollars in Amazon sales. 

She's a mom of three, a skier, a slow runner and a beer drinker. So we've got a lot in common. I love that description on your LinkedIn for a while, by the way. I love it.

Annalisa DeMarta:

It's a great way to make friends.

Kendra Corman:

After several years running an Amazon performance agency that specialized in Amazon content creation and monitoring, she realized that they needed a test product or sandbox to expand their understanding of Amazon SEO. And using her experience as a mom, she founded Lone Cone, a children's line of apparel and accessories that's cute and functional. 

Lone Cone has been an insightful test case on how to succeed on Amazon while evolving it into its own brand. And I cannot wait to hear about it. So welcome. Thank you so much.

Annalisa DeMarta:

Kendra, thank you for having me.

Kendra Corman:

So talk to me about why someone would want an agency to work on their Amazon products and listings.

Annalisa DeMarta:

I will be the first to tell you not everyone needs an agency. Amazon is a marketplace where you can easily dabble. I mean, I grew Lone Cone up to 3 million dollars with very limited outside help. I mean, granted, I had the background, but not everyone needs an agency. 

And so we started Ridgeline Insights, our business model evolved over time into kind of just still an Amazon marketplace. But the thing that we were learning was Amazon really is a very unique environment, that it's not like a lot of websites. It's not like selling wholesale. There is some specialties that you need.

And oftentimes, if you are doing a million dollars a year on Amazon, up to 10 million dollars a year, hiring the, we hear this a lot, "the Amazon guy" or the Amazon person, it's hard to find a person who, for under a hundred thousand dollars a year, is going to be able to manage inventory, who's going to make killer graphics and content, who's going to understand your supply chain to get products in on time. That person's also going to have to run advertising. 

And then there's also general day-to-day maintenance of customer service, checking in on your competition, promotions. And you see this a lot, especially in organizations that maybe have five to ten people, they just think they can add a person.

And our value add is that, hey, we have 25 people. They're all based in the United States. We don't believe in outsourcing. And you get that specialty of knowledge for the same price of a single person without paying out benefits. So I think the expertise is really going to be the difference. 

But do you need an agency? Not always.

Kendra Corman:

I think that that's great. I think that it's nice to know that not everybody needs an Amazon person and that sometimes it's just not going to make sense financially. So I think that that's good that people know and understand that. But I definitely see that there's a lot of value that you could add. 

And the Amazon SEO product management world is something that I know next to nothing about. So how is SEO on Amazon different from regular SEO on Google? 

Because I do a lot of that, 300 word descriptions on websites, and blog posts, and things like that. But Google, Shopify, all of those are out there. They all have their own nuances to get found. 

How's Amazon different?

Annalisa DeMarta:

I'll be the first to tell you that I am not a Google, SEO, Shopify expert. I know enough to be dangerous. The thing I appreciate with Amazon, it's very simple. And people over complicate it. 

What you see is what you get. So the keywords that you want to advertise on, those keywords should be placed in the back end. They should be placed in the title. They should be placed in the copy. There's no crazy image tagging. 

Amazon is a place where winners win. So if you can do a good job of driving traffic and getting customers to convert, keep those customers delighted, so low return rates, low customer service issues, Amazon is like, "Hey, you're doing great. You're making us money. You're making our customers happy. Keep selling that product." 

But it's a pay-to-play marketplace. And so really, to be successful, it's going to run down to ads.

And I think the ads structure, it's very similar to Google, your top of funnel, middle funnel, bottom funnel, however you want to prioritize your keywords and cost per click. And obviously, the more generic your top of funnel, it's going to be much more expensive to advertise, particularly in places where... 

Amazon again, because it's a marketplace, you have Johnson & Johnson selling on there, right next to a Chinese factory, right next to the products that I might sell. And so the cost per clicks can be very affordable to CPG products. 

Man, I'm always amazed. They can get five to seven dollars a click. And so as a little person starting out, being like, "I'd like to make a cleaning solution," it's like, "Okay, good luck!" You got to have a little money to get in front of some of those bigger keywords.

