Ads Made Me Do It

This content was originally published in the No Best Practices newsletter on 10.29.2023.

As marketers we talk a lot about how a campaign “made” a purchase happen. “Friday’s email campaign drove 10 conversions” and the like.

But does marketing really make anyone do anything? The answer is nuanced. Different types of marketing do different things to different customers. AKA “it depends”.

Understanding these distinctions is the key to maximizing the return on your marketing. I’m going to share the first principles that should guide your marketing investment. Before you plug in that attribution software or run that holdout test, read on.

There are four different marketing and/or media use cases you can pursue if you’re looking to acquire new customers:

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