BizFilings approached True North to build an online acquisition channel that would drive new, incremental customers at a profitable rate. Search was running at full capacity and past attempts at making a display channel work had been unsuccessful. The ultimate objective at the onset of the campaign was to establish parameters that would be used to create a profitable and scalable ongoing program.
A key challenge to overcome was how to measure and evaluate success. Conventional wisdom holds that business-to-business purchase decisions are more studied than consumer impulse. Yet when evaluating B2B online display campaigns, conversion attribution often falls on the "last click" model, giving low funnel tactics such as Search an unjust amount of credit, while cutting credit and subsequently dollars from more upper funnel tactics such as Display.
Online success would rely on an integrated channel approach across various platforms managed by both client and agency, with appropriate evaluation criteria. To achieve our objective, we had to depart from the default industry "last click" measurement standards. A new attribution model would need to be developed.
From a planning standpoint, we were aware that the BizFilings audience would be a tricky sector to target. Incorporation and business compliance offerings are not simple point of purchase products but rather high consideration endeavors. Our approach was to not only find new prospects, but also move them along their purchase funnel. Our solution would require careful budget management across multiple publishers in order to manage risk while still having enough funds to have our data be statistically relevant. Following a test campaign, True North and BizFilings created a unique attribution model where previous "events" were also evaluated when determining which publisher or platform should get credit. By identifying this "path to conversion," we established that an introducer-based credit model would be most appropriate for BizFilings' objective.
The campaign goal was to plan and execute an online test campaign that would provide the parameters for a successful roll out program. Specifically we were required to meet a profitable Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) while also defining key campaign insights such as optimal targeting and leading value propositions. At the core, the campaign also had to prove to be generating new, incremental customers. As the campaign evolved, other key performance indicators were also implemented into the evaluation criteria, including revenue value, return on investment, and touch point efficiency.
From a product perspective, incorporation services were the primary conversion goal as they provide higher revenue. Other compliance products were also taken into account, such as registered agent services and foreign qualifications.
Our methodology for launching a successful program is based on systematic testing and optimizations. At launch we took a broad approach to test into optimal parameters of the campaign:
- Who to target
- How to target them
- How to speak to them
Test parameters included a variety of ways to target our audience (contextual, behavioral, lookalike, blanketing, retargeting) as well as identifying the optimal way to buy the media (networks, site direct, narrow targeting/premium cost vs. broad/cost-efficiently). Within each line item, there was also an ongoing creative test, so that the optimal combination of variables within each segment could be established quickly.
Meticulous tracking was set up via a data feed to measure all touch points leading up a conversion, to allow for advanced analytics and close monitoring.
Once in market, the campaign was monitored daily. Impressions, conversion rate, overlap, frequencies, and pacing were monitored closely and adjusted to improve results. Based on what showed potential, budget was then allocated across top performing media elements, while flexible contracts allowed us to cancel lower performing placements.
With this approach, the program began with a high CPA, but through granular optimizations this was reduced significantly over the next few weeks, reaching our target goal of a profitable ROI at point of acquisition within the first 8 weeks.
A key factor to success was the amount of data collected, which gave a transparent view “under the hood” of the campaign. It allowed us to identify the true levers of creating demand so that budgets could be allocated to optimize for scale. For that, a library of efficiency ratios was also developed to further improve the management of the campaign.