Key Points: Your campaign’s performance analysis must align with your company’s standards for measuring metrics. To achieve such alignment, your agency requires three specific masteries, as described in this article.
Cultivating Digital Marketing Agency Best Practices
It’s Friday afternoon. You and your colleagues are gathered in the boardroom. Your latest digital ad campaign has far exceeded expectations. Consequently, you’ve received a raise, and your fellow execs are relishing the accolades they’ve been showered with. Pop open the champagne!
A dream scenario? Actually, it can be your reality -- provided the following factors are in place:
Your agency is finding and maximizing new channels of advertising that systematically impact key business value areas of your enterprise.
Advertising successes are aligned to how your company measures its metrics, thus keeping you on top of your campaign’s performance.
Alignment Generates Transparency — and Increased Accountability
Performance and metrics alignment results in transparency and greater accountability: The digital advertising is on the hook to perform, while your company must maximize the results of that performance by having internal processes ready to receive and interpret the data from that digital effort.
What Alignment Looks Like
Let’s say your company is a services company with 200 locations. You measure success for each individual location by assessing new client acquisition growth weekly, year over year.
Your analysis might address new client acquisition results on week 17 of 2018 vs. week 17 of 2019. Was there growth? If there was, what was the percentage of growth for each branch of your 200-branch services company? Comparing last week’s results with your year-to-date results, are you on track to meet your annual number -- and to distribute bonuses to stakeholders in your company?
If that is how success is being measured inside your company, then your digital advertising should be measured the same way. The tools and methods to achieve this are readily available. The onus then is on your agency to have the skills to provide you with the data the way that you want to receive it.
Simply put, your agency must respond to your needs in the specific ways you’ve communicated to them.
23,000 Options For Achieving Campaign Success
How can your agency best meet your needs? Well, therein lies the beauty of digital advertising. For example, Google Ads alone has 47+ different features that can be leveraged in accordance to needs.
Further, there are at least 26 common areas that require monitoring and adjustments on a routine basis to ensure your campaign is up and running with optimal effectiveness (these were previously published in the SalesX ORCA Checklist).
There are also 19 different business performance value areas (a.k.a. Business Value Dials as identified by Intel Corp) that you can measure internally. Some examples of these are the obvious Direct Income, and the less obvious opportunities for Cross Selling, Upselling, Opening New Markets, reducing your Time To Market, Maximizing Existing Markets, Increasing Inventory Turnover, Reducing Returns, etc.
Thus, when you multiply those elements together, you have over 23,000 options (47x26x19=23,218) for making your campaigns run in the most effective way. Your agency’s responsibility is to find the right combination.
Three Requisite Agency Masteries
From a technical perspective, a proven way to gain mastery is to continuously test, have the ability to analyze results and to execute changes based on the findings of those tests, en masse. While it is easy to claim continuous testing, the key is to routinely and rapidly analyze the results and to execute action based on those results. Granted, that is easier said than done, unless your agency has expert PPC obsessors whose DNA includes the continuous testing and execution cycle.
Business Implications Mastery
For the business side, the next step is to tie results back to business value. That’s where the executives of your agency must have veteran-level business experience that enables them to educate you about the nuances of digital advertising -- and to collaborate with you so that measurable business value relates back to campaign results.
For example, a company with 50 branches decided to discontinue their ineffective TV advertising in favor of doing digital ads. The goal was to capture prospects who were likely to tour their locations and sign up. Surprisingly, they soon discovered that despite the increased prospect sign-ups, the ratio of no-shows for the tour had actually spiked, thus giving the impression that the digital ad sign-ups were less effective that the ones acquired through the TV ads.
However, upon further exploration, we found out that the company’s internal processes did not include reminder emails, calls or text messages. Subsequently, we coached the company about the nature of digital leads and the necessity to employ follow-up emails and texts right up to the tour date/hour.
With the above corrections in place, the issue was resolved and the increased leads were accompanied with a corresponding increase in the tour and sign-up numbers. This was a matter of helping the company understand the nature of digital leads, and to provide them with guidance about using best practices to adjust for those nuances in order to maximize results.
Transparent Reporting Mastery
As to reporting and transparency, your agency should be showing you the results that are being achieved and the level of effort that is being applied. For instance, an e-commerce company might have 150 different categories and hundreds of thousands of keywords they are targeting. Their agency should, in real time, provide the following current and historical data:
The status of all primary and secondary KPIs
Recent projects and time allocations with the ongoing work that is being done for them
Spend allocation by channel
Record breaking dates and trends
Possible account errors and flags
Click through rates, impressions, conversions and value, costs, top campaigns and device breakdowns
Sessions trends and top performing geo locations and hours
Channels driving unique purchases
Maximizing Value From Your Digital Advertising
Digital advertising can -- and should -- be leveraged to impact the entire length and breadth of your opportunity funnel. However, your agency needs astute technical chops, real life business experience, and the ability to program for innovative data measurement that matches your business needs. If they have those three foundational elements -- and can quickly identify and remedy any gaps in your business processes to ensure seamless matching to your digital opportunities -- extraordinary results will be inevitable. This positive result is captured in the The Upward Funnel of Business Value Maximization illustrated below: