We Are All Human
The list of settings, adjustments, and targeting levers in any given digital marketing platform (search, social, display, etc.) is seemingly endless. Because of this, it is too easy for human digital marketing practitioners to make mistakes - our brains are just not optimized to keep track of it all. Thus, it is crucial that you have a standardized quality assurance (QA) process in place in order to avoid a costly mistake. This article will walk you through some high level steps to implement an effective QA process for your digital marketing initiatives.
Why use a quality assurance process?
Humans make mistakes. If not identified and corrected, they can have costly ramifications to your business and career. Consequences may include:
- Refunding clients
- Overspending budget
- Targeting the wrong audience
- Difficult conversations with your client and boss
Ultimately, a solid QA process helps ensure that you provide quality work as well as build trust with clients and peers.
Campaign / Initiative Briefs
When starting a new digital marketing campaign, it is important to ensure that all parties are on the same page. A brief should contain all pertinent information about a new campaign launch or change order. We recommend including the following:
- Landing Pages
- Audience Targeting
- Flight Dates
- Platforms it will run on
Even the best QA processes can let mistakes fall through, so it helps to incorporate machines and automation. Here at Seer, we have developed custom tools for most digital marketing channels that check intended campaign settings against the actual campaign settings. Not only are these tools 100% accurate (granted that the intended campaign settings cells were filled out correctly), but they can also QA dozens of campaigns in just minutes.
(Seer Automated QA tool screenshot)
💡 Pro tip: if using Google Ads, try using various scripts to automate the QA process. Some of our favorites include:
Despite the accuracy and efficiency of automated tools, we found that there were many settings and outside processes that could not be checked with our QA tools. For this, we recommend creating a standardized checklist that corresponds to these missing items. At Seer, we require two manual reviewers to sign off before a campaign can be launched. One of these reviewers must be the relevant account manager because he or she has the deepest knowledge of the client and the intention of the new campaign.
If the overall process is starting to seem complicated, that's because digital marketing campaigns are complicated. To help with this, we created checklists that break down the process into different stages so that employees could easily follow along.
💡 Pro tip: After you launch your campaign, don't just set it and forget it! We recommend using a post launch checklist to ensure that your ads are serving correctly.
Instituting a comprehensive QA process throughout an organization can be difficult, especially if your team is entrenched in their ways. To overcome this, we recommend soliciting feedback from your entire digital marketing division when creating a new standardized QA process. This helps your team feel as though they have some ownership and input into the process.
Additionally, hold multiple training sessions to help educate everyone on your team on the new process. At Seer, we made it a requirement for all team members to follow the new process and even involved team leads/supervisors in order to hold them accountable.
Work toward a standardized QA process in your digital marketing division
Humans are going to make mistakes and this is ok. It’s how we learn. Strengthening and standardizing your QA process will build a safety net to catch these mistakes before they start impacting real marketing spend. And do not ‘set and forget’ your QA procedures. This should be a constantly evolving process, even once you have the final version in place. Settings come and go from digital marketing platforms so you need to adapt accordingly.
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