Down The Rabbit Hole - Optimizing Programmatic Campaigns
Read on for 8 tips that you can implement when analyzing the performance of your programmatic campaign.
In November 2014, the client I manage presented me with a very difficult challenge. They needed to increase paid search spend an additional $100K over the amount they originally budgeted for. What made this challenge even more difficult was the timing. The increased budget request was made on day 7 of the month, which meant a new strategy had to be developed and implemented in a very short period of time.
The reason for this dramatic ramp up was simple. Paid search is the only channel experiencing year over year lead volume, cost per lead, & enrollment growth. Due to the success of paid search, we were tasked with dramatically ramping up account spend to compensate for the loss of volume my client’s other marketing channels were experiencing.
This case study discusses our strategy for ramping up the account, the tactics we employed, results, and our key learning’s.
Let’s get to it!
The client I manage is a leading for-profit education company. The schools they own are spread out over 40+ locations throughout the United States. The for-profit education industry as a whole is extremely competitive and has been experiencing year over year enrollment declines. My client has experienced this very issue with their marketing initiatives outside of paid search.
Upon being tasked with the challenge of quickly ramping up account spends, we started off by conducting an audit to uncover untapped growth opportunities. As a result of the audit, two quick win opportunities arose.
To meet the challenge set forth by the client, we created and implemented the following strategy:
During the strategic planning phase for this ramp up we shied away from expanding outside Google & Bing. The reason for this was timing constraints. Expansion outside our established networks would of taken time not available to us for implementation and optimization. The client was demanding quick results so we needed put those long-term initiatives aside while we focused on further leveraging our existing program. Focusing on existing initiatives was going to be our quickest route to success in this instance.
Listed below are the tactics we employed to successfully implement our growth strategy.
Below is a summary of results regarding the account ramp up. Key things to note are:
Not only did the account ramp up achieve its main objectives, some key learning’s were uncovered.
My most impactful learning was that a large, established account could still be grown quickly. My original assumption was that a large account runs out its ability to grow over time and once reaching that point, only small, incremental gains are possible. This exercise both proved my theory to be false and provided a blueprint for cranking up an account when the need arises.
My other key learning has been how to ramp up and structure a Google Display Network account. When implementing similar audiences, we originally added them as ad groups within our core display campaigns. Although these similar audiences ad groups produced a lot of conversions, those conversions were generated at a $100 higher cost per conversion than the account wide cost per converted click average.
Additionally, similar audiences ad groups took up most of the budget and prevented better performing GDN initiatives from getting enough exposure. From this experience, I learned its necessary to break each initiative into its own campaign. Setting up separate campaigns for display select, remarketing, similar audience, etc. provides enough budgeting flexibility for each area to receive enough traffic and generate enough performance data to analyze its success or failure.
Have you had similar experiences such as mine? Would love to hear your feedback.
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