From Punk Rock Star To Marketing Master

December 1, 2022


Hosted By

Rabah Rahil
CMO at Triple Whale


Charley Tichenor
Join the Community at FacebookDisrupter.com

Episode Description

In this episode, we sit with Charley and talk about his life from punk rockstar to marketing master and Facebook ads wizard. #ROAS

Notes & Links

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Follow the people featured in this episode here:

- Rabah's Twitter: https://twitter.com/rabahrahil
- Charley's Twitter: https://twitter.com/fbdisrupter


Charley Tichenor (00:00):

What you don't want is three months of amazing growth that you can't replicate. What you want is a consistent path that you can show is you. I can sell this to you. I can leave. And the infrastructure exists. If your entire business is predicated on getting lucky and taking lottery picks, you might be wildly successful, but if you can't sustain that success, it's completely meaningless to anybody other than you. And your exit strategy is basically you give up after you end up working too hard and investing more and more resources chasing the next win.

Rabah Rahil (00:41):

Welcome back for another episode of you're not your Roaz, I'm joined with one of my faves, me and him go way back. We actually had a podcast together. He, I was actually under his tutelage at one point, we, we helped launch his Facebook together. He's he's the possibly the most black man on DTC. And he is trying to change that people. And here's, here's the PR tour starting here. I caught 'em right before Europe. Chuck T how are you? My man,

Charley Tichenor (01:07):

I'm doing fantastic, man. And I do appreciate that. And it's it's yeah, for those that don't know you and I met on the Facebook groups of gurus and, and, and, and nonsense folk many, many years ago. And you inspired me after I got kicked out of everywhere and had to do my own thing to actually do my own thing. And then literally all of this is your fault Roba so I just wanna make sure that everybody understands that, and I'm very appreciative of it. And, uh, yeah, man, I mean, what, this is four or five years later, look at where we're at, man. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing. Sure. And, um, I wanted to save this for you at this moment. And I was gonna say something it's like my friends, you have a beautiful thirst there. I hope somebody doesn't.

Rabah Rahil (01:58):

I am not at my office and I, I I'm liquid death. One down. We, we we'll call it Charlie one. Rob is zero right now. Oh man. You're taking the lead going into the rapid fire. Oh, wow. Then I should have known you. You, you optimizer. Um, <laugh> well, let's get into it first. So let's do it again. I am actually in Columbus right now. Uh, not in my Austin hub. Uh, snowed in here. Where does this podcast find you, Charlie?

Charley Tichenor (02:23):

Uh, I'm on my back porch in Los Angeles, California. So, uh, uh, yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm seeing the sunlight. It's a little chilly. So I started a fire in the fireplace and, uh, it's a beautiful day. Hey, you know, uh, I'm I'm, I'm above ground in the promised land. I can't hate that.

Rabah Rahil (02:40):

I love it. How long have you been Cali your whole life or you were in Florida for a bit too, right?

Charley Tichenor (02:44):

Yeah. I, I grew up, uh, military brat, uh, graduated high school Magna come Lak the 2.73 cuz I was the only senior in my graduating class cause it got expelled four times and uh, went to school in Florida to be a,

Rabah Rahil (02:58):

Uh, so on

Charley Tichenor (02:59):

Brand recording engineer and uh, got into, I was a touring musician, ran a recording studio and got into radio, but then this like awful sex tape with whole Kogan ended my radio career. And uh, so I moved up to California, got a job doing $10 hour, you know, data entry at a illegitimate ad agency, running fake views for Disney stars on their brand new videos. And uh, within about two years I was a supervisor at Omnicom spending a million dollars a day or so a couple years before the pixel. And you know, here's here where I'm at now, you know, a couple hundred million in and over a billion in revenue driven, just trying to help people see the light man trying to help save some children and make dreams possible.

Rabah Rahil (03:43):

Yeah. I love it. You know, the, the unicorn babies. Um, that's incredible. So how did you get into marketing? And so you went in from this data entry position and then you got into this, this Disney pump factory or like how, how did you get into

Charley Tichenor (03:56):

That? Yeah, so while I was touring as a punk musician, I was able to figure out how to come home with money. And so like I was very entrepreneurial from a very young age. I was actually before that, even in little league, I was the number one salesperson for candy bars every single year. So I got a free huffy bike on an annual basis. Right. I got the $150 toys. I rest gift certificate and I crushed everybody all the time. I was like eight and I was just destroying people door to door. Nobody could compete with me back then. And I mean, Hey, this thing's true now. Um, so when I was touring, I figured out basically how to come home with money. And when I was working on the radio, uh, nobody else wanted to do it. So I got into a bit of selling advertising and stuff.

Charley Tichenor (04:42):

And ultimately what happened is people started to, I started to figure out how to run festivals for money. I used to throw my own festivals mm-hmm <affirmative> and ultimately what occurred is people started to ask me to help them back in the day of like my space bulletin boards and I CQ and aim and shit like that. How do we get money? Right? How do we make stuff work? And long story short, I was able to put myself through grad school and I got an MBA Harvard business review from, uh, a professional college, um, that was aligning themselves with, uh, military bases. It was basically a decades old, uh, relationship between Harvard and the United States military. Basically I had satellite locations all around the country. So if you were middle management as an officer and you needed a graduate degree, there was an opportunity. My parents both are military.

Charley Tichenor (05:25):

My dad happened to be a professor of theoretical mathematics at that university. So I got kind of legacy in and uh, through night school, I put my, I, I got my MBA in marketing and business management that built on my, uh, bachelor's degree in music, business management and my associate's degree in recording arts. So, um, basically I stayed in college, cuz student loans were nice and I couldn't keep a job. And, uh, that put me out into a space. And when I landed in LA, I was working $10 an hour. I was five to six years older than everybody, but I had an MBA working a data entry job. And, uh, I basically automated my entire workflow. Uh, there was 10 of us in the office. I was doing the work of 20 and I was, and I watched all of wire at my, all of the wire at my desk in about two and a half months, which shows you about how much work I was putting in and uh,

Rabah Rahil (06:14):

Incredible show by the way.