But it's definitely, in terms of SEO, it's incredibly simple. And it's definitely a place where just a little bit of experimentation will give you very quick results. So I do appreciate that about Amazon, that it's very easy to see the cause and effect within a very short period of time.

Kendra Corman:

So you said it's very much a pay-to-play marketplace. And that's very interesting to me, because Facebook's become that way. And so have a lot of other places, because, I mean, they need revenue to keep the machine going. So you're basically selling more if you sponsor coupons. 

What are those clicks that people are buying?

Annalisa DeMarta:

So the biggest investment is just going to be in your traditional advertising. So the keywords, phrases, those types of just basic ads. And Amazon's got where you can place your... 

There's different types of advertising where you can place them within a certain listing. You can target competitors, very similar to Google. I see this a lot, from especially some of our clients that come to us, they say, "I just don't feel the need to invest. We're doing fine." 

And I say, "That's great, but here's how it's going to work. If you want visibility and you have a good conversion rate, you're absolutely going to drive traffic." And it's good to experiment and [inaudible 00:06:12] what keywords.

A good example of this is when I had Lone Cone, our biggest product, which is still number one, it's five years, the children's number one best selling rain boot. Not because the rain boot is magical or does anything good. It's advertising. 

I mean, start with a great product and good content. But then driving traffic, we got to the place where I owned the word kid's rain boot, toddler rain boot, children's rain boot, which is incredibly competitive. 

It beats out Crocs, Carters, UGGs, Kamik. There's a ton of great brands, but it's just a matter of advertising. And so the way that you're going to start doing that is just you start chipping away at those middle section words. 

And then as you start gaining credibility and you start to see what's working and what's not, so are you relevant in that search?

The more you convert, very basic, the more you convert on those search terms, especially if you're paying for them, the more you'll win authority on those keywords. And then over time, even though, cost per click, you might start out pretty expensive, around $2, $1.50, sometimes up to $3. 

After 6 to 12 weeks, it levels off, because Amazon's seeing again, you're making that customer happy. We're going to reward you. So you're going to have a lower cost per click for this keyword. 

But if a new entrant came in the market today, they may pay a heck a lot more than I would. So there's some benefit to having a good product and really just being consistent on that keyword strategy.

Kendra Corman:

Oh, that's really good to know. How much do reviews factor in?

Annalisa DeMarta:

Oh, reviews are everything. I mean, how much do you shop on Amazon and see something with three reviews and you're like, "No. No, no." 

Reviews are everything. I won't say that you have to live and die by reviews, but they certainly help. It's that social proof that we need. It's everything. 

So Amazon, which I really appreciate, and they just did this recently too, they're cracking down on fake reviews, which in a Google of product search, you really trust the reviews to matter. And they'll make a difference in that consumer purchase. 

I firmly believe that if you are launching a product, you need to do what you can to get reviews authentically from your consumers. And the hardest part with this is that it's hard for a lot of people to think about it like this, unlike Shopify, unlike whatever, however you're running your web store, those customers that you have on Amazon, they're Amazon's customer.

You can't communicate with them. There's some exceptions to this. So it's incredibly hard to solicit reviews. But the more you can do to encourage reviews, there's ways you can do this with packaging. 

There's ways you can send follow-up notes. Anything you can do to try to make that connection with the customer without violating Amazon's terms and conditions, no gray hat tactics, black hat tactics. Those are the fastest way to get your listing suspended or your account even shut down. 

But anything you can do to try to get a customer to just write anything and everything, just to get that five-star review is money in the bank.

Kendra Corman:

So I remember, and this has been a while, so bear with me, I remember reading some place that negative reviews were actually selling more products on Amazon than positive reviews, partially because they're like, "Oh, it doesn't have this feature." 

And you're like, "Oh, thank goodness. I've been looking for something that doesn't have this feature." So sometimes the negative reviews, they're not bad, right?

