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Of Course Facebook Ads Work

Attribution is simultaneously the best and worst thing to happen to digital media. The ability to point to a sale and correlate it back to the ad that drove it is what make the digital media landscape so powerful. It’s not the spray and pray approach of print, radio or tv. You can narrow down your audience, target your communication and identify all of the sales that result from the campaign. In some cases you can even look at the specific image or line of copy that produced the sale. It’s a beautiful thing.

However, much like Disney cartoons and the moon, there is a dark side to attribution, in that it makes marketers and clients alike short sighted in the way they view results. If a campaign does not immediately deliver a positive ROAS, it’s considered a bust, and quickly discarded in favor of the next campaign, which is held to the same standards. The issue with this approach is that the sales cycle can take longer than the 7-day click attribution window offered by most platforms. People need time to check out your product, talk to their friends, and decide if that cable knit sweater or collagen powder is right for them. This may take longer than 7 days, and yet, that doesn’t mean the campaign that made them aware of the brand or the site is a failure.

Things only got worse with the release of IOS14 and their privacy changes, which obscured even more sales from being tracked in platform. CPA’s went through the roof and ROAS’s went into the toilet, and all of a sudden people started asking if Facebook ads actually work. Of course they work, ya moron. The fact is that Facebook (and by that we mean Facebook and Instagram) remains the most efficient effective media channel for digital sales. There.. we said. Whether you can directly see the sale or not, no other advertising channel provides the targeting capabilities, creative freedom, machine learnings, reach or effectiveness of Facebook. It is engaging, but not so engaging that users are unwilling to abandon the platform to go check out your site or app.

Quite simply, Facebook and instagram need to be the back bone of any digital customer acquisition strategy and other channels are simply top of funnel complements until proven otherwise.

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GA4 Is Coming And We’re Terrified

On July 1, 2023, Google Analytics as we all know it will stop working and we’ll be lovingly forced to start using Google Analytics 4.  What a fun treat!  In theory, this move is an “upgrade.”  Some of the exciting features of GA4 include:
•Improved Customer Journey Tracking.
•Improved user engagement analysis.
•More powerful audiences for your ad campaigns.
•More intelligent user privacy and tracking features.
•Simplified Goals and Events Setup.
•Enhanced visualisations and reporting.
•A plethora of parameters.
It’s hard to contain our excitement!
Don’t get us wrong. Google Analytics has been long overdue for an upgrade, especially as it comes to understanding the sales funnel, but this new property just feels a little ‘too little too late.’
There are tools, like Triple Whale for instance, that are more robust when it comes to tracking.  They show actual ROAS from all advertising channels and let you understand the journey of all your purchasers. It’s complex, insightful and accurate.  GA4 seems to fall short of those things. It has clumsy charts, unnecessary customizations and metric terminology that is rarely used in the digital marketing lexicon.
That said, the reason we’re shaking in our digital boots is not that GA4 will be too complex to figure out.  Hell, if we can figure out snapchat, anything is possible.  Rather, the part that concerns us the most is the sunsetting of Universal Analytics.  While simple, basic and unsophisticated, the thing that made the current version of Google Analytics so appealing is that it was simple, basic and unsophisticated.  It gave you the hard line basic metrics you needed with simple last click attribution, which served as a nice counterbalance to other tracking and attribution models. It was devoid of bells and whistles (at least always noting them as in beta) and just gave you some numbers to let you know directionally how things were going.
Our jobs are going to get harder without the simple presentation of those metrics. Sure theyre still in there, and with some tinkering. We’ll get right back to where we were, but we’d rather not.  After IOS14, the denigration of Google Shopping and AI taking over, we digital marketers could use some calm waters for a bit.  Guess that isn’t happening this year.
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Catrice Cosmetics

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