Charley Tichenor (06:17):

Absolutely excellent top tier and uh, top tier, you know, that, uh, that agency went under, I stole some of their clients. The biggest client fired me cuz they put some money into Facebook ads. They were like, Hey man, no, no harm, no foul, but I put a hundred bucks in Facebook ads and did better than I'm paying you 2000 a month for on a GRA organic growth hacking. And so I lick my wounds, ate like shit. And the next day I put my credit card into Facebook, started promoting my band and with uh, within a year and a half a year or so I was uh, you know, seven figure daily spends

Rabah Rahil (06:48):

That's crazy. What dirty cakes still or is it rebranded? What? Yeah.

Charley Tichenor (06:51):

Dirty cakes back in the day. Yeah.

Rabah Rahil (06:53):

Yeah. See, I know,

Charley Tichenor (06:53):

I knows. Yeah, yeah.

Rabah Rahil (06:56):

Research. I did the research. There you go. We stopped you. We stopped you. That's cool, man.

Charley Tichenor (07:00):

I actually, all of it was

Rabah Rahil (07:01):


Charley Tichenor (07:03):


Rabah Rahil (07:04):

Well with the, the, having the credentials in a really not demeaning, but you know, I, I had just graduated with my economics degree and uh, I didn't really know what I wanted to do. And so I just moved back to Indy and I went back to the job I had before college, which was selling women's shoes at Nordstrom's like the fancy women's shoes and man you'll never see like entitlement until you <laugh> talk to some rich women that like, oh man, it was, it was brutal. And then you'd have these really unique discussions of like, oh cool. What do you wanna do with your life? Like, oh, what did you just, oh, I just graduated. Oh, that's cool. From what economics. And then you just get these weird looks of like, why are you selling women's shoes? And so it was, uh, very, very similar in that vein of like having an MBA and doing data entry. Like <laugh>, that's a, it's a, you know, definitely a gut check. Uh, I love that man. It's dirty cake still around you still jamming.

Charley Tichenor (07:57):

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Man. I mean, uh, Kobe put a KIBO on some

Rabah Rahil (08:03):


Charley Tichenor (08:03):

I didn't think about, you know, uh, rehearsals happen on a regular basis. Uh, music videos are out records, ready to release and we can, you know, support it. And

Rabah Rahil (08:13):

You're an ex man, right?

Charley Tichenor (08:14):

Yeah. At least once a week, I'm in a loud room with giant fucking speakers, playing guitar on a lot of fuzz. And what I lack in talent, I make up for in distortion and gumption and you know, uh, we have a lot of fun.

Rabah Rahil (08:27):

I love that. I love that. How did you get how'd you get into playing a guitar? Is, is music in the family or

Charley Tichenor (08:33):

Yeah. Yeah. My dad had, my dad had a guitar in the house and he played in a church band and some bands in college and I stole his 12th string when I was eight. Um, and then I built a guitar in wood shop in ninth grade and uh, I had the bug. It was just like, I mean, literally like I've got music, you know, like it's what I do. Uh, and uh, I mean it's just in, in, in the blood forever and I grew up with listening to surf and to folk and to like oldies where songwriting was really good and it was following some really similar basics and things. And um, I just absolutely fell in love with the art man. And uh, if I could do one thing all day long, it's, it's get attention, get loud, make money. And uh, I mean, I feel like that's not a shock to anybody.

Rabah Rahil (09:26):

Oh, definitely not me. Definitely not me. Um, I love that, man. So you're running your ads now for your band. What did you find? Was there any challenges there or was there some big learnings where you're like, oh man, I can really like there there's something here. Yeah.

Charley Tichenor (09:44):

Yeah. Well, it was, it was really interesting. And what that did is it opened the door to some other opportunities. Um, for instance, uh, a buddy of mine who's now a mentor was running an ad agency and there was a show called the pitch. They used to air alongside mad men and it was a reality show where two ad agencies compete to be the AOR, the agency of record for a big client. And uh, long story short I'm on the very last episode, basically when they put me on the air, they canceled the show and, uh, it was 1-800-FLOWERS, uh, wanting to do social gifting. And the idea was that you had to spend a hundred thousand dollars, but you couldn't do print radio or search or email. You had to spend all of it on Facebook to generate revenue mm-hmm <affirmative>, which at the time was a ludicrous idea.

Charley Tichenor (10:29):

Um, long story short, we won and uh, by, by heading shoulders, crushed everybody else. And uh, I really got to understand the opportunity at that time of promoting my band and then also running, you know, e-commerce and getting attention and really understanding at a core value that I still hold to this day that paid media is organic, that you are amplifying, right? If you, your business model has to work, your foundation has to be successful. And the reason that you run ads is because you found something that works and you wanna pour gas on that fire. And so that was at the very core of how I got to this. And I think that sadly, a vast majority of individuals don't come from that foundation, um, because they got into Facebook and it was so easy, you could do everything wrong and still make money.

Charley Tichenor (11:26):

And I see a lot of the students that I have in the Facebook ads, MBA program, and a lot of people that I talk to on Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, everywhere. I'm at the Facebook group. That's 12,000, 13,000 students. All, I would say 70, 80% of 'em come from paid works. And hopefully all you need to make a business work is good marketing. And the reason that they're failing is because they don't understand the aspect of how organic works in the ecosystem. And even the function of the organic algorithm is the backbone of Facebook's OCPM environment. And I was in arguments of people on Twitter even this week where they're absolutely right about like machine learning and about the learning phase. And like, why am I gonna spend Mon one of the big questions we got from somebody? It was that like, why am I gonna spend, you know, money on, you know, if I have a bakery, why am I gonna target somebody that doesn't all do this stuff?