Annalisa DeMarta:

No. It's also, like any point of customer service, it's a great place to understand your product better. I use that for advertising leverage. To your point, so let's say you're selling a rain jacket. And maybe your rain jacket is water resistant and not waterproof. 

It sounds basic, but some people in bigger cities just want something to go from their car to their office. But knowing it's not a big, heavy, GORE-TEX, non-breathable jacket, to your point, it's a selling point. 

And it's just a piece that the more you see those reviews, that's also a great place to go back and look at your content and correspondingly or your return rate, because if you're not selling the product that customers think they're getting, so if they thought they were getting a waterproof jacket and, in fact, it's water resistant, they're going to return that.

So it's a great place to look at your content and say, "Did I get this two-star review? Did I get a four-star review?" 

Or even your competitors, what are your competitors' reviews talking about? And the other point I'll make about reviews is when I was growing Lone Cone... And we still have it. It's called their mom advisory panel. 

It's really for parents. But mom advisory just sounds a little catchier. And we had about a hundred parents across the country that would give us information either on their shopping behavior, feedback on patterns. We had them journal our products and use. It was really a great way to get to know customers.

But every time we'd have them do live shopping, we'd put them in our conference room or we would do it through Zoom and you watch how they shop, the first place they go after they look at the first image, they scroll to the very bottom. 

They look at the reviews. And that's the second place they go. There's negative reviews. They'll click on the one star. What happened in the first one or two one-star results? And it's just that right there, kind of sums up, do I want to continue going on with this product? 

So reviews are a great way to both communicate with your customers, understand your product better, improve your product, or market your product better.

Kendra Corman:

No, that's great. 

I remember I was talking with somebody. It's an investment banker and they were actually working on selling a company, representing a company and selling them. And they sold frames and things like that. And they had hundreds of thousands of reviews across their product line. 

And I was talking to them and they basically said that when someone was buying that company, they weren't necessarily buying the company for the frames. They were buying the company for the reviews, because you can't build that up overnight.

Annalisa DeMarta:

No. I think Lone Cone's up to about 26,000 reviews. It's been a minute since I've looked. 

That's five years. That's five years of straight work. 

Like I said, Amazon shut down a lot of these, which I really appreciate. But there's Facebook groups for years. You get a free coupon, or you send them a refund them behind the scenes. You write them a check. I mean, it's very shady, but hard work. So having hundreds of thousands of reviews, put money in the bank all day long.

Kendra Corman:

And I thought that was interesting that you're saying that they're shutting down fake reviews and stuff like that, because one of the interesting things, I'm always looking at the ones that say verified purchase, because those do help. 

They can be fake too, I guess.

Annalisa DeMarta:

There's different groups. There's Vine. And then they've just recently changed the Vine program. 

I think verified purchase is great. There's oftentimes too where I'll know someone has purchased something. 

It might be a girlfriend of mine who randomly is like, "Hey, I bought your new whatever." I was like, "Oh, that was so nice of you." 

And she's like, "Well, I left you a review." And I was like, "An unsolicited?" 

And yet, you won't see verified review. I don't understand the Amazon algorithm as to what point it triggers that notification. Most people are not incentivized, unless you're a competitor, to just go in and write a review. 

So that's why I also think too, that it's you're either delighted or you hated the product. But if it's not in your queue of leaving reviews, I think you're probably not motivated enough to go read a review.

Kendra Corman:

Okay. Good to know.

 So what are some of the warning signs? Because if someone is going to work with an agency or hire a guy or a gal, because say, they're just starting out or they got a handful of things and they need someone to help manage their products and listings, what are some signs that it's not going well and they're not doing it right?

Annalisa DeMarta:

Totally. 

And I have a couple of things that I think are very true. But I think first is also, it seems so lame, but the more I've been doing agency work, the more I realize it's going to come down to relationships. 

If you generally don't enjoy talking to that person, you don't share some commonalities, some work ethic, whatever that is, if you don't, and I hate to the word vibes. It's the only thing that's coming to mind. 

