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At the end of the day, the role of a Facebook media buyer is to make sure that the business gets the best bang for their buck. After reviewing 500 ad accounts with significant spends, I can say that even the best advertisers out there are falling short when it comes to decisions on spending and linking Facebook performances to business outcomes.
So, what do you do? This requires going back to basics and understanding that business growth has 3 variables: getting more customers (acquisition), converting them at a higher rate (retargeting), and selling more to them (retention).
Applying the ARR method (Acquisition – Retargeting – Retention) isolates core audiences, as they bring different value for the business and therefore should be managed differently. Furthermore, these audiences should have separate strategies and adjusted content, tracking different KPIs, spend levels, and ROAS targets. Once the separation has been made, suddenly a whole new world opens and you can track and shift budgets according to the acquisition, retargeting, and retention performance.
According to Forbes, it can cost five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, therefore the ROAS targets for retargeting and retention campaigns should be much higher.
You also do not want to have an acquisition ROAS higher than retargeting and retention because that means you are overspending on retargeting. This enables brands to understand how much more (or less) they should spend in order to scale profitably and achieve rapid growth.
Ultimately, you would like to exclude retention (existing customer list) and retargeting (everyone who visited your website in the last 30 days) audiences from all acquisition campaigns. This concept helps you reach a “pure acquisition” state where you can be 100% sure that the acquisition performance you see is real, meaning that acquisition campaign efforts are only focused on bringing in new customers.
Bottom line, the biggest mistake starts from improper structuring of core audiences followed by the misunderstanding of how Facebook performance numbers affect business growth. In 2019, it should be expected that Facebook Advertisers isolate their data between three different audiences, understand real figures as well as how they compare to business targets, and then scale.