Digital Media Exec, Naz Kulbayeva, pens her first article.
Any marketing professional working in Online Performance will probably argue that campaign management and optimisation is one of the most important stages of any paid digital activity. It doesn’t just pay to set up the campaign correctly – effective refinement of performance, especially during the first days and weeks, is vital to the success of any digital campaign.
Whilst this process demands attention to detail and an elevated level of concentration, the reward can prove engaging as it brings together months of research, strategy work, planning and creative development into one place. Even though campaign optimisation is informed by our clients’ marketing objectives and planning, as a practice it allows agencies to learn more about audiences and the way they react, resonate with, and ultimately respond to advertising. This is why we make sure that the campaign insights obtained from digital activity are fed back to the planners who use these learnings for future projects.
The strategic thinking behind a campaign usually defines the extent of optimisation that will be required; however, sometimes results will not meet expectations no matter how brilliant the planning is. It might take hours and even days to find out what is going wrong, as there is usually no one simple solution. As mentioned above, the process of campaign management reflects the work of all departments involved – therefore the checklist can be exhaustive. I have outlined some of the principal areas to pay attention to when dealing with situations like this in digital campaigns:
Depending on the platform collecting the results, whether third party tracking or Google Analytics, you need to make sure everything is set up correctly. Are pixels firing and implemented on the right pages? Is Google Analaytics set up correctly? Is there any issue with the website?
Make sure the chosen targeting is correct or if it needs to be amended. Also, as we are all human and, compared to machines, we can make mistakes – although, remember that machines can make a few too – it is a good practice to review the setup of a campaign if something is going wrong.
Have you checked whether the messaging and call to action will make sense to the target audience? It is essential to make sure it reflects the end goal and presents up to date information.
Are you using the right creative treatments? Are they set up properly if using third party tracking? Also, it is a good idea to check the images on different banner sizes. Sometimes ,if the image is cropped wrong it can change the meaning.
It is imperative to have a clear path to a conversion, so where people land after clicking is also very important. Does the landing page have enough information? Is it easy enough to convert? Are conversions set up correctly?
Sometimes we choose the wrong placements without realising it. If the CTA is to download a file, it might not be a good idea to run the campaign on mobile devices. Or if you are running a Facebook campaign and the main message is within a creative asset, it could be better to disable Audience Networks where Newsfeed ads are transferred into banners.
More than anyone, the tech giants know how vital it is to ensure strong digital management throughout the course of a campaign. According to Google’s recent survey, there are 3 essential skills any optimisation manager should have in order to be a successful data storyteller:
- The most obvious skill is Analytics – 55.4% agreed it is essential to be able to spot trends and interpret data into actionable insights and recommendations
- Communication - 43% of those polled agreed it is important to be able to communicate effectively with the client and various departments within an agency
- 39.8% believed leadership is another critical skill to have for someone who runs testing and optimisation. It requires making choices every day and taking responsibility while leading the direction of a campaign.
Optimisation is no exact science, and it’s important to approach it in a relaxed and methodological way. If the response isn’t what you hoped for, run through the campaign set up again – you may spend some time going over old ground, but it makes you less likely to despair when you see the problem was in the tiniest piece of implementation right at the start of the process!
The most important skill for an optimisation manager is to analyse the narrative that our campaign data conveys. This is the aspect of the job that makes the set up so much more straightforward the next time round! All campaigns are continually evolving, and through careful optimisation, we can refine them to be truly efficient and effective machines.