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.