How Do We Trust The Numbers?

With changes in attribution models and numbers not adding up across platforms, how do we know what’s really working?

Creating reports and analysing performance has become tricky when you rely on what ad platforms tell you. If you’re advertising across multiple platforms like Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and TikTok, every platform will skew the data to try and claim a result where they can. It can take a lot of analysing – trying to understand where a purchase came from and which platform is really giving you the best results – but all the analysis in the world won’t always give you a clear answer.

How Do We Trust The Numbers?

Sometimes digital growth is strategically simple—we call it leverage. Let’s start talking.

But does it really matter?

The way I look at it, every platform is contributing to the end result. Every time someone comes in contact with your brand, whether they realise it or not, they’re one step closer to trusting you and believing in your story. So if Google Ads are where you’re seeing a big chunk of purchases and the best return on investment, do you put all your digital advertising budget into Google?

Probably not.

Because people have to know about your brand to have the thought to even Google you. Or they at least have to be looking for what you offer. They need to be actively looking for the answer to a problem.

Being across multiple platforms and being present across various touchpoints, means that you’re building awareness of your brand and your product. Each piece of content you push should be purposeful and specific to the platform that it’s on.

While seeing results is obviously important and you don’t want to be pushing content on certain platforms and getting nothing in return — it’s important to understand what success looks like across platforms and for your business. Increasing total revenue might be your overarching goal, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be your goal on every platform.

With ad platforms becoming more expensive and attribution models changing, it’s difficult to directly compare results year on year and understand if performance is really changing or the reporting you’re receiving is changing. So, focusing on producing good content and looking at the overall results can help paint a better picture of your performance.

For an eCommerce business, looking at your overall digital ad spend and your overall revenue and how that has changed over time can be a good way of looking at how your business is performing.

The sum of all digital marketing costs (ad spend + email marketing costs + influencer costs + agency fees) is divided by total revenue.

This will then give you the % of your revenue that you’re spending — looking at this over time will give you a good understanding of how your digital marketing is performing.

Of course, you look at particular metrics and data within each platform, and monitor how specific ads and audiences are performing — but looking at things from a more holistic perspective can end up being more useful.

It’s so important to understand what the purpose of being on certain platforms is for your business, and what success looks like at each stage of the funnel.

If your digital advertising reports aren’t quite adding up and a more holistic approach to your digital ad spend interests you, get in touch with us.

Written By Lillian Price.

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