Lauren Ettlinger, ads marketing manager, Google
Changes are afoot in how people spend their money. Consumers are being more intentional with purchases, making fewer impulse buys, considering more brands and exploring multiple commerce platforms. Businesses are moving quickly to keep up with this swerve in shopper mindsets, but it is often hard to implement change amid uncertainty.
Finding the right balance between tested strategies and emerging tech innovations can revitalize marketing approaches and power long-term growth. This tried-and-new approach is about doubling down on proven tactics while also leaning into new technology to drive success.
Marketing at the speed of consumers
People spend more time researching purchase decisions than they once did, and they’re conducting this research across a growing array of platforms. With this change, automation tools have become a critical way for brands to meet their customers across these digital touchpoints.
In one example, despite being one of the world’s largest cosmetic brands, Estée Lauder in Thailand was challenged to keep up with customer search demand as new search queries and keyword combinations emerged daily. People were no longer just searching for terms like “serum.” Instead, they were conducting specific searches, such as “best serum for the best price” and “best serum for brightening skin.”
The company decided to approach the problem using automation. To capture and convert prospective customers at scale, Estée Lauder used Google’s Broad Match to automate the identification of consumers’ keyword searches to make their ads more relevant to prospective customers. The company also adopted Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) to find exactly what consumers were searching for on Google and used that data to target its ads and fill gaps in its keyword-based campaigns.
As a result, Estée Lauder’s media performance shot up. Compared to traditional branded keyword campaigns, the company experienced a +15% return on ad spend, a more than +16% conversion value and a +11% lift in average purchase size.
Knowing how to reach the most valuable customers — and others like them — at scale is a powerful growth multiplier. Automated solutions allow businesses to do this while controlling what they pay for customer acquisition and tailoring messaging to attract customer attention.
Prioritizing durable measurement
Marketers know they need to measure what matters — but what are the most important metrics when the economic outlook is in flux? Uncertainty signals the need to move beyond traditional proxy marketing metrics and toward measuring tangible business outcomes.
Arizona State University (ASU) had a business goal to enroll more online students for the 2022-2023 school year than the year prior — no small aim given years of declining enrollment across U.S. post-secondary institutions.
To drive this outcome, ASU partnered with Google data scientists to use advanced automation solutions in combination with first-party data to identify people who were most likely to enroll at the institution.
However, ASU needed to embrace new measurements to track these solutions’ results and progress against its goal. It leaned into Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and adopted Google Tag Manager’s (GTM) server-side tracking. This allowed ASU to measure the results of its first-party targeting, resulting in a 10% increase in observable conversions on their site and an 8% increase in the on-page conversion rate. Adopting GTM tagging also drove a 25%+ improvement in page load time and an 18%-plus improvement in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) position.
This increase in conversions drove a remarkable impact. For the 2022 fall semester, ASU online increased enrollment by 6.9% compared to 2021, setting a new record for incoming students.
New automation solutions harnessed the scale of platforms, helping ASU reach the people who were most likely to act, and at a lower cost. And it was able to measure and track this progress in real time using privacy-safe solutions within GA4.
Preparing for what’s next is the marketer’s always-on mandate, and especially crucial during times of rapid change. That’s where the tried-and-new approach is helping marketers take their efforts further. New tools available to marketers help to supplement traditional strategies, deliver reliable results and drive long-term growth, no matter what disruptions surface.
Sponsored by: Google