Podcast

The Ongoing Evolution of Data Analytics With Brad Redding

Brad Redding is the Co-founder and CEO of Elevar, which powers server-side conversion tracking for DTC brands on Shopify and Shopify Plus. With 17 years of experience in e-commerce, he has launched and optimized several businesses. Brad hosts the Conversion Tracking Playbook podcast and coaches agency owners at SaaS Academy.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Brad Redding’s catalyst for founding Elevar
  • The future of data analytics
  • How to glean credible insights from data
  • Tricks for identifying and asking goal-oriented AI prompt questions
  • Elevar’s role in precise data analytics
  • Pivotal data tracking considerations for iOS 17
  • What is Brad Redding’s worst fear?
  • How Brad manages ongoing founder stress
  • The value of health and longevity

In this episode…

With the rapid adoption of AI, data analytics has shifted from manual to automated, so companies must revise how they interpret and relay insights. Additionally, recent iOS updates have limited consumer data tracking, further complicating data analytics. How can you develop intuitive questions to optimize the data collection process?

Rather than arbitrarily studying data attribution or analytics tools for vague insights, e-commerce entrepreneur Brad Redding recommends gathering and reporting insights with specific business goals in mind. This involves asking pointed and analytical questions to narrow down relevant insights to accomplish the objectives. The launch of iOS 17 has modified data collection for private browsers, so Brad says to identify and transmit alternative user matching data to advertising platforms for activity metrics.

In today’s Up Arrow Podcast episode, William Harris chats with Brad Redding, the Co-founder and CEO of Elevar, about his projections for the future of data analytics. Brad explains how Elevar promotes precise data analytics, how to navigate evolving user privacy settings, and the importance of maintaining health and longevity as a founder.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Elumynt. Elumynt is a performance-driven e-commerce marketing agency focused on finding the best opportunities for you to grow and scale your business.

Our paid search, social, and programmatic services have proven to increase traffic and ROAS, allowing you to make more money efficiently.

To learn more, visit www.elumynt.com.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Up Arrow Podcast with William Harris, featuring top business leaders sharing strategies and resources to get to the next level. Now, let's get started with the show.

William Harris  0:15  

Everybody, William Harris here, I'm the founder and CEO of Elumynt. In the host of this podcast, I'm interviewing the brightest minds in e-commerce to help you scale from 10 million to 100 million and beyond, with a little bit of life thrown in there for good measure. Excited about the guests that I have today. Brad Redding, in 2017, Brad co founded Elevar, which automates data collection, and server side conversion tracking for 1000s of Shopify brands, you can find Brad sharing his knowledge on YouTube, the Elevar blog, and his conversion tracking playbook podcast. And I was thinking about who we were introduced by and I don't think we were introduced by anybody, if I remember correctly, we just kind of roll in a similar crowd and connected on LinkedIn and started chatting from there. Does that sound about right? Yeah.

Brad Redding  0:58  

Yeah, that's so solid. He launched the pod and was listened to the first couple episodes saw a couple guests that I knew. And yeah, I reached out to need to get you on our pod as well, since you just have a wealth of information.

William Harris  1:09  

Funny, you should mention that I think we're gonna do that in a little bit here. So that's pretty good, too excited. We've got that scheduled too. I do want to make sure that I announce our sponsor, this episode is brought to you by Elumynt. Elumynt is an award winning advertising agency optimizing e-commerce campaigns around profit. In fact, we've helped 13 of our customers get acquired with the largest one selling for nearly 800,000,001 that IP owed recently. And we were ranked as the 12th fastest growing agency in the world by Adweek. You can learn more on our website@elumynt.com which is spelled elumynt.com. That said, onto the exciting stuff. Why did you found Elevar? What was the thought behind this that made you say this is what I want to start dedicating time? And this is what the market needs?

Brad Redding  1:52  

Yeah, great question. Without turn this into an hour long segment, just on that I started my first business, which was a SaaS business 12 or 13 years ago, that essentially was back then at sea for independent boutiques and retailers. So think brick and mortar shops that didn't have online store. So it was a marketplace, where to bring them online and have a two sided marketplace trying to find people who lived maybe in Iowa, and they wanted to shop boutiques in New York City, and make that whole process and connection happen. So in between that, that business and Elevar worked on an e-commerce agency here in Charleston, South Carolina. And the point where Elevar originated was around, hey, we're doing a lots of repetitive data analysis. So think Google Analytics trying to go in there and discover where Are things going well, where are there opportunities to improve and said that should be automated, because that whole process takes a month. By the time you pull the data, analyze it presented to the brand, the brand reviews it internally, they come back, make decisions, you implement a test 30 days later, which is on old data, and that could exasperate over time. So that was really the initial Elevar product was, we're going to ingest a bunch of data automate the analysis of it, what turned out was we'd get the Hey, we love your insights you're producing, but we don't trust the data that you're pulling from. We know our Google Analytics data is inaccurate for these five reasons. Therefore, we don't trust your insights. So that spurred the Elevar, as everyone knows, today, which is conversion tracking, data quality data integrity, we started a separate Shopify app with the initial goal back then of, hey, let's launch this separate Shopify app to clean up the data, and then our analytics product will work as expected. And fast forward to today, that particular initial Shopify product became, you know, 100x 1,000x, whatever you want to use more successful and invaluable than the analytics product. So we shut that down, roughly January 1 2021. And ever since then, we've been pretty much all in just on solving the problem of data accuracy and data integrity as, as we do today.

