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Net Gains: Smart Questions That Will Tighten Up Your Digital Campaigns

1 Apr, 2017 By: Peter Sengenberger Response

Successful digital campaigns require a lot of coordination — from internal and external team members working from the same playbook — to ensure digital plans are paying off to the highest degree. Good questions, asked often, produce clarity and facilitate productive communication. Here are eight key questions that, when asked consistently, help keep digital campaigns on track.

  1. What’s being measured consistently? Every digital marketing effort comes with tons of metrics and data to analyze. Each channel will have its own set of key metrics — SEO, paid search, display, video, Facebook likes, shares and followers, native impressions, conversion rates. The list is endless. Look at each channel and ask what’s being measured consistently. Question if those are the right metrics and ask how they’re trending. Often, it’s the confluence of data that gives marketers the best read on a campaign’s effectiveness.
  2. For paid marketing channels, if you halved the budget, where would you cut? And, if you doubled your budget, where would money best be spent? These questions drill down into what’s top of mind for your team and vendors — and help you get a view into what the priorities of those actually running the campaigns believe to be true. Are some channels or campaigns getting tired, or are they experiencing some kind of fundamental change that makes them less appealing now? Perhaps the opposite is true: maybe there are new glimmers of opportunity that need a bit more attention in order to bear fruit.

    3. What are you spending most of your time on? You might be surprised at how much time is being spent on low-value tasks like reports and general operations when everyone would benefit from more time spent on analysis, negotiating, or prospecting new opportunities. Digital media operations require high levels of organization, and judging by what your colleagues say, investing in off-the-shelf ad serving, analytics, and demand-side platforms can shift everyone’s attention to more value-added tasks.

    4. What digital channels are the most sensitive to offline activity? If TV is driving a lot of traffic to your sites, looking at visitor spikes and coordinating your digital outreach can pay dividends. Also look at what types of audiences your offline advertising is sending your way — widely varying conversion rates on proven landing pages suggest differently qualified groups of traffic coming through. It could be worth examining if all those groups are created equally and to make sure each group is being presented with the next most relevant offer/position from your brand.

  1. What’s the competition doing? Not necessarily that you’d want to follow their tactics or strategy but understanding what plays your competition is making can help inform you of places you can improve. Services like WhatRunsWhere give good overviews, quickly. Any information on competitors’ strategy is worth investigating.
  2. Are we focusing enough at each stage of the conversion funnel? Driving lots of cost effective traffic doesn’t help ROI unless you’re converting at an acceptable level, and different digital media drive varying degrees of qualified potential customers. A person who has chosen to watch your 60-second digital video and then clicked through for more information is a much warmer lead than, say, a person who clicked on an image and headline native ad for your brand as they scrolled to the bottom of their preferred article. Your landing pages and path to conversion should be appropriate to that potential customer’s position in the “discover, consider, decide, act” funnel.
  3. Have you tested your sites’ integrity on mobile devices? It’s likely where most of your traffic and orders come from. Explore your sites on some mobile devices to see if they’re operating as you’d expect. Don’t be shocked if your brand’s mobile experience is lacking — just fix it quickly.
  4. Are you doing enough to remarket to interested customers? Potential customers who have interacted with your advertising and/or visited your landing page are your highest value group to remarket. At a minimum, your team should be testing remarketing in terms of media, creative, offer, and frequency

Without a tight hold on the reins, a digital campaign can quickly drift into underperformance and irrelevance. Unlike TV campaigns, much of digital media is bought programmatically, where it falls on the marketer and their partners to test and optimize over time. Regarding digital campaigns as open-ended projects and treating them as such, while keeping the above questions circulating, will help ensure healthy discourse and lead to improved results. ■

About the Author: Peter Sengenberger

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