Introduction from Andrew Joyce | Senior Vice President, BI + Analytics
MeritDirect | firstname.lastname@example.org
Insight from Kevin Hope | Vice President, BI + Analytics
MeritDirect | email@example.com
“…Because that’s the way we’ve always done it…”
If we had a nickel for every time we’ve heard that phrase from clients we would be rich!
At MeritDirect we occupy a unique position in our industry—we work across hundreds of clients in almost as many industries, all with unique value propositions, innovative products and proven go-to-market strategies. What they have in common, of course, is the practice of direct-response marketing regardless of channel.
This perspective has afforded us the privilege of seeing how a variety of businesses tackle the same problem. We know what works and what doesn’t across any one of a number of marketing practices. We know the answers to many of our industries “how” and “why” questions.
Unfortunately, this perspective also can show us the dark side of many organizations—the most common bad habit is shutting down exploratory conversations with: “We’ve always done it this way” (WADITW).
Our experience has taught us that if your organization has a marketing strategy, process or modus operandi of any type that can only be explained with WADITW then you have a marketing problem. If you have a team member that feels comfortable shutting down productive conversations with WADITW then you have a team member problem.
WADITW is the sworn enemy of an open, progressive organization that is always looking to improve. In this three part series, MeritDirect’s BI + Analytics group will share stories of encountering and overcoming WADITW from across our client base, starting with non-branded search.
The sophistication of online advertising, as well as the tools available to measure the impact within the online channel, allow todays marketers to optimize spend for almost any metric they desire. Want to optimize your ad spend for conversion rate? Click button X. Want to always be ranked #1? Click button Y.
Because of this flexibility, clients often look to measure results based on something that is comparable across all channels. And the most common way to do that is to just take Revenue/Spend—AKA ROAS. It’s simple, straightforward and widely accepted as the most universal way to measure the success of marketing efforts. When we talk to channel practitioners about why ROAS is their most important KPI, they often answer “we’ve always done it that way”.
When evaluating Paid Media (like Paid Search) through the ROAS lens one campaign type will stick out like a sore thumb: non-branded paid search spend (for our purposes, non-branded campaigns are those that contain keywords that do not reference the name of your company). Why will it stick out? The ROAS of these campaigns is always a small fraction of branded campaigns (those with keywords who do reference your company’s name) and almost always < 1:1.
As a result most clients tend to keep non-branded campaigns on a short leash. If your business uses ROAS when evaluating PPC campaigns you are probably no exception—and we believe you are leaving money on the table.
In our experience this specific piece of marketing spend needs to be evaluated by different rules. In most cases- these rules need to live outside of your measurement tool for two main reasons as depicted in the example below.
Director | BI + Analytics
Click below to read the rest of the series:
[Part Two] WADITW: Growth Forecasting
[Part Three] WADITW: The Marketing and Creative Relationship