William Harris  3:58  

I love hearing that, because that's a common theme among a lot of people that have been on this podcast, but just other founders that I've talked with, where there's this critical moment of a pivot, where oftentimes what you started isn't what you finish with. And it's just interesting to see that you've got to be, you've got to be in the right spot, you've got to get started in order to pivot. You can't pivot if you never start. But once you start, even if it's not the right idea, sometimes, you know, just getting moving and going and then you find that that opportunity to make that change, and you're being willing to make that change, and you go for it. And that ends up being the thing that just you know, radically succeeds and takes off.

Brad Redding  4:32  

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's, uh, I think it's pretty common. Like you said, I love you gotta get started. You're not gonna, you're not gonna solve you're not gonna build it and they will come you just gotta gotta get started and see, see what sticks and follow the customers.

William Harris  4:44

Yeah, and I like the idea of making decisions off of 30 days late of data. I kind of felt like, man, maybe you can redo this for the Fed chair next. I feel like we're always making making decisions economically based on On stale data, and it'd be interesting to see a little bit more accuracy in that data or, you know, expediency. So, let's talk about this, one of the things you and I were talking about is just in the future, where are people going to go for in depth analysis, UA is gone. And that's where a lot of people really kind of that was kind of like their, their main spot. And then we saw a lot of pop ups for other data companies now that have taken place for, you know, multi channel attribution. Where where are we going to go for that in depth analysis that we want to see in e-commerce?

Brad Redding  5:37  

Yeah, I would say, just based on me, talking to friends, colleagues, etc, probably fall in the end of the spectrum that people may think I'm too optimistic or too crazy. But I, I remember, last year's last October, speaking at the Vermont conference, and back then I was talking about the future of analytics. And part of it was, hey, AI, is you just look at the evolution of it the last 34 years, throwing in the Jasper and the dolly. And some of those examples showed this was this was before the massive AI revolution that's come out in 2023, I didn't have any like magic. I didn't know what was coming down the line open AI wasn't even released yet. Or at least I didn't know about it, but it wasn't publicly released yet. But I was just You just just following the breadcrumbs of, okay, it took seven years for this to happen in AI. And then it took one year for this to happen in AI. And I was taking six months for this image generation. And what Jasper was doing. That to me it means is it this technology is accelerating. And that is the same reason as I stand here today in 2023, is, I think, a year to two years from now, what we see these technologies, I just use the buzzword AI without getting too specific in the types of models and all that, but I think we're gonna see that evolve into analytics a lot quicker and user interfaces. I was, I was on a call with one of the co founders of intercom a few weeks ago and had had the chance to listen to one of the brightest SAS minds and probably in the last 20 or 30 years in SAS, if not longer, and shared. He was sharing his wisdom on where he sees it, and the reasons why and all the validation how they're building into the future of intercom. And it just really resonated with how I think of just, it's going to move faster. So that's the basis of my answer of I think it's going to be even less manual and significantly more automated, likely voice prompted, and likely will we will be told things that we won't even know what to ask how that what that looks and feels like I can't answer that. But I do think it's going to be a lot less just me pulling up an analytics dashboard. And it's up to me to interpret and produce insights to pass on to an executive team, our colleagues.

William Harris  8:02

I think one of the things that I find interesting when you talk about that version of the future with this is that we've wanted this for a while. And we continue to get let down I think by the first versions or iterations of this, even let's just say you talked about, you know, we'll just be able to ask it versus even having to put in necessarily, like a typed in prompt. The first version of like Siri, Siri, or Alexa, you know, it was like, Hey, Siri, my kids even get frustrated. There's like, Hey, Siri, in the house is really complicated question and series like, you know, you can open your iPhone, and I can give you some directions to a website that you can check out. And it's, it's not able to do much. But I agree with you that the future version of this is is radically different than what we see right now. But I'd imagine then, in order for this to be effective, there's two things that I see. One is you need to know the right questions to ask. And two would be you need the right data, you need to know that the data that you're feeding into this machine is accurate, timely, etcetera, right? Yeah.

Brad Redding  9:07

Yeah, 100 100% agree and that, again, not not to get too much in the buzz, the buzzwords so to speak. But the prompt engineering, knowing the right way to ask questions, I've even experienced that myself. When I'm trying to use open AI or Bard, you can just get completely different answers, but you can get more better quality answers and assistance if you just do a setup like why am I asking this question? What's what's the context of the question? So I do agree that the, we will improve as an are the human side of things of just being better communicators to let these let these machines help us faster and more efficiently.

William Harris  9:49  

And that's a good point because I've got kids I've got three three daughters, 1310, and seven. And I think about what is the best thing that I can do to prepare them and when when we were young when you and I were young, just having a computer and starting to play around with that was something that I think helped to set us up likely much better than somebody who didn't have a computer at that time, right. Just being able to get online and mess around with it.

Brad Redding  10:14  

SimCity SimCity. Right. Yeah.

William Harris  10:17  

SimCity or even GM citizen, we go even before that, but yes, absolutely. But then I think about, okay, well for them, for a while it was this idea of like coding, like, everybody needs to know how to code. Maybe that's not as important anymore. Now, it's, everybody needs to know how to communicate. Because if you can't communicate what you want to be able to get this out. Now coding can help, because you're going to think logically, how do I get this output that I'm trying to get out of this? But I almost feel like there's this need for better understanding of how to get what you want. It reminds me of the notebook the movie, when I don't even remember the character's name, right. But like, the guy is like, what do you want? What do you want? And I feel like sometimes, that's what AI is asking us. It's like, what do you actually want? Because you're asking a question, but you're not maybe asking the question that you wanted to ask. So how can we ask the right questions? Or what are the right questions that we should be asking?

