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Design a Multichannel Ad Campaign

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the key features of Advertising Studio.
  • Explain how to use Advertising Audiences to reduce advertising costs.

Look, Learn, and Guide

Leung thinks of ad campaigns as conversations between friends. They’re opportunities to look, learn, and guide. 

  • Look at CRM data to see who currently engages with NTO.
  • Learn how customers interact with the NTO storefront, email, and ad networks. See what they like to do and don’t like to do.
  • Guide customers and prospects on a journey toward a purchase.

In this unit, Leung and Chinua show us how they design the campaign. In the next unit, they take us through implementation tasks. Leung explains to Chinua, “In NTO’s shoe campaign, the journey starts with a promotional email introducing its new line of hiking shoes. The email is sent to subscribers and their activity is tracked. Do they open the email? Do they click through to NTO’s storefront? Do they complete a purchase? The action a subscriber takes or doesn’t take determines what happens next.” 

Here’s a summary of Leung’s design.

  • Create an email that promotes NTO’s new hiking shoes.
  • Send the email to NTO subscribers.
  • Check for subscriber activity: email opens, click throughs, and purchases.
    • If there are no opens, click throughs, or purchases, target the same subscribers with shoe ads on Facebook.
    • If the customer makes a purchase, target the subscriber with fitness tracker ads on Facebook.

She also plans to use lead capture forms and lookalikes to capture new leads on Facebook.

Leung continues, “But before we can guide anyone through a journey, we have to get them to the starting line. We must answer the question, Who do we want to start out with?” Let’s see how Leung figures that out. 

Identify Your Advertising Audiences

An advertising audience is a group of consumers who have something in common, such as Europeans who hike or rock climbers with Facebook accounts. Leung’s campaign specifies two starting audiences: one for promotional emails and one for ad networks.

She tells Chinua, “NTO has a growing audience of email subscribers who receive its digital newsletter and promotional emails. The subscriber group is a broad audience. In fact, it’s too broad for the hiking shoe campaign. Our email audience is narrower. It contains subscribers who purchased hiking shoes from NTO more than 6 months ago.” Leung’s other starting audience is a look-alike “seed” audience. It contains the customers NTO considers to be brand loyal—its big spenders. She uses this “top purchasers” audience to find similar contacts on Facebook. 

The email and look-alike audiences are created and populated up front with existing contacts, individuals who already have a relationship with NTO. However, those aren’t the only audiences in the campaign. Other audiences are created dynamically as the campaign executes.  

Attract New Customers

One of NTO’s goals is to attract new customers. Leung has that covered with a two-pronged approach: lead capture forms and lookalike audiences.

Sign Up New Email Subscribers

NTO has a growing list of email subscribers, but the campaign must help it grow faster. How does it do that? It combines Facebook ads and a lead capture form. A Facebook ad campaign engages prospects with attractive ads. The ads contain a prompt for prospects to opt in to receive NTO’s newsletter. The form is a great conversation starter Leung uses to attract new customers. Facebook prospects are prompted to provide their name and email address to opt in to NTO emails. In exchange, they receive NTO’s newsletter. The user-entered contact info is saved and added to the CRM contact data. NTO has a new lead.

To save on ad budget, NTO wants to make sure that Facebook doesn’t show the lead capture form to existing subscribers. She uses an exclusion audience to tell Facebook who the current subscribers are so Facebook can suppress the lead capture form for those contacts.

Lead capture forms are a tried-and-true way to find new customers. “But,” Chinua points out, “NTO doesn’t want any and all new customers. NTO wants prospects who resemble its top purchasers. And NTO wants to find them in a way that saves on ad budget.” Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to do that in Advertising Studio?”

Find More Top Purchasers

“Yes, it would be great,” says Leung. “And yes, there is a way: lookalike audiences. Here’s how it works. Tell the ad network the type of customers you want to attract, and the ad network finds prospects within its own users. In the campaign, we share NTO’s top purchasers with the Facebook ad network. Facebook compares the contacts in that audience to its own users and generates a new audience of Facebook users who resemble NTO’s top purchasers.” 

NTO can target the generated lookalike audience with Facebook ads. And because that audience is highly qualified, it’s likely NTO gets a better return on its advertising investment. 

Design a Secure Multichannel Customer Journey

Leung’s multichannel campaign design combines promotional emails and ad network advertising. She plans to implement most of the campaign in Journey Builder, which is new to Leung. She asks Chinua, “How do we translate my design into a journey?” He explains that they can use Journey Builder to create a journey plan that resembles her campaign design. However, there’s one campaign element, lookalikes, they must implement outside the journey. Everything else—sending promotional emails, tracking and reacting to customer behavior, and dynamically populating audiences—is part of the journey plan. 

The NTO hiking shoe customer journey as depicted in Journey Builder.

“We can even create a Facebook ad campaign directly in Journey Builder—including producing the ad content and setting the Facebook ad budget,” Chinua says. “For that piece, we configure the journey to automatically create an empty data extension. Let’s call the data extension hiking_shoes_Facebook_audience. Think of a data extension as a place to store contact info, such as email addresses. Journey Builder tracks which contacts don’t open or click through the promotional email. It adds those unengaged contacts to the data extension. The contacts in the data extension are the customers we target on Facebook. To tell Facebook who is in our target audience, we share the data extension with them.”

Leung is concerned. She asks, “Does that mean NTO has to divulge its contact email addresses to Facebook?” Chinua tells her that privacy and security are accounted for: “NTO’s data never leaves the secure environment of Salesforce Marketing Cloud in its original format. Before the data is sent by secure API to the ad network, it’s hashed using a cryptographic hashing method called SHA-256. The Facebook ad network uses the same algorithm to hash the email address of its users.“

Facebook compares the hashed version of the email addresses.

Having allayed Leung’s fears, he continues: “Facebook matches the hashed email addresses of its users to the hashed email addresses of contacts in the hiking_shoes_Facebook_audience. When a matching user is active on a Facebook page where NTO won an ad auction, Facebook displays NTO’s shoe ad to the user. That’s how we reach customers who aren’t engaged by promotional emails. All this handshaking across different platforms happens seamlessly.”

Leung and Chinua have all the campaign design elements accounted for. In the next unit, they show us how to implement NTO’s ad campaign.