Do You Have a Learning Agenda for Your Advertising?

When we work with clients, one of the first things we outline is a learning agenda. We know the most important thing for scaling a brand is identifying the levers that lead to growth. The learning agenda helps you better understand what drives your brand's growth.

Understanding the learning agenda‍

One of the most common pain points we hear from brand managers and marketers is that they don’t understand why things are performing or failing in their campaigns.

We hear that pretty regularly, even from brands and marketers that are extremely sophisticated. Most marketers believe that running a/b tests will instantly answer their questions, and they’ll quickly understand which channels, audiences, and creative assets will lead to scale.

The reality is that a/b tests run independently only give you a snapshot of an understanding. This is why a learning agenda is so important.

The learning agenda outlines all the key a/b tests a brand needs to holistically understand its optimal channels, audiences, and creative assets. The learning agenda should be based on the campaign KPIs, current results, and brand capabilities.

Benefits of creating a learning agenda‍

Brands that activate a complete learning agenda have a strategic roadmap to help answer key questions that will lead to scale. It means that each a/b test builds upon previous learnings instead of living independently from other tests.

There are two key benefits to outlining a strategic advertising learning agenda.

1: Reduce cost & increase the impact of testing

Whenever a/b tests are run, there’s a cost to that test (i.e., cost to creative assets, cost to the run test, opportunity cost from holdout groups). The learning agenda reduces this cost because it enables you to prioritize tests based on available resources and potential impact. It means we focus only on tests that are easy to run but are most likely to drive the biggest results.

2: A more complete picture of success

When previous tests are outlined and documented, it means that a/b tests are additive, not duplicative. We can also stagger tests in a way that allows us to learn about the consumer incrementally instead of testing tactical items that would only impact the campaign at that moment.

What to include in your learning agenda‍

Your learning agenda should include three key components. These elements will allow you to focus on your learning agenda and help you prioritize your tests.

1. The a/b test framework and structure

The first thing to include is an outline of the a/b test. What are you actually testing, and what do you think will happen? What do you need to run this test? What are you hoping to learn?

2. The trigger

The second element to include is the trigger. When we say trigger, we mean a KPI that we’ll monitor to determine when the test should be run. For example, we might run a creative test if our CTR falls below our 30-day average.  The trigger will help us only run tests that will have an outsized impact on our campaign KPIs.

3. The expected impact & ease

The latest item you’ll want to include is an index for impact and ease. We use a 1 to 10 scale to represent what we believe will impact the campaigns and the ease of launching and analyzing the test.

Download our Learning Agenda template

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Next steps

We believe that having an organized learning agenda for an advertising campaign is one of the best ways to identify opportunities for scale and growth. The hard part is knowing which a/b tests to include on the learning agenda and thinking strategically about what will have the greatest impact on the brand.

Need help creating a learning agenda for your brand? We’re happy to help you outline the a/b tests that will help grow your business.

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