The Media Buyer Newsletter

The Media Buyer Index

Welcome to The Media Buyer Newsletter, where we deep dive into the latest ecomm data (powered by Northbeam) to see what trends, anomalies, or interesting findings we can uncover. We keep it simple with three sections: The raw numbers, a quick summary, and our key takeaways.

In our 20th installment of The Media Buyer Newsletter, we’re looking at sliding conversion metrics, bemoaning Meta bugs and freaking out about generative AI in Photoshop. Let’s dig in.

The Summary

There will be no webinar on Monday due to Memorial Day.

A rebound week for Google, but a bad week for conversion metrics. ROAS dropped for the second week in a row across all channels, sometimes as much as -8.53%. Meta performance slipped yet again in the wake of various algorithm changes and platform bugs, with Meta CPCs up (+3.05%) CACs up (+2.99%) and ROAS down (-3.46%).

YouTube had a tough week as well, with increased CPMs (+5.21%) translating into reduced conversion rates (-8.97%), worsening CAC (+9.82%) and reduced ROAS (-8.53%).

In the weekend leading up to Memorial Day, advertisers are pushing discounts and time-constrained sales to drive transaction volume - but how will these strategies perform in an expensive ad auction environment? We’ll have the results for you next week.

The Takeaway

A buggy week for Meta which had a negative impact on performance. Lots of issues reported in Ads Manager, there was an outage on Instagram, and some people even had problems publishing ads.

These issues don’t inspire hope in the Meta team, who have cut 25% of their entire staff since November: about 21,000 people have lost their jobs at Meta. It’s going to take time for Meta to address the multitude of issues we’ve had this year. We don’t see an end to these struggles, at least not in this quarter.

All we can do is try to reduce dependency on the FB ads funnel, but that’s easier said than done.

It’s yet another week of sliding conversion metrics. Is this indicative of a wider trend of people just not clicking and converting? It’s unclear. YouTube and TikTok both struggled in conversion metrics this week, a big hit considering they aren't usually considered great at conversion in the first place. Both platforms are actively adjusting algorithms and their own ad tech virtually daily. This creates instability that can negatively impact ad performance for advertisers.

The battle to secure your ad budget is heating up across all the social media platforms. We’re expecting tumultuous, ever-changing performance to be the new norm. Stay flexible and stay experimenting.

Some helpful links we've found:

Public DTC ecommerce growth rates declined ~5x in 2022, and 2023 “does not look much better.” Dark portents from ecomm mastermind Ben Cogan. 

Photoshop quietly dropped the most revolutionary AI tool the world has ever seen. Use Generative Fill to get even more out of your product/brand images. 

Meta is launching a Twitter competitor? Meta continues copying the competition without mercy. 

TikTok is transitioning all Shop ads to the product sales objective. Go check and make sure none of your ads are broken.

Zack Miller from Homestead showed us a true “blue sky” in Google Ads. Learn how to blog the right way and get dirt-cheap CPCs. 

Looking to hire an amazing growth marketing lead? Andrew Foxwell has one for you. 

Some job openings we like:

Facebook Ads Media Buyer - Ad Pros: a great opportunity with Nehal, a friend of Northbeam
VP of Marketing - Starface: cute, vegan pimple patches, seeking a marketing lead.
Senior Manager, Paid Search - Fluency Firm: work with some cool DTC brands.
Director of Growth - BetterPool: balance art and science in this role.
Senior Social Media Manager - Mos: help students get funds for college.

Looking forward:

Join us at the virtual DTCx Media Buyer Summit in June! You’ll learn the newest tactics for media buying, meet with the smartest minds in the biz, and prepare yourself for the future of performance marketing. Plus we’ll be speaking, so come say hi.

Early access is now open for MMM Plus, Northbeam’s Media Mix Modeling solution. “Media mix modeling” is a statistical analysis that shows you the optimal blend of budget across your advertising channels. Northbeam is bringing MMM into the future, powering it with machine learning and designing it bespoke for ecommerce. If you've wanted to try MMM at your brand, now’s your chance: sign up to learn more here.

Happy media buying!

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