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Digital Marketing   |   Clock Icon 10 min read

How to Grow Your Digital Marketing Campaigns with Testing & Optimization

by Emily Kirk   |   Oct 12, 2018

Experts from CarMax, The Martin Agency, and Workshop Digital brought together data-driven marketers from across top Richmond, Virginia area companies for the latest installment of this popular speaker series at the CarMax Digital & Technology Innovation Center.

Ultimately, the keynote and panel showed how different companies think about digital marketing from totally different viewpoints, but all with a unified understanding that testing is critical to scaling new efforts.

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Emily Kirk, Paid Digital Marketing Manager and panelist at this month’s #DigitalRVA event, delivered key insights on how to conduct paid digital marketing tests that drive results. A great outcome of the event was sharing an insider’s perspective on how Workshop tackles this ever-present challenge for digital agencies and client-side marketers.

Since seating was extremely limited at this meetup-style event, we’re giving you a snippet of what we heard by sharing some excellent insights straight from Emily.

How do you come up with new testing ideas for your digital marketing efforts?

“If we’re seeing certain language or creative resonate one channel, that can be a starting point. Though it won’t necessarily have the same response, it’s a starting point to generate tests. I’m a firm believer in following industry blogs [to get ideas]...but the biggest thing I’ve learned in how to generate ideas is to get our team in one room to solve a problem and whiteboarding it. I’m very fortunate to have a large team, and when you get 9 digital marketers in one room, you’re going to come up with a great idea.”

Key insights:

  • The team you’re on is just as important as the way you do the work.
  • Look for macro trends in the data and across industries and verticals - not just individual channels in a vacuum.
What’s the latest thing you’ve done to make your campaigns more efficient?

“We removed current customers from [a] brand name campaign to eliminate clicks from people that were just looking to login to the brand’s website. As a result, we saw leads increase by 14% and cost per lead decrease by 11%. We were then able to reallocate the spend to non-brand campaigns to focus on generating new customers.”

Key insights:

  • Be intentional about how you set up campaigns. Mapping core customer journeys and regularly monitoring your campaigns can help you see opportunities to optimize as your customer data evolves over time.
  • Consider the opportunity cost of where your money is being spent.
How would you coach a newcomer to the digital marketing world?

“I’m big on surrounding yourself with people that do what you want to do and that are smarter than you because they’re going to push you. And I definitely [think] it comes down to a skillset...and I’m fortunate to do a lot of hiring and interviewing, and I’m looking for someone who’s self-driven and has what I call an “achiever pattern.” So being able to go and dig and find and understand how to find answers is really important. So I would say those two things are going to help you enter into the space and be successful.”

Key insights:

  • Mentorship is an integral part of getting exposed to the people and business problems you’ll need to move into the digital marketing field.
  • At the end of the day, problem-solving skills are going to be the difference maker in enabling new digital marketers to be successful.
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Mark your calendar for upcoming Richmond Digital Marketing Meetup events to hear insights like this live and discuss with fellow RVA digital marketers during pre- and post-event networking. Learn something new, get questions answered, or find your next digital marketing opportunity!

portrait of Emily Kirk

Emily Kirk

Emily is passionate about developing data-driven paid digital marketing strategies to grow revenue and profit for businesses. Over her 9 year tenure in paid digital marketing, she has managed both Fortune 500 and IR Top 150 accounts, including clients with annual budgets ranging from $10K to $25M. At Workshop Digital, Emily manages a team of nine analysts to create strategic value through impactful digital marketing. Emily spoke at Search Marketing Expo in 2015 about seasonality and competition in the paid search landscape. Since then, she has spoken frequently about proper audience targeting and valuation. Emily holds a degree in Marketing with a concentration in Process Management and Consulting from The College of William and Mary.