I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my puppy just turned 1! It feels like just yesterday we brought home this teeny tiny 7-pound mini golden doodle that we named Cannoli.
Raising him over the past year has been (mostly) great, but we did have some challenging times – especially potty training! PHEW am I glad that’s over with.
With my 4th anniversary at Liquid on the horizon, I was reflecting on what I’ve accomplished professionally over the last year, including planning, launching and managing multiple successful marketing campaigns. In also thinking about the past year with Cannoli, I couldn’t help but find some parallels between being a dog mom and a campaign manager. That’s normal, right?
A Few Ways Launching and Managing a Successful Campaign Can Be Like Raising a Pet:
1. You should give them a unique name
Naming your animals is fun! Or at least I think so. We wanted to give our pup a unique name that we’ve never heard of before (how we landed on Cannoli), and the same should go with your digital marketing campaign.
Giving your campaign a name or a specific theme is important for a few reasons. For one, it can be challenging to talk about it internally if you don’t give it a good name. For instance, “spring refreshed ads” seems like a great name until you run into a roadblock or two and don’t end up launching it until the summer! And second, this helps with clarity and organization in the ad platforms. What happens when you refresh the ads again next spring? You’ll be seeing double!
One idea would be giving it a descriptive, well-thought-out name that works as a slogan or key message. This can help make your campaign feel cohesive, because you can use this in ad copy, on social media posts, in emails and on landing pages. A few favorites that come to mind are the Dove Real Beauty Campaign, Budweiser’s “Wassup” Campaign, or Always’ “Like A Girl” Campaign.
This also translates well to link tagging using UTM parameters for effective traffic analysis. It will be much easier for your team to analyze and report on campaign performance when you’ve given it a unique campaign name!
2. You need to feed them consistently
This might be an obvious one, but feeding your puppy the right food and the right amount is important for them to grow up big and strong! You wouldn’t put out a huge plate of food and then walk away for a few months and cross your fingers that it was enough, would you? The same is true for your marketing campaigns.
You need to constantly feed your campaigns with new ideas, creative, lead magnets and more. Marketing campaigns should never have a “set it and forget it” approach. Depending on the frequency of your ads, they could get stale pretty quickly, and should be revamped to prevent ad fatigue. Similarly, if your lead magnet isn’t as relevant or valuable as you thought, and your landing page’s conversion rate is impacted, it might be time for a swap. It’s important to regularly analyze the campaigns and make improvements based on performance, which brings me to my next item…
3. You need to take them for a checkup
When we first brought Cannoli home, we were at the vet about every 3 weeks! It felt like a lot, but it was important to make sure our baby was healthy. The same applies to your ad campaigns: you must regularly check in when you first launch ads to make sure they are running properly.
Some questions you could ask yourself to gauge performance include:
- Is my frequency at the level I was expecting? Do I need to increase or decrease the budget to change it?
- How does my CTR compare to other ads I’ve run? Is my audience interested in these ads?
- Are there negative comments on the ads? Do I need to adjust messaging to overcome their concerns? Can I learn anything from them?
- Have any of the ads been rejected? Can I make adjustments to these ads to see if they’ll run again?
- Is one ad receiving the majority of budget due to the algorithm prioritizing it too quickly? Do I need to pause an ad momentarily to allow other ads to receive budget?
After some time, the vet visits – and your management time – might decrease a little bit, but it’s still important to actively check on them.
We always recommend doing a full report on each campaign monthly. This is a great time to analyze performance, regroup with the entire team and talk about new ideas.
4. You should teach them some tricks
Would you be happy if the only trick your dog knew was to sit? Of course not! You want to make sure they can “come” to you when you call their name, “wait” when you are walking out the door, and “spin” when you want to show off some party tricks.
Just like Cannoli graduating from his puppy training class at PetSmart, you want to make sure you’re sharpening your skillset too. In our industry, things change quickly. Meta and Google seem to be releasing new platform updates faster than I can get Cannoli to sit when another dog walks by! Make sure you have a plan to continue learning, too, so you’re always in-the-know on new optimization tactics, new ad types and more to apply to your campaigns.
If you’re looking for some Digital Marketing resources, a few of my favorites include AJ Wilcox (LinkedIn Specialist), the Marketing Brew Newsletter (all things Digital Marketing), CXL Training Courses and Minidegrees, and of course, Liquid’s own Blog and Newsletter!
5. It’s important to stick to a schedule
Dogs thrive on consistency. They need a set schedule so they understand when their next potty break will be, when they’ll be fed, when they can expect to go on a walk, and more. Similarly, your team will thrive when they know what to expect and when.
When we develop a campaign strategy and outline all of the assets needed to launch it, our amazing project management team helps us work backwards to figure out the timeline and corresponding due dates needed to make sure all video assets, , downloadables, ads, emails, and tracking are done and setup in time for the campaign launch date. This is a vital part of the process, and without it, you will likely miss some steps along the way and scramble to get it together at the last moment.
6. You should reward them
Last but not least, give the dog a frickin’ bone! Literally. Reward your campaign by giving the best performing ads, creative and channels more money so it can continue to produce great results in the most efficient way. Stop running ads or using channels that consistently underperform.
And of course, you deserve a treat as well! Give yourself a round of applause and remember to praise your team for a job well done to boost morale and motivation. Whether you just kicked off a few-week sprint to get a campaign live, or you worked 5+ months on it, that hard work has finally paid off, and your team should know that you appreciate them!
Marketing Campaigns Shouldn’t Be Ruff or Overwhelming
One thing’s for sure: your marketing campaigns will never chew apart your shoes or take a potty break inside. And hey, maybe you knew a thing or two more than you thought from being a pet parent! But, if you do find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed with your digital marketing efforts thinking, “what do I do next?” we are here to help! Reach out to see some examples of our latest digital marketing campaigns and learn more!