Charles Tichenor’s top 5 rules for success at Facebook ads

Our guest in season 2 of the Two Ecomm Experts, Charles Tichenor IV shares his top 5 rules on success on Facebook. He is a leading Facebook advertiser in the US, credited with generating over $1 billion in revenue. With a decade of experience, Charles has managed 7-figure daily budgets for brands like Schwarzkopf, Nissan, and CBS. His early work included handling Facebook ads for Apple and New Balance, with budgets ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 per day.
His decade-long experience in the field has taught him many valuable lessons and these are the top 5 that he shared on our podcast episode.


1. Targeting people is a waste of money 

Facebook’s shift towards optimized CPM and advanced matching has transformed the platform from a simplistic version of Google into a sophisticated intent creation device. Charles shares that the introduction of broad targeting, leveraging advertisers’ collected data has been crucial for the platform’s evolution. Facebook has been pushing more and more for advertisers to create ads that resonate with users in order to battle external threats for the attention of the users.

The conventional approach of using audiences and extensive creative texting has become outdated. Charles shares that he has moved away from traditional marketing methods and has doubled down on broad targeting utilizing the three free parameters on the platform – age, gender, and location as a means to avoid third-party costs.

 He highlights that the misconception lies in the belief that precise targeting, like using a 1% lookalike audience, is the key to effective advertising. However, this often results in unnecessary exclusions from the total addressable market, limiting reach and potentially taking away resources from more profitable channels like Google search and email marketing.

The emphasis should be on creating ads that genuinely engage the audience, and through careful analysis of CPA, AOV, and margins, eliminating underperforming ads and refining the approach. By adopting a broader perspective on targeting and focusing on ad performance metrics, advertisers can optimize their strategies and allocate resources more efficiently, ultimately driving better results for their business.


2. Frequency is a useless metric

Traditional Facebook advertising puts a huge emphasis on frequency. Charles even shares that his winning 4PI analysis includes it alongside metrics like spend, cost per impression, and efficiency, which provides a clear understanding of ad performance. The main thing that he argues is that the frequency metric is useless when looked upon a longer period of time such as a week. These longer periods don’t take into account the multichannel nature of big brands and this is why Charles confirms that the only acceptable time period for frequency is by day.


3. Multi-campaign accounts don’t make sense

Having a multi-campaign ad account is a classic in the Facebook advertising realm. This is a widespread strategy that almost all ad accounts have but it leaves marketers with one big issue – you don’t know where your sales are actually coming from.  Charles emphasizes that in an omni-channel environment and especially with multiple Facebook ad campaigns, all the platforms and campaigns interact with one another, making it impossible to pinpoint the exact driver for purchases. Managing an account like this is a constant guessing game with numerous elements at play.

Constantly striving to interact with as many people as possible and segmenting your audience can lead to an overcomplicated strategy. Over-segmenting your audience in order to reach your target audience in the best way possible begs the question – is the business efficient enough to acquire future cash flow to need such complexity?

The key to productive campaigns is simplifying their structure and focusing on stuff that truly matters, like second purchase rate, lifetime value(LTV), and defining the most lucrative customer segments.

The transition from five campaigns to one is a concentrated approach that significantly enhances efficiency and drives the growth of the business in a more strategic manner. The crucial aspect is ensuring that valuable data, such as LTV and second purchase rates, is fed back to platforms like Facebook for informed decision-making and optimized ad spend allocation in an omnichannel setting.


4. Cost caps aren’t for e-commerce

Charles shares that in the marketing history of platforms such as Google and Facebook, tools such as cost caps are designed for the sole purpose of acquiring impressions at a lower price. Cost Caps allow brands to set a maximum limit for the CPM they are willing to pay and optimize the delivery of ads. While Cost Caps in platforms like Google and Facebook are effective for acquiring impressions at a lower price and optimizing ad delivery, their inherent design may not align with the nuanced requirements of e-commerce advertising, making them more suitable for engagement-focused campaigns rather than e-commerce purposes.


5. You don’t win a client by making a sale

Charles Tichenor IV shares from his personal experience that many companies make the mistake of focusing on individual transactions and marking them as “acquiring a new customer”. This according to him leads many businesses to rely on the margin of a single product sale which could be a threat to the long-term well-being of the company. A mindset shift is needed – a change from fighting for sales to winning customer journeys at a profit. This will secure future cash flow and help the business scale to new levels. 

The only way to a sustainable growth strategy is to look at the first sale as a lead and every subsequent sale as a profit from that lead. 

The misconception extends to metrics that companies often prioritize, such as profitability on the first sale or return on ad spend (ROAS). Charles confirms that these metrics are important, but argues that they may not align with the fundamental principles of business growth, cash flow, and long-term profitability.

The true essence lies in acquiring future cash flow at a cost lower than the amount spent to acquire it. This perspective challenges the conventional notion that a business must be profitable from day one, emphasizing the importance of understanding the lifetime value of a customer and being willing to invest in acquiring future revenue. Ultimately, successful businesses are not hunters striving to survive each transaction but farmers securing future cash flow and building empires. This shift in mindset can redefine success for e-commerce businesses and steer them toward sustainable growth.

These are the winning rules from Charles’ 10-year marketing experience.

In case you run an e-commerce business and you are looking for a reliable partner to help you grow, you can contact us, Markademics. We are an agency with 7-year experience in the field of Facebook ads, and unlike Charles we work with stores that spend less than a million per day, too. 😉

To learn more about us and and get in touch, check our website.

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