Charley Tichenor (12:23):

And, and the point is even at broad targeting and also the reason why the doom and GLM around Facebook is absolute nonsense is because, yeah, talk's shiny. That's fun. And it's new. And Amazon is great and Google's there and email and all that stuff. But the Facebook pixel is on 70, 80% of every website. The app touches billions of people in the world. Yeah. They, they lost growth. Who cares. They already have market share. They're no longer in a growth period, they're in a maturity stage. But what that means is they have in house, a data warehouse of a decade or more on millions and millions of people understanding what content they've engaged with, what groups they're, in, what words they've used, but also what websites they've been to, what stuff they've done on those websites. So like if you're selling dog food, you can go broad.

Charley Tichenor (13:07):

And if your ad says, Hey, are you a dog owner? You want some dog food, somebody that owns a cat or a snake or hates pets, um, is never gonna see your ad because Facebook ultimately is an organic machine trying to keep somebody's attention, right? So the out the, the part of the equation that most performance first marketers fundamentally miss, is that your ad functions as a business objective for Facebook to provide a greater user experience for the end user. And so where ads do the targeting and anybody that wants to say, that's a hot take, please DM me. I'll gladly, uh, help you understand it is that Facebook is trying to show the content to people that they want to see. And that's one reason why interest groups are terrible for you, because what you're doing is you're forcing a bad experience on people and cost you extra.

Charley Tichenor (13:53):

You have to pay a premium to force a bad experience, which is why your CPMs are 30, 40, $50. Like if your CPMs are over 20 or you're using ABO or interest groups, what that tells me more than anything is you don't know how to creative test properly abroad. And that's a big gap that most people have because they're not coming from the idea that content is meant to give somebody an enjoyable experience. And if you don't give a damn about the customer and you don't appreciate the value of your relationship with your business partner, you are going to struggle at business or any relationship. If my wife came to me and said, this is what she wants me to look like, and this is the way she wants me to behave. And these are the things she needs from me. And my response was to give her the middle finger and try to make money.

Charley Tichenor (14:32):

It's not gonna last. And there's absolutely no reason that Facebook is any different or Instagram or YouTube or Pinterest or TikTok or any OCPM platform. And, and Pinterest is a gray area between CRM and search and, and optimized CPM. But ultimately Facebook did that better than everybody else. Their market share is indomitable. And if TikTok crushes for the next three to five years, they would need one to get adoption from 75 to 80% of everybody in, in America. Plus there's tons of countries that banned outright. They would need their pixel placed on 75 to 80% of websites. And at that point they are going to have a data disadvantage on volume and integrity and context of what Facebook already has today. So when people are bearish on Facebook, my reaction to them is that you have to understand you've been spoiled up to this point, and yes, there's plenty of opportunities for arbitrage in other places.

Charley Tichenor (15:32):

But if you're trying to grow a business, if you're trying to get awareness, there's a hundred dollars a day play, and there's a million dollars a year play. And especially if you want business growth, especially if you wanna exit your business, especially if you want investors, what you don't want is three months of amazing growth that you can't replicate. What you want is a consistent path that you can show is you. I can sell this to you. I can leave. And the infrastructure exists. If your entire business is predicated on getting lucky and taking lottery picks, you might be wildly successful, but if you can't sustain that success, it's completely meaningless to anybody other than you. And your exit strategy is basically you give up after you end up working too hard and investing more and more resources chasing the next win. Um, and, and I know that just cuz I've taken plenty of brands to market and investment bankers in public.

Charley Tichenor (16:23):

And I think that that's at a core misunderstanding that a lot of people have. And I was lucky enough to be an organic growth hacker in the very beginning, literally trying to hack the HTML code of MySpace bulletin board post to get more people to show up to an open mic night. Like that's when it started. And there's absolutely no difference between that and running a hundred dollars a day, $10,000 a day or $50,000 a day e-commerce brand. Um, it's the exact same principle. It's just a matter of scale of the application. And um, yeah, so that's a long winded story of how I got there. I don't even remember the question, but that's, I think what the biggest message, I really see all the time with people and what I, the advantage that I had and I was lucky enough to be the guy that could be the organic growth hacker, got a job as a supervisor at an international conglomerate ad agency, cuz I was on television.

Charley Tichenor (17:20):

I had proven that I was the best on that show and nobody else wanted to do Facebook because it was the ugly stepchild because Facebook was a crazy idea. It was the weird thing that nobody wanted to mess with. Um, and so I got all the Facebook contracts and because I went to, you know, I, I gathered legit MBA in marketing and business management. I could run really high quality case studies and because when Facebook would come trying to sell their wearers and influence people that like, Hey, maybe you should start advertising on Facebook because we think it's gonna be big. I was the only person they ever talked to, which means I got millions and millions of dollars of case studies. And I got to develop the product with the engineering and the product team and the measurement team. A lot of the folks that are in leadership positions now I met when they were, you know, month one into the business.

Charley Tichenor (18:11):

So I was at a very core element of just being in the right place, the right time, the right opportunity, the right preparation and a space where everybody knew that they needed somebody, but nobody wanted do the work. And I was just stoked that somebody gave me like health insurance, cuz I just used to be a junky musician like begging my parents for money so I could buy cigarettes and food today. So like I was very lucky and I just opportunity and preparation met in the time where nobody else was doing stuff. And so I was lucky to be at the point of being, you know, the tip of the spear on stuff like lead gen ads. I, I literally did the case study to prove it or DPA, same thing there, canvas which failed miserably, but whatever. And, and to the point Facebook release when, when Facebook, you know, was starting to talk about tower five and CBO and creative testing, advanced matching, um, I had seven or eight figures of Facebook coupons to teach them what to do.

Charley Tichenor (19:11):

And ultimately the disruptor group are the people that teach the reps what to teach others. So by the time agencies and Gus are teaching lessons, what it means is it's their version of interpreting what a rep taught them six months a year or two before. And that rep is teaching them something that a disruptor figured out six months to a year or two before that. So a lot of the folks that are complaining about the future of the platform are at best two to three years behind what they should be doing. And the O the gap between best practice and practical application is so vast that literally Facebook could stop investing in any innovation. And you would have three to five years of runway of continuous improvement. So I'm super bullish on, on the future of, of all of it. And I've kind of staked my claim on it, for sure.

