Scaling tips: Paid marketing

Since the privacy changes to iOS14, paid social has seen big declines in efficiency and scalability, leading to a 20-40% increase in customer acquisition costs. Marketers are faced with challenges in audience targeting accuracy, lack of real-time bottom funnel metrics and ‘flying blind’ with inaccurate attribution leading to difficulties allocating budgets.

We recently hosted an event with our Marketing Venture Partner, Michael Stephanblome and several of our top consumer portfolio companies, to discuss their tactics for tackling these challenges. Here’s a summary of the key learnings:

1. Focus on top funnel optimization of creative and metrics

  • Test an array of micro-conversions to get better signals earlier in the funnel
  • Experiment with persona-led creative testing frameworks to uncover new, high converting audiences

2. Increase the data collected through implementing tracking solutions

  • Most providers have set up tracking solutions to be able to track and collect more data e.g. Facebook conversion API, Server-side GTM tracking instead of client-side GTM, Snapchat activation of advanced tracking, iFrame implement for Apple Search Ads, SkAdNetwork Mapping
  • Maximising first party data is key e.g. forcing conversions on the web/mweb so that you can use email address as a link between app and web behaviour

3. Change your campaign structures

  • Set up your campaign structure in a less granular way, making sure as many conversion signals are collected within a single campaign

4. Change your attribution model

  • Blended CAC becomes the main KPI to look at rather than CAC by channel, because attribution of paid channels will most likely not reflect true conversion value
  • Try marketing mix modelling, making sure you allow enough time and budget to experiment with increasing and decreasing budgets to show the effects

5. Diversify your marketing mix

  • Experiment with other channels to reduce reliance on paid social e.g. tv, radio, face to face, affiliate partnerships, native ads
  • Invest more in intent-based networks like Google Search and Apple Search Ads where the conversion happens within a day so that SKAd signals can be collected

With any luck, a combination of these tactics will help to combat the declines in efficiency and scalability. No doubt the landscape will change again soon – so while we hope following these tips will help, the very best piece of advice continues to be keep on learning, keep on experimenting!