How Automation Powers A/B Testing at Scale and Ad Account Growth
Good business strategy isn’t about perfect ideas — it’s about being able to test hypotheses and then act on them. This happens almost constantly for companies, especially in digital advertising. Hypotheses may include “if it’s a sunny day, ads featuring convertibles will perform better,” or “if I change my ad structure, more users will respond.”
A/B testing may be a buzzword, but it’s essentially hypothesis testing. It's used by over half of all marketers as a way to maximize conversion rate. For advertisers, A/B tests are a method to understand audiences, optimize managed ad accounts, and roll out changes to keep up with ever-evolving Google and Facebook updates and industry trends.
This quantitative approach is a no-brainer in theory, but in reality? It’s a major challenge to test hypotheses or new ad formats and then act on them at scale. A/B testing can be a strategist’s best friend, but an advertising account manager’s worst nightmare. In 2019, 43% of respondents said they didn't have the right tools for A/B testing. It can take weeks — if not months — of manual labor to test a single creative or strategic decision for many ad accounts. That's bad for business across the board.
In this piece, we’ll discuss: how A/B testing fuels competitive digital advertising work; what the traditional barriers are to A/B testing across ad accounts; and how automation eliminates roadblocks and unlocks growth as the future of digital advertising.
How A/B Testing Fuels Competitive Advertising
Truly competitive advertising adapts with people. People’s moods and habits change on a daily or hourly basis — even with something as fleeting as the weather.
That’s where A/B testing is advantageous. Good, competitive ad account management takes the temperature of its audience and rolls out changes quickly. An experiment (A) and control group (B) of ad accounts can be used to pilot a marketing theory or switch batches of accounts over to the latest Google or Facebook has to offer.
So, why is A/B testing at scale strategic for ad accounts? In short, businesses can theoretically:
- Test prospective marketing strategies in real-time
- Understand consumer needs in the moment
- Quickly update accounts with the latest advertising formats from providers like Google
- Make changes to campaigns based on quantitative data
- Manage customer ad accounts more strategically by adapting to audiences
- Experience less customer churn due to better strategic management
- Gain more referrals from those satisfied customers
So, Why Is It So Hard?
A/B testing sounds great in theory but in reality? Most businesses haven’t changed their advertising strategy in years.
Ad account management technology and practices haven’t caught up to the industry. Account management is still almost one-to-one; it requires people to expend time and talent on even the smallest of updates. Errors abound. Manual inefficiencies mean it’s nearly impossible to do any account management changes — let alone A/B testing — at scale.
For example, you could use people to adjust ad structures for one or two businesses. But if your business is managing more than 1000 accounts, you'd need to deploy your team to scale the change across accounts, one at a time.
In this model, A/B testing at scale takes months — and means a total relaunch of all accounts. What happens when your tired team has revamped all of your accounts, only for Google to release a new ad unit specific to your industry and 500 of your accounts clamor for this better solution? The old way of doing things doesn’t support scaled growth. Relying on people to manage accounts manually means you’re set up for failure from the start.
How Automation Eliminates Roadblocks and Unlocks Growth
A/B testing simply isn’t worth the manual effort, but business will suffer without the essential insights it offers. When it comes to scaling, it’s not sustainable to pay for more and more employees to manage accounts they still can’t manage well.
That’s why automation — specifically, automated ad account management — is the key to A/B testing at scale, and so much more.
With an automated solution that’s essentially core business logic, ad account managers can lean on one tool to expedite a batch of experiments and control changes instantly. This means:
- A/B tests have value because they can be completed at scale
- Settings can be cloned to different accounts once their value is proven
- Companies can instantly shift to new campaigns or ad groups without having to relaunch accounts
- Human talent is freed up to generate better ideas
- Businesses can even begin to be proactive about their strategy — they can manipulate smart bidding settings and geo-targeting to optimize managed accounts
Automation is truly revolutionary for the ad industry with its positive implications for A/B testing and managed accounts, budgets, and scaling. It has the potential to transform overworked teams and difficult customer relationships. Most importantly, it allows businesses to transcend a “maintenance mindset” and instead focus on being as strategic as possible and keeping up with technology and audiences alike.
Start Thinking Strategically
Automation can turn the pipe dream of real ad strategy and growth into a reality. As the only cross-tenant tool designed to automate ad account management, Fluency is here to help. No matter the industry, Fluency works with both agencies and in-house teams to achieve more, faster. Get in touch with our experts today.