While social advertising has come a long way in just over a decade, fragmentation and decentralized teams make it seem almost unimaginable for brands to gain meaningful transparency into their investments and performance. In fact, we’ve seen the average number of campaigns per brand skyrocket 184% within the same year—a trend that’s expected to continue. And the bigger a company is, the bigger potential for complexity when executing social advertising strategies.
As a business that has become a fixture on the Fortune 500 list, a Renowned Telecom Brand operates in more than 200 countries and reels in revenues in the hundreds of billions. With a company of this impressive magnitude, even when only focusing on a single country, both the opportunities and challenges of achieving true social business intelligence, data ownership, campaign pacing, and optimization are substantial. Using the Unified Platform, the brand and its agency of record were able to successfully address each of these areas for multiple U.S. business units.
ENABLING TRUE BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE & DATA OWNERSHIP
In order for any large-scale social advertising strategy to be successful, building a foundation of streamlined and contextualized campaign data from multiple brands, teams, and tools is required. The Brand and its agency set out to accomplish this very feat, initially targeting 8 major divisions focused on a variety of markets spanning broadband, business services and everything in-between.
In total, all ad accounts and just shy of 80 marketing initiatives were connected into the Unified Platform, each comprised of hundreds of sub-campaigns arranged by both platform and ad type. This achieved two critical goals:
- Organized Data Ownership: With all ad accounts synced in across channels, this in effect ensures that marketers had access to them at all times— even in the event that they decided to change solutions or tools down the road.
- Unprecedented View Of Paid Performance: This combination of clearly organized cross-channel campaigns and data consolidation allowed for a previously unattainable view of paid performance.
As a result, marketers were able to monitor activity stress-free in real-time at both the campaign and brand levels, building a blend of fully customizable raw and standard reports that could be configured by platform, geo, device and more. Eventually, these paid reports became so central to their day-to-day process, that taking ROI influencing actions like shifting budgets to the best performing channels or even shifting budget away from other digital advertising channels like display towards social were frequent and effortless.
ACHIEVING PERFECTLY PACED CAMPAIGNS
Anyone who’s had to balance social advertising budgets and spend will tell you that it often can feel substantially more like an art than a science. Over-pace, and you have to find a way to cover the unplanned dollars. Under-pace, and you’ve left money on the table that could’ve brought in much needed sales, exposure or conversions, increasing the likelihood that you miss campaign goals. Naturally, advertisers strive to avoid both of these outcomes, but it’s easier said than done.
This is a seesaw scenario that The Brand’s marketers knew all too well, having experienced extensive under-pacing issues in the past. This was largely due to geo-targeting certain campaigns, which was a tactic foundational to their success. If we were to isolate only one of The Brand’s business initiatives, marketers needed access to real-time campaign pacing for a mind-bending 145 campaign line items across 4 social networks and 15 geographies. The advanced Pacing Dashboard within the Unified Platform not only ensured that they could continuously identify which campaigns were in danger of under-pacing, but also gave marketers the flexibility to make any budget allocation adjustments needed. Ultimately, not a single dollar of these campaign budgets was wasted, even within the smallest markets, and all paced appropriately within the flight dates.
A JOURNEY FROM JUST OK, TO OUTSTANDING OPTIMIZATION
Optimization, much like perfect pacing, is not for the faint of heart. This is partly because of the incredible amount of factors that can go into uncovering the secret sauce for the most desirable performance— campaign goals/type, audience targeting, creative, and seasonality just to name a few.
The campaigns for one of the sub-brands were exclusively focused on generating orders, and were broken into two campaign types. The first one being an evergreen campaign, and the second, a retargeting initiative. To put this in perspective, the cost for acquiring a single conversion—in this case an order—was at an all time high prior to the Unified Platform.
With a concerted focus to increase cost efficiency across their premium audiences, marketers leveraged the Unified Platform’s budget optimization. This method is unique in that it works as an extra layer on top of the bid optimization found in the native tools. As a result, brands enjoy the benefits of micro-adjustments found in bid optimization for one set of objectives, as well as larger, daily budget adjustments based on a second layer of objectives. Ultimately, utilizing the Optimizer along with some strategic adjustments in targeting, the Telecom Brand was able to garner the following results:
Decrease in cost per order than campaigns that didn’t utilize the Unified Platform.
Decrease in cost per order than Retargeting campaigns that didn’t utilize the Unified Platform
“I can honestly say never in my career that I’ve seen/experienced a dedicated team like Unified that pulled off so many learnings, surpassed our objectives, maintained composure during the highs & lows, had fun, worked quickly with our timelines and made our leadership, customers and team proud.”
- Lead Manager, Emerging and Social Media Marketing
FACILITATING SUPER BOWL SUCCESS THROUGH REAL-TIME MANAGED ADVERTISING SERVICES
Super Bowl LI, aside from raking in over $500M from advertisers, was no different than the previous 50 in that competition amongst brands was fierce. In order to compete effectively, marketers settled on a cross-channel campaign across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote the celebrity concert the night before the Big Game, Super Saturday Night. The ads, which were both in photo and video formats, featured a major pop star for extra promotional power.
In addition to the 3 channels and pop star components, budgets and targeting were also divvied up between the main and sub-brands, adding to both the overall campaign complexity and number of line items to manage. In order to ensure that such a high profile, high stakes initiative would not just meet but beat goals, Unified’s Managed Advertising Services team actively managed the content live—amounting to 50 hours total.
In essence, The Brand focused their expertise on launching new content, optimizing budgets and adjusting targeting criteria, all in real-time leveraging key features of the Unified Platform. Due to these efforts, the initiative was tremendously successful, producing several wins, including:
- 63.2 million impressions
- Reached 20.8 million unique users
- 1.8 million video views
- Exceeded ad recall goals
- 95.4 million impressions
- 7 million video views
- 28.8 million unique users
- 82.8 million impressions
- Exceeded ad recall goals
Ultimately, The Brand was able to leverage the Unified Platform across their organization to gain better control over data ownership, results through campaign pacing and optimization, and previously impossible transparency into business operations and performance.