In Digital Advertising (and Life) Fortune Favors the Bold

8673241755_cf5d4a38ab_zAudentes fortuna iuvat. “Fortune favors the bold” is a phrase that’s been thrown around for centuries, but it still rings true today. It’s not just being bold or daring though – it has a lot to do with the effort behind that mindset. A more modern perspective might be “you get out of life what you put in it” or “hard work pays off.” What am I driving at? With digital advertising campaigns there are a million different variables with an infinite list of potential outcomes. While that can seem daunting, sometimes you just have to step up boldly, put a new campaign (ad, keyword, channel, whatever) to the test and see what comes out the other side.

Example 1: Dynamic Product Ads

Have an e-commerce client that is on the smaller side and has a very seasonal product. Their successes with digital advertising have been mixed through the years, so they proceed with a certain level of caution. To this point there was hesitation on launching dynamic product ads versus the static image ads previously used (which weren’t bad, by the way). Concerns were varied: Is there budget? Will they convert? We can’t control the creative?

Made the executive decision to boldly go and set up the Google AdWords dynamic product ads. 13 days on, it was clearly the right decision. CTR increased. Conversions increased.

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Furthermore, assisted conversion activity also spiked – driving more sales from the other channels and marketing activities in play.

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Was it a risk? Only a minor one – I was confident the DPA’s would work. However, the “bold” part came in just making the executive decision to shoot first and ask for forgiveness later. Net result? Huge positive.

Example 2: Switching From Paid Conversion to Free Conversion

I’ve worked with a lot of B2B companies over the years. Not only do the products and services come in every flavor possible, but so do the methods for getting leads and customers through the door. One of the more interesting wrinkles is answering the question, “Do I go for a soft lead and nurture or do I go straight for the sale?”

Tough question. Muddy answers. My experience has been that asking for the sale right out of the gate leads to low CTR, high CPA and frustrated clients and campaign managers. The soft lead, or top-of-funnel lead activity is necessary to fill the pipeline and educate the consumer on WHY they need your product or service. Despite all of this, and the heaps of data available to that effect, many companies still want to go straight for the sale – all they can see are dollar signs.

This example is one where the client was in full agreement that going for the sale was the wrong thing to do. But that’s what the company had always done, so culture and processes had to be modified on their end before proceeding. It required all of us to be bold in the face of the change, but once we did, things were AWESOME.

There are 3 conversions recorded – 2 of which are free subscriptions, 1 of which is a paid subscription. Before we launched an overhaul of their conversion funnel, the call-to-action of the ads and landing pages were for the paid subscription. Any free conversions were icing on the cake. After the conversion funnel overhaul, the landing pages were focused on the free subscriptions and the paid conversion was an up-sell.

The general consensus was that free subscription conversions would increase immediately and that paid subscription conversions (last click) would drop. Not so…

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When it comes to managing campaigns for PPC, display or social advertising channels, I truly believe that fortune favors the bold. The technology is constantly evolving, the strategies can change and the majority of advertisers are entirely too cautious. If nothing else adopting a bold attitude will allow you to stay one step ahead of the competition!

What have you boldly done lately? Let me know in the comments!

Photo credit: Tammy O via Flickr

 

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