Your Weekly Pencil - April 6, 2022

April 6, 2022
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‍In this newsletter you’ll find:

  • Pencil's new After Effects Integration
  • Ad of the Week
  • 30 e-commerce experts to follow

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Pencil now integrates with Adobe After Effects

Here's why we chose to do this, and some of the learnings we've had along the way:

1. With creative work, production value matters. Without it there's a yuk factor. Even if you're going authentic and producing content using Instagram's or TikTok's built-in tools, there's a certain level of effects and animations that are happening. Historically we've coded our own... and it showed.

With this release everything Pencil generates will be professional-grade, built on top of the zillions of effects and animations added to After Effects since it was launched back in 1993. Know when to stand on the shoulders of giants!

2. The pro creative industry operates on Adobe, at least in advertising. For creative AI to be taken seriously as a tool in the toolbox, we need to play well with others.

With this release, creative teams that have invested in building dozens or hundreds of After Effects templates for ads - there are more out there than you think - will be able to import these into Pencil.

The AI can then generate copy, as well as mine asset libraries for relevant images and video scenes, to place into those templates based on the briefing of marketers. This means that pro creative teams can leverage their IP and offload variational creative work to the marketers/AI while maintaining pixel-level control of the overall construct.

3. The journey is not over! Even with Adobe After effects network rendering and clusters of M1 Mac mini's it still takes a few minutes to generate video ads and a few seconds to save changes and re-render in Pencil.

Our goal is real-time creativity that allows for a sense of "play". An AI partner that can generate video ideas as quickly as you can brief it.

Check out the Adobe release Read the release

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Screen Shot 2022-04-05 at 11.10.03 AM

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Ad of the Week from The Art of Living

Our friends at The Art of Living created this ad that focuses on benefits. They include calming videos of their product offering with copy that relays the benefits you'll receive. Last but not least - an enticing offer of a free workshop at the end card.  

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Content That Matters

30 e-commerce experts to follow in 2022

Ever heard the saying, you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with? It's much the same with who you follow on social media. Here are some of our favorites from the list.

  • Eli Weiss
  • Sara Du
  • Jason Wong
  • Kristen LeFrance

Why this matters: You are building in silence, find out what those who once walked in your shoes have learned/are learning. Maybe a tweet helps you unlock a previously unsolvable problem or makes you feel less alone. Trust us, it's important!

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How to get around Facebook's Aggregated Event Measurement

The team at Thesis has some great content you should be absorbing about how to measure the true value of Facebook on business by using offline events:

  • Since Aggregated Event Measurement has been rolled out many advertisers have been at a loss to pull out the true value of their ads.
  • By adding in the Offline Events, you are giving real-time data to customer data to Facebook.
  • The increases in reporting accuracy Thesis saw were substantial. (The process is a bit technical but they break down how to do it as well)

Why this matters: You might be seeing data that doesn't jive in your ads manager post iOS 14 - this is a great breakdown of how a few changes can help you understand exactly what impact your fb ads are driving. (They use pictures too)

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5 Hidden Gems To Help Scale Your Revenue Growth

You're running an e-commerce business through Shopify and you might not have started out with a data-driven background. No fear, there are many ways to make the information you need to grow the business digestible. ALL IN SHOPIFY.

This article from Greg Shuey breaks down 5 reports that you need to look at.  (we make notes on our two favs as well)

  1. Sales Over Time
  2. Retail Sales Report
  3. Sales By Discount
  4. Sales By Product -> we love this because it allows us to know where to invest in getting customers into the funnel.
  5. Returning Customers (Retention Report) -> this allows us to understand our payback period and our CLV. Letting us know how much room we have to invest in pulling in acquiring net new customers.

Why this matters: Simple is always better. We have almost a crippling amount of data flow at us, the answer -> strip it down to the studs to understand what really drives the business forward.

After you have a foundational set of reports that ground you in the business daily, you can layer on the complexity that will find incremental efficiencies!

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Thread of the week

A little different this week, we loved this framework from Exit Five. Are you asking yourselves these questions when you are creating ads? You should be.

Why? Each question below is a bucket of customers you can interact with, and answering these questions will allow you to pull them in with less leakage than using a catch-all ad.

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Screen Shot 2022-04-04 at 10.30.57 AM

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Pencil's DTC Ad Library: Q1  

Find out what the best DTC brands are doing across paid social and how you can leverage it. If you'd like to dive deeper Access the library

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ICYMI

Why Aren't My Ads Working?
Pillars for Growth
How We Sourced Assets For Our Brand

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Join the Community

Are there any topics that you'd like to discuss? Sign up to learn and meet from great founders and operators across e-commerce and performance

Join the Community

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Something different

A great interview from the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant, about  how to find purpose in life. Jay Shetty and Kobe dive into how he learned to stretch out the pursuit of greatness over time, enjoy!

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Will

Co-founder & CEO, Pencil

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