100K in Lost Business – An Inside Story
Far far away, a long time ago, around 2015 bc. In a land of warriors, witches, and superheros called Wizard Con we were the digital agency on record.
It was an exciting time where we got to think up and execute all sorts of digital marketing efforts and measure it all with a single in-house CRM at the core of it all. This allowed us to track the performance of every post, ad, email, influencer, and even some offline channels with unheard precision. Since Wizard Con had a major event every month, It was significant that we ran and tracked hundreds of individual efforts (micro-campaigns) at the same time.
We got so good that we were able to predict how a given event would perform three weeks before the start date. We could optimize each of the channels, repeat strategies with consistent results, experiment with collaborators, drop under-performers, and reward those that drove the results we strived for… basically every marketer’s heaven.
Then came the day when something weird popped up on our dashboard. It showed a lot of people who added an event to their carts, but none completed the purchase. I thought that maybe it’s an error or a hack, but after further analysis, it turned out that one of our new influencers posted a link that drove so many sales that it took down the 3rd party shopping card we were using.
We raised hell, and the solution was back up and working shortly, but we still lost about $100K in new sales. This was early in the influencer marketing days and I have never seen such an impact from any of the campaigns we ran. It was definitely a wake-up call. One that turned out to be a major type of advertising in years to come.
That is all for this story 🙂 I will just add a takeaway, which I am sure you already know. The devil is in the details. A campaign rarely fails because of one big issue; it’s usually a combination of multiple small issues that add up to its failure. With so many changes in today’s world, marketing itself is as much of an art form as it is a skill. My respect goes to those that practice it and succeed.