For years, marketers and advertisers have depended upon audience targeting data to know where and in front of whom to run their ad creative. But the recent shift away from invasive data-mining practices — the result of new and necessary privacy regulations put in place by GDPR, CCPA, and Apple’s iOS14 — have left marketing teams scrambling. As more and more users opt-out of tracking, audience targeting data becomes less and less reliable.
Market-leading brands have shifted their focus to something within their control that can still have an enormous impact on conversion: the performance of their ad creative. And while A/B testing has been the standard for measuring the conversion power of ads, these innovative marketers are now seeking ways to go beyond traditional means by building and multivariate testing ad creative at scale.
Marpipe Solution Overview
Marpipe enables creative teams and marketers to build hundreds of ad variations in minutes, automatically deploy static image and video creative to their audiences for testing, and get performance insights broken down by individual creative element — headline, image, background color, etc.
With Marpipe, brands and agencies can:
- Greatly increase the number of unique ad creatives for testing, which greatly increases the odds of finding high-performers
- Remove bias from the creative process by backing design decisions with conversion data
- Get smarter about which ads and creative elements are working and why so they can make faster decisions about which ad creative to scale and which to turn off
- Build better ads in less than half the time — 66% faster on average
Automated Ad Building, At Scale
Traditionally, creative teams have the bandwidth to concept and design two to three ads for testing. Marpipe saves them time, enabling tens or hundreds of ads to be designed at once. This is done by combining every possible combination of creative elements supplied by the creative team. Ad variations add up very quickly this way. For example, five headlines, three images, and two background colors become 30 ads (5x3x2) with the click of a button. This process not only increases the number of unique ad creative for testing, but also sets up marketing teams to run a multivariate test on the Marpipe platform — pitting all ad variations against each other while controlling all possible creative variables.
Automated, Controlled Test Setup
Once all ad variations have been automatically generated, Marpipe then automates multivariate testing. Multivariate testing measures the performance of every possible combination of variables. In Marpipe’s case, variables are the creative elements within each ad — copy, images, calls to action, and more. Every ad is placed into its own ad set and the testing budget is equally distributed between them as to control yet another variable that could skew the results. Tests can run for either seven or 14 days, depending on a customer’s budget and goals. And the ad variations run in front of the customer’s existing audience or audiences, resulting in more meaningful insights.
As tests run their course, Marpipe delivers performance data for each ad as well as each individual creative element. The platform tracks reach, clicks, conversions, CPA, CTR, and more. Over time, Marpipe aggregates these results to pinpoint trends. From here, marketers and advertisers can decide which ads to scale and what to test next based on the test results. Eventually, the platform will have the ability to suggest which types of creative elements a brand should test based on historical creative intelligence.
Multivariate Ad Creative Testing Best Practices
Multivariate testing at scale is a relatively new process, one that wasn’t before possible without automation. As such, the workflows and mindsets necessary to test ad creative in this way are not yet widely practiced. Marpipe finds that its most successful customers follow two best practices in particular that help them see the value in the platform very early on:
- Adopting a modular creative approach to ad design. Modular creative begins with a template, inside of which are placeholders for each creative element to live within interchangeably. For example, a space for a headline, a space for an image, a space for a button, etc. Thinking and designing in this way can be challenging, as each individual creative element must make sense and be aesthetically pleasing when paired with every other creative element. This flexible layout allows each variation of each creative element to be swapped in programmatically.
- Bridging the gap between creative and performance marketing teams. Creative teams and performance marketing teams that work in lockstep tend to reap the rewards of Marpipe faster. These teams plan their tests together, all getting on the same page about what they want to learn and which creative elements will get them there. Not only do they unlock top-performing ads and creative elements more often, but they also apply test results to the next round of ad creative to gain deeper insights with every test.
How Men’s Apparel Brand Taylor Stitch Bested Its Growth Goals By 50% With Marpipe
At a key moment in the company’s upward trajectory, the marketing team at Taylor Stitch found themselves with bandwidth issues across both creative and account management. Their creative testing workflow was long and tedious, even with a staff of super-talented designers and a trusted ad agency partner. The process of building ads for testing, delivering to the agency for upload, selecting audiences, and launching was easily two weeks long. With aggressive goals set for new customer acquisition — 20% YOY — the Taylor Stitch team needed to find a way to scale their ad testing efforts without greatly increasing staff or costs.
By using Marpipe to automate ad building and testing, Taylor Stitch was able to increase its number of unique ad creatives for testing by 10x. The team can now launch two creative tests per week — each with more than 80 unique ad variations, all with the sole aim of prospecting new customers. This newfound scale allows them to test product lines and creative variations they never would have been able to before. They discovered surprising insights, like the fact that new customers are more likely to convert with messaging around sustainability and fabric quality rather than discounts. And they bested their YOY growth targets by 50%.