Commentary

The Everlasting Life Of A Campaign

The sad fact is that all ads die.

Just like plants, animals and radioactive elements, ads decay over time and eventually cease to function. This is a big part of the reason marketing efforts have historically been thought of in terms of finite campaigns. But that’s all changing. As consumers grow less tolerant of seeing the same ad too many times and the array of ad lengths, formats and personalization requirements of targeted advertising continues to expand, there is an increased burden placed on marketers of all sizes.

The good news is that at least marketers have real-time visibility into their progress along that decay curve. No matter what KPI your business is considering, you can track every single campaign in real time using readily available tools.

So data isn’t the problem. Acting on it is. If it takes two to four weeks to turn around new creative assets, they are generally delivered too late. Being “of the moment” is more important than ever today and if you’re late, your performance window will close. Similarly, if it costs tens of thousands of dollars to rapidly turn around a testable array of fresh creative options, the cost/benefit of doing so is murky at best.

So how do you become an agile marketer in today’s always-on ad world?

  • Organize your library. Poor management of library content is a severe point of friction for most companies. Archive all of the associated media for every project to make your asset library infinitely more valuable and usable, reducing both the cost and friction associated with any media optimization.
  • Create at scale. There are more platforms and formats than ever today, and the audience on each is in a different mindset.  To succeed, you need to customize your content for all of the appropriate formats, geographies and target demographics. And even then, experts still struggle to predict which versions will work best.  The only solution is to play your hunches and create wide arrays of experimental assets.
  • Test widely, then focus spend. Once your campaign is ready, place it widely with small test budgets and then rapidly move your resources behind the versions that are working best.
  • Watch the data. When you get below critical performance thresholds, you have to act swiftly. But this doesn't need to mean ending the campaign. A small investment in optimization can be a new lease on life for any campaign.
  • React rapidly. Once you fall below your key threshold, send your best-performing ads back to the workshop for a new approach.
  • Re-publish. As soon as your optimized creative is ready, re-publish your new variants, place small budgets behind them widely, and wait to see where the data tells you to focus.  
  • Repeat.

Companies can react to data and change campaign trajectories in ways never before possible. Within hours or a few days, with minimal effort or overhead requirement, marketers can create, transfer and re-publish an array of entirely new creative assets, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, and in doing so, breathe everlasting life into their campaigns.

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