Red Hot Thoughts: Checking under the hood of your Paid Media
As we move through the current crisis, we are having lots of conversations with both existing and prospective new clients. Whilst many believe that pressing the pause button on marketing spend is the correct approach, our advice is to look at what the data is telling you, and ensure you make informed decisions.
Many budgets will have been written 12 or 18 months ago, with no contingency planning for COVID-19 and whilst holding back budget is a necessity for many businesses, this does not mean pausing all activity. Conversely, if the current situation has led to increased demand, it might be worth looking to move forward budget, all whilst remaining emotionally sensitive to consumer’s needs, especially when it comes to ad copy.
Time to look under the hood.
If your current strategy relies heavily on automation, then make sure you undertake a review of the last few weeks against the previous few weeks and against last year. Consumer behaviour is currently unprecedented and is changing daily, something that a potentially automated strategy cannot contend with. This could lead to loss of impression share, lower page position or exorbitant bids.
Media spend vs Management.
A common misconception within the industry is that more media spend means more management is needed. The COVID-19 situation is a prime example of how this doesn’t necessarily hold up in practice. With media spends likely to be reduced in the coming weeks, more time than ever is required to ensure an optimal level of performance at this time. Have you pulled media spend completely? This doesn’t mean no work should be being done. This is a great opportunity to review performance over the past months, with findings then helping to inform relaunch strategies once we are out of this.
Should you choose Human over Algorithm?
We’d encourage using this time to review account structure, and critique past performance. Whilst typically having your campaigns set to Target ROAS or Target CPA will more often than not produce that ROAS (although this is less likely at the moment due to the volatile situation), this doesn’t necessarily mean that this ROAS/CPA is the optimal setting for you.
Have you dived deep into how the algorithm is generating the ROAS/CPA target you’ve set? It’s likely there will be leaks (via device, audience, time of day etc.) that, if optimised manually, could lead to even better performance. If you’re a client working with an agency, ask them if they’ve been looking at these more detailed breakdowns. Automation should not be an excuse to set and forget but viewed as an opportunity to free up time to investigate these more detailed statistics.
Be sure to reach out.
At Red Hot Penny, we’ve undergone a conscious transformation over the past couple of years, moving from a more typical ‘executional-focused’ approach to one that shares our thinking and challenges your own. In a particularly challenging time with COVID-19, it is more vital than ever that your agency goes beyond just building campaigns and keyword lists, they should be providing you with strategy and analysis to drive performance for your business as a whole using knowledge from past experience as well as current experience within their client portfolio.