The abundance of new technologies and powerful opportunities in marketing can get really mind-boggling for marketers and can make it easy to for them to fall into some marketing traps. How on Earth would you not feel lost in this jungle of new solutions? And how can you know that an agency is honest with you?
Having conducted or supervised more than 900 digital campaigns, I witnessed several dangerous traps that at first glance were hard to spot. In this article I show you the most popular of those.
One of the most frequently used indicators for assessing the effectiveness of online advertising is the Click-through rate. It indicates the ratio of the number of clicks on the ad to the number of its views. Imagine attractive advertising formats, beautiful graphics, with strong CTA encouraging to take action. A lured customer clicks and lands on the website.
However, the problem occurs when the page is not consistent with the creative’s visual design, or when the user is flooded with information, instead of being presented with the same main idea shown in the ad. This will result in the website being abandoned and the campaign results ending up being far from satisfactory.
Take one of the campaigns for a financial sector client. CTR, conversion rate, number and cost of leads acquired through contact forms were all at a very good level. We analyzed the effectiveness of the campaign from start until the closure of the conversion path, i. e. granting a loan. At the validation stage it turned out that, while quantitatively speaking it all looked great, as there were lots of people applying, but the problem was that a huge part of them was eventually not eligible and their applications had to be rejected.
We have therefore tightened the targeting of our advertisements, adding additional messages to exclude ineligible people from the start. Actually, even the ads were perhaps less aesthetically appealing, but a clearer and more to the point message was created. As a result, people who were clicking were much more informed. CTRs and the number of leads have fallen quite sharply, but their quality has improved several times!
Very often, when analyzing the results of an online campaign, we focus only on a small fragment of data, on conclusions drawn directly from an advertising campaign, while the true image can be much wider and informative.
It is also worth to check different models of conversion attribution and analyze what roles various traffic sources play in the whole shopping path.
The pre-sales in the producer’s shop and the accompanying campaign enjoyed excellent results and high daily sales of the promoted product. When the product arrives at other distributors with a price lower by only a few %, sales in the producer’s shop fell several times within 1-2 days. Media indicators and traffic quality remained at a very high level, but conversions decreased. Additional tools to analyze users’ behavior on the website, recording visits, confirmed that users are copying the name of the product, then searching for it in Google and price comparison engines and making purchases there. Ultimately, the customer was delighted with the global sales volume, but if, for example, the product was available from the beginning in many stores and a little cheaper than in the manufacturer’s shop and without looking at the total sales data, the campaign would certainly be considered ineffective.
The client, a Polish travel agency, offers exotic tours to destinations such as Seychelles, Maldives, Mauritius, etc. The cost of acquiring traffic on the website and of getting an enquiry was very high and very often did not pay for it immediately, but that is just part of the story. One of the clients ordered a trip to Maldives worth 28,000 PLN (about $8,000). She was satisfied after her return and almost immediately planned another two trips with the same bureau, as well as recommended agency to another 3 couples, the friends of hers. Two of them also decided to travel. This way one customer generated more than $30,000 worth of trips sold. A similar situation can be observed in e-commerce. Subsequent visits and orders, purchasing additional accessories for already bought products, repeatability of purchases – all this determines the final profit from the investment in advertising.
The Flat Fee billing (FF) might be also referred to as the permanent presence. It means that we pay the publisher a fixed rate for the advertising space – e. g. we order a week of our advertisement on the homepage of the website.
Always pay attention to the following:
For this purpose, divide the net value by PV (Page Views) or UU (Unique Users) statistics and multiply by 1000 times to get the CPM.
Amount of data, especially within the programmatic buying, is so large today, that it is quite a task to choose the data worthy of our attention and of our money (we have written about it in one of our previous entries).
Programmatic gives you great opportunities to target your advertising, namely, among others:
It is worth paying attention to who is the data provider and what kind of data. What kind of company, whether local or international; if the latter, does it have valuable data from our market? It is also a good idea to check where and how this data is collected. Unfortunately, this kind of information might be not so easy to obtain, but it is still worth doing research. Try asking the DSP (Demand Side Platform) or the data providers directly.
Another important criterion is, of course, the price (usually the data are calculated in the CPM and charged together with the CPM value of the advertising space purchased). You have to find a balance here; check whether the additional payment of a few dollars per every 1000 impressions will pay off through an increase in conversion rates or the quality of traffic on the website.
HINT: The final criterion for verifying the quality and usefulness of data in our campaign is a test campaign! It is always best to carry out several test runs: try purchasing data with a similar profile, but from different suppliers, and then select the one whose data is most suitable and most cost effective.
Below is an example illustrating campaigns run for one of our customers – the same DSP platform, the same creatives used and identical rates. Changing the data used in the campaign itself has resulted in an enormous improvement in all those indicators that show the quality of traffic.
They say the devil is in the detail, and this holds true especially for online campaigns. Seemingly effective solutions may prove to be ineffective in reality, as superficially evaluated indicators may give you a false image. Before running the ad, make sure how it will be displayed, and afterward, take a look at the effects it had from various perspectives. Only this way you will see the real effects it had, what it did and didn’t achieve and why so.
About the author: Mateusz Sobieraj is the CEO of adCookie digital marketing agency, that won the Golden Arrow marketing award for the Internet Innovation of the Year, and was named the best in 4 categories in the yearly report of interactive agencies by Millward Brown / Media & Marketing Polska.
Mateusz managed more than 1000 campaigns, having worked with brands such as ASUS, YI, Toshiba, LifeFitness, Mobile Vikings and more.
You can ask his advice on digital marketing, especially AdWords, new media planning, latest global trends, RTB, VR and Rich Media.
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