Letting AI find the best combinations
Having brought over all RSA campaigns from Google, it was time to give Microsoft AI a chance to test and learn on the British Gas creative. The team started by using around 10 of the available 15 headlines they could use in the product and then let the campaigns run so that the algorithms could test different headline and description combinations and permutations.
“You have to hold your nerve with these at the beginning,” said MediaCom’s Senior Search Planner Buyer Louie Boffa, “because the temptation is if it doesn’t perform immediately that you need to start making changes. But the AI is just learning, and once it starts to work out which combinations work, then it will optimize the campaign properly.”
For the first two weeks of testing, performance was quite low. But over time the performance improved and started to find strong ad creatives that delivered the right message at the right time to British Gas customers. Over an 8-week testing period between September 9 and October 20, 2019, RSA performance started to pull ahead of standard text ads. By the conclusion of the testing period, the CTR for Responsive Search Ads was 44% higher than British Gas’ standard campaigns.