Brad Redding  11:13  

Yeah, I would agree. Sorry, my, you just Paul, you just cut out there for a second. So I didn't didn't catch the end end of that question. That's

William Harris  11:23

okay. I'm gonna mark this clip right here, because we can delete that. And I'll tee that up, then again, and we'll see where that goes. So I guess my biggest question is, what are the questions that we should be asking? Not just AI, but when we're even looking into our own dashboards? Now? What are the questions we need to start to learn to ask to look for in our data?

Brad Redding  11:47  

Yeah, that since we live in analytics, and my my core skill set and passion is in data analysis, and how that turns into commercial optimization or business optimization. And it's very, very easy to you open up analytics, and a Monday, Tuesday morning, and you just start surfing, you just start like surfing the web or Doom scrolling social, you just start surfing analytics, or your attribution tool, or whatever it might be, without having a goal in mind. And that's where I go back to when it comes to reporting and what to look at is start with what's the questions that you are truly trying to answer? And even taking a step back from there, whether you're the business owner, or the executive, or the marketing team, or the director, or the individual contributor, is what's your what's, what's the company theme for that quarter for the year? What's most important? So if it's an e-comm, is it new acquisition? Or is it profitability? And then break down? Okay, what are your quarterly rocks and quarterly themes? Okay, it's moving this particular product or hitting certain margins on this particular category, whatever it might be. And then you break that down further into, okay, well, what what are the data points? Or what are the questions I need to ask myself to help me bringing bring answers or insights back to those quarterly rocks that roll up to the theme, and somewhat like leave everything else to the side of focus on the core questions that are that roll up to that those themes quarter? It's the start of the quarterly themes, annual annual goals, etc. And focus there first.

William Harris  13:18  

I've heard it said before, and actually, Goldie Chan, who was on this podcast, did an article about the power of asking why or the power of questions, I think, and the one of the things that I talked about was, you know, the best question to ask is why? And just keep asking why. And I think to your point, or what you just keep getting to the level of why is that important? Well, why is that important? The question that you brought up with? What's more important, new acquisition or profitability? Because those are two very different things, right? And if you understand that, we asked our clients that same question all the time, where it's like, what is your business goal? If it's EBITDA, then we may approach it from a very different perspective of what we're going to do within your ads account. If it's new acquisition more than EBITA, and you always want both, but there's a balance between them, then we may go, you know, with this approach to how we're going to grow the business. But I think that to your point where it's like, okay, great, ask why. Then ask why again, then keep asking why? Until you get to the root of that problem. And then you now know, okay, this is what I'm trying to solve. Now I have a better chance of asking the right question. Yeah.

Brad Redding  14:27

Have you ever done that to yourself, by the way of like, why am I why did I start this business? And I was doing this in a car ride. I was driving back from Atlanta from a mastermind a couple years ago. And I was going through this exercise, and just kept asking why, why, why, why, why? To get to maybe it was the final answer, but you can go an hour. You can go in a couple hours. Just continuing to ask why it's a pretty it is a very thought provoking exercise. If you've never done it just for yourself, let alone the business.

William Harris  15:00  

I completely agree with you. And I'd say especially on Let's even say like psychosocial, emotional type things that are going on. Okay, you're upset. Why? Why are you upset? Well, because of this as well, why does that bother you? Well, because of this is, well, why does that bother you? Right? And so it's like, you get to the root, and you're like, you're not actually upset about that email that you know client sent, or your boss sent or whatever. What you're really upset about is this thing that's four or five levels deep, that has nothing to do with that email. But that email just happened to trigger something else that was going on. And I think there's a lot of power and like you said, asking why from a business sense from a professional sense, from a personal sense? Yeah.

Brad Redding  15:41  

Yeah.

William Harris  15:43  

So if we want to get better at asking the right questions, so that way, let's just say when we're at the point where we have the opportunity, AI is at the point machine learning is at the point where we can get better and we can use this now. Do you have any tricks for how, aside from asking why for how to identify what it is that you're actually trying to ask? Or maybe you've identified it, but being able to actually ask it correctly? Have you experimented a lot with different prompts within AI currently, chat GPT, or anything like that, it found some things that have helped you get better at that.

Brad Redding  16:21  

Yes, however, has nothing to do with technology, it just has to do with speaking and communicating with each other. Have somebody if, if I'm the person that is tasked with coming up the question with the questions to ask you to enter, you'd interview me asked me, you would you would go through the process of okay, what's important and q4? Who is what, I'm gonna make up some questions on the fly. But do you have a particular profit margin? Is there? Are you getting into commercial optimization? Are you launching any new features or products or whatever it might be? And just, you interview me, and then that will expose the ultimately, ultimately, the three to five, the 10, top questions or data points or reports or metrics that we need to be looking at for the business?

William Harris  17:07

I love that. As far as, you know, refining what I ask Chet GPT or mid journey, I found that it's like, okay, I might have something now in my mind. But I don't ask the right question. There was a guy who was on the podcast here, Chad Rubin, started an Amazon profit optimization company called Profasee. And he turned me on to this tool, it's a Chrome extension called AI PRM. It's a really good tool, because it just helps you create a lot of different prompts a little bit differently. But one of the tricks that I found, that's the most interesting is just asking chat GPT itself, how to do it. So for instance, you can use chat GPT, to make your prompt for mid journey better. How would I ask mid journey to do this? And you can use that as a way to basically say, How do I get this output the best that it could be? Or you could ask Chet GPT hey, if I need you to do this, what things should I tell you or ask you? And it's actually very helpful at helping you think through how to create the best prompt possible.

