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29 Apr 2024
Marketing | 4 min read

New Year, New Channels: How to Test Into New Marketing Avenues Confidently

Rockerbox - Maggie Tharp Written by Maggie Tharp
on April 29, 2024

While some marketing channels like Facebook and Google might hold what seems like a permanent spot in marketers’ budgets, there are often new channels that rise in popularity and vie for a segment of your marketing spend. Channels like podcasts, direct mail, OTT, and others offer the potential for success, but there’s also risk when incorporating a new channel that you have no history of.

It can be tricky to know how much to budget, how long to test, and how to measure success. In this blog, we’ll share a guide to testing new channels in a measured and data-driven way, making the most of your marketing investments even while testing uncharted territory.

A Testing Framework for the Growth-Minded Marketer

Lots of customers come to Rockerbox with the specific goal of testing the effectiveness of new channels—and often, they’re specifically wanting to find out how that new channel interacts with the rest of their strategy. Customers use Rockerbox to:

  • See a side-by-side view of a new channel’s ROAS and CPA as it compares to the other channels in your strategy. Rockerbox does all the heavy lifting of centralizing and cleaning your marketing data so you’re able to make those comparisons with ease.
  • Look at a new channel's overall reach and how it breaks down between old and new customers.
  • Explore the overlap between new channels and existing channels—this is a great way to tell if a new channel is necessary or if it’s hitting the exact same target (potentially with lesser efficiency) as an existing channel.
  • Understand what kind of role the new channel plays in your strategy. You might have a hypothesis about the channel and what role it plays in your overall marketing funnel, but Rockerbox can help you back it up with data.

With that in mind, here’s how we recommend approaching testing a new channel and how you can leverage Rockerbox along the way.

1. Immediately Post-Launch: Monitor Performance

You’ll need a little patience after you first launch a channel test as any potential customers who are seeing your ads are still in the consideration stage. While it may take a few days for newly launched ads to drive purchases, you can look at non-purchase-related conversions like product views and other upper-funnel actions to get a sense of if your ads are causing people to take action.

2. A few days or weeks into the test: Execute In-Channel Optimizations

After your ads have some time to take effect, you’re going to start to see conversions, which means you can begin making in-channel optimizations. This involves making minor budget shifts on the campaign, ad group, and creative levels to invest in the highest performing placements, giving the new channel the highest chance of success. You may also start to consider this channel's performance relative to 'always on' channels that play a similar position in the funnel.

3. A few weeks into the test: Scale, Maintain, or Cut Spend

At this point, you have enough performance data to be able to tell whether your new channel is making an impact or not. Here’s what to look at:

  • De-duplicated CPA/ROAS: How does the new channel compare (better or worse) with your other channels that play a similar role in the funnel?
  • Check for channel overlap: Dig into how the users on your new channel overlap with existing channels. If you have a lot of overlap, consider dropping the lower-performing channel.
  • Understand your time to convert: While often at this point users who are going to convert will have converted, but that’s not always the case. Looking into the time to conversion can help you understand how long you need to wait before making spending decisions based off of Rockerbox data.

Your Rockerbox Recipe: Collect, Track, Journey

Here’s how you could leverage multiple Rockerbox products to provide the data you need to analyze performance on new channels.

  • Collect + Track: Provide the necessary datasets on channel performance and user activity that can be leveraged in Rockerbox dashboards or in your own data warehouse (Use Export).
  • Journey: Gives granular insights into the buyer journey, performance across your channels, relationship between channels, and more.

Case Study: Nomatic Tests Into Direct Mail

Rockerbox customer Nomatic used our platform to analyze their performance when they started testing into traditional channels like direct mail. Before testing, they had no way of knowing if their investments in direct mail would pay off, and they needed the right data and analyses to understand its impact.

"What we saw with direct mail is that direct mail for us is a lot better for a customer retention play versus new customer acquisition. And we saw that through Rockerbox.. [that] our CPA for repeat customers is just infinitely better than new customer acquisition,” said Nate Benner, Director of Growth at Nomatic. “[It was] super helpful to just look under the hood and see how [direct mail was impacting our strategy]. These aren't really trackable tactics, and [we could finally] see what they're doing to our overall ecosystem."

Through Rockerbox insights, Nomatic found that traditional channels boosted all other channels, specifically Paid and Organic Search. Around the same time period, paid search returned a 4.31 de-duplicated ROAS while increasing scale 31% YoY to match inventory.

Test New Channels Confidently with Rockerbox

Your marketing strategy has to change with the times, but there’s a measured and data-driven way to add new channels so you don’t end up over-investing in something that won’t drive growth. Talk to our team today about how Rockerbox’s products help you test into new channels.

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