4 Ways to Produce Value in Ad Buying In 2023
It’s no secret: ad buying is becoming commoditized. The loss of data coupled with the rise of “fire and forget” campaign types (Advantage+ in Meta, pMAX in Google) is lowering the skill ceiling. Here’s how to continue to produce value in this algorithmic world:
1. Don’t trust attribution
Even a few years back in the good old days of paid social, attribution was often more harmful than helpful. How many of us have had a client or CFO mandate that we shift budgets toward paid retention campaigns or brand search? How often are those initiatives incremental? Continue to validate incrementality with experiment-led measurement, like geo tests.
2. Keep an eye on business metrics
Don’t just let auto-optimizations run wild. Optimizing infinitely toward conversions or ROAS without the context of how the overall business is doing is naive at best and counter-productive at worst. I can’t count the times I’ve seen ad buyers high-fiving when they’ve improved their attributed numbers 2x YOY only to have overall business metrics be flat or even down (and therefore just cannibalizing existing revenue).
3. Focus on creative
It’s not just our collective experience managing billions of ad spend at our growth marketing firm. Study after study continues to prove that creative is the single most impactful lever brands have to influence an audience. The best targeting and algorithmic optimizations in the world won’t matter if the message doesn’t hit right with the audience. What does move the needle? Alignment between product value, audience and environment. Put that in your next creative brief.
4. Leverage the data you do have
Customer lists are one of the most underutilized assets for performance, especially for brands that are making $10-50M a year. What’s your LTV? What’s your margin by cohort? What’s your repeat rate? How can you move people out of a paid funnel and into an owned or earned funnel? The more you can focus paid efforts and move customers into “free” revenue, the better your returns can be, and the more incremental your program is.
Planning to outsource your media buying soon? Get to know our digital marketing services, and read up on client success stories like this one with Good American. When you’re ready, send us a note here.