I've always been somewhat obsessed with mapping the growth marketing ecosystem. For over 10 years, I've maintained my own "database" (to be honest, it's actually a .txt file) where I catalog every agency, service provider, tool etc. that I come across. That obsession has served me reasonably well, as that exposure makes it much easier for me to find content for my weekly grow.co newsletter (328 weeks running!) & to recruit conference speakers.

As we've grown Thesis, I've taken a much greater interest in the agency ecosystem specifically. I'm curious about how agencies decide where to focus, how they position their services, and how they execute. Over the last few years, I've taken a particular interest in account/campaign structure on Facebook, as there are a lot of very vocal agency owners/growth leaders/growth coaches/growth consultants that have very strong opinions about campaign structure. In my day-to-day, I still see hugely different approaches to account structure from different agencies, ranging from extreme consolidation (which is more or less in line with current FB rep dogma) to hyper granularity (this almost always come from agencies that have invested in building their buying/bidding platforms using FB's APIs).

Primarily for fun, I did a quick analysis this morning of Facebook account structures for 9 accounts from 8 very prominent US based, growth agencies.

Prospecting vs. Retargeting

The Thesis team is really obsessed with incrementality testing. We often find that retargeting/retention campaigns are far less accretive than is assumed. For that reason, we're always quite conscious of our split between retargeting and prospecting spend. Generally, we've found that aiming for a 10-15% allocation to retargeting is usually a safe bet.

Prospecting vs Retargeting Distribution

The above data was pulled for Jan 6 - 19, 2021 and I've rounded spend up to the near one hundred thousandth. There is a pretty stark contrast in the above data, with a handful of accounts with minimal retargeting spend and another handful with a LOT of retargeting. Obviously, each situation/product/client/account is unique, but generally speaking, if I see that retargeting spend is anywhere near 50% of total spend I pretty confidently assume that a quick lift test will absolutely crush the retargeting campaign results.

Ad Set Analysis

I looked at data for the last 14 days where Ad Set Impressions > 0 and Ad Impressions > 0. You'll note that there are a few accounts that are very consolidated (where the % of ad sets in the learning limited or learning phase were sub 20%) and quite a few with a ton of ad sets stuck in Learning Limited. These results are genuinely surprising to me, as we've generally found that account consolidation works.

I do want to disclaim that I think FB reps sometimes oversell the potential benefits from extreme consolidation, particularly as that consolidation can make drawing creative insights from actual results very challenging. But regardless, if 50%+ of your ad sets are in Learning Limited you probably are overdoing it.

Ads Per Ad Set

Lastly, I calculated the number of active ads / the number of active ads sets for each account. These numbers are a lot more consistent, as it's pretty much generally accepted that a 6 ad per ad sets (or thereabouts) count is a best practice.

If you have any feedback/critiques please send it to hello@thesistesting.com!