Why your digital advertising strategy should include a naming convention?
When running digital marketing activities, the platforms you're going to use will require you to name multiple elements: you'll need a name for the campaign itself, as well as for what's inside: ad groups, ad sets, placements, creatives... If no naming convention has been defined before, you're likely to end up with an heterogenous set of columns and rows on the data warehouse or reporting side.
That's where naming convention really is the key: by enhancing your data granularity while making it consistent across channels, it will exponentially increase your analytics and insights capabilities.
Example A: shoes retailer campaigns without naming convention
Sport Shoes | France | Prospecting | Nov 2020
Example B: shoes retailer campaigns with naming convention
What's wrong with A? Although some fields are shared across channels (country, product, strategy...), they are not expressed in the same way nor in the same order. Fields separators are different: we've spaces and pipes, dashes or underscores. Important information is missing: how will you distinguish a direct response versus an awareness strategy and a prospecting versus a retargeting activity?
We've corrected these issues in B, not only making the data mining job easier but also helping your accounts managers in their daily work. Indeed, well organized ad accounts are easier to manage, optimize and handover! First we've defined the country, the marketing channel and the subchannel, then the campaign's theme (SportShoes), the strategy (awareness) and the activity type (prospecting) and finally the start date (YYMMDD format).
Ultimately, the naming convention you'll define must be customized to your business and scalable (ie applicable to new marketing channels or to countries or products that are not part of your activity today).
Then the challenge will be to make it sustainable. Think about tools like Google Sheets that are accessible and free to use. Properly configured, they will help your team in outputing correct names semi-automatically. There may remain manual inputs at some point but you want to keep this minimal or restrained to wild cards that will not be used for reporting in order to reduce the risk of error.
In most use cases, you'll pull your data from the ad platforms directly, but remember it can also be sent to your site or app-centric measurement tools (Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics...). This can happen via native integration (eg between Google products) or via custom queries, using tracking URLs. All of this will expand even further the impact of your naming convention on your business.