The Media Buyer Newsletter
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 13th installment of The Media Buyer Newsletter, finalizing our learnings about March, pontificating about baby fashion and trying not to catastrophize about Google Analytics.
Month-over-Month Budget Share:
Month-over-Month Budget Share Change:
Clickthrough Rate Change, by Platform:
Conversion Rate Change, by Platform:
Customer Acquisition Cost Change, by Platform:
Month over Month performance changes, by industry:
Month over month changes by Google Ads category:
With March fully wrapped, we have a final look at month over month performance. ROAS on Pinterest (-15.59%) TikTok (+1.42%) and Meta (-4.50%) finished the month down, either from previous highs or even lower than they started. CPCs are up across the board on all channels, our second reporting period in a row with this result. CPMs have stayed high on TikTok (+11.10%) and Meta (+3.51%) mark several consecutive weeks of downward performance, closing a month that proved to be several percentage points less efficient on most metrics.
Baby was the strongest moving industry, with Daily Revenue (+16.02%) and Daily New Customer Percentage (+21.48%) taking off. Sports Equipment saw relatively flat revenue growth but an increase in new customer percentage (+10.39%), while Jewelry regressed to the post-Valentine's-day mean.
March was a tough month for performance media. CPCs and CPMs were up several percentage points across almost all channels, and the only improvements we see on ROAS were marginal at best. It’s been a month of alarming shakeups for performance marketers, and April shows no signs of slowing down…
CPMs are up more than 11% on TikTok month over month. The platform is making rapid strategic moves in the wake of the heated TikTok congressional hearing: a new “Pinterest-meets-TikTok” app created by TikTok parent company Bytedance is opening for early access, in a bid to maintain ByteDance’s presence in the US if a TikTok ban does go through. The last wave of advertisers are just now starting to get to TikTok, pushing up CPMs. Most of these big budget advertisers don’t understand the nuances that make TikTok ads successful, however, making ROI harder for the rest of us.
This week’s results don’t look great for Pinterest. It’s not a cause for concern, in our opinion. Pinterest is a small chunk of budget for most brands and they’re still adjusting to meet the demands of sophisticated performance marketers. We’re still bullish on Pinterest, especially for international reach, and in a time when most platforms are cutting their creator funds Pinterest is doubling down.
FYI, Google Analytics is sunsetting a bunch of attribution models, including first-click. The switch to GA4 is challenging enough, and now many marketers without a first-party attribution tool are going to struggle even more. We’re going to dedicate space in our next issue to GA4, so stay tuned.
March was a real boom for the baby industry vertical. Most of the market for toddlers and infants is apparel, and the advent of spring has inspired a spending spree by new parents. Daily new customer percentage is up 21% across the industry. Maybe lots of parents realized they were reading baby clothes sizes wrong and are choosing to entirely refresh their little one’s wardrobe. Rihanna says kids deserve to be cool, after all.
Branded Search finished the month almost 7% lower as a percent of total Google budget. That difference was split between Performance Max and Shopping, which makes sense to us. Branded Search is often a defensive move, where PMAX and Shopping are doing a better job grabbing new customers in our experience.
Final thoughts: in case you missed it, we launched a whole new way to look at your subscription customers. Segment and analyze your subscribers like never before, right in Northbeam. Also, the Doge icon you’ve been seeing on Twitter - is it a fun meme or something more?
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.
Join us next Monday at 10:30 AM PST / 1:30 PM EST for the weekly Media Buyer Webinar, where we’ll discuss these trends in greater detail. Come with your questions and takeaways! We’ll see you there.
Happy media buying!
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