It was about this time that COVID-19 hit continental Europe. Faced with unprecedented circumstances and swiftly changing customer behaviour, brands were having to make tough decisions about their marketing investment.
Clément recalls: “We had a meeting with our board of directors to discuss what we should do. Many brands were pulling back significantly on advertising spend, but we decided to push forward to maintain market leadership and capture new opportunities.”
With this bold decision made, the team continued with its plan. However, it wasn’t long before the wisdom of that decision was tested. “When we started implementing these strategies on the bigger campaigns the results did not go well,” said Ambre. “The CPA went up a lot in the first two weeks and it was a lot higher than we expected.”
Despite the initial spike in CPA, Ambre’s experience told her that the algorithms would need time to adjust before performance could be properly optimised. “The key factor utilising these auto bidding strategies is patience. If it doesn’t work in one week it needs to have more time and you cannot make radical changes if the machine learning period is not over.”
Four weeks after implementation, Ambre’s patience paid off. The CPA on the accounts started coming down significantly and led to a doubling of conversions for Lesfurets.
“COVID-19 gave us more space to implement this risky strategy,” she said. “When others were pulling back, we were pushing forward. Before we didn’t have the time and the competition was too fierce, but because we were prepared to let performance dip, when the algorithms started responding our volume and impression share really started to take off.”