Friday, January 19, 2018

Authenticity... In Advertising?

Authenticity.

It is a word that has been thrown a lot lately because, in this day and age of carefully curated profiles, it's rare for any brand (or people) to showcase full honesty.

This is why a lot of companies who position themselves as ambassadors of radical transparency and ethical business often succeed - because if you are a company that cares, your customer will respect you, even if it means paying a little more.

That's why I love working with passionate startups and up and coming brands. Most of the time, I speak with business owners who have dedicated years in creating a product that they are truly proud of, unlike big conglomerates that produce products that can help expand their sales revenue - not that there's anything wrong with their products, but, there isn't as much passion behind its development. Usually, the caring proposition of big name brands are after-thoughts of creative folks who are paid to put a heart in their brand (yup, been there, done that!)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How We Achieved a ROAS of 13 and up on Facebook

Return of Advertising Spend (ROAS) is a very important metric of success when it comes to any form of advertising. It is calculated by dividing the total revenue generated by your ads with the amount you spent on advertising.

Simply put, the campaign that I developed for an e-commerce brand generated a ROAS of 13, meaning for every $1 they spend on advertising, the return they receive is $13. So, if they spend $10, the return is $130 and so on.

I'm particularly proud of this work because my client told me that before they worked with me, they did their own Facebook advertising and were losing money on it.

So, what's the magical formula to generate this amazing ROAS?

Photo or it did not happen. It absolutely happened and our Facebook campaigns are still KILLING it.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Digital Advertising and the Power of Attribution

I have been in the advertising industry for 12 years. I started my career at one of the world's most reputable agencies, Ogilvy, in the PR department. There was no better way get acquainted with the industry than to start with a giant of a company where I learned pretty quickly (had to!) I was immediately tasked with some of the biggest brands: Nike and Unilever/Dove.

These big brands that I worked on had deep pockets and back in the pre-Google era, it was difficult to track campaign success in terms of sales and revenue. When we launch a campaign, we had to make sure our media plans had rest periods so we can properly assess the results of the initiative we ran over the duration of the campaign. This means working with the media team in identifying advertising spend, the client team in reporting the actual sales generated over the period of the campaign and so on an so forth.

While you can't argue sales performance (statistics are pretty tough to argue!) a lot of its performance are still based on assumptions and it's generally hard to pinpoint what exactly contributed to the success of a particular campaign, especially if you are running an integrated campaign with advertising, PR and direct marketing components.

In PR, particularly, since we measure success by calculating impressions (multiplying column and inches of a broadsheet with circulation and reach), it's tough to say how much sales came out from a newspaper that wrote about our campaign. Now, one can argue that PR is really more of a brand-building medium and yes, I do agree, but what I don't agree with is the notion that PR does not generate sales. Public Relations is the purest form of marketing – the endorsement of credible journalists and media personalities. And even if PR does not have the power of repetition like advertising, I am a thousand percent sure that it contributes to sales.

It frustrated me for years how we were not able to attribute sales margin lift to PR.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

No, Your Ad Creative Is Not The Most Important Asset

I know that my blog focuses mostly on parenting and other personal stories, but, now that I'm a work-from-home mom, I'd like to also share my other passion: digital advertising.

I have been running Facebook campaigns for 3 years now for all sorts of companies–retail, real estate, hospitality, fashion, food–and for all budget sizes, from $30 to $1,000 per day. Throughout my career, I've made mistakes, discoveries and success along the way that can help brands generate big revenues in the e-commerce space.

1. Your ad creative is not as important as you think it is

I am not saying that you should neglect this. A catchy creative still plays a role in the overall marketing strategy, however, an award-winning, advertising creative is pretty useless if it's not served to the right audience.

Having said that....

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Flying With a Lap Child? Here Are A Few Tips

This year, we went cross-country from NY to SFO with our then 11-month old. It was a test flight to see how Mikey would be like in an airplane for 6 straight hours because next year, we plan to finally make that big (18-hour!) trip to the Philippines so Mikey can meet his 2 great grandmothers.

I can barely keep him moving for 5 minutes. How can we survive 6 hours... Let alone 18 hours?

Well, we did. In fact, we took 3 plan rides and numerous car rides as we went across California (SFO-Napa-Monterey/Carmel-Santa Barbara-Long Beach and back to SFO-NY.

And we survived to tell the tale. 

To be perfectly candid, it was not easy (surprise!) While Mikey is a relatively happy, easygoing kid, the fact of the matter is that he's a toddler and with the amount of energy that these little people can pack in their tiny frame, sitting down was never going to happen. So here are a few tips that I picked up along the way.


Oh the places you will go... If mommy does not swear off traveling with you until you're 30.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

When You're Working and You Jam Comes On

My active toddler's new obsession is playing grocery with our kitchen cabinets. He loves stacking cans, taking them out of the cabinet and putting them back in. At first, I was so scared because he might end up hurting himself either by dropping a can on his foot/head/anywhere. I had to remind myself of my vow not to coddle him too much because he needs to learn.

The other night, as he was playing his new favorite game, I captured it on film because it was just too cute – and I am glad I did because what happened next was awesome. Enjoy!


When Your Jam Comes On from Miles Bonanno on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Finally Working From Home!

A month ago, I traded my full-time corporate job to be a work-from-home-mom/entreprenuer.

Coming home at 640 PM every day from the city, rushing to give Mikey a bath and feed him dinner and squeezing in as much quality time as I could with him and my husband before going to bed was a routine I was not prepared to commit for the next 3 years or so.

Mikey is now 14-months old and there's nothing else in the world he wants than to be around me, and, spending 10 hours in the office, away from him while he's in the care of another person was a thought that broke my heart.

What really triggered the decision was knowing for sure that there will come a day when Mikey won't want to be around me as much.

A day will come when...

He will not need me to carry him around
He will not want to follow me like my shadow
He will not need me to feed him his lunch/dinner
He will not need me to bathe him or wipe his dirty face
He will stop giving me the sloppy kisses that I love so much

So for now that there's nothing else that he wants in the world than to be next to me, I will remain by him for as long as he wants.


I was on a call with a potential client once and Mikey wanted me to get something from his toy chest and was being difficult about it. For the love of sweet Baby Jesus, I couldn't figure out what he wanted so it ended with me taking out everything from his chest - all while I was trying to close the deal. The good news is that I did close the sale. 

It was a risky decision, honestly. We live in NY and a two-income household is a necessity to live comfortably and I wasn't ready to trade in the little excess that we have for things like traveling (I want to go back home to the Philippines to show Mikey his other country!)
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