Case Studies

Creative Iteration and Optimization at Vessi Through Trustworth First-Party Metrics

May 9, 2023
"Northbeam's accurate attribution modeling is a game-changer for our creative feedback loop. Using insights that only Northbeam can give us, we can quickly test different hypotheses and iterate on our ad concepts, leading to better performance and ROAS."
–Shaun Hobbs, Sr. Performance Marketing Manager, Vessi

Founded in 2017, Vessi is a Vancouver-based footwear company that specializes in creating 100% waterproof sneakers for everyday adventures. 6 years and over a million pairs sold later, the brand has expanded into numerous products and markets to grow their customer base. After data privacy changes limited Vessi’s ability to track user data, the company realized it needed to cut through the noise by significantly boosting their creative optimization processes to resonate with and acquire customers. Faced with this daunting challenge, the team began to look for an attribution partner to help them profitably reach their growth goals. 

Flawed and Incomplete Data Leads to Ineffective Creative Strategy

Going into 2022, Vessi was grappling with several macro trends that severely limited their marketing effectiveness across all channels. Not only had privacy changes made it more difficult to decipher if their creative strategies and tactics were working, but also marketers were starting to shift away from highly-polished content towards UGC. Although UGC had several advantages like providing social proof and building trust through authenticity, the team needed an attribution partner they could rely on in order to iterate and adopt a hypothesis-testing approach. 

“We badly needed marketing analytics that we could trust.” said Shaun. “We realized you couldn’t get away with sub-par creative anymore because targeting and tracking were so limited. We were trying to experiment with new ad concepts, but had no idea which ones were actually driving results. We often saw inflated stats on ads that promised performance, but didn’t result in conversions after scaling spend.”

Realizing they needed to adapt, Vessi decided to move away from the highly polished, curated content that had worked in the past, and towards user generated content that could be produced faster in response to consumer trends and cultural moments. In order to rapidly iterate on ads and improve performance, the team began looking for an attribution partner they could rely on to adopt this hypothesis-testing approach. 

 Performance Insights and Creative Optimization with Northbeam

Northbeam gave Vessi clarity on the true performance of their ads across all channels, as the team had always felt in-platform data wasn’t giving them reliable signals. After using Northbeam’s Clicks & Views model for several weeks and increasing spend on promising ads, they began to trust Northbeam more and more after being consistently rewarded with higher click-through rates and conversion rates. Confident they could trust their metrics, Vessi started leaning heavily into rapid creative iteration and experimentation. 

“After Northbeam identified a winning piece of creative, we would read the comments and brainstorm on how we could make the ad just a bit better.” added Shaun. “We used Northbeam’s Motion integration to visualize and track how different variations performed, which helped to identify common themes that had potential. For example, we noticed Facebook campaigns featuring travel imagery and messaging outperformed many other concepts, so we doubled down and saw an 82% increase in revenue and 13% increase in ROAS.”

The team also used Northbeam to monitor “soft” metrics for specific objectives. For example, Vessi used New Visitor Rate to determine if prospecting campaigns were ultimately doing their job of driving new site traffic. This helped identify potential gems among strategies that weren’t hitting ROAS or revenue thresholds, but still showed promise and deserved a closer look for adjustments. This practice helped Vessi uncover new audiences like healthcare professionals and teachers who turned out to be big fans of the brand. 

“We made sure to keep everything organized using Custom Labels to standardize our naming conventions, otherwise it could’ve gotten messy quickly.” explained Shaun. “That really made things much easier when we began experimenting with multiple hypotheses with many different audiences simultaneously. Our creative team really appreciated it while juggling all of our asks and tweaks.”

Becoming a Creative-Led Machine with Northbeam

With Northbeam, Vessi was able to get granular first-party data that dramatically boosted their creative efforts with timely and accurate information. This significantly improved their creative feedback loop by allowing for rapid iteration with their creative team to increase conversions. Overall, Vessi increased revenue +34% while boosting ROAS +8%. This was largely due to efficiency gains from better creative driving CTR +31% while finding more promising audiences (visits increased +41%) who were more likely to try Vessi (First-Time CAC -13%). 

Northbeam also helped the brand identify video as their most promising format, so the team invested more effort into testing and creating more video concepts. As a result, revenue attributed to video ads increased +132%, new visits increased +96%, and Vessi improved their conversion rate +36% to take full advantage of these new customers. Vessi even managed to lower CAC -42% from video ads while improving ROAS +61%. 

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