Introducing Ad Audience Cohort Tracking

Introducing Ad Audience Cohort Tracking

Ad Audience Cohort Tracking is a strategy that can help you better understand and track paid advertising performance. So what is it all about?

Why Do Marketers Still Rely on Last-Click Conversion Metrics?

Most marketers use last-click conversions to define ad spend ROI, even within B2B, where very few decisions are made after clicking an ad. Rather, advertising contributes to conversions via many other channels, including organics.

When you run a campaign on Facebook or LinkedIn, you target your ads based on the native criteria of the ad platform or your custom b2b audience data. However, you don’t know what inputs an ad network uses to link its members with your targeting settings.

Since you don’t know who sees your ads, measuring conversions is the only way to gauge ROI. It looks like this:

  1. You attach the UTM link to your sponsored post.
  2. A lead fills out a form.
  3. You attribute that lead back to the campaign you ran.
  4. The lead proceeds their customer journey down the funnel.
  5. You gauge customer acquisition cost (ad spend + other expenses) / customer lifetime value.

If you see a positive ROI by the end of the campaign, you can request a higher budget from the CEO. However, everything changes when you actually know who engages with your ads.

What is Cohort Tracking?

Cohort tracking is an audience-based lead attribution model. Regardless of the source, you can tell when that ad campaign leads belong to your audience segments. Moreover, you have proof that these particular ads informed their buying decision.

This allows you to look at your organic and direct traffic conversions from another angle. Since you’re definite that leads saw your ads and you targeted them intentionally, you can say:

“Yes, I can count those previously unattributed direct sign-ups to my marketing efforts.”

How Cohort Tracking Changes the Ad Measurement System?

With audience-based attribution, you can stop relying merely on UTM links to measure campaign performance. Cohort tracking provides a holistic vision of ad spend and helps you correlate it with drawn-out B2B purchase processes.

However, it doesn’t mean you should give up last-click tracking. You should instead find out whether new leads belong to your ad audience segments.

You will benefit from adding four steps to your lead attribution approach:

  1. Consider ad platform and site behavioral signals to see if audience members engage with your sponsored content (reach, impressions, clicks, etc.).
  2. Check if there’s a match between reverse IP lookups and site visitors.
  3. Check if you can attribute last-click conversions brought by UTM links to the ad campaign.
  4. Look up emails and contact information of new leads, which you can attribute to sign-up during your ad campaign.

Such an approach lets you calculate a more apparent ROI value since you know which leads are in your audience and how many of them end up signing up.

How to Know that You Target the Right Audience?

You’ll need to ensure a high match rate. That’s an essential benchmark of every ICP marketing campaign that ensures your ads reach the relevant audience.

We strongly recommend looking for a match rate of 60% and above. That said, list-based b2b audiences typically lack details that ensure a good match rate. Based on a name, corporate email address, and business phone number, you can expect to get a 10-30% match with your target audience during the campaign.

This is when ad targeting tools come in handy. For example, Primer’s audience builder platform can help you build hyper-specific audiences leveraging hundreds of data points. It sources relevant and verified data from 12+ trusted b2b data providers, allowing you to go beyond native ad platform targeting options.

Try this audience-building software, and you’ll see 60-80% match rates for paid ad campaigns across multiple channels.

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