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🛠️ Niche-ing Down is Terrible Advice + How to Measure ROI

1 strategy, 1 example, 1 big idea

What up, marketers. Welcome to the Sunday edition of Adam’s Letter. Thanks to the 39 of you who joined the community in the last week. If someone sent this to you - please subscribe. You can also listen to this issue HERE.

Strategy: How to Actually Measure Real ROI

Accurate ROI is the biggest problem in marketing today.

Leaky analytics.
Last touch attribution.
Understanding ROAS.
Misunderstanding brand.

Each has created the perception that businesses we can’t fully know what will happen when we put $1 into a marketing channel.

This is not true.

As marketers it is our job to understand where every dollar is invested + have a concrete sense of the return of those dollars for our business.

Here is an excellent primer from this week’s Lenny’s Newsletter on how to measure marketing impact. The writers (from Harry’s, Recast, and Vexpower) built a phenomenal database that tracks how different brands measure impact.

They identified three methods:

Digital tracking/multi-touch attribution (MTA): the default for online marketing, where browser cookies (or similar identifiers) allow advertisers to track the marketing source of their customers

Marketing mix modeling (MMM): a statistical modeling technique that marketers use to determine which channels in their marketing mix deserve credit for sales, in order to reallocate budget to the highest-performing areas

Testing/conversion lift studies (CLS): regularly run by marketers to validate what performance would look like if you switched a channel off, or scaled spend up or down

If you’re running or leading a brand and have struggled with measurement, I highly recommend you check out the post on Lenny’s. You’re welcome.

I’m often asked by clients what the purpose of “all this content” is.

It’s pretty simple. There are two types of content.

Content exists to capture search intent, or to be shared.

The key is knowing what you’re chasing.

Every piece of content you make should have one goal or the other in mind. This will determine what you make, how you make it, and who you make it with.

For example:

  • A short form vertical video interview snippet with a little-known client is more likely to be shared by the client. So optimize for that sharing moment. They want to spread the word about their recent interview. Help them do so. Simple.

  • Conversely, a long-form video interview with a celebrity will likely be shared, but also found (by more people) because of their existing brand. Use this knowledge to inform how you setup and splice the assets in post-production.

Simple idea, but an important one to understand as you determine your content goals.

Idea: Niche-ing Down is Terrible Advice

“The riches are in the niches.”

A nice rhyme. Sounds fun when you hear it, and many marketers claim this as the biggest reason for their success.

Unfortunately, it’s wrong.

Being from a niche can help you understand what has happened previously in that industry.

That information is nearly irrelevant to us as marketers.

To quote The Great One, we “skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”

To do this we need to understand where the market is, where it’s going, and identify how our brand can get there ahead of the pack.

We need to be generalists in a world of specialists.

My friend Matt Ragland wrote a great piece on this in his newsletter.

In it, he references an excellent article by Nat Eliason on why you should “Be Yourself, Not a Niche.”

Here’s the punchline:

“So be yourself. Don't play a character. Try to be a legitimately interesting person with all the varied things you find fascinating, and don't worry if it takes longer than the growth you see from others.”

Nat Eliason

Being generalists across culture, business, media, and marketing functions is the only way we can effectively drive the brands we’re tasked with leading.

That’s it for this week. Have a great Sunday.


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