Uncovering the Impact of Facebook Ads

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Flip through the pages of any celebrity-studded magazine and you will find the calculated work of a stylist. Stylistpick.com—a "one-stop shop" for clothing and accessories curated by celebrity stylists—lets average consumers sample that luxury as well. In addition to perusing the pieces recommended by designers and stylists, customers can fill out a survey and receive a personal collection picked to match their style preferences.

Facebook's knack for encouraging users to share their interests and activities with friends has made it the perfect outlet for Stylistpick, which has racked up more than 100,000 likes on its Facebook page during the past two years. The U.K.-based company, which targets women ages 18 to 45, had been driving consumers to its Web site through Facebook Ads but faced the challenge of managing its many advertisements while still keeping them fresh.

"You can start with fifty different ad templates of images and copy, then add age, interest, and other settings for your audience, and that can turn into thousands of different ad variations, which quickly becomes unmanageable," says Cormac Doyle, senior online marketing manager at Stylistpick. "We needed a tool that would allow us to manage a high volume of ad variations, track their performance, and quickly make optimization changes."

The answer was Marin Software. A provider of online advertising management solutions, Marin Software offers a platform for managing search, display, and social marketing. Noting that Facebook does not offer data on conversion rates from its ads, Doyle says he was attracted to this feature in Marin Software's platform, in addition to its predictive bidding algorithm for ads and other workflow and campaign management capabilities.

Stylistpick implemented the software last summer and saw results within three weeks, according to Doyle. What became quickly apparent was that the conversion rate of the company's Facebook ads was higher than it initially believed.

When Stylistpick looked at its Facebook actions in terms of what a consumer clicked on right before making a purchase (i.e., a last click attribution model), the conversion rate was only 3 percent. However, when it looked at Facebook on a multiclick attribution model, it showed a 15 percent conversion rate.

"Consumers don't just click on one ad and buy the item. They click on multiple things before coming back and making a purchase," maintains Matt Lawson, Marin Software's vice president of marketing and partnerships. "We showed [Stylistpick] that their Facebook ads were effective and the role that Facebook plays in the sales funnel. This helps them better manage the budget of their Facebook campaigns and coordinate them with the campaigns across paid search and the Google Display Network ads that they're also managing on our platform."

Using Marin Software's platform, it was also possible for Stylistpick to efficiently produce ad variations within a greater number of segmented groups on Facebook. "Until we started using Marin [Software], we found it impractical to target our [consumer] groups by narrow age segments. Now we can segment groups by individual ages and target them with products that are relevant to each segment," Doyle notes. The platform also led to a 50 percent increase in click-through rates within the first month it was implemented.

"[Marin Software] is straightforward and gives us a lot of useful data in a single view," Doyle notes. "It has made many things that we couldn't do before practical and easy."

The Payoff

By implementing Marin Software's platform, Stylistpick has:
learned that its Facebook ads have a 15 percent conversion rate on a multiclick attribution model; and
seen its click-through rates increase by 50 percent within one month.

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