Charley Tichenor (20:01):

And, uh, I mean, it, it, it's, it's the same type of conversation of saying in 2001, nobody can innovate in email anymore. So it's stupid or in 2008, people are like, look, there's just no way to innovate or create new change inside of Google anymore. And the engineers are frustrated cuz they can't get anything else off the ground. And the seniority is just trying to push things, but you already have a Ferrari in the garage just cuz you're trying to build a spaceship. Doesn't mean the Ferrari isn't better than somebody else's, you know, 89 Honda civic, much left to the 89 Honda civic, but the Ferrari's gonna crush it. Right. And so, yeah, like I said, I don't even remember the question, but that's, that's the answer to it.

Rabah Rahil (20:43):

<laugh> that is Charlie in a nutshell. I don't remember the question question, but that's the answer to it. So there's a lot to unpack there. I love it. So to be fair, the market does not agree with you. Facebook took an absolute haircut, like a really I think plus 20 some. So you're buying the dip.

Charley Tichenor (21:00):

BT. I have Fang. I I have F triple

Rabah Rahil (21:03):

Index. Yeah. Okay. I don't care. You're in there. So a little couple counterpoints there. So one to kind of keep people up to speed when Charlie's talking about OCPM he means optimize CPM. So, um, I, don't actually not familiar with the other auctions, but Facebook uses something called a card victory, globe groves, auction. And ultimately it's just a fancy way of saying that you actually care about the community or you can have some other outlier, this outlier being the community, uh, the community is basically analogous to the newsfeed. And so just because you have a bunch of money, doesn't mean you can ruin this newsfeed. And so that's why the, you have those bare bids, right? Where you have your bid, your estimated actuate and then your internal external ratings. And that's actually how you're getting into things or that's how you're winning impressions in the auction.

Rabah Rahil (21:51):

It's not just based on a proper how much money do you have. Yeah. So that's why when people say, oh, Facebook can just turn up ad rates or they can't. The only way Facebook can make more money is offer more inventory or people bid more aggressively in the auctions. Facebook does not have some lever that says, Hey, let's turn CPMs up. Like that's just not the fundamentals of it. Again, if you wanna get nerdy and go look at the economics, it's actually a really interesting, it was actually academic research that wasn't used for anything. And then Zuckerberg found it or his team found it and then implemented anyways, I'm in the weeds now, but just kind of keep people up there cuz some people might not know what optimized CPM means, where uh, ultimately sure. And this is totally different right. Than if you're buying a TV ad or something like that, where you're basically gonna get a rate sheet and we're gonna say, we're gonna give you X amount standard across X there's no competition. There's no di dynamicism you're gonna pay X amount of impressions. Your CPM is here and you're gonna get this many impressions and then you're gonna pay at that rate. And so that, that just kind of tidying that up. Yeah,

Charley Tichenor (22:54):

Absolutely. And, and, and email television, programmatic display native. Those are all what we call inventory based systems and Pinterest and Google and B are all demand based. And what Facebook brings to the table at the optimized CPM environment brings to the table is a qualitative metric on the cost of that inventory and the delivery of those impressions. So if you provide a good service to Facebook's bottom line, you are gonna get preferential treatment in cost and delivery, which ultimately spikes your overall impression rate, which is why CTR is completely irrelevant. And I want a low one because that means I reached way more people. Um, and my CPC is irrelevant because it's a metric of an output of four other things that's not actionable. And why even CPM is just a Canary in the coal mine of saying, how good are you as an advertiser? And the honest truth is if you're paying over 20, $30 CPMs, there's a dramatic improvement you can make on your business just by testing better or by getting rid of high cost inventory that is hurting you on the bottom line or just improve your customer service. Um, what happens after the click is fundamental to your cost of advertising on the platform.

Rabah Rahil (24:05):

I totally agree with you there. And I would say that, uh, so I'm not a huge CPM maxi. I'm more of in the middle where I think CPMs are useful, but they're kind of second, third, fourth order fire alarms for me. Like I'm not looking at these things at the first thing that's going wrong. But to your point, you can see some things. However, if I asked you Charlie, the media buyer, I, I would, you rather have high CPMs and a bunch of conversions or would you rather have low CPMs and no conversions? So this is where I get caught up. When people use CPMs as like a first order indicator. It's like, who cares if you're in the best party with the millionaires? Yeah. I don't mind paying double the CPM. These people are buying and every time they're buying, they're buying two X to AOV, then these scrubs and these cheap CPMs are.

Rabah Rahil (24:50):

And so again, I think CPMs are important, but they're they're second, third, fourth order kind of you're they're not in the hierarchy. Like you need to understand like if you're in the cool kids club, stay in there. Yeah. Pay to be in there. Yeah. That's the whole pulling. Like you wanna be around the rich people that, and if it costs you more, that's fine. Cuz guess what do you wanna be in a room with a bunch of poor people? And you know, I don't mean to sound condescending. I'm probably using a bad analogy. No, but no,

Charley Tichenor (25:13):


Rabah Rahil (25:14):

At a

Charley Tichenor (25:14):

High product, you're making the point. Yeah. And, and, and to that point, I think I will tell people and I'll die on this hill. The only two metrics that matter, honestly, there's only one metric that matters, but I'll give a qualification for second best is spend after spend. It is volume of conversions. But let me make three really clear statements. Number one, reporting is never gonna be accurate. Number two, attribution is a complete nonsense live built by digital marketing platforms to convince ad agencies, to spend more money that they then taught marketers. And that was a generation ago and people just still haven't been able to see through it. And number three, incremental lift is the only thing that matters. If you can't measure, if you can't answer this question, if I spend more money here, does that generate a higher profit? And which investment is of the highest quality for me that is most sustainable and the highest value asset for my business.

