Maximize Your Q4 Growth with 4 High-Impact, Low-Risk Tests
Olivia Kory - Head of GTM @ Haus
November 8, 2023
The weather is getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and the pressure to have your best Q4 ever is real. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday right around the corner, it's understandable that brands may be hesitant to touch their ad accounts during this critical period. However, not testing during your busy season may be costing you more than you think.
Promotions May Be Affecting Incrementality
If you’re only testing during seasonally low periods, you may be missing critical insights about how your media budgets and mix must shift during your promo period. The effects of your paid marketing might be different, and if this is the time when your customers are buying more, there is a potential risk that your lower funnel investments are even less incremental, not more.
For campaigns like Meta Advantage Shopping or Google PMax, or even retargeting tactics, if you’re buying to a ROAS target, and consumers are buying organically due to your promo or shopping trends, your ROAS will appear to go through the roof. The obvious response is to spend more– but did you need to spend more, or are the ad platforms just really good at finding people who were buying anyway?
You May Be Increasing Investment in Non-incremental Channels
While it may seem obvious to dial-up on your big bets (Meta / Google), these campaigns may not be your true business drivers.
We’ve seen at Haus that while channels like brand search or affiliate can be clearly impactful and efficient for some businesses, other brands (particularly those with a lot of organic demand) might actually see no incremental lift at all when they run holdout tests on these channels. If you haven’t run a holdout test to validate that these campaigns are indeed driving incremental revenue, then you may want to re-think dialing up even more during Q4.
4 Tests To Try This Q4
To help you improve your P&L this holiday season, we’ve compiled a list of four high-impact / low-risk experiments to run this quarter. While these are a great starting point, it’s important that every business determines the best testing plan for themselves. We’ve seen two nearly identical businesses in the same category observe radically different results when testing. No best practices!
1. Test Filling The Funnel
Add reach or video-view optimized campaigns to Meta or YouTube to fill the funnel and make all of your media more efficient during BFCM. This is one of the most popular tests we’re running at Haus right now. One marketer recently said to us: "marketing funnels are not real." Now is the time to test & find out!
While it doesn’t work for every brand, and it is important to be intentional about your creative strategy for these upper funnel campaigns, we just found a big win on Meta with one of our customers (case study coming soon). Since this is a net new tactic for many DTC brands (and not part of their business-as-usual buying strategy), turning it on in half the country, as an example, is very low risk.
2. Launch Small Holdout Tests On Channels You May Be Skeptical Of
By conducting tests on channels that tend to pick off low-hanging fruit (Retargeting, Advantage Shopping, Brand Search, etc) with a small holdout (5% or 10%), you’ll be able to validate if these campaigns are indeed driving your business.
You might save tons of money learning that this channel is not actually driving incremental revenue for you, and a small holdout will ensure that you are minimizing disruption to your campaigns.
3. Add New Channels To Your Mix
By running holdout tests on new channels, you can see the effects of adding a new channel like TikTok, YouTube or Pinterest this holiday season.
We recently found a big win on TikTok for a brand who was not previously advertising on the platform. With this learning, they can add this to their mix to diversify and maximize revenue through the holidays. Since you weren’t running it to begin with, there is no risk of holdouts.
4. Determine Your Point Of Diminishing Returns
With spend increase testing, you’re able to gain insight into the effects of dialing up a key channel by 25%, 50% or even 100%. This test requires no holdout–you would be spending at one spend level in half the country and an increased spend level in the other half.
This helps you understand how much room you have to spend efficiently before reaching diminishing returns, but you would need to restructure your campaigns to support this test design.
With our state-of-the-art platform, Haus allows you to design any of these experiments with a few quick clicks. Because Haus experiments show you the true effects of your marketing spend, you can feel confident implementing your learnings to drive more incremental growth during your busiest season.