Let’s talk about the 2016 Presidential Election – everyone’s favorite topic of conversation. My Mom told me it’s always a great idea to bring up politics at work, so I’m going to follow her advice and call your attention to this Bloomberg article contrasting the digital marketing campaigns run by the Trump campaign and the Clinton campaign. While the campaigns diverged in numerous ways, both campaigns ran a truly staggering number of ads.
The Trump campaign ran nearly 6 million ads on Facebook. The Clinton campaign ran a comparatively paltry 60,000 ads (though still a huge number by most counts). The Trump campaign believes it did much a better job using the Facebook platform, and apparently the folks over at Facebook agree with their assessment.
The key takeaway for us was this: ad quantity matters. We’ve seen this play out in our clients’ campaigns hundreds of times. The more ads you run, the more creative tests you can run, the more optimizations you can make, and the better performance you can drive.
However, our B2B clients at LinkedIn are not running 6 million ads, or 60,000 ads, or even 1,000 ads for matter. In fact, in our experience, most of our clients struggle to even get one single ad live. We consider it a massive victory when we’re able to persuade our clients to run four ad variations, the minimum number necessary to ensure the campaign delivers.
So how do you get from 1 ad to a 1 million ads? Was the Trump campaign hand-crafting little artisanal Sponsored Posts for Facebook? No chance. As far as we’re concerned, there is only one way to achieve that kind of creative volume: automation. That’s right. To reap the benefits of massive multivariate testing, you need to add a robot to your marketing team.
You hear a lot about AI, but we feel there’s been a lack of practical, tactical applications. So let us attempt to change that by giving you a tangible example of how your marketing team can partner with robots in order to scale your creative development.
Let’s say that you want to build an eBook on “Cloud Computing Trends.” The book will be broken up into chapters, each of which will explore a different trend and feature interviews with experts paired with bits of data to back up their claims.
Now, once you’ve done all the research and written up the text, it’s time to lay out the eBook. This is where robots enter into the equation.
Take a look at the image above. The image on the left is a page in this imaginary “Cloud Computing Trends Report” that we mocked up just for you. What do you see? You see a description of the trend, and then you see two quotes from experts on that trend. Pretty simple and easy-to-understand, right?
But here’s the thing: you see a description and two corresponding quotes. However, the robot sees a big block of text, and two rectangular assets. In other words, the robot sees a repeatable template – it sees the world in wireframes.
Now watch what happens when you pair machine-readable design formats with actual machines. Let us introduce you to a friend of ours named Stanley, who we met a few months ago. Stanley is a terrific guy, extremely hard working, and his rates can’t be beat.
Stanley is a robot. And when we fed Stanley our imaginary “Cloud Computing Trends Report,” in exchange he gave us about 15,000 ads, automatically scraped from the report. And he did it in about 10 seconds, at a cost of $0 dollars. That’s how we got from 0 ads to 15,000 ads without lifting a finger. With that kind of ad quantity, we can run a huge number of creative tests and massively increase our ad performance.
If you want to put this kind of magic to work for you, you just need to make one simple change to your content development: embrace templates. Every eBook you build should follow a template, every ad you run should follow a template --- templates, templates, templates, all the way down. Templatization will enable you to work with robots and, by the way, it will also make your brand more distinctive and memorable. If all your ads look the same, it’s easier for your buyers to remember you, a trend we’ve explored in the past (see: The Science Of Brand).
Forget about Business-To-Business Marketing. Get ready for Business-To-Robot Marketing.