Ad costs on Facebook are skyrocketing, and marketers are (understandably) getting antsy.
According to AdStage, Facebook CPMs have grown 90% year over year. And as LiveIntent found, 85% of marketers spending over $100K on Facebook are concerned about that cost, while 47% fear they might get priced out of the platform altogether.
To survive and scale growth, brands will have to diversify their marketing strategies and start testing new channels.
Just look at Quip, a Brooklyn-based company that provides subscription-based oral care products and online dental services. Like many companies, Quip was reliant on Facebook early on, but has since branched out to new offline and digital channels.
In a recent fireside chat, LiveIntent VP of marketing Nick Dujnic talked with Quip VP of growth Shane Pittson to hear about how Quip diversifies and scales growth in the after-Facebook era.
Here are some key takeaways from their chat.
Measuring the success of a new channel
Quip is always measuring ROAS. But when jumping into new channels, they take a specific approach to testing. First, they repurpose existing assets from another channel to get a test campaign running. Then they monitor that campaign for signs of success and engagement. And finally, they build a full creative treatment and design specific creative and messaging for that channel.
“Getting resources to put towards a channel that is unproven can be hard,” Pittson said. “So look for channels where you can use what you have before optimizing and investing more.”
During a test, Quip won’t just measure engagement with ads or native ROI. They’ll also gather granular, first-party data through a post-purchase survey.
“We might pull out a specific platform we’re testing on to see if there’s lift,” Pittson said. “It’s important to pull as many lenses as possible to gauge test performance.”
Using first-party data to fuel diversification
Quip uses first-party data for attribution, modeling, and building an omni-channel marketing approach.
“We have a diverse mix of online and offline media, which causes additional complexities,” said Pittson. “With first-party data, we’re able to look at specific customer journeys and see what channels affect customers more.”
One customer, for example, might hear about Quip on the radio, buy the brand’s toothbrush in a Target store, and then sign up to a be a subscriber on the Quip website.
Quip also uses first-party data to optimize product launches. “As we get feedback about what new products people are interested in, we can create opted-in segments of people who have already expressed intent,” Pittson said. “It’s like building a waitlist without having to build that from scratch.”
Focusing on core identifiers
Quip relies on one piece of data in particular: “Email addresses have been vital, especially in the digital sphere,” said Pittson.
When launching a kids’ electric toothbrush last year, the brand was able to see not only who bought one in the past but also find incremental audiences that are similar to those customers. The brand could then work with vendors and partners to reach those customers through targeted campaigns.
Scaling to offline marketing channels
Quip hadn’t anticipated finding success marketing in airline magazines, but it happened nonetheless.
“We’re always thinking about people’s behaviors and routines,” said Pittson. “You might assume being placed next to a fancy dog bed in a magazine wouldn’t be effective. But, ultimately, people are still flying and diverting their attention on flights.”
Quip has also seen success advertising on podcasts – another form of media that people access on flights by downloading them to their devices beforehand.
“When looking for new channels, it’s really important to think about where it makes sense to capture attention, and then think about the media mix that’s there,” said Pittson.
Diversifying for D2C and growth marketing brands
Someone once said the basic law of marketing is that everything stops working. Now, that can be inspiring instead of dejecting – if you test new channels and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
“Our approach has always been to preserve part of our budget and test new channels and messaging,” Pittson said. “It’s crucial to have another channel to which you can move resources if a big change happens.” Many brands and publishers learned that lesson the hard way when Facebook’s algorithm changes sent organic traffic plummeting.
Pittson’s other pearl of wisdom? Document, document, document.
“Especially early on, as you race to find new opportunities for growth and acquisition, you can often leave knowledge behind,” he said. “Taking time to build resources, explain results, and document internal methodology is very worthwhile.”