Charley Tichenor (26:07):

Objective, if you can't answer that question, then you're dead in the water. And you know, that is what the ecosystem row has. Doc, that I built back in 2018 answers in a simple Excel spreadsheet because I had a boss that was spending a hundred million on television. Her attribution model was five minutes after the infomercial aired. Like there's no pixel, but she was able to run a billion dollar business doing that. And, and, and she left that and, and, and came to what we were doing. And like I had to go in there a million times trying to prove the value of all of this stuff. And when I couldn't answer those questions, I realized I was trying to give a nickel answer in a million dollar question. And so many people at the CPM, CTRs, CPC, Roaz all of these things. You are still so focused in the box that you can't see the forest for the trees.

Charley Tichenor (26:59):

And the sooner you start looking at incremental lift across your entire ecosystem, the sooner you stop giving a damn about everything that people are worried about, because you ultimately say, how do I make myself the best business partner to my vendor? And how do I maximize the opportunity? And if I'm maximizing the opportunity I'm getting better every week, every month, does that ultimately benefit my business? If the answer is yes, great. If the answer's no awesome. We got an action plan and really it comes down to maybe you have three yeses. Well, which one causes the most lift. If you have a limited budget, or if you have an unlimited budget, what's the correlation between them. And if you can't answer those questions, if you're not looking at your media buying in that way, then you're gonna be really struggling. And the answer to all of those questions, none of those answers are ABO or creative type or bidding model.

Charley Tichenor (27:58):

Those have nothing to do with it. Those are distractions of really shiny objects that ultimately prevent you from solving the 10 million problem. Cuz you're trying to figure out the thousand dollar issue in front of your face. And if you go down the road of trying to solve for all those problems, yes, you're gonna get somewhere. You can work harder and by force of will make things happen. Maybe you can get from 1 million to five. Maybe you can get to 10, but you're never gonna do to a hundred cuz you can't work 10 times, 20 times harder. And ultimately the more of these moves that you make predicated on the idea of disrespecting your customer and your business partner. The harder it is to even maintain that six months from now a year from now. And the majority of folks that I see struggle are I will say this.

Charley Tichenor (28:48):

I don't see people that have figured out creative testing it, broad auto placement auto bed with dynamic ads in a CBO. I don't see those same people also saying that they're worried about the future and the people that I do see constantly raising red flags and liking other people's tweets and championing other people's insecurities. They're all the ones that also aggressively avoid adopting what Facebook's been asking them to do since 2018. And again, it's a relationship. And if somebody tells you what they need from you in that relationship and your response is given the finger, don't be upset when that relationship goes poorly, you can go out and try to find three other people to take advantage of, but eventually you're gonna run outta room. And there's a big difference between trying to spend a thousand dollars a day at a profit and trying to build a hundred million dollar business.

Charley Tichenor (29:40):

And, and I'm in the business of giving people the knowledge, the awareness and the expertise to make that shift. And I always tell people like if you're a media buyer, your job isn't to spend that 500 a day, that 10,000 a day at a profit, that is not your job. Your job is to figure out if my spend is a thousand bucks, why can't it be three? What is wrong in the business that prevents me from tripling my acquisition budget. If you can solve those problems, you are now a director of growth, which is what every Facebook media buyer could be in a flip of a switch because ultimately that is how you grow businesses. That's how you grow brands. That's how you go to an investment banker. And you say, my business is worth a hundred million dollars. And for what it's worth, most folks that run ad agencies that came into the game, 20 17, 20 18, they've never had that conversation. I can't blame those people for not understanding that because it's like trying to explain snow to somebody that's never seen it. Like yeah, white shit falls from the sky and it's cold or explaining the ocean to somebody that's never left Nebraska. Like yeah. That piece of water, it goes so far that it's flat at the end.

Rabah Rahil (31:00):

I I think maybe a be a better analogy might be, uh, explaining water to a fish.

Charley Tichenor (31:05):

Sure. Yeah. Where

Rabah Rahil (31:06):

You're so you're so ensconced in it. It's impossible to get your head around, like to step out of this, this mindset. Um, but oh my gosh, we're already into the value add segment. You skipped, you skipped over so many things. Of course that Charlie T podcast is not gonna be structured like normal. We're going crazy here

Charley Tichenor (31:24):

Folks. Sorry man. It's, I'm passionate. I'm in love with this stuff. I just want people to see more success and less stress because 90% of people are doing things wrong, cuz they were poorly trained by somebody else didn't know what they were doing. So I'm here to help.

Rabah Rahil (31:37):

Well, I think two touching back on kind of your organic talks and me and Cody and Ash have been talking about that too. And kind of like a little in interesting metal model I was thinking of was um, like these organic, these communities, like they become foundational layers that you can then build skyscrapers on with your paid media. But what happened, in my opinion, to your point, there was just such a big bull market. People were building, uh, excuse me, skyscrapers on sand mm-hmm <affirmative> and then once that earthquake hit, their whole building fell down because they didn't have the foundational elements of actually like I think ultimately too, what happened there was just such a, the, the, the new seed was just such a can brain explosion. And ad inventory was just like, oh my gosh, this is incredible. That people kind of swung too far into the quantitative element of it.

Rabah Rahil (32:27):

Mm-hmm <affirmative> and you just started having these quants that are just going in numbers. And at the end of the day, man, these are there's people behind these numbers. And like, are you making a connection? Are you generating value for them? Are you giving them a story that they can tell their wife or their husband or whoever their significant other, their friends, why they're so smart because they bought your product. Like, it, it, it kind of sounds silly, but there's just a bit of going back to the fundamentals of like, you know, would you want your product? Would you use your product? Would you tell your mom or your sister, would you recommend it to your best friend? Like, and if the answer is there or no, you know, maybe that is probably a good place to start versus ABO or CBO <laugh>. And, and again, this is my points of view, but like understand those fundamentals and then those fundamentals can scale.

