Paid Advertising and The Customer Experience
Last year Adobe released our latest Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing with Econsultancy — The CX Challenge. Now as we enter the new year it’s definitely worth revisiting. As businesses work to transform from siloed operations to align with customer journeys, expectations, and experiences, it’s important to understand how paid advertising fits into the Customer Experience (CX) and what actions can be taken to execute it in a way that has the biggest impact for both the consumer and the bottom line.
The first thing CX usually brings to mind is optimising and personalising the on-site experience, extending into mobile. In fact, 90% of marketers surveyed said the desktop website experience is central to CX and 86% included the mobile website experience. However, digital adverts and social media were not far behind (ranked as central by 77% and 76% of marketers, respectively). This means with solid CX driving business and loyalty, it’s critical to align your digital advertising efforts with the website experience – both desktop and mobile – and to tailor the campaigns accordingly. Part of this is human coordination – sharing messaging across teams and aligning approaches to execute across a common strategy. The other part is digital. The ability to have a common asset management repository from which both the on-site and advertising teams can draw, delivering a unified CX (such as Adobe’s Assets core service that makes creative collateral available to leverage across Marketing Cloud solutions), is one component. The ability to create segments from customers engaging with you on-site and use those exact segments for retargeting paid ads (like selecting segments shared from Adobe Analytics to target your Paid Display ads in Adobe Media Optimizer), is another. So it’s worth looking at your current business processes and ad tech + marketing tech stack and doing an enquiry as to whether or not you have the technical capabilities to deliver the digital alignment required to create a CX that keeps your customer base growing and loyal.
When we dove a bit deeper into what barriers might be preventing marketers from improving their CX, 30% of companies surveyed and 25% of agencies said difficulty unifying different sources of customer data. Customer data, however, doesn’t have to be limited to CRM-thinking, however. After all, CX doesn’t just revolve around a customer id. You are likely to be dealing with unknown customers, first-time customers, loyal customers, and so on. The key here is unified data across the business. From a paid advertising perspective, this is where you want to have your on-site analytics and your digital acquisition analytics aligned – running off relevant shared metrics, analysing and reporting in the overall context of your business. This is best enabled by a native two-way integration, such as Adobe Analytics and Media Optimizer, which means your paid ad efforts can actually be optimised effectively and automatically against the same numbers being seen in the wider business for those channels, and that on-site metrics can flesh out the picture of how each keyword or ad is performing to drive even better performance.
Then there’s the digital elephant in the room – mobile. According to the QDIB report, ‘mobile accounts for 50% to 70% of all customer interactions with brands. The top 20% of sites analysed by Adobe have already passed the tipping point where more than half of their traffic is mobile.’ This means mobile optimisation – from a campaign, bid optimisation, and reporting perspective is critical in the paid ads space, particularly within the context of CX. This is when data, transparency, and automation come to the forefront. Have you got visibility over how your paid advertising activity performs on mobile versus desktop/tablet at a keyword/creative level? Can your bid technology not only pull in this information, but also algorithmically analyse and automatically change Mobile Bid Adjustments at scale to deliver the best performance and ROI for mobile? Are you able to report on the value mobile is driving for your business and understand mobile ad ROI? Again, this is where a robust multi-channel solution like Adobe Media Optimizer comes into play – putting all the data at your fingertips, while actioning it for you. Remember, in the world of paid ads, Google and Facebook both put the quality of mobile experiences for their users at the forefront and reward/penalise advertisers in accordance. Mobile-accurate advertising is imperative.
So have a look – delivering an outstanding CX doesn’t solely revolve around digital advertising, but it is definitely one of the core components. Ask the questions and make sure your business is supported in delivering the best acquisition-side CX possible. Bring your paid ads and on-site experiences into strategic alignment. Work from a centralised source of truth for your data. Keep mobile at the forefront. This will strengthen one pillar of the CX your business delivers to clients, generating more, of higher value, and of greater overall loyalty, ultimately driving more revenue across channels.