Brad Redding  18:18  

Yeah, yeah, that's a great tip, I would imagine most most are not doing that. Most are not leveraging the tool to ask them how to do it. That's a great one. But

William Harris  18:29

it goes, like you said, relationships. If you're trying to improve your marriage, how about asking your partner, what you can do to do a better job? What did they expect, hey, I want to make sure that you feel loved by me. What can I do to make sure that you feel loved by me? What are things that I do? Right, and it just makes sense to ask the source of what you're trying to get to? Yeah, so let's switch from prompt side of this. So we said there's two things. One is understanding what to ask and asking it in the correct way. But the other side of this is having the right data in place. And I feel like this is another thing that a lot of people are trying to solve. There's a lot of companies out there that are doing different pieces of this. But how is Elevar helping to make sure that people have the right data in the machine? So the machine is finding and exposing the correct insights?

Brad Redding  19:23

Yeah, like to answer this question using the jobs to be done framework. Not that this is perfect by any means. But we have two jobs. Number one, every destination ie facebook happy or Google Analytics, or clay, VO intensive Google ads, etc. Every destination that is connected inside of Elevar we need to send our job is to send 100% of conversion events to each of those destinations. That conversion can be a purchase. It can be an Add to Cart, it can be a pageview it can be an email signup, but that's job number one, we need to collect and send 100% of conversion events to each channel. Now if we didn't do job number two All those events in each destination would be worthless, you'd have 100%, direct none in GA, you'd have zero reported row as on Facebook, and you'd have no emails that get sent out in clay VO. So job number two for us is to send along with each event, the maximum amount of session attribution and customer product in order data. So each channel can a report more accurately and be operate more efficiently. So many of these platforms, Facebook, Google, the big apps, they rely on this data as part of their bid their bid algorithm you probably noticed when you get into estimated action rates with Facebook, or meta, and that's part of the process. And when it comes to clay vo retentive or what I like to call more of the direct, like the clinical of direct marketing is if they don't have an email or some sort of identifier to associate with the event, then those emails are not connected to a profile. So that's those are the two main jobs that that we focus on. And there's plenty of headwinds out there, that that will be our core focus for for quite a while.

William Harris  21:00  

Well, like you said plenty of headwinds. I would say in theory, it sounds very simple. And it is the two jobs we've done make perfect sense. But absolutely everything seems to be fighting against that right now. And at the core leader of that pack, was apple with iOS 14, which just crippled a lot of what that was that was being done natively from different things throughout the pixel and stuff. And you know, we've gone through several versions of this then. So 15 came out with a lot of stuff that impacted email and everything. 17 iOS 17 is coming out soon. And by the time that this launches, it may already even be out. What are some of the things that we need to know from the iOS 17 side of things and how this impacts let's say to people, one first merchants who aren't using a tool like Elevar? And then how does this? How does Elevar help to still bring that data back to help people? Yep.

Brad Redding  22:00  

Yeah. So the I'll touch on the first part of the question is, it seems easy to do those two things. And that is, that's why we see more competition coming in the market. But that's just that's one layer of the onion. There's, there's hundreds if not 1000s of layers, like Go ahead. You can try it. The competition is great, by the way, but it is interesting to see more folks come in like oh, we can just the API Doc's are public for meta, we can just start sending data there. Okay, great. Well, it's not like it is easy, but it's not simple. I could go on all day explaining explaining the nuances and why. The second part on the why why Elevar so I look at our primary competition are the 98% of stores that are using the native channel that's owned by Facebook, or Google ads, or clay, VO etc. And for many of the same reasons why most brands are scaling, like in year 10 to 100 million. They're using clay, VO or Senlin. Because the native email does not isn't efficient, or give them enough flexibility or power for email and SMS automations. Or you're using Yato or kendo or other stamp for reviews and loyalty and UGC, then you're not instead of just the native reviews app for Shopify. So I think that's that is something that it's it's easy for us to use as as an anchor, because most everyone has these core core products are using for the business. And whether it's flexibility, accuracy, power, automation, all of those things combined are the same reason why brands are looking to Elevar others like us in the spaces, they just have unique needs around tracking. And there's an in notably, Shopify doesn't own any of these, any of these apps anymore. So it's not an conical native Facebook app, it's actually developed and maintained by Facebook, and by Google, etc. They're not Shopify and features anymore.

William Harris  23:55  

Yeah, I remember running into this as well, when I was at celebrate, which, for those who don't know, celebrate helps you with your listings across different platforms. So you may have listings on Shopify, Amazon, etc. That was bought by GoDaddy. And what I remember then there were some native integrations that came up from Shopify, that helped you natively integrate with Amazon or eBay or whatever. And when it first came out, I remember thinking, Oh, this, this kind of stinks, because it's kind of dipping into the toes of what we do. But when you looked at it, and you compare it, what it could do versus what celebrate could do. It was night and day difference. It wasn't even the same sandbox. And I think to a point Shopify is main function, I want to say that Toby, not Toby Hartley said this was their goal is to make this to to everything that they need to do. Well, but then nothing else, right, like to a point like, let's make it that way if you're trying to sell on Amazon You can do it, and it's gonna be there, it's got the capability, but then have this setup as a framework set way, whatever else you want to do. So at the basic level, it's simple and easy to use. But then you have all the complexity that you need to implement as well. And so if you're saying, hey, the native integration is no longer enough for me, I can go use sell bright to help with my listings, I can go use, you know, Elevar to help improve the data that I'm sending from Shopify, to Facebook, to Google to Tik Tok to whomever? Yeah,

Brad Redding  25:33  

yeah, exactly. Yeah, you nailed it.

William Harris  25:37

What's beyond 70? Well, what are some of the problems that we that you're, we're going to have to run into with iOS 17?

