I was attending the annual iab Mixx conference and an idea kept popping up that I thought was interesting. The silo between the creative agency and the media agency left a finger pointing game of who to blame when an ad performs poorly. Being more on the media side than the creative I have found myself blaming creative for underperformance and realized that there is a gaping hole that needs to be bridged. But then there is another hole that is sometimes forgotten and that is the technology team, specifically as it relates to websites and landing pages. There again, I find myself and others saying, “You can’t blame me for poor conversions on your website. I am only responsible for getting traffic to your site. You have to convert it.” Couple that with the response, “You can’t blame me for poor click through rates (CTR) the creative isn’t engaging the audience.” So where does that leave each of us? Pointing the finger at one another hoping someone else will take the fall.
The Power of Three
Creative, Media, and Technology need to get on the same page. We are often at wars for budget and eager to blame one another when something goes wrong. But the truth is we need to band together to solve the problem and not just blame each other for the results of that problem.
Being in the middle puts us in a little predicament, especially when you consider that media can be one of the largest expenses in an ad campaign. That doesn’t necessarily mean we have the most control. I have see campaigns where the creative and the media were amazing. CTR through the roof at over 1% just to have few to no conversions. I have also seen thousands of impressions get low CTR because the creative and media weren’t on the same page. (Notice I did not blame anyone for these results)
As I already mentioned, if the media is placed to the same key audience as a past performing campaign there is a strong likelihood that something in the creative is not resonating with that group. A/B testing is key in this instance because we can then see which creative is getting the best reaction and prioritize it. The website that gets low conversion after a high CTR is likely not fulfilling the anticipated outcome the user was expecting. Something they saw in the advertisement made them click on to the site, and something is stopping them from moving beyond the landing page. It could be they are lost on what to do next (User Experience or UE), or they might be confused on how to do the next action (User Interface or UI). I know the media plan never goes wrong...Ha! The client may have the best creative and the best landing page with the best possible chance of great conversion and then the media gets placed at 1am when the key market goes to bed at midnight. Obviously, the time of day needs adjusted.
The issues I mentioned are black and white and reality is never THAT clear. But imagine a world where everyone is working together to solve the problems as they arise and more importantly before they arise.
So what does ideal look like? Well, if the creative, media, and technology teams can all come together on campaigns it could be a huge step forward for everyone. The creative team can use the data from the media and tech teams to identify where their creative is falling short. The technology team can write messaging on the landing page that matches the ads and clearly guides the user to the desired outcome. The media team can see the data from the technology team to show the time of day that the most conversion are happening and target the media placements around those times. The creative can let the media team know that this campaign has a hispanic focus and to target that demographic. They can also tell the media team that the videos feature heartwarming messages so the media may be directed more towards the female population instead of a general audience. Each department works in unison to create a streamlined and clear path for the user to see the ad, be inspired to click on the ad, and then to convert on the website. (Again, it’s not always this easy, but in theoretical dialog you can take some liberties!)
The most important aspect of the team approach is that there is no finger pointing - you didn’t do this or they didn’t do that. There is a unified approach where everyone is working towards the same goal and if something doesn’t work right they can identify the causes and more importantly the solutions together. With the full breadth of data and insights that each player has access to. No silos or guesswork. Let’s start today. If you are all in one house doing everything together or if you are separate agencies each controlling a different aspect, set up a call or walk into the conference room together and start talking about how the teams can work together to make the process the best it can be!