Average monthly ad testing spend: $25,000
At a key moment in Taylor Stitch’s upward trajectory, the marketing team at the men's apparel brand found themselves with bandwidth issues. Both their creative and account management teams responsible for testing ad creative were working at capacity, manually building and uploading assets for testing in one of two ways:
This process limited the team’s ability to scale in many ways. Even with a staff of super-talented designers and a trusted agency partner, this creative testing workflow was easily taking weeks to build ads, deliver to the agency for upload, select audiences, launch, analyze the results, and optimize. This meant they were only able to focus on building and testing ad creative for key product launches or campaign moments — nothing evergreen or experimental. It also wasn’t allowing them to see what kind of ad creative resonated with new customers. With aggressive goals set for new customer acquisition — 20% YOY — the Taylor Stitch team needed to find a way to scale their ad testing efforts without greatly increasing their overhead. Enter: Marpipe.
From day one, the Taylor Stitch team was incredibly strategic in their approach to testing ad creative on Marpipe. First, they decided to use Marpipe solely for prospecting purposes, understanding which kinds of ads and creative elements made new customers convert. Next, they set up their creative assets. Their impressive catalog of products meant they had plenty to work with, but it also meant that organizing them would be key to understanding which products drove conversions. Grouping them into collections on the Marpipe platform — one for every category of product and style of photography — enables them to design modularly. This approach allows the Taylor Stitch team to isolate each creative element as a testable variable, swapping multiple images, headlines, and more into the same templatized space to receive rich and meaningful test results.
Next, they created a plan to run a test for every single product line Taylor Stitch offers — one for shirts, one for pants, one for shoes, etc. — to get some baseline results on which products drive new customer conversions and which don’t. The second phase of the plan was to dive deeper into those learnings, iterating on the top-performing ads and creative elements to incrementally drive up growth.
Once assets are loaded into Marpipe and an ad template is created, the platform automatically turns every possible combination of creative elements into a unique ad, ready for testing. Taylor Stitch mainly focuses its tests around a few copy variations paired with multiple image categories — lifestyle, indoor, studio on white, without a model, with a model, face visible, face not visible, and more.
By using Marpipe to automate, Taylor Stitch now creates 10 times the number of unique ad creatives for testing than before. The team now launches two tests per week — each with more than 80 unique ad variations, all aimed at customer acquisition. This newfound scale allows them to test specialized product lines, like their organic cotton initiative or line of hemp-based tees, that they never could before.
“Marpipe is a growth engine. I don’t know how you could live without it. It’s one of those things you must have in your toolbox as a marketer now.” — Wilton Gorske, Director of Marketing
One of the things the Taylor Stitch team loves the most about Marpipe is its ability to completely remove assumptions from the creative testing process. In an early test, a 20% discount was run against multiple messages around sustainability and durability. The team had a hunch that the discount copy would outperform everything else since they’d seen huge success with sale ads among returning customers. However, new customers were overwhelmingly drawn to the sustainability-focused messaging more than the discount — an insight the team may have never discovered without the ease and scale of testing on Marpipe.
“You can be a world-famous UX/UI designer and think that a button makes sense in a certain place. But then through testing, you realize customers expect it in a totally different, often surprising place. And that’s something Marpipe has done for us — completely remove the bias from our ad creative.” — Wilton Gorske, Director of Marketing
Another surprising finding was that images of clothing in a setting, but not on a model, (what the Taylor Stitch team calls “environmental lay flats”), had an 18% lower CPA than images of clothing on models. This made the team rethink the true level of investment in models needed for the future.
Testing ad creative through Marpipe also triggered two completely unintended yet hugely positive side effects for Taylor Stitch. First was the sheer number of new, unique ad creative running on Facebook lowered the brand’s fatigue rating by more than half — dropping it from a five to a two. This was a huge boost to customer experience, as those new to the brand were likely getting tired of seeing the same ad multiple times.
Second, was a noticeable uptick in the brand’s organic social following — from around 100 followers a week to around 400. This was likely from a set of new prospects who saw the ads, weren’t quite ready to buy just yet, but liked what they saw enough to follow the brand for more.
The Taylor Stitch team’s latest round of testing includes multivariate video — testing to see which clips and combinations of clips perform best, including the all-important first five seconds. They especially love the ability to design video ads that actually feel like Taylor Stitch, a benefit that’s atypical of most other ad-building platforms.
“There are tons of tools with built-in ad builders. But all the ads they generate look the same. Marpipe allows us to upload our brand fonts and images — we get all of the creative control with none of the inefficiencies.” — Wilton Gorske, Director of Marketing
The team is excited to test both products featured in video but also the quality of video used. Will professional video outperform something shot candidly on an iPhone, or vice versa?
Marpipe has enabled the Taylor Stitch marketing team to surpass their prospecting goals to hit 30% YOY growth. And, due to their success, the team itself has grown, bringing on more performance marketing experts to help expand their use of Marpipe across a greater swath of the business.
“At 30% year-over-year new customer acquisition, Marpipe has helped us wildly surpass our growth goals. Even our leadership and finance teams are seeing this tool prove its worth.” — Wilton Gorske, Director of Marketing