What Is an Agile Campaign?
When we swap industry horror stories, one of the most common ones we hear is the sinking realization that something went wrong with the campaign weeks ago and the consequences are just now rearing their heads.
Maybe pacing for one channel was a smidge off and two weeks down the line everything is off track. Or maybe you forgot to turn one audience or channel off and it ran for much longer than originally planned.
These sorts of mistakes are pretty costly, kind of embarrassing and all too common.
The root cause, put simply, is a lack of control. Campaigns are often treated as this static thing that, once launched, just has to run its course. These kinds of campaigns are inflexible and don’t allow you to shape performance while they’re running.
The result is horror stories where things fall through the cracks, issues get overlooked and opportunities go missed. And it’s all treated as “this is just the way things are.”
But what if your campaigns could adapt? What if, in the event that something does go wrong, it’s easy to identify and fix right then.
Further, what if you could foresee potential issues and plan around them so that before you even launch, you’re set up for success?
Campaigns that do these things are what we call agile campaigns, and (unlike the above questions) they are not hypothetical.
An agile campaign is an advertising campaign that has the ability to adapt in near real time to overcome unforeseen obstacles, leverage insights and ensure good performance.
Four requirements for launching an agile campaign.
So, why isn’t every campaign an agile campaign? Well, they’re hard to pull off with the tools media teams currently work with.
To run an agile campaign, you need to first remove the grunt work by achieving four things:
1. You need to do the work up front.
As we’ve covered in recent articles, the first fundamental shift that needs to happen is the prioritization of planning. What we mean here is a step beyond what media planning has been and embracing a true cross-channel approach from the start.
This means that well before launch, you know exactly how your campaign is structured and you’ve assigned objectives to every dollar.
2. Normalize and centralize all data into one place.
Once you’ve planned everything, you need to bring it to life by connecting all data sources. This way, everything will speak apples-to-apples for accurate comparisons across all channels.
3. Gain a real-time view.
Or as close as you can get (often platforms will delay data pulls a bit). This is imperative to being able to pivot strategy as needed to ensure performance.
4. Put it all in a way that’s easy to understand.
It’s not enough to have all your data together in real time, it needs to be put in a way that you can easily understand what’s happening and act on that information.
These are four big steps. But with the right technology and approach, they can all be taken care of in one fell swoop. Yes, LumenAd can do all this and more, but we’ll save the sales pitch for later.
Let’s get into what you can do with agile campaigns.
What running an agile campaign means.
With a real-time, easy to understand view of what’s happening at any given moment in your campaign, you’ll be able to control not only its success, but what you get out of it.
Say Display is acting as a good wingman for lower funnel tactics. Paid Social retargeting and Paid Search carry the conversion torch, but Paid Social is lagging behind while Paid Search is going gangbusters.
With an agile campaign, you can identify this trend early on. From here you can tweak Paid Social creative and shift spend to Paid Search, all in real time.
Adjusting spend goes beyond just channels, though. You can move your money around to favor certain creatives, ad groups, etc.
With a real-time, intuitive view of performance, you can keep an eye on KPI, adjust ad spend and ensure every dollar spent is one step closer to achieving your overall objective.
Targeting & Beyond
It’s not uncommon to realize your original target audience is just not converting as well as you’d hoped. But your secondary audience cannot get enough and is converting left, right and center.
Again, this is an insight that’s easy to spot with agile campaigns. But one that, with a standard campaign, you’d have to wait until the campaign is over to unpack.
And this is the kind of insight you can see develop in real time that can have a huge impact on your organization. What you glean from it throughout the development of your campaign can influence all subsequent marketing choices and messaging.
These are just three examples, there is a lot more that agile campaigns provide control over. Perhaps most important is the impact of having this amount of control.
What running agile campaigns provides.
The ultimate impact of executing agile campaigns is twofold:
With agile campaigns, you know what’s working and what’s not in real time. Then you have the capacity and capability to do something with that information.
Tweaks and optimization happen as often as you need them to and the insights they’re based on are not something you need to spend hours mining for. Performance is yours to shape, and so is your return on ad spend.
Keep Your Sanity
It’s honestly a relief to have a clear understanding and firm control over your campaigns. Not only is it less stressful, it’s less work in the long run.
By going through the four prerequisites above, much of the work of executing a campaign is taken care of. Agile campaigns are designed to deliver great performance from the get-go, but it’s easy to adjust as things develop.
All this together makes for a happier, less stressed and more energized team that can see the tangible effects of their expertise in action.
What an agile campaign in action looks like.
In the coming weeks we’ll explore what an agile campaign looks like in LumenAd and how the tools LumenAd provides ensures every campaign is agile.
If you don’t want to wait, schedule a demo today and we’ll walk you through it.
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