Resist Putting Your Digital Ads on Cruise Control

Everyone gets busy and one of the great things about technology is that it can automate a lot of things. Here are some great examples of automation:

  • The Nest thermostat.
  • Home automation, setting up your lights to automatically come on at night or when you are away.
  • Making your morning coffee. I need this one!

In marketing there are a lot of great automations examples as well:

  • Reporting, so you don’t have to spend hours pulling data and can concentrate on analysis.
  • Email campaigns. Campaigns that start when someone on your site fills out a form. So you don’t have to start a new campaign each time someone signs up.
  • Even automated bidding for digital campaigns is very helpful. This way your bids are automatically optimized so you don’t have to spend hours checking and rechecking them.

Today I was reminded that there are definitely things as marketers we need to remember to not set on cruise control. Automation ok, but you can’t just set it and forget it. Check out the ad from Volkswagen I saw on LinkedIn.

VW ad on cruise control - from 2017

See anything strange?

How about,

“It says you’ve arrived. Ahead of schedule.”

Um “The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta”????  And the ad simply goes to new cars. It’s May 2018!

This is a great example of automation taken too far. Clearly they have not looked at their campaign very closely since the beginning of the year. How do you think it is performing?

To have a successful digital campaigns on any platform you should monitoring them regularly for the following aspects of their performance:

  • Let’s get the first one out of the way. Regular audits of the message.
  • Does the message resonate with your audience?
  • Is it timely? In this case, an obvious no.
  • How’s the visibility? Is it still getting impression?
  • Are people engaging with  the ad?
  • Are your bids still acceptable? Has the ad seen an increase in cost per click for some reason?

Without monitoring these basic aspects you can end up with ads that don’t make sense and are largely ineffective, cost you more than they should, or even worse they could make you look silly.

Moral is automate when it makes sense, but don’t let it your ads go on cruise control!

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