Three Post-Campaign Processes You Need to Be Integrating
by Brandon Hartness
posted on 06-15-2015
Picture this: a marketer is fired from the barrel of a cannon. He’s hurling at untold speeds through the chaos and excitement, over a riveted audience of friends and strangers until—BOOM!—he lands hard. It’s over. He brushes himself off, takes a quick glance back, and walks off to tackle the next adventure. If it was a smooth ride, great. If not, it’s over—and he probably won’t do that again. Sound familiar—like, maybe, your overarching campaign strategy? All too often I see brilliant marketers being fired from the campaign cannon. They’re eager, prepared, and ready to fly. But what about when they land? That’s where the cannon approach comes up short—that’s when it’s just marketing for marketing’s sake.
The best, most robust, and most results-oriented initiatives are typically rooted in processes and best practices that kick off long before the first user engagement—before he hops into the barrel of the cannon—and push long after landing. If campaigns are truly top-notch, the real magic happens post-campaign, even. With a little ground-laying, some smart solution integrations, and a commitment to really digging in, you’ll be able to get the most out of every single campaign you roll out, no matter where the proverbial chips ultimately fall from a KPI or conversion perspective. Start with three processes and build from there—but, no doubt, you’ve got to at least be incorporating these post-campaign best practices, starting right now.
#1: Analyze the data—and dig deep
You’ve got the data, but are you using it to its full potential? Immediately post-campaign is the ultimate time to roll up your sleeves and dig in, segmenting the metrics to align with your predefined audiences and campaign metrics. From there it’s easy to push the envelope even farther, slicing and dicing in a quest to uncover anomalies and determine once and for all why a campaign did or didn’t hit the mark. Sure, this can all seem a little intimidating when there’s so much data sitting in front of you, but with a solid technology sidekick, you’ll be able to barrel through with ease, precision, and a strong sense of purpose. My advice here? Let the technology—that machine sidekick—do the heavy lifting for you. You be the brain; it’ll be the brawn.
A user-friendly go-to? Adobe Analytics’ Anomaly Detection, which readily unearths changes and significant variations from predetermined interval data. It’s the moment of clarity in the clutter, the needle in the haystack, the calm in the eye of the storm—and, from there, your job is to figure out why, using the Contribution Analysis feature of Anomaly Detection. This interactive tool discovers the otherwise undiscoverable, finding the critical correlations between those anomalies and the potential causes, factors, and considerations, drawing from Adobe Analytics, Adobe Social, and Adobe Target, among other sources, creating a 360-degree look at what’s driving what—and how these factors ultimately impacted your campaign. You’ll know, with the data to back up your solid next steps.
#2: Evaluate the personalization strategy
Once you’ve identified anomalies and clear-cut contributions, it’s essential to evaluate the specific personalization strategies you utilized. Maybe you’re already running on all cylinders, tapping into solid automated personalization tactics to deliver relevant real-time experiences for your consumers—but maybe you aren’t. No matter where your business falls on the spectrum, taking a step back and really understanding how your relevance delivery strategy performed is key.
Start by looking at the unique calls-to-action—that’s a good indicator of overall success and performance. No matter what the CTAs were—a drive to buy, read the next article, share with a friend, download an app—they represent the goals you set for yourself and your audience. And through strong, strategic, and personalized touch points, they’ll be the gateway from your branded experience to long-term success. Look at each individually and as a collective and see which, if any, fell short or, alternatively, shot to the top of the pile. Did different segments have unique responses to the CTAs? Hopefully, you’ve seeded your audience to ensure a solidly representative slice of your overarching audience (if not, make a note for next time) and can see the clear spikes and dips from call-out to call-out. Most importantly, ask yourself if there’s something you could be doing differently—or something that needs more. Maybe it’s a CTA, but maybe it’s a lost product page, high value homepage real estate that’s underperforming, or a segment that, according to the Contribution Analysis, is being sorely overlooked by your marketing efforts. Now’s the time to get in there and wade through the critical connections you’re making with consumers through your personalization efforts so you can do more of what’s excelling, while troubleshooting what’s keeping you down.
#3: Document and archive the results
Done? Then document. It seems like a no-brainer but, surprisingly, it’s still not a universal truth. All too often our testing and optimization strategies, successes, and key learnings become tacit knowledge. It’s great for ensuring marketing teams can move faster and push farther right now…but what about tomorrow? What about when a new team moves in? Or when an initiative moves from one department to the next, one office to another, or one key stakeholder to a team of decision makers? Or maybe another arm of the organization could benefit from your findings. If the results aren’t clearly articulated, documented, and readily accessible, you’re just asking for some serious effort duplication and, with it, wasted time and resources on both sides. Be transparent, document clearly and carefully, and archive the results for the greater good. The end result? Future tests and other integrated initiatives will build on your work, providing greater understanding, insights, and success for everyone—you and your team included.
Sure, you’ll likely never escape the cannon metaphor—digital marketing campaigns are notoriously high energy, high excitement, and, in a lot of ways, high flying. But the work doesn’t stop when you land. With a little extra push at the end, marketers can gain unparalleled insights, clarity, and performance capabilities that extend far beyond the scope of the initiative itself. Analyze the data, evaluate your personalization strategy, and document, document, document. With those simple post-campaign tactics, you’ll get even more out of your creative tests, innovative optimization strategies, and ongoing relevance delivery programs. And that’s a win that fuels your organization’s successes long after that last consumer conversion.