What this pandemic should remind us about marketing metrics

I’m a happy customer of Ocado, a popular grocery delivery service here in London.

The service is pretty efficient, and I always got my groceries delivered within 24 hours.

But in March 2020, while COVID-19 was spreading through the UK, something happened.

On March 15, I was placing an order, but the delivery time was 2–3 days instead of the classic 24 hours.

Too much, I thought. I’ll try again tomorrow.

The following day: first slot available: 7 days from now.

Shit! Let’s place the order right now before it’s too late!

So I placed the order, and it arrived 8 days later.

In the following days, I monitored every single similar service available in London.

And every single one was the same.

First available slot: 4 days from now.

Then 6 days.

15 days.

23 days.

30 days.

40 days.

Every single grocery delivery service I checked was overwhelmed by a high quantity of orders like never before.

At some point, they closed the website using a virtual queue.

And after a few days, they closed the whole website. It was impossible to get access.

Every other service was pretty much the same.

I can’t know that for sure, but I bet they saw something like this:

Facebook Ads CPC: From $2 to $0.20

Ads CTR: From 0.5 to 5%

Ecommerce Conversion Rate: from 3% to 20%

Newsletters Open rate: from 5% to 20%

Average order value: from £80 to £160

… without touching a single button.

Almost all biggest fortunes have been created with a lot of intelligence, determination, know-how, talent… AND a ton of luck. Most of them were at the right place, at the right time, with the right product ready to ride a huge external wave that was coming.

I often see online marketers lost in the details, compulsively observing CPM, CPC, CR, etc. and comparing themself to other professionals using these metrics.

I think that’s wrong. The Ocado team didn’t become 10X better when their CPC went from $2 to $0.2 in March 2020.

Now more than ever, because of the significant changes that our world is facing, I think that we all should think deeply about the fundamentals.

Which macro trends is our industry facing? Am I in the right industry?

How will the world look like in the next 10–20 years?

Am I selling the right product? At the right price? To the right target? Using the right distribution channels?

No matter how good you’re at digital marketing. Your business’ results will always be extremely influenced by the fundamental characteristics of the market you’re in.

If you reply to these answers correctly, you can get 10X better results on Facebook Ads/SEO/CR… without even becoming better at Facebook Ads/SEO/CR.

Eyes open and… good luck!

Let me know what you think, and follow me on Twitter @Tosi_Tommaso

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