Brad Redding  25:47  

Yes, so the main way, just a quick TLDR. And for those that may not be aware of iOS 17, even if it's after this, there's a particular part of it, which is called link tracking prevention, and a link think, a query parameter. So a question mark with a bunch of UTM, or click IDs after the end. So there, there currently is a, a list of click IDs, that as part of this link tracking, prevention that's being removed or stripped, and then there's a whole bunch that are not touched. So let's start with the ones that are not currently being touched as of the date of this recording. Because there's a lot of confusion out there. UTM parameters, so UTM, source, UTM, medium, those are not being removed CLEVEO click IDs, or Senlin click IDs, those are not being removed, the ones that are the primary ones that are being removed. And it's a very arbitrary list, it's kind of odd, like the with a mixture of ones, there's a couple of wicked report, click IDs, the Facebook, click ID, that G click ID, but not all the Google ads, click IDs. So some of the newer click IDs that rolled out with iOS 14, those aren't on the list. Again, so it's, it's weird and likely to change. But the long and short of it is, let's talk about the Facebook, click ID and the G click ID, Facebook, click ID, any link. So anytime someone's clicking a link, whether it's an ad, or link within the Facebook, or Instagram, or any any of metazoan properties, the facebook click ID is appended to that URL. So if you click an ad, and you go to your site, it's going to have that Facebook, click ID, that is then set as a cookie. So the value of the facebook click idea is that as a cookie, so now in your Facebook integration, whether you're using Elevar, or others that support this, you have someone views a product or adds to cart, you are sending that event back to meta with the facebook click ID value. That way when Facebook receives it, it's like one one of the only ideas that Facebook generated it and they're getting it back from activity they can match. So that's a large part of their matching formula, even though they have like listed fifth or sixth on their user matching parameter forced ranking, whether that's true or not, who knows. So if you remove that, it is one of the data points that Facebook will no longer have to match user activity on your site to add impressions or clicks on them on meta platforms. So is this going to affect 100% of traffic? At the point iOS 17 rolls out? No. Will it be in the future? I bet Yes, at some point it's clear. That's Apple's that's the direction they're going in. But for now, it's impacting private browsing. So anyone who's using private browser, or if in your settings, you've chosen to have that setting applied to all browser sessions, whether you're private or not. So that that to me that's kind of like hidden one people are under estimating it again, if I'm wrong, more than I'm right. But I think that's going to be a higher percentage than than just people going in private browsing. And then link shared or opened in SMS or email. So her Apple Mail and Apple Mail is 50 plus percent of traffic so that that's a could be a pretty, pretty big percentage. So that's a pause there but it to me the the so what is a even bigger importance put on your other user matching data to send to to meta and other platforms that they need that they need that data to help match activity to, to add views and clicks?

William Harris  29:26  

Yeah. And I think that this is going to continue to be more and more that way. Like you said, this is clearly what Apple is intent on doing. Google is joining in on this to some degree. Mozilla already had a lot of things that it was doing from a privacy perspective brave as well. And so there's been more and more of a push towards this but Google or Apple decided to take it up a notch and really just stick a sword in our our our aside a little bit here. where's this going? iOS 1819 20? You know, do you see any type of like a future or an end goal in mind for this?

Brad Redding  30:17  

Long term, I see a lot of the privacy or availability to data being through the browser. So browser API's that, again, whether this happens or not, this is just a very easy example of instead of going to 10 different websites in a session, and all 10 websites have 10 Different consents, like accept or deny or select near cookie cookie preferences, that's not going to know it's not going to be up to the individual Brandon to own that that's gonna be at the browser level, where you just use select those settings once and then that applies to all of your browsing. It's, it's really ultimately what the app tracking. iOS 14, five was. Let's see that moving on to browsers again, that's that's just I don't know, I don't have any insider information on that, per se. But even seeing some of the sandbox developments that Google has been rolling out, it's been very, like browser API based. So I see see that in terms of more tactical things with with iOS and WebKit, as part of the apple umbrella, just, I think the days of the cat and mouse have, they roll out an update, and it's a it's a race to see what platform or solution can come to a workaround, oh, we're gonna do CNAME cloaking, because they don't they're not doing that, oh, we're gonna do quad a name cloaking. Because Apple's not looking for that. I think that game is nearing an end. And Apple just put a put a stop to that, which will put more emphasis on solutions like us, as well as brands to you work with more with the platforms versus again, just trying to look for hacks hacks around it. A lot of other realize it's kind of like a not it's not a specific answer. But I think, anyways, I'll shut up and let you go. No, well,

William Harris  32:04  

I think it is a fairly specific answer other than the fact that you're apparently not summoning the ghost of Steve Jobs to find out more insider information. It seems like the the writing's on the wall, in one of the best ways to get around it. We had Matt Bhar, he's the founder of Fairing on. Literally just ask people, there's nothing that's preventing you from asking people, where did you find us, and that's another really great data point to use. And we like to use GL holdout tests. So let's imagine you have zero data coming back. You know, if you run it in the States, and you don't in the States, what's the difference how much of a difference in there so there's a lot of ways where it's like, you take what you've got from, you know, from an Elevar, you take what you've got from customer surveys, like Fairing, you take what you've got from a geo hold up, you take what you've got in the platforms, and you start putting this together. And now you get a little bit more of a fully complete picture, instead of relying on one individual source or another as being you know, the absolute perfect shining star of all data that could possibly be Yeah,

Brad Redding  33:10  

yeah, I could go off on a tangent on this one, because I immediately go to the small brands, small businesses where they don't have the budget to do the wait and see. So is it okay do you do you have to start defining defining cohorts in a different way? Or are primary cohorts within these channels and say this is this is our ideal customer profile and let them let Facebook or whomever figure it out? And or is it? Yeah, anyways, I go off on a tangent but it's the thinking through the what would I do if I could not send any data whatsoever to Mehta or others? It's probably a very scary prospect for most because it's gonna be a lot of generic advertising from big box like Big. Big spenders versus very specific. Yeah,

William Harris  34:02  

absolutely. It's who's willing to outspend the other and it's it's not going to be the local store that outspends the big box retailers Yeah. I I want to shift into a little bit about who is Brad Redding because I think it's fun to get into the personal side of of everybody that comes on the show. Let's start with this one. What do you fear?

