The online campaign you spend weeks planning, buying, and implementing is up and running. But all of a sudden, you see a sharp performance decrease and have no idea where to begin looking for the problem.
Follow these three steps to discover the root of your performance decline and your campaign will perform a full 180-degree turn in time for you to hit happy hour at 5 p.m. sharp.
1. Examine creative executions.
2. Bring the issue to the publisher's attention.
i.e. message placement
3. Examine message recipients.
i.e. your target audience
The first optimization opportunity comes at the creative level. Creative considerations include:
Size: Are 300 x 250s performing better than 728 x 90s? Maybe that rich media expandable unit is dragging down overall performance.
Message: Is the blue "buy now" button converting more users than the red?
Theme: Maybe that set of banners with the whoopee cushion noise was a bad idea after all.
By uncovering individual creative executions that are dragging down the overall performance, you'll be able to nip performance dips in the bud.
Creative and/or copy weren't the culprit? In that case, you need to bring this issue to the attention of your publisher(s) as fast as humanly possible.
As most publishers use historical performance, planning tools, and common sense to sell inventory, they assume that they have placed your message in the right location for your target audience to stumble across and act upon. Sometimes, they can be wrong.
Don't worry! Your publishers are just as invested in your clients' successes as you, the media planner, are. Work through this issue by being 100% transparent with your publishers in terms of your thoughts and bring solutions to the conversation, not finger pointing.
If both the creative execution and the environments your message is being delivered in are tanking, then the root of the issue may be the initial research you did to create your target audience.
Having media and/or site-side analytics to verify your most profitable audience against can help uncover if you're going after the wrong consumers online.
This tends to only be the issue if everything is tanking.