Hidden interests, subtle patterns - these studies are best researched and adjusted to in the agile marketing environment. Based on internal learnings, we suggest the following best practices when putting together an advertising campaign undergirded by agile marketing principles.
The design process of every campaign with a general set of principles which focus on ensuring that the creative is aligned with the proper key performance indicators (KPI). Below is a short list of items to always keep in mind while evaluating the creative.
- When conducting an agile marketing campaign, it is imperative that the design focuses on clear, measurable differences between the creative variants.
- Keep the overall design relatively similar. It is important to maintain focus on what the testable elements are.
- The items subject to the test should be perceptibly different in terms of the layout or functionality options you are testing.
- Iterate by way of metrics. Once a given test is completed, add a new variant to see if the winning combination still holds up.
- Refresh the messaging or layout on the winning creatives periodically. It's important to always maintain freshness.
Testing Best Practices
Every campaign has its risks: Will the audience engage with the content? Does a video make sense for an event? Because of this, creatives have to make a series of guesses as to what will prove successful. Instead, consider using your audience as your test group: launch the campaign and pit ads against each other in an effort to maximize your learnings.
1. Set Your Cadence
How often will a new test be deployed? Does each test rely on metrics from the previous? A well planned campaign defines both of these needs before creative development.
2. Identify a True Test
Identify the most meaningful metrics to read and analyze during the campaign. Adjust the design variances between the A and B creative based upon these scoped measurements. An example would be testing one layout versus another.
3. Timely Events
When planning a proactive campaign, consider how calendar events can impact the messaging and creative. Since a planned campaign's creatives will largely be put together in advance of launch, it’s important to time messages and creative with fresh, relevant content.
4. Leave Room to React
Always expect the unexpected. Allow for "reactive" ad units to be cycled in at a moment's notice. Timely, relevant ads are key to a campaign’s success.
Layout Best Practices
Ads aren’t a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. There are countless layout and design permutations, but before exploring all them, an understanding of the fundamental agile layouts is key. Our learnings across our extensive customer base include the insight that ads that feature rich, dynamic content provide genuine informational or entertainment value perform best.
1. 60% Content, 40% Brand
Don’t obfuscate content behind layers of creative and calls to action. Provide the path of least resistance for the end user to engage with the brand’s content.
2. Moveable Parts
When planning a campaign's creative, ensure that your layout allows for plenty of flexibility. That way, as analytical learnings begin to stream in, it will be easier to optimize. A simple way of visualizing this is that the ad is a series of parts. Each part (e.g. navigation) can be repositioned over the course of a campaign.
3. A Teachable Moment
Use larger, bold fonts for both brand-related and informational messaging. Lead your user through the ad experience.
4. Visual Storytelling
With minimal messaging, help illustrate the brand story within the initial display of the ad. A solid agile ad displays a lot of content but prompts the user to interact in order to display more.
Many thanks to Flite creative design manager, Michael Villaseñor, for these insights.