But if you don't click with that person, you're not going to trust them with your business. I think relationships are crucial. And you know within the first 90 seconds of that call, is that person, your person? Or is that team, your team?

But aside from that first gut, for us and our agency, it makes my operations guy crazy, standardization is incredibly hard on Amazon. I wish there was a systematic way of running this business that I could be just efficient with time and effort. And I could just put them in little neat boxes like Tetris and it would all work out. 

The biggest warning sign that I see is making a standard practice across the board for all products. How you treat one product in one category, with a different budget, with different brands, you can't standardize it. 

We've worked with some pretty big publicly-traded companies. And for example, some of their strategies were just to gain market share. They did not care about sales.

They're like, "We don't care what the advertising is. We just want to own all of these keywords, just running shoes, sneakers, sneakers for women, sneakers women's size nine. It doesn't matter what it is. And then all of our competitors', at all costs." 

So that's a different strategy than the person who's like, "Hey, I can only spend a thousand dollars a month in advertising. My product is great. Here's all the outside Amazon work I'm doing. So I'm working with influencers. I'm trying to get my name out there. I'm maybe in REI or Target. Here's what I'm doing. How can we be efficient?" 

That's a way different scenario than the public-traded company. And then a lot of our customers are middle of the road, five to ten million a year in revenue. And they have their 80-20 rule.

So they've got their 20% top sellers they're trying to balance out, especially now with inventory. And then they have the other 80% of the catalog they're trying to promote and balance. And many of our clients also have brick-and-mortar relationships. They don't want their Amazon sales to cannibalize their potentially REI or mom-and-pop retailer store. 

So these all become very different strategies. And when you work with an agency and they just want to say, "Here's all the canned metrics. Here's the same thing we're going to do to everybody." 

And I do see this a lot. And I think that's incredibly unhealthy, because your products are different. Your strategy is different. Your budget is different. Your inventory positions are different. And these are all holistic things that our team really strives to understand.

Whatever you're promoting on your website, whatever you're promoting in your brick and mortar, maybe endcap or even just something that you have excess stock of, these are all things that we should be having weekly conversations about so that we can coordinate these efforts and have that synergy as opposed to these little unique islands that are kind of doing okay on their own.

Kendra Corman:

That's very interesting. I do like them, because I think the goals really start to determine the strategy and the tactics. And if you don't start with goals, then you're just shooting and blind, right?

Annalisa DeMarta:

100%. The biggest thing we try to talk to our clients about is, how are we doing? What would be helpful? What is your goal? What does success look like? 

We had a company that was trying to get their first round of funding. So for them revenue was everything. And that's way different than margin. And so we have a little bit of flexibility in how you want to spend advertising money. 

So I think it's really understanding what does the goal post look like? What are those benchmarks? And how can we add value to that?

Annalisa DeMarta:

And we'll also turn clients down, too. And say, "The thing that you think is a goal, we don't see that as a possible outcome. And I don't know if I'm going to add any value to your business, unfortunately. And so if you want to work with somebody else, that's great. Here's some recommendations. But we can't do it." 

And I think there's value in that too, of just knowing that I'm not going to make you happy.

Kendra Corman:

I think there's a lot of value in that. I mean, I know from my perspective when I started my agency and I'd say, "Okay, I need someone to manage my Facebook page." And I'm like, "Okay." 

I mean, this is eight, nine years ago now. And then I'm like, "Okay, so what do you want to achieve with your Facebook page?" "Well, I want to double my revenue." 

And I'm like, "No, that's not going to happen. And it's not realistic." So it's like, "Okay, well, let me put you in touch with some other people that might be willing to try to do that with no budget, but you're sort of on your own."

That's totally it. And I think most clients we work with are pretty even keeled and realistic. But we get those outliers. But I think, really, if you're going to interview some agencies... 

And I encourage people, every agency seems to have a different pricing model. Obviously, a different team. Like I said, our team is based in the US, which I think, good, bad or indifferent, it just works for us. 