Brad Redding  34:27  

I have a never ending fear of failure. And it's funny the whole why question we're gonna when we were just talking about that a little while ago that was that was getting down into my like, I wasn't necessarily bawling my eyes I was driving but it was getting into like, why why do I care so much about proving people wrong and, and the fear of failing so I'm not able to prove people wrong. And so I think that's, to me, the the fear is, yeah, maybe it's a little I've matured a little bit over the last couple years but very much fear of failure but fear of failure that you know there are there are some chips I have my stack on my shoulder where I use them as motivation which healthy or not. It's I think it's been healthy for me. And yeah, so the fear is around getting to a certain point where I fail to, at least in my own head, say like, I won, like I won fu CLA

William Harris  35:24

there. I wish I could remember who said this. It was talking about Doom scrolling, I think, just doing scrolling through Tik Tok, which a lot of people have apparently very disappointing, Tik Tok algorithm, mine is very nice. And I get a lot of motivational stuff. And I really appreciate it. And so there was somebody that showed up that talked about how I believe it was somebody in the military, one branch of the military, or maybe the Navy almost looks to see if there was any kind of, let's say, emotional trauma, as a child, before they decide whether or not they're going to take them to be, you know, you know, the elite level or whatever, because they said that the biggest common denominator that had for people that make it to the top are some type of emotional trauma that basically like forces them to say, it's like, I will succeed, like, I can't not succeed. And so not saying you should go out and inflict emotional trauma. But at least to a point, maybe giving people who are parents wondering whether or not they're doing a perfect job or wondering what out there, they're scared of their kids. If you're intentionally trying to do the best job that you can, as a parent, know that you will probably do something that is not optimal. And in some way, you may end up ruining that child's life, quote, unquote. But those those emotional scars can be the catalysts for some really, really good things, too. That said, when I at least call it the caveat that, you know, there are some things that need professional help as well. So this isn't saying that, but there's an element of something in us that says, I will not fail at this, I will figure out a way to succeed.

Brad Redding  36:56

Yeah, why is where it's, and I have to have a three and four year old boy now. So it's, I do find myself teetering on that. When do I push versus when be hard versus soft? I guess even maybe, more bluntly.

William Harris  37:09

Yeah, absolutely. Okay, speaking of the tough parts of the job of life, and in the job itself, how do you deal with the stress of running a business that is constantly being attacked by Apple and others? But how do you deal with that stress?

Brad Redding  37:32  

I, this has been a organic and evolving answer. And I think I've learned a few things, one, focusing on the process. So it's, it's the day to day, the week, week, the month, the month, the year to year versus some sort of end, like and mission. So there is no end. That's the infinite game. So how, how can I build a life that I never want to retire from? And that, again, this is, it becomes easier as you hit certain milestones in building a company. But I do fall back on, okay, focus on it's the part I need to enjoy the process because there's not, there's not a magical, like, you walk through these doors at the end, and everything's perfect. So that's been one that that's helped me. The another one is keeping a healthy balance of, yes, there's a time when you just got to you got to GSD, and you got to work 80 hours, and you got to do the sweat, equity and all that. But after you get through that point, health as wealth or another phrase, bank accounts and belt buckle, so belt buckles go down, and bank accounts go up. So they also focusing on being healthy, both as individual but also as a family that will ultimately helps me perform better in my career and profession. And just, there are some very easy things like lifting weights or doing a race or doing competition, it's just, it's going to de stress it's gonna naturally distress. So I think those are probably the two things. The third one which is probably first on the list is having amazing people. So surrounding building a business with a culture that allows me to learn from so many, so many people that are just extremely skilled and get out of the way and let them execute. And the last point there is, it's also my job to ensure that I build a vision for our company and communicate that vision that is big enough where anyone that wants to come work at Elevar all of their dreams can come true under that larger umbrella. So it's one massive umbrella that's the vision, others that come in, they have their vision for what they want to achieve. They want to be sure they can they can see achieving their own goals and dreams underneath the umbrella of elevar. So that's like the soup the different ingredients off the top of my head but This one that has, has served me well over the last few years and, uh, not not having me, you know, stressing out too much.

William Harris  40:09  

Those are three very, very good ones. And shout out to Simon Sinek. I know you mentioned The Infinite Game, and I know he's got a great book about that. So that's something that I've had to deal with as well. You know, I was good at school. A lot of people maybe said that they weren't I got A's I enjoyed school I was, I did very well in a finite game. And to a point, when you leave that world where all of a sudden, you know, in a is not the best you can get, there's an infinite level above that infinite number of players that are coming in, the rules are changing, it can be a little bit tough to figure out how to you enjoy the process, instead of this destination. It's like, well, I got the A, I put in the effort as much as I needed to put in to get the A, which might have been less than somebody else, or more or whatever.

Brad Redding  40:53  

Yeah, it's tough. Yeah. Yeah. Speaking

William Harris  40:56  

of Simon Sinek, what about any books or podcasts that you love? You know, any good quotes or anything that you can think of that are things that you hold? True to, you know who you are, or just life in general?

