Many businesses find themselves grappling with the challenges of paid advertising campaigns.

These struggles can manifest in a variety of ways, such as 

  • poor creative execution 

  • lack of compelling offers, failures of communicating value

  • unclear objectives for advertising, poor KPI selection

  • a limited understanding of their target audience, with no structured retargeting or remarketing strategy or execution put in place

  • a poorly developed brand concept

However, by addressing these issues strategically, businesses can turn their paid ads into effective tools for growth and success. Here’s how I helped a clothing brand, sold in the likes of Nordstrom and Saks 5th, redevelop their paid ad campaign and garner some real results.

One common problem lies in uninspiring or ineffective ad creative. 

To overcome this, I highlighted the importance of compelling visuals, and underlined why they should invest time and resources into developing engaging and visually appealing advertisements that maximize the use of video and real people. We are all vying for even a moment’s notice and without compelling creative that drives connection, many businesses are simply a drop in the ocean.

At the time, their creative simply failed to communicate the value of their product.

Apart from boring creative, another hurdle they faced was the absence of a strong and compelling offer. There was no real call to action. It simply said, “buy our clothes”. They also did not grasp the distinction between top of funnel and bottom of funnel offers, and thus the advertising campaigns they spent tens of thousands of dollars on a month had no clear direction. Without a specific and enticing value proposition, or an understanding of where their customer is in the buying journey, the audience had no real motivation to take action.

I helped them make sense of the norms of the communication channels in question, and demonstrated how to present different customers different offers depending where they were in their buying journey using retargeting and re-marketing strategies.

This involved specifying audiences in Facebook’s ad building platform: configuring lookalike audiences, putting into place retargeting strategies in order to push paid ads to warmer leads via Facebook pixel, and running A/B tests on ads to measure which ones performed well. Ultimately, the problem to solve was a lack of clear objectives, which undermined the effectiveness of their paid ad campaigns. By helping to define their goals (whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving sales, or generating leads) the key performance indicators (KPIs) allowed us to track progress, optimize campaigns, and make data-driven decisions.

The results of our efforts took shape as compelling ads that leveraged photo, video and copy for refined, enhanced creative, a more robust audience structure configured in Facebook ads manager, and dropped costs across the board in terms of CPC and CPI, increased engagement, as well as significant boosts to their return on ad expenditure. 

Conclusively, and perhaps the most pressing issue for the brand in question, was more than just not knowing who their customer really is. We relied on the Google Analytics data and what limited market research they had at their disposal to make sense of customer demographics, interests, and behaviors. 

It was absolutely no self-concept whatsoever. The brand lacked identity. Questioning the poor ad performance was really addressing a symptom, not a cause. Brands are about principle, and a concrete understanding of self allows businesses to maintain authenticity in everything they do. 

Through a series of conversations with the brand owner, we established a clearer purpose for his business and what kind of value his products bring his customer. The considerations of this were manifold: new insight gained for ad delivery, new inspiration for clothing designs, and an existential crisis averted through a desire to keep it real.

Branding is not an intangible, abstract concept; in fact, it provides the guidelines for everything from product development, to marketing, to sales. Ask yourself: why does your business even exist? Is it to sell a product? Or save time?