And so I think it's just a matter of you aligning do I feel good about this person? Do I feel good about the outcome? And then kind of reassessing that relationship on a very regular basis.

Kendra Corman:

So if somebody is looking to start a business on Amazon or they just want to do some listings, where do you recommend that they start?

Annalisa DeMarta:

I am a big fan of spend a little, learn a lot, put your foot in the water. I'm increasingly frustrated by everybody selling a course or feeling like you need to pay for a coach. And I'm not saying that those don't add value. So I haven't done them to know. 

But I think that sometimes they come across as predatory to me. And so if you have a product right now that you believe in, and maybe you're selling on different platforms and you want to get on Amazon, there is no harm in just trying. 

Honestly, it's a free selling account. You can pay 40 bucks a month for the professional one, whatever. It's an immaterial amount of money. 

And you just start the process. And I think you put one product on. You kind of go into it with a goal. Make sure you have inventory. What does that look like?

There's different ways. You can use Amazon's fulfillment methods, which FBA, which everybody loves because it shows up... 

Well, it used to show up in two days. Right now, it's a little bit of a different world. But it shows up on time reliably. 

You can also fulfill it yourself if you have a good warehouse or a good way of shipping your products. And again, if you go into Amazon knowing that this is Amazon's customer, you are just using Amazon as a place to sell products, and you use that ethos as you operate, it'll keep you on the straightened arrow. 

So you won't do things that would drive people off of Amazon. You would put care into your packaging, making sure the product arrives in the condition it should. Being transparent about your product.

So I learned this lesson a long time ago. We were selling a backpack. It was the first year. I was like, "Oh, preschool backpack." 

I was watching my kids drown in these oversized backpacks as four year olds, five year olds going to school. And we had a thing in there of like, "Hey, this is going to fit a folder." 

I didn't know that folders came in multiple sizes. I should have, but I didn't. And halfway through the school season, I was getting a really high return rate, because customers were not pleased that this folder wouldn't fit. 

So I had to create a quick graphic that was like, "Hey, we fit these folders, not these folders." And relabeled it as a preschool backpack, instead of a kindergarten backpack. 

It obviously narrowed the market. Increased my sales. I think to your point of looking at the negative reviews and kid of owning it, that was really important.

And I think wherever you decide to list your product, you will learn so many lessons, it will absolutely be unsuccessful in different ways. I call them micro failures. So the more you can fail forward, learn from it and just kind of keep going, you'll be successful. 

So for anybody looking to start, I encourage you just to start. If you're like, "This isn't for me. I want to hire an agency," at least you have the underlying knowledge to say, "Here's what I need to know." 

And I think oftentimes just giving someone your business is a pretty dangerous move. So being clear in how things work and maybe what your challenges were, those are areas that you can say, "I'm good at this and I'm not good at this. And here's how I can partner with you." 

So I encourage anyone who just wants to try, just try.

Kendra Corman:

Oh, I think that that's great. 

And I love that micro failures, because the title of this podcast is Imperfect Marketing, because it's not a perfect science. It does change and move and need to be customized for everybody, which is just, I think so interesting.

Annalisa DeMarta:

A hundred percent.

Kendra Corman:

So say I've been selling on Amazon for a while. And I've had organic listings and not a lot of sales. 

Do you need to start experimenting with ads and inside Amazon? And what's a budget that someone would expect to start with?

Annalisa DeMarta:

It's really going to depend on your product category and your goals. We typically like between one to 3,000 a month. But again, it's going to depend on your volume. 

So typically, you could put it perspective of your average cost of sale, somewhere between 10% and 15%, maybe 20%, depending on your product. Or your tacos, somewhere between, again, 10% and 20%. 

So it's a reasonable budget. If you're going to say, "Okay, I'm going to sell this many products. Basically, 20% of my revenues need to go to the Amazon gods in advertising." 

I think that's a healthy place. And certainly when you launch, it will be higher. It will absolutely be higher, which is why really staying on top of those ads, understanding what's working, what's not working.

