One Client’s Road to a Healthier Media Mix—Could It Work for You?

by | May 23, 2024

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Expert marketers know that last click attribution is a flawed, limiting perspective on media performance. Yet even in 2024, with cookies on the way out, it persists. And it curtails a brand’s marketing potential.

A Necessary Pivot

Late in 2022, we signed a client that came to us with a stagnant media mix that was falling short of lead and revenue goals. A peek under the hood told us the client was using last click attribution and, as a result, investing heavily in search (including brand search), since their data showed search as having a higher ROAS than social.

At this point, marketers who understand the dynamics of search (bottom-funnel, capturing intent) and social (more full-funnel, able to generate the demand often subsequently captured in search) can see the issue: without a steady supply of demand being generated, search doesn’t have as much to work with. And over-investing in brand search, which by its nature claims credit for closing a customer journey that began somewhere else, means choking off the channels that introduced users to the brand in the first place.

That was our premise, but we wanted to validate it by using MMM (media mix modeling).

And, in fact, MMM’s insights bore out our theory: if we wanted to help the client maximize their lead and revenue, we had to shift budget from search (formerly 65% of spend) to social (formerly 35% of spend). 

Better Strategy, Better Results

Our first step in shifting the client’s budgeting allocations was to cut brand search investment and move that budget to social, while keeping non-brand search intact. Our second step was to be patient, knowing that social costs would start high and improve as the bidding algorithm self-optimized over time.

In a matter of months, our strategy bore fruit. Both search and social costs plummeted as volume soared. After two months of these and other optimizations, the client was raking in 1.8x the lead volume with a 15% overall decrease in CPL.

What does this mean for your brand? If you find yourself battling persistently high search costs but can’t break the addiction of last click attribution, it’s high time to re-think the way you’re allocating your budget. If you have any questions on how to get started, let us know—we love helping great brands achieve their potential.

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