Can Companies Follow Marketing Trends Without Ruining ROAS?

Knowing what marketing trends to follow is more of an art than a science, but Rosie O'Meara helps companies decide while maintaining strong ROAS.

After many years in the ad-tech industry, I’ve come to expect at least one major disruption or trend to show up every year. Whether we’re facing new regulations, new advertising channels, or a new preferred media from consumers, we have to be ready for anything. 

The change keeps my job exciting. It also forces a lot of conversations, both with my own teams, and with our customers, about what trends matter. Everyone wants to put their ads where their customers are, but no one wants to waste money on impressions that don’t lead to real business results (in GroundTruth speak, that’s RBRs). 

Knowing what trends to follow and which to ignore is more of an art than a science, but I’ve come up with a few personal philosophies to help our partners balance the need to build an omnichannel marketing strategy while keeping a healthy Return On Ad Spend (ROAS). Here’s what I tell our customers. 

Some Marketing Trends Become the Standard

Change happens faster every year. It’s easy to become skeptical that everything is worth paying attention to. And most of it won’t be. But successful marketers don’t wait until something becomes standard to create a plan. You have to be proactive to get that competitive ad spend. And you need to understand what audiences respond to in order to reach your target ROAS quickly. 

Connected TV, for example, is still in its early stages. But, GroundTruth customers are already leveraging the power of streaming to reach audiences and break records for their campaigns. Teams aren’t throwing their whole budget, or even huge budgets, at new channels, but they are creating room to experiment and evolve with their customers. And because they’re trying new ideas sooner, they have a competitive advantage. 

ROAS should help you improve your strategies

One advantage of trying new things is improving ROAS across all campaigns as teams learn what works and for which audiences. One of the advantages of ROAS as a key metric for your advertising performance is its versatility. You can calculate ROAS for different geographic regions, for customers and potential customers, for messaging. It’s a metric that tells you how effective your ads are and how much further you can push your team to reach the highest revenue possible. 

When you’re thinking about new marketing trends and technologies, use ROAS to help guide your experimentation. Look at the channels your teams are successfully using already, and consider whether you can push those ads to an even broader audience to get even more revenue. If your ROAS for audiences in a certain city is 5:1, what surrounding areas can you add to your targeting to push that to 6:1? Not only will your team make more profit, but more money gives your team freedom to try new things and learn even more about what works. 

It’s Better to Move Fast and Pivot

The most important thing to remember is marketing teams will always need to try new things. Waiting for a sure thing never helped anyone rise to the top. To succeed in 2024, you need to evaluate emerging technologies and trends and invest in what makes sense for your company. By jumping in early, pivoting quickly to what you learn, and updating your strategies, not only will you avoid ruining your ROAS, but you will likely improve it. 

If the question is, “Can you follow marketing trends without risking ROAS?”, the answer is—probably not. But, if the question is, “Can I make smart choices about emerging trends and still reach my revenue targets?”, then the answer is—you might have to. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • 2024 is an expensive year that will require experimentation and thoughtful iteration from teams.
  • ROAS is a flexible metric that can help teams get a high view of how efficiently they’re spending based on audiences, channels, and campaigns.
  • Not all marketing trends that show up will stay, but successful marketers will invest in the ones that make sense, and learn something new each time.