Meet Darcy from American Giant
Darcy is the Senior Director of Customer Acquisition and Retention at American Giant. She oversees all digital and non-digital marketing spend as well as any retention channels like email.
American Giant uses Rockerbox for:
- Navigating the post-iOS 14.5 marketing landscape
- Evolving beyond the platforms' black box reporting
- Sponsorship Attribution (Podcasts, Influencers, Bloggers)
- Testing into new marketing channels
- Aligning the KPIs its agencies are optimizing towards
Navigating the post-iOS 14.5 marketing landscape
All DTC brands have been grappling with the rippled effects of iOS 14.5’s changes on the marketing landscape. For American Giant, however, Rockerbox enabled them to navigate the potential disruption easily:
“It wasn’t as big of an impact as we would have expected. Mind you, we did do some of the different things like CAPI that we were advised to do which definitely helped. Without Rockerbox we probably would have pulled back because when you lose visibility, your natural inclination is to pull back and see. But really, having that extra layer of reporting with Rockerbox made it much easier to avoid the normal reaction because we had consistent reporting coming through from Rockerbox. Because of this, we didn’t have to pull back which was actually a big opportunity for us as CPMs were dropping across the board.”
Even more, American Giant is able to lean into the fact that Rockerbox’s numbers don’t simply match Facebook’s. This has been especially true in the last year as Facebook’s ability to measure itself has deteriorated rapidly.
“I don’t trust any platform/dashboard numbers. And even within one of our most profitable or efficient channels like Facebook, we see a pretty big difference between what the numbers in the Facebook UI and the Rockerbox UI look like. We’re running full top-to-bottom funnel testing where the mid-to-bottom funnel numbers in Facebook always look amazing…but when you look at the numbers in Rockerbox, it’s a very different story. Where we end up very differently than we would have been if we were relying just on Facebook UI numbers where they’re telling us to spend all of our money on website visitor retargeting campaigns which is not a long term way to scale our business”
Evolving beyond the platforms' black box reporting
Whether Darcy is testing into a new channel or optimizing an existing channel, she doesn’t feel confident relying on the numbers the platforms are reporting out.
As Darcy says;
"For us, it’s just way too much of a black box to rely exclusively on platform numbers. You have no sense of the crossover of channels or of the incrementality of channels. It makes it next to impossible to be really confident that you’re spending efficiently. Because of this, American Giant relies on Rockerbox as its main source of reporting and KPIs. Rockerbox is always the tier one reporting that I look at. I do look at some of the platform numbers as well as a secondary metric but when we’re really measuring whether the channel was successful and if we want to double down, Rockerbox results are where I prioritize getting our data.”
Sponsorship attribution (podcasts, influencers, bloggers)
Rockerbox launched Sponsorship Attribution in Q2 of 2021. Since then, American Giant has started putting in all our influencer and podcast codes into the system to get even more data into Rockerbox. With all of this data centralized in Rockerbox, American Giant is able to uncover the performance of its Sponsorship marketing.
One area that American Giant has specifically been investing in has been with bloggers. Again, American Giant leverages Rockerbox to test into this new channel.“We’ve seen success with some of these bigger bloggers. And without Rockerbox, we’d be reliant on Google Analytics numbers but that is so one-sided. It’s really nice to see within Rockerbox how much of the lift we’re seeing is incremental and whether those conversions are being exposed to other channels or not."
Testing into new channels
American Giant is continually testing new marketing channels. Last year, however, American Giant decided to retest into Outbrain, a channel that had stopped working for them after years of success.
"Having Rockerbox was definitely paramount in testing Outbrain again. We originally turned them off because the stats in Rockerbox weren’t looking good. But we’re doing more affiliate placements than we used to now so we’re re-testing into Outbrain. It was helpful to have Rockerbox metrics to see if it was actually incremental. We’re fortunate that we found it to be incremental and we’re reaching a relatively new audience.”
Aligning the KPIs its agencies are optimizing towards
Over the last year, American Giant has shifted the main KPIs that they’re focusing on from a strict CPA model to focusing on customer profitability. On a daily basis, Darcy is using Rockerbox to optimize its KPI:“Each day we’ll look at how are we trending month to date in terms of new customer profitability, and if we’re behind, then I go to Rockerbox and then break it down by channel to determine which channels are underperforming so I can pull back spend a bit and get to that break-even number.”
Just like many DTC brands, American Giant is strategically using agencies to help them scale. Ensuring that these agencies are aligned with the KPIs that American Giant is focused on is critical to getting results quickly from its agency.
"As [Rockerbox] has been growing, more and more agencies are familiar with your business and technology. It’s great that they’re able to integrate Rockerbox into their platform and processes very quickly. Even better, there’s no learning curve with our agencies to convince them to use Rockerbox instead of Facebook numbers because they get it…without having Rockerbox on board, integrations with our agencies would have been a lot more painful and we wouldn’t have seen good results as quickly."
When asked how Darcy justifies the cost of Rockerbox, she laughingly says “I feel like we do have to justify it every year to our CFO.” But at the end of the day, the ROI is clear. As Darcy says, “there’s definitely no way we would have been able to scale our spend in the way we have these last few years without Rockerbox.”
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