Of course, seasonality comes into play. If you're selling flip flops and swimsuits, your advertising's going to become way different in September than it is going to be in June. So understanding when your products are going to peak. 

Looking at your competitive set is going to be a big piece of your success. There's a lot of really great third-party tools out there. I feel like Helium 10 is kind of the most common one. And I love running reports on Total Market Share. 

There's different ways you can kind of piece that together. And for me, that gives me a sense of how big is this pie? And how can I start chipping away at it strategically? Who is the easy prey that I can start targeting to start taking over their sales? 

And sometimes it's the big dogs.

Sometimes they're way easier to grab, because they're winners. The winners just seem to leave a little meat on the bone. So you're like, "Let me start taking some from you." 

So I think that when it comes to advertising, it's just definitely a matter of knowing you're going to have to make that investment to be successful.

Kendra Corman:

All righty. So you have a ton of experience. And I've loved everything that you've been sharing. And you shared a couple of lessons learned along the way with Lone Cone and your experiments. 

But what would you say is your biggest marketing lesson that you've learned?

Annalisa DeMarta:

That's a really good question. And I've learned that, like you said, marketing, isn't art more than a science. When I first started this and I started bringing people on to my team, I would pressure them for data. 

As your business cap comes on and you're like, "I need to know the ROI. If I'm going to pay this influencer a thousand dollars, help me know how many units I'm going to sell thereafter. If I'm going to run Facebook ads, what am I really going to gain from that?" And it's been a humbling lesson. 

But I realize marketing is definitely an area where it's the most top funnel. It's consumer awareness. It's trying to talk to people in different places. It's understanding your customer. 

So the biggest lesson that I've learned is just knowing that you can use data as a point. You can try to make some deductions and some assumptions, but it's not perfect.

And so I think that's hard, especially when I work with some clients that want to see, "Okay, we drove all this traffic to this Amazon storefront. And I can give you some conversion rates. Or we had some influencers do some affiliate links and whatnot. What did that look like?" 

And you can draw some conclusions, but ultimately, I can't draw a straight line A to B. And I think being okay with that has given me some more freedoms and really understanding what is it I'm trying to accomplish when I do off Amazon marketing to drive traffic into Amazon, which is critical these days. 

But I think just being okay that the data's not going to be okay, has probably been my biggest lesson learned as a business owner.

Kendra Corman:

No, I think that that's really interesting. I love that, because it's part art, part science, because there's going to be some lessons learned in some data here and there. 

But no, it doesn't tie directly. I mean, when I was the Jeep advertising manager, okay, we sponsored the Lost or whatever. So we would, if you remember back then, so we had Jeep commercials in Lost. Well, how many Jeeps did that sell? I got no idea. It just kept the awareness out there.

Annalisa DeMarta:

That's it. It's the top of mind, the awareness and just am I the brand that's having fun? 

Man, what happened to Lost: The Side Note? I've been trying to look for it for the last couple of months. So if anybody knows where it is, please find me on LinkedIn or TikTok. Would love [inaudible 00:27:41].

Kendra Corman:

We'll have some links for you. Definitely let her know where her Lost is, because I don't know where it is either.

Annalisa DeMarta:

But that's it. It's that consumer awareness. Especially being a small business, you always want to know, am I getting the most out of this? 

And you won't. And it's just the law of averages.

Kendra Corman:

No, and I love that. I think that's just really interesting. And I love the fact that you differentiate yourself with specializing in Amazon. 

You've launched products yourself and grown a successful brand yourself. So you know how to test and to really find the solutions. 

And I think that that's demonstrated with all the information that you've shared with us, because it's like, again, I'm like, "I know nothing about this topic and I would love to learn more about it." 

So I'm super excited that you're joining us and jumping in and sharing all of this information with us, because it's a different animal, in its entirety.

Annalisa DeMarta:

It is. It's also, not incredibly easy, but it's easy to start. So anybody who's curious, Amazon curious, there's definitely a way to put your foot in the water. 

