With social media advertising investments heading full steam ahead towards the 50 billion dollar mark, the lionshare of brands and agencies recognize the usefulness and ingenuity of the ad type these days. Incredibly, no other industry has adopted social as much as automotive, with more marketers stating they have used the channel than any other. And with good reason— with 87% of online consumers researching potential car searches on these platforms, and a jaw-dropping 68% completing the customer journey they started on social media with a purchase of the vehicle they researched.
However, when it comes to execution, social is not always easy. Especially for top global automakers, who must figure out how to personalize marketing to hundreds of thousands of consumers at national, regional, and local levels across hundreds of markets and thousands of dealerships. How can senior executives ensure branding and messaging remains consistent? How can they bring together a host of fragmented data from hundreds of ad accounts from both Facebook and Twitter? And how can they effectively track and optimize thousands of campaigns without working their teams all hours of the night? These were the questions that marketers at a Global Automaker and Unified were challenged with, and leveraged powerful campaign automation and optimization technology to solve.
MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE A PIECE OF CAKE
The good news was that the Global Automaker had a well-known, reputable brand which would carry a lot of clout among consumers. However, almost as if inspired from the blockbuster movies themselves, marketers were with their own “mission impossible,” in that they had to deduce how to ensure messaging and ad deployment were consistent across thousands of campaigns for the majority of local dealerships launched on both Facebook and Twitter. Not to mention the tedium of going into each ad set and manually making optimizations, or exporting data to excel for custom reporting. To give you a sense of why this was such a lofty task, marketers were spending as much as 23 hours each and every month on deploying and refreshing new creative alone.
What was truly needed, was more flexibility, brand alignment, and performance at scale. Leveraging Unified’s extensive social advertising service, business intelligence, and automation technology, the following solution components were put in motion:
Hyper-Personalized Campaign Automation
Mass Advanced Optimization
Social Advertising Expertise
UP CLOSE & HYPER-PERSONAL
Social media has a tremendous amount of potential, and has already revolutionized the breadth and accuracy of data in a way that cookies simply cannot compete. However, despite these very exciting facts, when it comes to harnessing these advantages, especially on a massive scale, marketers who are successful rely on sophisticated technology.
In this case, The Brand outlined a winning strategy to deliver localized messaging that perfectly aligned all dealership groups, which Unified’s Campaign Automation Technology made possible to execute. The plan focused on two behemoth social channels, Facebook and Twitter, and sought to hyper-personalize special sales promotions across 120+ regions. In order to achieve this level of one-to-one marketing, The Brand needed to deploy just under 8,000 ads total over the course of a few months, which was a significantly higher volume than ever attempted before—and was only expected to grow over time.
Ultimately, Unified’s Campaign Automation technology was able to deploy a wide variety of creative and targeting components across all ad groups, which saved the team approximately 360 hours each month.
INTRICATE OPTIMIZATION, AT SCALE
When most people hear the phrase “campaign optimization,” visions of complex formulas, excel sheets, and late nights tend to appear. This is largely because the process, even at its most basic levels, tends to be a tedious one—usually amounting to clicking on each and every ad group to make minor adjustments based on either gut feelings or careful forecasting. So you can imagine how much time it would’ve taken the teams involved to click into hundreds of line items to make minor adjustments. Unified’s Optimizer eliminated the need for marketers to complete this process manually by automating it at scale.
But let’s take this one step further. The bid optimization algorithms which the lion-share of native tools (e.g. Facebook Power Editor) use are effective, however, by and large will not get brands to the highest level of performance or campaign efficiency. Unified’s Optimizer is unique in that it works as a layer of additional optimization on top of the native tools to automatically reallocate budgets daily for the duration of the flight. This method ensures that through machine learning culminated from over $1B of social investments, the Unified Platform was able to apply the most effective best practices to each campaign to provide the best possible results. Not only did this save time, but the agency was able to reinvest those saved hours to focus on an advanced targeting strategy and experimentation to identify which audiences were premium, and which were expensive and ineffective.
UNMATCHED EXPERTISE TO FUEL EXCEPTIONAL EXECUTION
With an advertising type that changes as fast as life itself as social media does, many core teams have benefited from leveraging niche experts that are up to date on all the latest best practices, tactics, and technology. In this case, Unified’s Professional Data and Customer Success Service teams were able to do 3 main things:
Sometimes one-size-fits-all doesn’t quite cut it. In this way, in order to meet business goals, brands and agencies may need to build a solution from the ground up. However, this was not needed in this case, because Unified’s team had the capacity, knowledge, and track record of building award-winning automation solutions so The Brand didn’t have to.
Unified’s experts also helped the agency move from an almost entirely manual process for campaign deployment and optimization to one that significantly simplified eased pressure on their internal teams.
As one can expect, ensuring that Tier 2 dealerships are successful against other brands is a full time job in and of itself—one that depends as much on people as it does on technology. In this situation, The Brand needed a more productive way to swap out creative components with new imagery and offerings then they had previously. Working with Unified to help automate this process, time spent on this task was immensely reduced. As a result, auto marketers were able to be more nimble and take national messaging to the next level by further customizing it to their regions to be even more competitive.
REVVED UP RESULTS
Within a short timeframe, the Global Automaker’s effective campaign approach coupled with Unified’s powerful technology and expertise provided the following results:
In today’s social advertising landscape, brands— particularly ones with a rich and successful national or global footprint—need to leverage technology and expertise to exceed their goals. In this case, the Global Automaker had to galvanize thousands of Tier 2 dealerships and their customers in a way that makes execution possible at scale. By implementing Unified’s Custom Automation solution and leaning on the extensive expertise of their service teams, the agency was able to refocus hundreds of hours normally spent on execution to big picture and strategy without feeling too far away from day-to-day performance.