We recently had the pleasure of speaking to Motion user Courtney Alexander, a talented media buyer and member of the Foxwell Digital team. You’ve almost certainly seen a lot of Courtney’s work as a contributor to Andrew Foxwell’s courses and talent behind his newsletter.
Alongside the team of Andrew and Shane, Courtney helps to manage paid social and email for fast-growing brands. During her conversation with Reza, she shared an inside look into what her creative process looks like and how the rise of creatives has shifted the work of Foxwell Digital as media buyers.
What is your team’s current approach to ad creatives?
For Courtney, a question like this only has one proper answer - “it depends”. At the end of the day, every brand has a different message and audience - and so requires its own approach to creative.
Anytime a marketer does not answer the creative question with “it depends”, I don’t trust them. Every client is completely different.
You can have the best targeting in the entire world. But the end audience only sees this one piece of creative. And so if that creative isn't what hits, then it doesn't matter how perfect your manual bids are and how creative your audiences are. If that creative doesn't hit with them, then it nothing else matters.
Right now, Courtney has pinned one movement as consistent across almost all brands: the shift towards authenticity in advertising. Right now, creative is heading into a non-Photoshop, non-edited world. This has compounded into excellent results for marketers who find the right way to deliver these messages.
For one of her clients, this came in the form of UGC. She had been testing creative but unable to find anything that hit. Then she came across an influencer testimonial video and decided to try it in a few different places:
The ad literally took off. We went from spending $2,000 a week on 1.5 ROAS to $30,000 a week at 3 ROAS. So much of the product sold out we had to change messaging since it was on backorder.
Stories like this are testament to how important creative really is.
What does the creative workflow look like?
There are four key activities that Courtney takes which involves her in the creative workflow:
- Monthly brainstorming
Usually Courtney starts by brainstorming with her team. Keeping dialog flowing between multiple media buyers on what they’ve seen work and approaches that can benefit different brands helps to broaden mindsets and avoid a pigeonholing of ideas.
- Staying on top of new media
Courtney is always on top of ads that she comes across in her feed. Breaking apart their elements and asking herself how they are converting audiences helps her build her know-how. Sharing these learnings with clients keeps them inspired with new creative.
- Planning shoots with clients
By being involved in the process of planning shoots, Courtney is able to ensure a steady supply of new creative to test and keep her clients engaged in the process of creative discovery. Often this can be as simple as asking them to take some shots with an iPhone, or taking a Boomerang.
- Using real data to break-apart results and iterate
The final step of Courtney’s process is using tools like Motion to break apart results from all this creative ideation. Answering questions on what is truly working and what is not provides the context to turn creative testing into actual creative strategy.
How do you use Motion?
Courtney leverages Motion often to build her creative playbook on different ads, in particular to discover what works within those audiences.
I’ll hop into Motion to discover what text or format works best at different points in the funnel. Often I’ll learn that a video that crushes it top of funnel simply doesn’t work at the bottom of the funnel. So carving out the customer journey with Motion is just so easy.
She also leverages Motion to build out monthly reporting to clients. Using a Top Performing Ads report to highlight what worked best at various stages of her funnel provides her clients a visual on what ads performed in the given month.
How is the role of the media buyer changing?
Courtney remembers was a time in the past where the media buyer was more of an independent role:
There was once a time where the media buyer could be secluded. They could just buy ads and tell clients, “Hey we are at 5X ROAS!”. Now, when I bring on a client, I need access to their Shopify and Klaviyo. I need their creative documents and branding guidelines. These systems need to talk to each other in order to find that 5X ROAS.
Taking on a more strategic role has been difficult, but also made the role of media buyer so much more important. Taking stake on five or ten accounts at the same time allows them to generate a wide variety of knowledge on what is working at any given time. And when it comes to collaborating with in-house marketers, it makes the role of the media buyer that much more important.
Courtney Alexander is a media buyer and member of the Foxwell Digital team. She can be found on Twitter at @courtfalexander. You can also follow her work by signing up for Foxwell Digital’s newsletter at foxwelldigital.com/email.