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It’s Time to Marry Digital Marketing Automation with Content Testing

In today’s hyper-competitive digital marketing environment, it’s not the brands with the most clever creative concepts that separate from their peers. It’s the brands that run the most sophisticated, always-on testing strategies that win. Read this article to learn how testing can result in positive
Tom Logan
May 17, 2021
April 11, 2024

In today’s competitive digital marketing environment, a strategy that’s solely reliant on creative marketing videos or pretty pictures has more holes in it than swiss cheese.

High quality creative assets are still important, of course, but the not-so-secret sauce is combining creative content with applied testing across multiple channels. More testing beats less testing 100 times out of 100.

Forward-thinking marketers are using data over gut feel to inform ongoing content decisions, and they know that even when they’ve found that winning combination of creative and copy, the flywheel doesn’t stop. It’s simply the Scientific Method working on repeat.

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To bring the value of testing to life with some math, let’s turn to data aggregated by one of our advertising partners:

And when a new “King of the Hill” winning creative is crowned, what does that equate to? 

But until now, marketers have lacked a scalable testing solution to apply to their automated digital marketing efforts. The Opportunity to Marry Automation with Testing 20% of all digital advertising is now considered automated, with that number only projected to grow. To level set, examples of automated digital marketing include things like retargeting ads, cart abandonment emails and “welcome” SMS messages. At scale, it’s been nearly impossible to manually input additional creative assets into each individual SKU on the back end of an email tool like Klaviyo or an ad tool like AdRoll (for example). Knowing that more testing beats less testing, there’s been a real opportunity cost associated with this limitation.

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That means that while they’re able to set up specific workflows and fill in pre-set copy, the actual creative that they’re able to feature within their automated ads, emails and SMS messages end up being limited to the images that live on their on-site product pages.

What we’ve done is completely remove this restriction, giving marketers the ability to test tons of different creative assets where they previously weren’t able to.

How is that possible?

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At Cohley, we enable companies to generate large swaths of high-quality, cost-effective branded content (photos and videos) via talented creators. The platform is able to associate and tag the branded assets with the correct products featured within them via our ecommerce integrations.

In short, we’re giving brands the ability to test content throughout their automated marketing efforts(remember, that category makes up 20% of their spend) in a way that’s both scalable and uncapped.

Marketers can turn to Cohley to generate 100 branded photos to support the launch of their new line of bedsheets, for example, and test those 100 photos against one another to understand which one drives the highest clickthrough rate (CTR). They can then use that information to inform a variety of content decisions and drive tangible upticks in performance.

So What’s the ROI?

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To demonstrate the potential impact that this could have for a brand, let’s look at the math we formulated alongside one of our clients.

  • Their average order value is $100
  • Last year they sent 500,000 automated Cart Abandonment Emails
  • By improving their CTR by just 1%, they would generate an additional 5,000 click-throughs to the website per year
  • At a 9.95% average conversion rate, which is data derived from our partner Klaviyo, those additional 5,000 clicks would equate to an annual lift of $49,750.

What’s important there isn’t that we can create lift in cart abandonment emails, although that functionality clearly has value. What’s important is that we are enabling marketers to introduce scalable testing where it previously didn’t exist, opening up a world of possibilities throughout ads, email and SMS. This cart abandonment email example is just the tip of the iceberg…take a look at a few other automated email flows that we’ll plug into to create similar lift. By marrying automation and testing, we’re giving brands the ability to address a problem that they may not have even realized they had. We’re giving them the ability to expand their testing strategies into the rapidly-expanding world of automation, and we expect the results to be astronomical.

Tom Logan
Founder & CEO