Again, the micro failures, figure it out. And go and not lose your shirt. But fortunately, when we started out I was doing rare books on Amazon and eBay, back when Amazon was a book seller. 

And I was like, "Man, this whole Amazon thing's really simple compared to eBay." So glad I hitched my wagon to that horse, or hitched my horse to that wagon, however you say it. Or I'd be the eBay queen. I don't know where that would've gotten me. But Amazon's been a fun journey.

Kendra Corman:

Oh, very neat. So I always ask this one question to everybody that's on the show, because I love super heroes and superpowers and I always get such great, interesting answers to this question. 

So if you had to choose a superpower for yourself, what would that be and why?

Annalisa DeMarta:

It's having the ability to say the right thing at the right time. I don't know how to describe it. 

But do you ever get into a room and someone tells you some news and you want to say it, just nail it? 

And my husband's so good with words. And I'm always in awe. Someone just lost their dog. And he'll just say three simple words. 

And I'm like, "Ah," as opposed to being like, "I'm so sorry that you lost your dog." And he's like, "Man, old dogs really do fill up the soul." 

And I'm like, "Where do you come up with these things?" 

So I wish my superpower was being able to nail things eloquently. And oftentimes, I think, we talked about this before, but being an East Coaster, and I live in Idaho now, I don't think I have a salty personality. 

I think I'm very nice and respectful. But sometimes, I'm just very blunt. That's how I grew up.

And here people are very nice, not Southern nice. You can be transparent. But I just wish I was able to read the room, deliver things in a way. I've got 25 employees and oftentimes, we do team meetings. 

And I always feel like my meetings are just... I probably need a business coach, honestly. So probably that person should reach out to me, too. 

But I just feel like I never can say the right thing at the right time or in a way that I always mean to. So it's gotten me this far. I've kind of just owned it. People know that I'm quirky. 

But if that could be my superpower, and it sounds like the most basic superpower, but maybe I'd be President or I don't know, running the world or doing something with...

Kendra Corman:

You're running the world of Amazon. I mean, that's pretty cool stuff. But no, I love that one. That is so good. 

So my husband, we talk about DiSC, which is a personality assessment. And so I'm an ID. He is a SC. So we're total and complete opposites. Or, CS. I'm sorry, he's a CS. 

We're total opposites. But he'll be like "Your D's showing." I'm like, "Okay. I got to be nicer. Okay." So I have to soften things up a lot. 

And I do actually think that while part of that is part of my personality, I do think that going to high school in Northern Jersey, we were just more direct. We didn't mince our words.

Annalisa DeMarta:

No. And I've got a wonderful HR person, where sometimes I'm like, I walk into a room, I'm like, "Okay, how do I say, what is wrong with you in [inaudible 00:32:07]?" 

And she's like, "Well, maybe if you say, what were you thinking when you made that decision?" And I was like, "Oh, there you go!" 

Because I listen to these just really great speakers, like TEDx or TED Talks and stuff. And I'm like, "How did you get there?" 

So thinking about the point in my life, I just turned 40, and I would love to be able to articulate myself better to others, so.

Kendra Corman:

I love that superpower. That is so interesting and so relevant, because my husband did tell me this morning that my D was showing. So that's always good.

Annalisa DeMarta:

I love that. I love that. This was just a couple years ago. I have to look at what Ken's was and see if I can throw [inaudible 00:32:48] to the bus like that. That's funny.

Kendra Corman:

So that is fantastic. So thank you again so much for joining me. Thank you for sharing all of this information about Amazon. 

If you want to connect with Annalisa, we'll have her LinkedIn, her TikTok, and of course, a link to Ridgeline. And hopefully, you can connect with her. 

And if you're looking to start some stuff on Amazon, go ahead and get started. Make some lessons and some micro failures, which is what we've learned today. I think that's just so powerful. So I really do appreciate all of your time and sharing all of that with us.

Annalisa DeMarta:

Thanks, Kendra. I appreciate the opportunity.

 

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