Rabah Rahil (33:08):

And then to your point, like, this is actually a, a John coil quote, but it's kind of same, same, but different as you where it's like, uh, paid media is fuel. It's not the fire. And, and so like until you have that fire, unless you're, you're just gonna pour gasoline on a match, it doesn't matter. I know. Right. It's perfect. It just ties it perfectly. But anyways, I, I, I think that that's really, um, a lot of the challenges that there were things that worked, but it's not that they worked because the strategies were sound or the tactics were robust. It was because you were in a massive bull market. <laugh> yeah, you were, if you put any semblance of anything like you were gonna do well, and if furthermore, you know, if you were charismatic and you had a great story, you were gonna, you were gonna be able to, you know, convince people to come along for the ride and you no, no judgment there.

Rabah Rahil (33:56):

It's just, that was what I saw was when people got really far away from the basics and it's almost kind of the same view. I have a little bit of biohacking where it's like, yeah, dude, what's the point? Like sleep, get your exercise in meditate or find some sort of mindfulness practice. Like there's all these things versus like, well, I should eat bull balls at 2:00 AM and then I'll drink Rams piss at 1:00 AM. And you're just like, I mean, maybe, maybe, but maybe if you kind of just get these fundamentals in place first and these first principles, and you understand that, then you can really kind of start to get those other, you know, maybe 1, 2, 3 percentage point gains. But it, it feels a lot like sometimes people are spending dollars to save pennies and I'm, that's just not, not my jam.

Charley Tichenor (34:37):

No, I love it. And, and, and I'll back that up with something there's an old Yiddish saying that is where it ends, where it begins. So it ends. And if you take out the last five years of Facebook media buying, right,

Rabah Rahil (34:52):

Mm-hmm, <affirmative>,

Charley Tichenor (34:53):

We're still in a spot where ultimately,

Charley Tichenor (35:00):

Can you be on the street corner and sell this product? Can you go door to door and sell this service? Will people be happy because of it because running Facebook ads or any paid media is a way of scaling that effort, right? Like if you, you can't go door to door and sell your product, don't be astonished when you can't trick a bunch of people on the internet to buy it. And really it's a, it's a, it's an escalation of the door to door salesman, hires. Multiple salespeople eventually leverages his exposure or her exposure by getting an add in the newspaper or by making flyers and eventually leverages that exposure by getting on the radio or getting onto television. But you can only afford that because your business is successful and because you can scale with it. And all we have here, Facebook is basically just television as performance media, but there's no difference.

Charley Tichenor (35:56):

Like if your product isn't good enough or your service, isn't good enough to get people to want to use it, then you're dead already. And the opportunity of the arbitrage of attention and, you know, Gary V's underpriced attention and all this stuff, that opportunity, look, there are other platforms you can go for that. But again, what you're talking about is can I get a short hack to follow things up, but the business is built on the back of short hacks where you had really good marketers that could sell fish oil, ultimately die. That snake oil salesman in the west got murdered every time. Right. And look at Casper.

Charley Tichenor (36:40):

Yeah. I think that's a great example of we've seen so many brands come and go. And, you know, I think there's a few brands right now that are built on hype that I'm, I'm legitimately don't know if I'm terribly bullish on their future. And maybe I haven't gotten investment in one end of that or the other, but I, I see I open this chat with the liquid death thing, right. And maybe you got my previous screen on the liquid death here, who knows. Uh, but liquid death is building on the back of, they've got a product that people buy that is fundamentally not differentiated in the marketplace, but there's an ownership brand entity, right. There is it's LaCroix without flavor. Got it. It's the most boring flavor of LaCroix. And you have diehards, you know, you look at last crumb, right? It's Supreme for cookies and cost as much as it pair Yeezys and you're stoked.

Charley Tichenor (37:34):

And, and the point is those brands, I think we'll have a much better opportunity of using paid media three years from now than brands that I think are built more off of hype that I don't see as much backbone behind 'em. And again, I don't know, I don't know their future, but, you know, I think, you know, not to call too many people out, but like for instance, athletic greens, super huge, massive business, everybody stoked about it, but I feel like they grew too far too fast on the back of too many unsustainable things to maintain that growth. And if you can't maintain that growth, ultimately what it is is can you get to a precipice where you can suppress all other competition and gain a market share that makes you have an unfair advantage in the space. And I don't see that proprietary advantage.

Charley Tichenor (38:31):

You know, if I was Mr. Wonderful at shark tank, I'd say, Hey, you got a great business going there, but I can't pour fuel on this fire. And for that reason I'm out, I don't know if that's the backbone of it and I might be dead wrong. And I'd love to talk with people cuz they're clearly doing very great work. Um, but I think that there are businesses that are built to be evergreen. I think there are businesses that are built with an exit plan as the strategy of the development of the business. And then I think there are 95% of people out there just trying to spend money to make money today that aren't looking more than a month or a year out and have no concept of these things. And I just say that because I agree with you that Cambrian explosion just changed the world so that so many people don't understand that that's not what it is, right? Like yeah. Game of Thrones, winter is coming, right? Yeah. Like we are here. Can you beat the ice king? And the honest truth is 90% of people can't.

Charley Tichenor (39:34):

Yeah. So I think our responsibility as marketers that have been through this and appreciate it is to provide the education and the tools and the knowledge and the support to help those good people not lose the opportunity of achieving their dreams. And that's one reason why I so aggressively go after people that co-sign other folks victimhood, cuz the only reason you're not succeeding right now is cuz you haven't failed enough. Or because you're willing to say I can't. And if those are your mentalities, you should go get a day job right now because you are going to fail at entrepreneurism. It's just not for you. You have to get kicked in the teeth every single day and come back and ask for more like if you don't have that mentality, if you're not a street fighter willing to lose, if you're not David spade willing to get his butt kicked every single time, if you're not Joe dirt, you're gonna lose. And I think that's what separates folks like Ash and Cody and, and, and you and I from a lot of the other folks that are agency driven that don't understand the backend unit economics of business development. And so I, I love you. I had to say, and I know that was a very long, uh, little support of your opinion, but Hey look, you know, if I don't talk on soliloquy, I don't, I have a hard time even opening my mouth.

