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4 tips to maximize your ad spend and protect the customer experience

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4 tips to maximize your ad spend and protect the customer experience

When an economic downturn strikes, what’s the first thing you do? 

Eliminate wasteful spending. 

As marketers, we know well that our budgets are the first to get cut. Marketing is notoriously undervalued, even though research shows that companies who didn’t cut their marketing spend during a recession actually bounced back more strongly than those who did.  

However, this doesn’t change the fact that we all have a target on our backs, no matter our talent or seniority. And now that we’ve officially entered a bear market, uncertainties will only continue to grow. Regardless of your budget or headcount, it’s essential now more than ever to ensure no ad dollar is wasted by optimizing the ad-to-website experience.

Here are four ways you can make the most of your marketing budget while driving meaningful results for your business.

1. Audit your ads

No matter how hard you work to maximize your marketing spend, there will always be at least one campaign or channel that just isn’t giving you the most bang for your buck. In fact, studies show that 26% of marketing budgets are wasted on ineffective channels and strategies. 

While this is a common problem among marketers, you need to be particularly aggressive about maximizing ad spend in a period of economic uncertainty. Ensuring you’re not wasting a single ad dollar, impression or website visit should be your north star right now. In order to do this, you need to review your current advertising efforts to understand what’s working and what’s not.

As you review your ads, ask yourself these questions:

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  • Targeting: Is everyone on your list the best fit for your brand or product, or can you narrow down your targeting further? It may cost more, but they’ll be higher quality and more likely to convert.
  • Engagement: What is your cost per click and cost per conversion? Which ads are driving the most engagement and which are driving the least? Are the most engaging ads also your biggest revenue generators? If not, go back and revisit your targeting.
  • Landing pages: Is there continuity from your ad to your landing page? Is the landing page static, or does it dynamically adjust based on the visitor or buyer segment? Beyond brand continuity, you’re also looking to deliver a seamless buyer experience.
  • Channels: What is your spend and ROI for each channel? Which channels are driving the most conversions and which are driving the least? Are you hitting the benchmarks for those channels for your industry? If you don’t know what the benchmark is, ask your rep—they all have baseline benchmarks per industry.
  • Bidding: Are your bids manual or automated? How can you optimize them for maximum reach and budget efficiency?

2. Test, test, test

Being agile is one of the best qualities you can have as a marketer in an economic downturn, so use this as an opportunity to prove your value. If you’re going to make every ad dollar count, you need to test your messaging before launch, optimize your creative throughout and constantly optimize your website and landing pages toward conversions throughout the entire lifecycle of each campaign.

Whether you choose to A/B test, use rules, or choose Continuous Conversion to “always be testing” it can take a lot of time and resources you might not have. Consider how AI and machine learning can help you optimize your ads and landing pages to increase lift all while delivering a seamless ad-to-website brand experience to your customer. 

3. Protect the customer experience

All too often we spend so much time perfecting our ad copy or visuals that we forget about the post-click portion of the customer journey. But when we take the time to optimize the entire customer experience from the first touch to last, that’s when we see big results.

It’s no secret that customer experience has become one of the most important components of a purchase decision for B2B and e-commerce customers alike. Eighty percent of customers say they are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers a personalized experience. And while personalizing your ads is important (and is appealing to 90% of customers), it is just as essential to optimize and personalize all of the touch points that come after.

Here are a couple of ways you can create a seamless customer experience to boost campaign conversions and customer loyalty:

  • Take the time to truly understand your audience. Thoughtful research will not only help you target the right segments but will help you craft messages that resonate with them once you understand their hearts and minds. This is why it is paramount to look at both quantitative (e.g. analytics) and qualitative (e.g. heatmaps, surveys, chatbot logs) data to get a full picture of your customer behavior and motivations. Once you flesh this out you can then serve up dynamic content specific to the ad they clicked on, whether they’re a new or repeat visitor, which products or pages they have visited previously, and other contextual and firmographic attributes so you can deliver the right experience at every touchpoint.
  • Test everything. When you test, you cannot fail. Even when you carefully research your audience, you still need to remove assumptions from your marketing and test everything in the field. Our world is always changing, and so are your customer’s needs and context. When you approach every single step of your customer journey with a testing mindset, you’ll generate continuous learnings about your audience and better predict how they will behave. With these learnings, you can optimize your entire customer experience so that it resonates with your customers at any given time and compels them to convert. 

4. Lean on automation

We know these first three tasks are no small feat, which is why it’s essential to lean on automation to continuously optimize your ad spend, landing pages and customer experience.

Automation is key to doing more with less and driving greater efficiencies at scale. When set up properly, your good ideas combined with automation are like a superpower. It saves you valuable time on tedious or complex tasks so you can put more effort into what you do best: coming up with great ideas to connect with your audience and deliver them the best experience.

While automation can’t do everything for you, here are a few things it can help you with:

  • Programmatic advertising: This marketing strategy automates the purchasing of your ads through a real-time bidding process so you can deliver hyper-targeted ads to the right audience (and without all the work!). Plus, you only pay for relevant impressions and have control over the price, frequency, goals and targeting.
  • Segmentation: Automated segmentation allows you to take people who have seen your ads and automatically group them together based on their shared characteristics. Using these segments, you can create hyper-personalized experiences based on those attributes and save a lot of time, money and resources.
  • Website personalization: Your end goal is to drive people to your website and get them to take action, and automated website personalization goes a long way toward that conversion. Using an AI-powered personalization solution, you can dynamically deliver a hyper-personalized website experience that matches each unique visitor’s needs. A great machine learning solution will be continuously learning and improving to adjust the experience in real-time to audience and market behaviors without the need for constant babysitting.

