How Nomad Is Navigating Their Marketing Strategy to Offset Obstacles With Data Privacy

Industry: ElectronicsPlatform: Shopify Plus

Apple and Google’s consumer data privacy changes will affect the level of personalization and targeting marketers can achieve through paid advertising. This has many brand builders wondering how they should allocate their marketing investments to continue growing sustainably. Nomad sees these changes as an opportunity to take a fresh look at their marketing funnel and collect Customer-First Data to better optimize the customer journey.

Nomad began in 2012 as a Kickstarter campaign for a portable phone charger shaped like a credit card. They’ve since expanded their product offering and laid down more permanent roots as an ecommerce store.

While Chuck Melber, marketing director at Nomad, has always taken a multi-channel approach to digital marketing, Apple’s release of iOS 14.5 and Google’s plans to phase out third-party cookies mean he has to reconsider his brands’ strategies around customer acquisition, retention, and attribution.

I’ve always taken a blended approach to attribution modeling relying both on in platform reporting as well as what I’m seeing in Google Analytics. In the past, being able to take a quick look at Facebook’s dashboard was a helpful bellwether on if I’m allocating budgets effectively, but I would also need to keep total advertising expenses in mind. Losing that data point with iOS 14.5 is forcing me to take a more holistic look at total spend relative to ecommerce revenue.

Chuck Melber, Marketing director, Nomad

As Chuck weighs ad efficiency against revenue, he’s also re-evaluating various touchpoints along Nomad’s entire marketing funnel.

Use Customer-First Data to find out how customers discover your brand

Because of Apple and Google’s data privacy changes, Chuck also shared that he’s ramping up his focus on collecting more zero-party data (information that someone gives to you, like their email address or phone number) and first-party data (information observed by a brand about someone on their owned properties), otherwise known as Customer-First Data for Nomad Goods—namely by implementing a post-purchase survey.

The survey appears on the order confirmation screen, after a customer completes checkout, and asks how they heard about Nomad Goods. This post-purchase survey boasts a 48 percent completion rate.

Collecting self-reported data from the customer on where they’re learning about our brand versus relying on data from Google, Facebook, or other third-party analytics is essential for us now. The data has been really illuminating. It surfaced channels we didn’t realize we were gaining new customers from and helped to validate our past hypothesis. Best of all, it’s giving us the opportunity to double down on those new areas of success.

Chuck Melber, Marketing director, Nomad

For example, Chuck found in the post-purchase survey that 12 percent of Nomad’s customers find out about the brand from friends and family, so he plans to implement a referral program to further encourage word-of-mouth growth.

Currently, Nomad also collects zero-party data through email and SMS signup forms, as well as a gear picker survey on the website that helps customers build their Nomad collection. But Chuck says he’s also in the process of identifying even more opportunities to collect data directly from customers.

How optimizing for conversion can offset an uncertain future for paid advertising

What do these changes mean for return on investment (ROI) and return on ad spend (ROAS)—will they increase, decrease, or stay the same?

Chuck predicts that the coming months will closely resemble what was happening during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The lack of in platform reporting will scare a number of advertisers away from Facebook and Instagram. And similar to the start of the pandemic, CPMs will drop, allowing you to scale spend and reach new audiences while maintaining performance from a revenue perspective. You may get more unqualified traffic, which in turn will have a negative impact on your conversion rate, but overall you’ll net more total revenue, and introduce the brand to a ton of new people. Maybe they won’t buy on day one, but now you have an opportunity to have a more detailed conversation with the customer than they will ever get from a Facebook ad or even a series of ads.

Chuck Melber, Marketing director, Nomad

In anticipation of lower conversation rates, Chuck plans to optimize a number of Nomad’s onsite touch points, such as their pop-up forms.

For net new traffic, offering some sort of brand education will be important. I know it sounds like ecommerce 101, but it is more important than ever now. Eventually, they’re more likely to become a customer, even if they weren’t a highly qualified lead right off the bat.

