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  • Writer's pictureDigitalxMarketing

Multiplying Marketing Expertise with AI

Learn how agencies can use data and measurement to lead data and measurement strategies, construct full-funnel marketing plans, and foster a test-and-learn culture to deliver improved business outcomes.

Create a data strategy

Agencies are discovering that combining AI with first-party data from brands is one of the most potent applications of AI. Improving the use of first-party data is a high-priority or critical-priority effort for their customers over the next 24 months for more than two-thirds of agencies.

First-party data is:

  • High quality since a brand obtains its data directly from its customers.

  • Relevant because the data is directly related to the items sold by a brand and the people who purchase those things.

  • Nobody other has the same consumer data as you.

Because of changes in user expectations, worldwide rules, and technological platform standards — such as device IDs and third-party cookies – first-party data is more important than ever. Brands and agencies must collaborate to achieve a fair value exchange with customers. Agencies may assist their customers in gaining a competitive edge by properly exploiting insights from consented, first-party data and anchoring that data strategy in business objectives.

A collaborative approach to gaining a holistic view of customer data

We explored how a marketing agency collaborated with a brand to gain a more holistic view of customer data. By leveraging Google Analytics 360 and BigQuery, the team was able to ingest customer data and gain a better understanding of customer buying behavior. This data was then used to create audiences, review insights and deploy campaigns. As a result of this collaboration, the brand was able to quickly spot and adapt to customer trends, and surface these trends throughout the company, influencing everything from media investments to supply chain management. This is the power of combining responsibly collected first-party data with human expertise to supercharge campaign performance and drive business outcomes, as described by Di Wu, VP of data science at the marketing agency.

Measurement for the future

Another area in which agencies play an important role in measurement is a focus on privacy.

Even with a strong base of consented, first-party data, the elimination of third-party cookies may result in a decrease in visible data. Both agencies and marketers are concerned about this. Indeed, cookie loss and correct measurement are two of the top issues for 85% of digital marketing professionals.

Agencies may assist in filling gaps in the customer journey in a privacy-safe manner by using conversion modelling, which is supported by user-provided, first-party data. More precise measurement leads to more relevant advertisements, more effective optimisation tactics, and higher campaign effectiveness.

Establishing a privacy-first measurement foundation

A digital marketing agency collaborated with a direct-to-consumer men's footwear brand to establish a robust measurement foundation early in 2022. The agency led the implementation of Google's enhanced conversions for the web and ensured complete tagging across all of the brand's properties. This approach unlocked better insights into customers' journeys while maintaining their privacy, resulting in a 6% conversion uplift. The agency's focus on privacy compliance ensured that their clients and account teams were up to speed on the latest changes and able to quickly implement new privacy-compliant solutions to stay ahead of the competition. The agency's Chief Operating Officer notes that when fewer user data is available, AI can help fill in measurement gaps by combining first-party data with other available signals, resulting in direct performance improvements. This highlights the importance of a strong tagging infrastructure and privacy-safe measurement in unlocking the full potential of AI-powered solutions and delivering better results for clients.

Turn on everywhere

Once you've established a solid data and measurement foundation, it's time to use that data across channels to improve performance and reach more prospective consumers. Forward-thinking agencies have discovered how to use new AI capabilities to help brands appear in more relevant ways at critical moments.

These agencies are increasing their reliance on AI-driven solutions, such as changing keyword targeting to wide match to cover more search queries or developing Performance Max campaigns to uncover incremental conversions across more channels. Many agencies are also moving beyond lower-funnel methods to assist businesses in increasing awareness and creating new demand. According to research, concentrating on the whole buying funnel leads to more conversions than focusing only on conversions. Brand campaigns offer 28% conversion help for marketers running combined direct response and brand video ad campaigns on YouTube.

Many agencies are also building new expertise in particular areas, such as video, to promote upper-funnel activations. Currently, 33% of agencies polled offer video services to customers, with another 17% planning to do so within the next 24 months.

Invest in full-funnel strategies

We explored how AI has enabled a media agency's teams to become more agile and holistic with their media planning and budgeting by pairing it with insights. The agency analysed search data for a retail client that showed an increase in consumer searches for a product where the client had a limited brand presence. In response, the client decided to expand its performance campaigns to invest in more upper-funnel strategies to increase awareness in this category. To scale these branding efforts further, the agency turned to AI and used Video reach campaigns to optimise video performance across skippable ads, non-skippable ads, and bumper ad inventory to get the highest maximum reach for a given budget and audience. The head of performance marketing notes that the agency has had to remodel its mindset and its client's mindset to view AI as a tool that enhances the work of their teams who operate holistically and navigate across channels and formats, rather than a replacement for something. This is the importance of combining AI with human insights to achieve strategic, full-funnel, and cross-channel media planning and budgeting.

Try and learn

Some businesses may be hesitant to invest entirely in AI-powered solutions. Agencies frequently assist businesses in adopting a more scientific, iterative approach and encourage them to adopt a test-and-learn philosophy.

Simple experiments, such as Experiments in Google Ads, may help agencies get businesses started. Campaign experiments allow agencies to use A/B testing to analyse the impact of a campaign modification in a controlled setting and depend on statistically significant indications to choose whether to take scaled action based on the results. They might begin by testing on a limited number of places or items before expanding.

Agencies may also assist organisations in conducting more advanced testing to better understand the customer journey, dismantle silos across online and offline channels, and quantify the causal, incremental consequences of media changes. Geo studies that divide areas into treatment and control groups may trace any difference in success metrics across groups only to changes in media strategy and budget.

Experiment and iterate constantly

A digital marketing agency collaborated with an airline company to drive more ticket sales in the aftermath of the pandemic. The agency decided to experiment with broad match campaigns to explore the potential of generating incremental revenue on top of existing Search campaigns. To test the effectiveness of the new approach, the agency set up a 50/50 A/B experiment, pitting broad match campaigns against exact match and phrase match campaigns. The results revealed that broad match campaigns delivered twice the bookings and revenue while maintaining a similar return on ad spend. The agency's approach to testing focuses on driving actionable outcomes that align with its client's business objectives, empowering innovation and continuously pushing for better and more efficient outcomes.

Digital Marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for marketers to multiply their expertise with the help of AI. By leveraging the latest AI-powered solutions, marketing agencies like DigitalxMarketing can gain deeper insights into customer data, identify emerging trends, and create more effective marketing campaigns. The case studies discussed in this context demonstrate how DigitalxMarketing can use AI technology to drive measurable results, from expanding brand awareness to maximising revenue. With the continued evolution of AI technology, DigitalxMarketing has a unique opportunity to stay ahead of the competition by upskilling and becoming AI vanguards, empowering them to offer cutting-edge marketing solutions that can help their clients achieve their business objectives. Ultimately, DigitalxMarketing's ability to combine AI with marketing expertise is essential for brands looking to succeed in today's fast-paced digital landscape, and it will play a critical role in shaping the future of marketing.

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