Four hidden risks of Google and Meta’s marketing algorithms

As a marketer, it can be tempting to build your entire strategy around the algorithms of Google and Meta. But it’s a risky choice that could end up costing you. Here’s why.

1. Google and Meta have different priorities than you.

At first glance, it seems like you want the same thing, right? Everyone wants to drive conversions. But, as a marketer, you want more than quick sales for your brand — you want lasting, ongoing growth. You want to turn one-time buyers into long-term customers. And you want to find more high-value customers.

You won’t accomplish that with the algorithms alone.

Why? Because Google and Meta’s algorithms are designed to get the most conversions with the least effort. They simply aren’t built to do the consistent work of staying top of mind with all your customers, and they’re definitely not designed for harder things, like reactivating customers who’ve lapsed. Your goals are different, and relying on them alone will cost you in the long-run.

You want more than quick sales for your brand — you want ongoing growth. You won’t accomplish that with the algorithms alone. 

2. The algorithms won’t nurture customer relationships or increase lifetime value.

If you want your customers to purchase again, you have to be in front of them consistently — so when they’re ready to buy again, your brand is the first thought they have.

Unfortunately, the standard algorithms only stay in front of your customers for a short period of time. If a person doesn’t engage quickly enough, they’ll drop out of the target audience and might never see your brand again — even though this is precisely when you need them to be seeing you more.

3. ROAS is misleading.

Yes, you’re seeing a “return” (according to Google and Meta). But remember: In order to deliver high results, the algorithms are focused on the lowest-hanging fruit.

The question is: Is your ROAS coming from people who would have bought from you anyway, without any ad spend at all? Is all of your engagement actually coming from people who are already engaged? In many cases, the answer is yes.

Is your ROAS coming from people who would have bought from you anyway, without any ad spend at all?

4. You might be stuck in a ROAS trap.

When you’ve been trained by Google and Meta to expect four dollars in sales for every one dollar spent, you might start to think anything else is a waste of budget. But brand-building efforts like TV, radio, billboards, and direct mail are critical to staying in front of the customers that Google and Meta aren’t reaching.

Without a full spectrum of tactics, you’ll miss important opportunities with many of your customers.

Bottom line: If you’re relying on Google and Meta’s algorithms alone, a huge chunk of your customer base is never seeing your brand.

Here’s what their algorithms are not going to do:

  • They’re not going to stay in front of all of your customers.
  • They’re not going to work very hard at convincing someone to buy.
  • They’re not going to try to woo back your lapsed customers.
  • And they’re not going to seek out your high-value customers.

At least, they won’t do any of that without guidance.

The key is to work outside the algorithms.

To reach more customers, you’ll have to identify and build your own target audience groups, and feed those audiences directly to Google and Meta. Clario makes this process fast and easy, and we help you quickly and accurately target the right customers at the right time.

Curious how this works? Let’s chat. We’d be happy to walk you through some strategies for increasing the lifetime value of your customers.

P.S. If you’re relying on your own email and SMS campaigns to fill in the gaps that Google/Meta miss, there are risks there too. We’ll cover that in an upcoming article!

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