Brad Redding  41:13  

Yep, so books I, I read a lot, I but I also I would say, this might just be feedback for anyone listening. I've also learned over the last three to five years of if there's a particular problem or challenge that I'm facing, I want to find the top two or three books on that topic and go really deep stack them I want to stack stack the books in education to get different perspectives and viewpoints and go really deep. For example, if you think about product management, so SAS product management, product lead growth, April what's April Dunford book? Gosh, it's not gonna be I'll think of it. Yeah, obviously I sell too often. So she she has an amazing book. And so there's just stacking two or three of those reading those together. Ones that I've tend to fall back on and reread are. Dale Carnegie has one or two that I really like. How to Sell the influence how to how to make friends and influence people win

William Harris  42:23

friends and influence people. I was talking to my 13 year old about it just the other day, right? Like just understanding the concepts of that. Yeah.

Brad Redding  42:33  

The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham. That's not

William Harris  42:37  

even heard of it. That's interesting. Yeah,

Brad Redding  42:40  

that one's really good. It's one of those books where it's every chapter has like its own book. So you can you can pick it up and just read there. I usually have a couple that I'm reading I'm rereading influence right now. That's another good one oldie but good one. I maybe some more new newer books. I actually really enjoyed Shoe Dog by Phil Knight from Nike. Buy back, Buy Back Your Time. Dan Martell. Yeah, I can go there's a lot of different different ranges. But

William Harris  43:13

I think I found these are all good. There's not a single one other than the one that you just said that I that's new to me, I gotta go look up. But I think I've read all of these, as well. And to your point, like, I liked that idea of stalking. And I don't know if I've ever read it that way. But stalking the skills and learning really deep at one time on a specific subject. Seems very smart idea. Profit

Brad Redding  43:35

First and Simple Numbers. That's another one. So that was early, like just trying to get finances in order the business. I read those two and I think Think and Grow Rich. There's another one William Hill. Yeah, so stacking those together and put a framework in place and profit Profit First and Simple nNmbers. There, they have a different perspective. But if you at least for me, I was able to take the best out of both and implement that which has been well served as well.

William Harris  44:05

I love it. Um, what about any kind of quirks or superhuman tricks? You can, you know, roll your eyes in opposite directions or anything like that.

Brad Redding  44:21  

I don't, but there's a story from a mastermind last year I was at. And so it was 20 or 30 other SAS SAS founders and we're at dinner. drinks were flowing for some at this lower table. And that was yeah, it was go everyone's got on the table sharing some sort of like, what's something quirky that you can do that, you know, just weird? And it was the last last verse in that table? Any The guy said he could shoot milk out of his eyeballs? Did he? Yes, he did. He did. I will. I won't call him out to say who it was. But yeah, I think it was like I thought it was either no, the Milky Way either made its way through his nose or his mouth. But yes, he, he stood up and he was shooting, shooting milk out of his eyeballs. It was it was the weirdest Craziest thing that all of us have ever seen. Obviously, the mic was dropped at that point. And yeah, I was I was hysteric. I didn't know what's

William Harris  45:20  

the cake. Yeah, pretty

Brad Redding  45:22  

impressive. And he said, he goes, he goes, I used to do is back in college. And he is he's in his mid late 40s. He goes, I haven't done this in probably 20 years. But yeah, I used to be able to do this. And then everyone was like, you know, cajoling him to do it. And he's like, Oh, I'll try it. And then yeah, he did it.

William Harris  45:40

Like random bicycle. Apparently, you can always shoot milk out of your eyes once you learn.

Brad Redding  45:43  

Yeah, exactly. Um,

William Harris  45:45  

what about you know, earlier, you and I were talking about just health and longevity. Dr. David Sinclair. Why is that something that's important to you?

Brad Redding  45:57  

Yeah, good. Good question. So the easy answer is I, my wife works at MUSC, the Medical University of South Carolina. And unfortunately, I get to hear some of that just horror stories where you know, someone who's 30 years old that they were diagnosed with stage three, or stage four cancer, and they only found out six months ago, then they wouldn't be able to catch it. And the amount of lives and families that are impacted, it's just, man, it's just, it's so sad. And that is a, I think it's grown into a passion of mine of if I could just snap my fingers and create something it would be, think about the infrared lights, where you just before you go to bed, you just sit in front of these infrared lights, not literally infrared, but something that just scans your whole body and will pick out like oh, that looks like something that you might want to get checked out. And I think part of this is as we age, we get we get older. I this is I've shared this publicly on my LinkedIn those story about a HighRock seven I did last year, but when when I turned 41 now and I turned 40 I had I had more EKGs hooked up to my heart, my chest that year ever. Everything's fine. I've gone through stress tests, I work out like crazy now, but they're, you know, they're they're things that I was just feeling and what didn't feel normal and had a few AFib episodes. And again, all like is healthy. I don't I don't have any any known issues. And I got a lot of tests. But that that. I think being for turning 40 Didn't help and having some of that pop up having two young boys where I started to mature more like, okay, it's not just about me and my life anymore. It's about them. I want to make sure they're healthy for them, and 20 3040 years. So I think that that those three, two or three things really started to drive me into I need to educate more outside of business and focus more on health because the last 17 years of my life has been focused on GS F dealing and building businesses and trying to achieve this. You know, this this dream of success in the business? And yeah, so that pulled me down the path of lifespan, the podcast by David Sinclair. Listen to all those. Peter Thiel outlive the book. I, I actually, I've done the full body MRI, MRI scans, I've shared videos of that and results of that and LinkedIn as well just trying to share openly and transparent for others who might be thinking about it, which was crazy amount of people that reached out or like I'm thinking about doing that, thank you for sharing. And all the blood work, like getting bloodwork every six months and just dive in deep on that. And just maybe we'll put a bow on this one. I think it's the there was a chapter or a few a few excerpts in the book Outlive that when you read it, you're like, oh, yeah, that actually does make sense. Like, if you can just go test yourself to find these things, even if there's nothing, why not just do it? Like just just do? Would you rather not know. And you find out that you do have something that's like a very serious mental condition where you're not guaranteed. And I got to share this, it was crazy to me the amount of friends like in my circle, after they saw me get the MRI scan and share results and share why I was doing it. And they're like, why would you want to why would you want to do that? Why would you want to find that once you just want to find out? I was like, Hell effing? No. Like I almost had to defend them like I'm on the same wavelength as you anymore. I'm like I'm living 220 And I'm going to be kicking my you know, my boys button sports and 40 years and I want to keep doing what I'm doing now for a long time.