Chuck Melber, Marketing director, Nomad

Additionally, he recommends exploring opportunities to improve your current email and SMS automations. By segmenting new subscribers based on what channels they come in from or what signup form they enter their information into, you can begin to immediately nurture them.

Consider doing two different welcome series: One for people who sign up on the footer of your website, and another for people who sign up from social traffic. Give them entirely different content that’s more educational and focused on your brand.

Chuck Melber, Marketing director, Nomad
Nomad phone charger

Why it may be the perfect time to experiment with omnichannel marketing

As the digital marketing landscape continues to become more complex and less easy to track, Chuck says this may be a good time for marketers to experiment with other advertising tactics in order to increase their website traffic without relying heavily on Facebook and Google.

While Nomad has seen success investing in earned media, Chuck’s attention is now on channels where he’s found it difficult to measure performance and track attribution in comparison to paid acquisition channels like Facebook and Google.

Now that Facebook’s in-platform reporting data is getting more murky, it gives me the freedom to test top-of-funnel channels we’ve never had good reporting with in the past. I’m exploring podcast advertising, digital TV ads, print media, direct mail, and static media ads such as billboards. All of these are channels we can’t easily track or attribute sales to, but we can’t do that with Facebook anymore, either, so I’ve taken the approach of testing everything.

Chuck Melber, Marketing director, Nomad

Chuck emphasized that everything comes back to analyzing your data and taking a strategic approach, even if it feels more like making an educated guess compared to analyzing your online advertising performance.

Putting a random billboard in the middle of nowhere probably won’t move the needle. But if we look at our customer database and figure out where our strongest customers are, we can spend that $10,000 on a billboard and see what kind of incremental lift we had over the course of two months in that exact region. There’re ways to measure it and figure it out—you just need to dig in further.

Chuck Melber, Marketing director, Nomad

What should marketers do next? The answers lay in your customer data

As marketers figure out how they’ll adapt to Apple and Google’s data privacy changes, Chuck emphasized that capturing Customer-First Data is going to become increasingly important.

The more robust of a data pool you have, the better you can then build out segmentation later to provide your customers with the most relevant information at the most relevant time. Marketers have been talking about this for years but it’s more important now than it has in the past.

Chuck Melber, Marketing director, Nomad

As third-party channels become less targeted, Chuck encourages marketers to use predictive analytics to create more relevant and personalized messaging with email and text message marketing.

Once you have that historical database, there’s a huge opportunity with Klaviyo’s predictive tools to anticipate your customer’s next purchase, their preferences, and their behaviors. Klaviyo can take the data you capture from your customer journey and build out those predictive automations, which have an enormous impact on how you personalize your messaging to the individual and avoid blanket sends.

Chuck Melber, Marketing director, Nomad

Additionally, to get a better idea of total ad spend versus total revenue, Chuck recommends going back and looking at your historical data, then comparing it to more recent data. As the analytics become less reliable in third-party platforms, this will provide a baseline to work from as you decide where to allocate your marketing budget in the coming months.

Look back at your past few years of marketing data. Rather than breaking it out on a platform by platform basis, condense it and look at it as a marketing spend versus ecommerce revenue ratio. Analyze your year-over-year benchmarks and establish a base ratio—get to know your profitability per order, and decide how efficient your marketing spend is and how you should allocate it moving forward

Chuck Melber, Marketing director, Nomad

Dealing with data privacy in the ever-changing world of ecommerce

While the future of Facebook and Google advertising is uncertain, Chuck says it’s nothing that marketers haven’t faced before.

Ecommerce is always evolving. Google and Facebook are always shifting their algorithms. These changes are just another, albeit bigger, hurdle in ecommerce but you have to keep moving forward. The main thing is not to panic. Work on expanding and leveraging your own data, and then whatever else happens, happens.

Chuck Melber, Marketing director, Nomad
Find out more about the data privacy changes and what it means to be customer-first:
<a aria-label="<strong>Find out more about the data privacy changes and what it means to be customer-firstCheck out the resources