In a meeting with a client this week, they asked me how they could increase average performance of Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) for campaigns run on social platforms, a key metric for their e-commerce business.
I told them that they should focus on the worst performing campaigns, so that they could stop doing things that were clearly not working.
This felt counter-intuitive to them. They wanted to pull insights from their winners and just figure out how to do ‘that’ more…whatever ‘that’ was.
But if you want to improve your average performance against a key metric in your business, focusing solely on your winners is a mistake.
There is a huge amount of value in understanding your misses. This is true whether we are talking about sales goals, content performance or e-commerce conversion rates.
Of course you want to review the trends associated with your winners. But you need to be very aware of one big risk in focusing on winners to improve performance — you can create tunnel vision in your quest to replicate past successes.
In the world of media, an example of this could result in your team covering the same topic until your audience is bored to tears and abandons you. I’ve watched brands suffer badly from falling into this trap.
In e-commerce it can lead to a narrowing of your inventory and target buyer segments to the point of dramatically limiting future opportunity.
In sales, you can end up prematurely narrowing your prospecting funnel.
Focusing on winners can quickly narrow the amount of chances you take that can unlock new markets and product segments.
By focusing on your losers, you can find things to stop doing, while still leaving a wide range of possibilities to continue to test to drive future growth.
Averages go up when the range of the bottom quartile rises. It can feel counter intuitive at first. But if you want to increase your averages in your business, focus on your losers.