Rabah Rahil (40:55):

It's a two minute minimum for Charlie. If you get him going, he's going <laugh> uh, okay. We are put, we are pushing up against it so that we just kind of smashed the, the first and second segments together too. So now let's go da, da, let's go real quickly through the rapid fire. Um, and then I'll toss it over to you. You can plug whatever you want and then we'll wrap up the podcast. How's that sound? Charlie

Charley Tichenor (41:15):

Sounds good to me, man. I'm here and thank you once again as always. It's beautiful to talk with you.

Rabah Rahil (41:20):

Yeah, let's do it. Okay. You ready for the rapid fire?

Charley Tichenor (41:23):

Let's go.

Rabah Rahil (41:25):

All right. Mosh pits. Overrated, underrated.

Charley Tichenor (41:28):

Love them.

Rabah Rahil (41:29):

Uh, so

Charley Tichenor (41:30):


Rabah Rahil (41:31):

Underrated, love it. Twitter, overrated, underrated,

Charley Tichenor (41:35):


Rabah Rahil (41:37):

Living in LA overrated. Underrated,

Charley Tichenor (41:40):


Rabah Rahil (41:42):

Whoa, three underrated in a row. Wow. I know another one's coming. Steelers, overrated, underrated.

Charley Tichenor (41:49):

Uh, underrated. Always buddy

Rabah Rahil (41:53):

Had a tough one. This sir have a tough one. You, you guys, you guys have a embarrassment of riches of late, so there's

Charley Tichenor (41:59):

Yeah. We have an embarrassment of riches and we've never had a losing season under our current coach. And Hey look, if the, if our worst year is the majority of the leagues, if, if the worst we do is what the da Dallas Cowboys would love to have half of the time we're doing all right. And that's not shade at you. I'm just putting perspective cuz I know where your Royal's lie.

Rabah Rahil (42:21):

It's brutal. It's brutal. Hey look, it's

Charley Tichenor (42:23):

Brutal. If we have three, eight and eight years and 15 and it means I have to eat one or two right now might not even see that though. Underrated,

Rabah Rahil (42:34):

Like you can't even hear, you have so many titles stuck in your ears from the last seven years. It's like, yes.

Charley Tichenor (42:39):

Although I will, I will say this. You need a Demi God of a human being to compare against Patrick Mahome Joe burrow and Josh Allen. Like if you don't have somebody literally blessed by virgins as the offspring of like a God having, you know, sexually human being. They're good. Like if you don't have a Herculean backstory, you're dead.

Rabah Rahil (42:59):

Yeah. They're very good. They're all. They're all three topnotch. I think I've, I've lost a Lamar bet. I think Josh Allen's gonna, he's gonna really, uh, mature into something special. Yeah. Or I mean, almost already has got, got you just ran up against somebody. Great. Yeah. Somebody actually, uh, I'll go to the next one. But somebody had a really funny tweet where it was kind of like a Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan, like Patrick Ewing was so good. He just bumped up against somebody better during his lifetime. And it just sucks, man. Yeah. It just

Charley Tichenor (43:23):

Sucks. Yeah. Never, never got a title.

Rabah Rahil (43:25):

Oh, I know brutal what I'm trying to say. He was fantastic. Brutal. Very good player. Uh, TikTok, overrated, underrated.

Charley Tichenor (43:32):

Um, oh, I will say it's underrated, but I think the bullishness on it is overrated. But as a platform, it does not have the adoption. It should.

Rabah Rahil (43:44):

Favorite city in California.

Charley Tichenor (43:47):


Rabah Rahil (43:49):

Oh favorite meal and why?

Charley Tichenor (43:53):

Oh, dead animals with cheese and some kind of grain in any form you want to give it to me?

Rabah Rahil (43:58):

<laugh> favorite newsletter.

Charley Tichenor (44:01):

Ooh. Um, that's a good question. I do like the whale mail, although sometimes I disagree with it, but I think it's really, really good to see what people have to say. It's a good temperature read. Like for instance, this last one that came out, uh, I will say I, I, I disagree at a fundamental level with the vast majority of the premise and the take by somebody that has me blocked on Twitter. So I can't even engage with them. Um, but I do like it. I, I would say that, that, that is one of my favorites, what you guys have going and what Alex has going, because how

Rabah Rahil (44:35):

It's the best.

Charley Tichenor (44:37):

It is not discipline specific. And I think that that helps people see the forest for the trees.

Rabah Rahil (44:45):

Yeah. I like that favorite place travel

Charley Tichenor (44:52):

To and why? I think my favorite trip that I've taken over the last few years was my wife and I went to Amsterdam three years ago in the winter. We were there to go see the buzz Cox and uh, the lead singer died eight days beforehand. And so we still went and we were in Amsterdam and uh, went to go find, went walking through the city, got lost in the city and it started snowing cuz it was like three days after Christmas. And when you are lost in a European city that old and beautiful with snow coming down at midnight.

Rabah Rahil (45:26):

Oh, of course.

Charley Tichenor (45:28):

How can you hate on that? That's a, just, it's a beautiful thing.

Rabah Rahil (45:32):

Magical. Magical. Okay. Last two. Favorite follow on Twitter.

Charley Tichenor (45:37):

Favorite follow on Twitter. Oh, I mean, can, can I put me down? Um, no, you

Rabah Rahil (45:43):

Can't follow yourself. Charlie answer. Oh my gosh.

Charley Tichenor (45:50):

Hey look, if, if you're make, if you're a band, you should, you should be a fan of your own music. If you're a writer, you should like your own books. If you're a filmmaker, you should be a fan of your own movies. If you're running a business, your business should be your favorite thing or at someplace to go. But without that

Rabah Rahil (46:03):

Favorite follow on Twitter, that's not you. There you go. I have a

Charley Tichenor (46:06):

Question take

Rabah Rahil (46:07):

Did not give you any wiggle room.

