“We learned the hard way that not all attribution solutions are created equal. If we had done a little more due diligence and research before signing up with a partner, we could’ve found our ideal fit a lot sooner. Our results since teaming up with Northbeam speak for themselves.”
–Cody Plofker, CMO, Jones Road Beauty
Created in 2019 by renowned makeup artist Bobbi Brown, Jones Road Beauty is focused on clean, high-performance beauty products that are effortless to use for every skin type and skin tone. The brand launched with much fanfare due to Bobbi Brown’s reputation and expertise and enjoyed a meteoric rise thanks to rave reviews from her fans on Instagram and TikTok. Even though Jones Road Beauty continued to grow after the iOS14 update reduced the efficacy of digital marketing, the team proactively looked for an attribution partner they could rely on to help them amplify their virality. However, after a frustrating experience with a popular vendor, Jones Road Beauty realized they needed to find the right attribution partner best suited for their unique situation.
In 2022, Jones Road Beauty experienced massive growth after going viral on TikTok several times. While the team was aware that TikTok was responsible for driving sales, they realized that their attribution tool was inadequate and unreliable in verifying their observations. In order to solve their TikTok problem, Jones Road Beauty onboarded with a popular attribution and dashboard product so they could conduct cross-channel analysis.
“We were growing so fast that we needed to experiment with new channels like TikTok, but we were flying blind because we just couldn’t trust the data,” added Plfoker. “It was great to have so much organic traffic from going viral on TikTok, but we weren’t able to effectively leverage that into more conversions and sales.”
Although the vendor that Jones Road Beauty tried guaranteed unbelievable results at low prices, the team quickly realized they over-promised and under-delivered. Jones Road Beauty noticed major issues when analyzing the data as it showed no consistency in terms of correlation or directionality when compared with historical data from Google Analytics and in-platform reporting. The team knew attribution would never be 100% accurate, but the data just didn’t look right based on their experience with in-platform stats.
“Facebook would say an ad was doing well, but their dashboard would alternate between over-reporting and underreporting performance without any rhyme or reason,” said Plofker. “The data was all over the place, and it just caused even more confusion than when we were just relying on platform analytics. We had to work even harder to make good decisions, which made us wonder why we were paying for an attribution solution.”
Furthermore, top features (such as cross-channel analysis including TikTok) that were a key selling point for Jones Road Beauty were often broken and didn’t work as expected. Frustrated with the subpar user experience and shaky attribution modeling, Plofker realized they had clearly outgrown their previous vendor and began reaching out to ecommerce experts to find a new attribution partner better suited for them.
With Northbeam, Jones Road Beauty was able to solve their biggest challenge of tackling new channels with trustworthy attribution modeling. Within 2 weeks of onboarding, the team noticed that historical data across all platforms was completely ingested and available for analysis. By the 30 day mark, the team was able to completely leverage Northbeam’s proprietary models including 1-Day Clicks Only to get a full picture of their marketing performance.
“Being able to toggle between multiple attribution models and windows is really useful,” explained Plofker. “The models feel stable and consistent, and help reveal useful insights. For example we noticed conversion lag was longer on YouTube than other channels, but so was the [customer] lifetime value of those cohorts. We just needed to adjust our benchmarks accordingly to reflect that.”
Jones Road Beauty used Northbeam to build a model to figure out the 1-Day Clicks Only benchmarks they needed to hit in order for other business outcomes to be in a good spot. The team relies on the model to forecast out performance for the next 30, 60 and 90 days by using the LTV metric to monitor expected vs. actual revenue.
The team also realized that TikTok performance looked much better when using Northbeam’s Clicks + Views model to get credit for View Through data as well. It turned out that TikTok was really effective at driving New Visits (+12.4%) and served as an awareness play. That gave them the confidence to keep spending and scaling on the platform, knowing that Facebook and other channels were helping with lower-funnel tactics to drive higher revenues. As a result, Jones Road Beauty increased 2022 total revenues +120% versus the previous year.
Empowered by Northbeam’s data-driven insights, Jones Road Beauty had the confidence to scale spend again across all channels. In Q4 2022, the brand increased total revenue +43% while keeping efficiency high with ROAS +5%. Not only did Jones Road Beauty see +60% more sales on their top channel of Facebook (ROAS +4% as well), they also drove revenue +65% and 101% respectively on Google and YouTube by finding new audiences and cohorts who resonated with the brand (New Visits +26%).
“We’re not trying to replace Facebook with newer channels, but we’re at the point where we can find better marginal outcomes there without reducing the efficiency of our spend,” said Plofker. “Northbeam has really helped us understand how our channels work together – giving us the confidence to keep making those bets.”
In Q1 2023, Jones Road Beauty continued their strong trajectory of growth, driving +17% more revenue overall. TikTok continues to be a priority for the brand, with revenue up +26% and ROAS +31% while lowering CAC -21%. More impressively, the brand has started to see real momentum on YouTube, increasing revenue +323% and ROAS +26%, while actually decreasing CAC -22% on a previously difficult channel for Jones Road Beauty before working with Northbeam.