A Northbeam Case Study
“Northbeam is our one stop shop for all things data–from overall business performance to performance by channel, Northbeam has us covered. We even use Northbeam to understand where we need to be at in-platform in order to hit our blended business goals. This has been a huge problem since iOS14 muddied the relationship between in-platform and blended metrics, but Northbeam makes it a non-issue."
–Connor Rolain, Head of Growth, HexClad Cookware'
HexClad’s ultimate goal is to provide high-performing cookware for home chefs. Even though multi-Michelin celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay endorsed HexClad as “the Rolls Royce of pans,” the cookware brand still faced challenges growing their business. HexClad needed to find the ideal ad spend to acquire quality customers despite the long consideration process on premium cookware. With the help of a new universal attribution tool, the company was able to refine their brand communications, revamp their performance marketing strategy, and execute high converting funnels.
HexClad had a record year in 2021, bolstered by excellent results from their traditional performance marketing channels. But the company felt the pressure to keep up the meteoric pace of growth, so at the start of 2022 HexClad went back to the (marketing) drawing board. The team realized they needed to introduce a new mix of campaign messaging, increase the number of assets into their ad accounts, and prioritize email and SMS in their media mix. And most importantly, they needed to identify how their previous media buying spend was contributing to tomorrow’s revenue as they dealt with a long customer consideration period.
In addition to devising a new marketing strategy focused primarily on growth, HexClad needed a solution to see how past ad spend can contribute to future revenue. Since the cookware brand has a 1-3 month consideration period, customers would see a large variety of HexClad’s ads before purchase, and purchases would usually happen outside traditional ad lookback windows.
Understanding the influence of past spend on future purchases is critical for both adding new customers to the funnel, as well as ensuring that customers are properly moving through the various stages of the purchase journey.
As HexClad set up Northbeam, they first worked with Northbeam’s Customer Success team to activate their dashboard with Breakdown Labels in order to better organize their marketing data by country, creative type, ad placement, funnel stage, and campaign objectives. With the addition of Northbeam’s deep machine learning capabilities on top of custom labeling, Head of Growth Connor Rolain quickly honed in on which marketing touchpoints were generating revenue by connecting top of funnel touchpoints to bottom of funnel conversions.
Next HexClad looked at Northbeam’s accounting modes to identify the relationship between today’s media buying initiatives with tomorrow’s return on ad spend. The Cash Snapshot and Accrual Performance models helped them forecast total revenue against total spend across specific time periods. Figuring out the relationship between their MER goal and contribution margin was crucial for HexClad’s operational planning. “You can make that connection between performance today and connect that with what it’s going to happen 60, 90 days from now,” Rolain said.
Finally, the HexClad team was looking to accelerate their growth feedback loop, which required making day-to-day decisions to scale - or cut back - specific media buying initiatives. This meant having to break the silos between the finance, operations, and marketing departments. Making media buying and budget decisions based on inventory and supply on a daily basis is not out of the ordinary for the fast-growing company – and they needed a reliable source of truth for these cross-departmental efforts. Enter Northbeam.
HexClad President Jason Panzer points out that “the level of analytical rigor in Northbeam’s models” gives him the confidence necessary to make high-level media buying decisions. Across the company, everyone has a “North Star” metric they consistently monitor to ensure they’re hitting their benchmarks. In HexClad’s weekly company meeting, most of the insights reported are pulled from Northbeam.
Using Northbeam’s Breakdown Labels as well as the Cash Snapshot and Accrual Performance models, HexClad tackled 2022 with a new and improved omnichannel strategy. Year-over-year HexClad was able to increase revenue by 156% and reduce CAC -34%. The company focused on better understanding and improving their MER, increasing it from 3.9 in 2021 to 5.5x in 2022.
“We did a good job spending up to our efficiency goals all year long that by the time we hit Q4 we had juicy funnels full of people,” Rolain explained. “So, when we rolled out those offers, we just saw massive, massive growth.”
Today, HexClad is beginning to leverage more Northbeam functionalities in their strategy. For example the cookware brand is using customer cohorts from Northbeam’s LTV model to inspire product bundling and gather accurate insights from customers in newly-tapped international markets. With the Help of Northbeam, HexClad is poised to have another record-breaking year in 2023.
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