Final thoughts

Remember, when you test you cannot fail, machine learning is your friend, and nothing is set on rinse and repeat. When you take an iterative approach to your digital advertising, you’ll look like a marketing hero. 

For even more tips to optimize your ads and landing pages, read this blog.


About The Author

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The largest squandered opportunity in marketing today is low conversion websites. Intellimize solves that problem. Our Continuous Conversion™ platform powers high conversion by using machine learning and marketers’ creative ideas to optimize website experiences for each unique visitor every time. Conversion-obsessed marketers at Snowflake, Sumo Logic, Gong, ServiceTitan, Tableau, Dermalogica, Sunbasket, Drift, and more use Intellimize to deliver more revenue, more customers, and more leads to sales. We’re headquartered in San Mateo, CA and are backed by leading investors including Cobalt Capital, Addition, Amplify Partners, Homebrew, and Precursor Ventures.

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MARKETING

7 Critical Factors You Must Consider When Choosing RPA Tools

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Robotic Process Automation is a technology that makes it easy for businesses to build, deploy and manage bots that can replicate humans interacting with digital systems and software. These bots can perform structured and pre-defined tasks such as filling out a form, processing a financial transaction or sending messages.

The core purpose of robotic process automation is to automate mundane and repetitive tasks so that your employees don’t waste their time on those tasks and focus on more value-driven activities with automatic employee monitoring software. Yes, a human first has to define the workflow for a bot for it to work but once done, it can perform most tasks automatically.

Advantages of Robotic Process Automation

Here are some of the advantages of robotic process automation:

  • Optimal resource utilization
  • Save time
  • Reduces cost
  • Minimize errors
  • Increases business capacity

Disadvantages of Robotic Process Automation

Some of the disadvantages of robotic process automation are:

  • Requires monitoring and maintenance
  • Not capable to extract information from unstructured datasets
  • Can not automate complex tasks
  •  The time-consuming and costly setup process

In this article, you will learn about seven critical factors you must take into account when choosing robotic process automation tools for your business.

Before discussing factors you should consider when buying robotic process automation tools, it is important to understand that every robotic process automation tool has its own format and does not offer any kind of portability. This means that there are no standards so the one size fits all formula does not apply here.

Make sure that the robotic process automation software you are planning to buy has all the features you need along with some handy extras. Ask for proof of concept before rollout and only buy the software when you are sure that it is the right choice to meet your business needs.

7 Factors To Consider When Buying RPA Tools

Here are seven factors you must consider when buying a robotic process automation software

1.  Ease of bot setup

Setting up a robotic process automation software can be a daunting challenge for businesses as it can take a lot of time and resources. That is why it is imperative that enterprises invest in robotic process automation tools that are easy to set up and use.

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It must also allow a level of customization and let businesses create custom bots for different buyer personas. Developers should be able to call the robotic process automation tool API when writing code for automation.

2.  Low-code capabilities

Gone are the days when only experienced developers could create websites and apps. With the advent of low code tools, anyone can now create an app even with little to no coding knowledge(accounting app, management app, etc.). Low code development lets you drag and drop ready-made components from the tool library and write small code snippets for functions that are not present in the tool library of the tool. Choose robotic process automation tools that offer these low code capabilities.

3.  Machine learning capabilities

As mentioned before, robotic process automation software struggles when it comes to extracting actionable insights from unstructured datasets. Since a major chunk of company data is in unstructured form, it makes robotic process automation tools useless.

That is where the machine learning capabilities of these robotic process automation tools come in handy. With these capabilities, it can parse through documents, find information and return it to users. This can enhance the user experience and boost customer loyalty. Some vendors might give this a fancy name but the functionality remains the same.

4.  Integration with enterprise applications

Another important factor you can not afford to ignore when buying robotic process automation software is compatibility with enterprise applications. At the end of the day, your robotic process automation software’s utility is highly dependent on how these tools can integrate with your existing business application. This is about your data integration with supermetric alternatives and so on.

Its capability to extract data from your existing business applications matters most. Does your robotic process automation tool offer plugins to seamlessly connect it with your database, accounting systems, HR systems, appointment setting services and ERP systems? If yes, then you should certainly consider it as an option if it fulfills all your requirements.

5.  Orchestration and administration

Before these bots can take care of mundane tasks, you will have to first configure them and feed them with the right information as well as a secure credential. This secure credential is usually stored in a credential store. If you want other users to use your bots, you will first have to authorize and authenticate them.

You should also allocate resources for certain bots which trigger when a special event occurs. Once you have set it up, now you have to monitor it so it can work without human involvement. You will have to constantly improve its machine learning capabilities so it does not need human support when performing tasks.

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6.  Process and task discovery and mining

Identifying business processes you want to automate and prioritizing them is critical for the success of your robotic process automation implementation. Unfortunately, it is also the most time-consuming part of the process as well.

The more your robotic process automation software lets you mine for processes from system log and construct task flows by observations, the easier it will be for you to implement it and automate your business processes. Look for robotic process automation tools that make task discovery and mining painless.

7.  Scalability

If you are planning to implement robotic process automation throughout the organization, you will bump into scalability issues. The best way to resolve these scalability issues is to implement them in the cloud, in containers or via virtual machines. If the orchestration component can allocate extra bots when needed, solving the scalability problem is not a problem.

At the end of the day, the success and failure of your robotic process automation rest on identifying the best tasks and processes to be automated. Make sure to document every step involved in the process. Never cut corners in testing cycles because it can lead to some missing links in your robotic process automation systems.

What factors do you consider when selecting a robotic process automation software? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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