William Harris  49:46  

Yeah, I'm with you. Love a lot of the stuff that Dr. David Sinclair talks about sirtuin one through seven mTOR and things like that, as well as in your human body. Peter Thiel I actually am friends with the guy who runs Peters podcast. He's actually local here and and there's so much out there right now that's, that's turning things up on their heads where we can actually look at longevity as not just some pseudoscience, but we're starting to understand a lot of what's going on there. Yeah. If you are going to give outside of the testing, yeah, one or two tips that you have found that at least for you seem to be the best for helping you improve your health and longevity as a busy business owner, who maybe finds it hard to eat healthy and work out the way that you would like to what, what are those one or two things that you've been able to implement in your life? You're like, Look, if you can only implement these two things. Least start here.

Brad Redding  50:51  

Man, I'll answer but it's, it's, these are always the personal personal questions where people have their own, you know, 100 what they want, want to hear or not. So for me, I really, I don't care how busy anyone, including myself is not exercising both aerobic and strength training, that is a choice that you make, that is not a result of your circumstances. Anyone can choose to wake up a little bit earlier or go to bed, you know, not watch Netflix or do whatever you're gonna do at night, and not exercise. So that to me is a that's, that's a given. I've been fortunate where that's been I've done that for my entire life, pretty much. I've always exercised. Many benefits. I have my wife, she loves exercise, too. So it's very natural for both of us. So that's number one. The the other one is kind of a weird quirk. But I years ago, I saw some ad was like, Oh, if you drink a gallon of water a day, then you look younger by 1020 years. And I was like, oh, I want to look younger. So I've been drinking a gallon of water for 20 plus years. It was a joke. When I left my left agency here I would have I would come to work in the morning with a gallon of Joe a gallon water and I'll finish it before I leave. So one of my gifts my left after five years is someone actually bought me a legitimate gallon gallon jug versus the milk jug. Yeah, but that but I think the water to me that water is another one where hydrating like just great. Hydration has served me very well personally for many, many different reasons. More more recently, I've definitely got on the cold and and hot train. I did. Again, as you get you get older, or you age, you get more and you exercise hard, you get more, you know, your knees ache or injuries don't heal quite as quickly as possible. So I did the cryo, started in cryo therapy a couple years ago was doing that regularly to try to heal this injury because nothing else with heal that actually whether that worked or not, or just, you know, timing, but so now I'm definitely very much the heat, the heat and cold therapy. So infrared, sauna, cold therapy. And eating by the way, the other same comment goes for nutrition as well. That same thing I said about exercise that is a choice, bad nutrition. It's what is in front of you on a plate, I think what I will release my family. My goal is not for someone to look at what we're eating and say like, oh man that's really healthy. It's like, that doesn't even come up. It's just natural. Like what what we're eating is, is natural, I realized that that's not always available for everyone. But like, I'm very plain eater sweet. Like what we had last night sweet potato, broccoli, and salmon. Hmm. Nice.

William Harris  53:46  

I I appreciate even just the way that you said this about. These are choices, right, you get to choose. And for the most part, nothing is standing in the way of you getting some type of workout in, or you making some really good conscious effort towards what you're eating. And I think that that is one of the biggest keys for everything in life is that so much of life, it really does come down to like, there are choices that you get to make every day. And if you don't like the situation that you're in, choose something different. You don't continue to choose to do the same thing that you're doing the same thing that somebody else is doing that's not resulting in what you want. You choose differently. Yeah,

Brad Redding  54:31  

I had, my dad won't be listening to this. He won't be able to give me crap for it. But we were I was over there yesterday and, you know, complaining about a couple things. And I said, as a dad you want you want to hear some words from the wise a wise man, your son, of course is rolling the eyes. So you know at the day that I learned and I believe this to my core. nobody owes me anything at all. Nobody owes me anything. And I should never expect anything from anybody. If I live that, and that just removes so much potential stress, worrying about, I gave this person something why they say thank you or I didn't do this and they say thank you or, you know, this person cut me off what the hell? It's just like nobody owes me anything. And and yeah, I'll TBD whether that that'll that'll kick in with him or not

William Harris  55:21  

brilliant though I could go on this topic for the rest of our entire next episode that said I do want to wrap up here. If people want to find you they want to work with you. They want to follow you what's the best way for them to get in touch?

Brad Redding  55:40  

LinkedIn? Yeah, Brad, Brad, Redding on LinkedIn. That's the that's really where I spend most of my social time these days.

William Harris  55:49  

Sounds good. All right. Well, Brad, I appreciate you coming out here. sharing your knowledge, sharing your wisdom. With everybody here.

Brad Redding  55:55  

Thanks. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

William Harris  55:58  

Yeah, and quick disclaimer, I think too. We're not practicing any medicine here. Do your own research. This is just for fun and what's working for us? Kudos, Sia. Thanks.

Outro  56:11  

Thanks for listening to the Up Arrow Podcast with William Harris. We'll see you again next time. And be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.

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