Charley Tichenor (46:08):

Got it. I love that. Uh, I'm gonna go completely. Not industry specific at all.

Rabah Rahil (46:13):

Love it. Love it.

Charley Tichenor (46:14):

And say my favorite follow is probably pat Mayo.

Rabah Rahil (46:19):

Um, okay. What's the handle

Charley Tichenor (46:21):

There? Sports betting sports betting guy has a great YouTube show. I've emotionally invested myself in two hundreds and hundreds of hours of his, uh, YouTube. And uh, I now know all the players. I know all the people in his circle of friends and when I see content from them, when I see content from him, it hearkens back to so many fond memories over so many years and so many positive experiences that it literally just makes me happy. And he goes ahead and likes some of my sports bats half the time. And uh, he got to see me turn, you know, uh, 30 bucks in a couple 20 to one bets into a extremely nice number that I lost all on chiefs, but at least he was there for it all. I mean, beautiful. And that, that, that was a beautiful thing. You know, it's one of those things. If you create enough content out in the world and you put stuff out and you're very personable, people feel like they're your friend, even though they've never met you. And he does that better than almost anybody else in the world.

Rabah Rahil (47:17):

Love it. Okay. Last question. If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, it's a four person table. You're there with three other people. They can be fictional. Non-fictional who would they be?

Charley Tichenor (47:27):

Oh man. Three people dead or alive. That's a good question. So let me answer it quick. Uh, one of the people I'd love to have at that table, um, let's see. I would love to be at a table. I think my, uh, I would love to be at the table with, with mark Cuban. I think he's really smart. And I think we see eye to eye on a lot of stuff. I, you, um, I tend went to Muhammad mater a lot of things. Um, and then, uh, if I had to give somebody else in that room just to keep things interesting, I, I love to be at a table with Robin Williams. I think, I don't know if he turns it on or off ever, but I think he's truly brilliant or was, and, and would absolutely love to be in the presence of somebody like that for even five minutes.

Charley Tichenor (48:15):

And, um, also I think something that would be really interesting for me to get into kind of going way more old school would be, I, I ID love to, to sit at the table, some of these world conquerors, you know, like the games cons and the Alexander, the rates of the world. I, I, I would say probably sun zoo, just because I think the art of war is probably the best business book ever created and to understand where somebody came from to write all of that stuff and their learnings and their history and what's going on, I think would be so fascinating. Cuz all of these folks are experiences and storytellers and I'm gonna surround myself. Not people I wanna have a beer with, but people who, I just want to experience their presence. And I don't know, maybe he is a really boring guy in person, but I sure love his writing.

Rabah Rahil (49:04):

Love it. All right. Chuck T you made it through rapid fire. Congratulations, my man. All right. All right. Do whatever you need to plug, tell people how to follow you and then we'll wrap it up.

Charley Tichenor (49:15):

Absolutely. So, uh, first off, thank you very much for this opportunity. I'm back. Uh, but yeah, so to plug stuff, um, one following on all the socials two, uh, Facebook ads, MBA program is my core offering right now. And basically I teach people through the art of learning Facebook, how to be business development, folks, how to project manage the way, do things basically how to scale businesses, make exit strategies and be a CMO or CEO, um, by covering disciplines from testing to measurement, to planning, to organizational structures, documentation, project management, accountability, and transparency. And I legitimately don't think anybody, I have not seen a competitive offer in the marketplace. So I highly recommend people check that out. And, uh, you can go to apply Facebook, disruptor.com to see my latest masterclass on half the things you'll learn in there. Plus you get a couple of freebies.

Charley Tichenor (50:03):

So go for that. And ultimately, um, if you are willing to be uncomfortable and have your assumptions challenged by empirical data with somebody willing to have a conversation with you, I would say, go ahead and follow me. Um, I would love to have those conversations and that is what I really try to surround myself with. I want to be uncomfortable. I want to grow. And I find that my number one objective is I have reached a place where it is more fruitful for me to spend my time sharing my knowledge and helping people succeed than to try to succeed myself. Cuz I'll be honest. I I've made it. I'm good. And I get to put my head on the pillow every night, feeling good about myself doing esteemable acts so that I can be full of self-esteem because my days are spent helping people achieve their dreams.

Charley Tichenor (50:56):

And every day I get to see people be successful. And every day I get to see the light bulb go. And every day when the world is full of folks that say that you've lost hope or there's nothing there, I can be a light in that. And that, that makes me feel so good. And that's a fundamentally different place than I was 10 years ago. And I'll finish with that 10 years ago, I was a junkie on the edge of death, struggling to make money and pay my rent today. I get to make people's dreams come true. And the only difference between me and anybody else is I had the experience and the time willing to do it and anybody else can start their life over right now. There's nothing stopping you from doing it. Just be willing to say yes and figure it out. And that's the best advice I could give anybody. So Rob, I appreciate it, man. I don't have a signature sign off, so I'll let you take it, but thank you very much, man. I really appreciate it.

Rabah Rahil (51:49):

Absolutely. Charlie, it's always been a pleasure. Hey, you can find us if you wanna get more involved in triple [email protected], we actually just upgraded our Twitter. We're at triple. Well now we, we cut the, the try off it's cleaner that way. You know what I'm saying? Little shout out social network. Um, and then we also have, as Charlie said, uh, really, really great, uh, whale mail publication that goes out every Tuesday, Thursday, Tuesday's a fancy essay. And then Thursday is kind of a morning. Boo. Wrap up Chuck T you're the man go sign up for Charlie's program. We'll see everybody else on the flip. Thanks so much for the time Charlie. Enjoy Europe, have a safe trip and then, uh, we'll see you when you get back. All right. We'll talk to soon, everybody. That's 19 in the books, blah, blah, blah. Thanks again. Bye.

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