Gitlab surpasses brand awareness KPIs

The Ask

Reaching a highly-focused audience in a fragmented digital landscape

Starting in 2011 as an open source project to help one team of programmers collaborate, Gitlab is now the platform millions of people use to deliver software faster and more efficiently while strengthening security and compliance. Gitlab is a firm believer in remote work, open source, DevOps and iteration. They focus on working alongside the GitLab community to deliver innovations every month, helping teams focus on shipping great code faster and not their toolchains.

Gitlab partnered with Centerline in a brand awareness project focused on reaching a specific technical audience through efficient media planning and buying. When done effectively, media buying achieves targeted maximum exposure for the least amount of spend. And to do that right, media, strategy and creative must have accurate and tight alignment.


Outlining the optimal strategy and tactics

Gitlab entered the project with specific objectives for campaign KPIs. For top-of-funnel brand awareness, they set a hard benchmark across all channels for a 0.2% CTR.

Centerline understood from the beginning that a project like this would require weekly reviews of the media buy dashboard and recommended optimizations. In addition, the team set up regular deliveries of mid- and end-of-campaign reports with summaries about successes and learnings from campaign touchpoints. This meeting plan made communicating with Gitlab easy and efficient and gave them real-time access to the numbers.

The brand awareness project was divided into four quarters, each with specific channels and tactics for maximizing reach and spend. The channels included:

  • Programmatic Media: Display
  • Programmatic CTV: The Masters Tournament
  • Paid Social: LinkedIn
  • Paid Social: LinkedIn – Brand Lift Test
  • Paid Social: Meta (Facebook & Instagram)
  • Programmatic Media: PMP (Private) Display
  • Programmatic Media: Native

Overall, the strategic approach was dictated by audience insights and past media performance. For example, the Centerline team knew that LinkedIn (LI) was expensive, and many technical audiences don’t use their LI news feeds. This understanding meant that leveraging a combination of programmatic with a mix of social channels would be a solid option to engage the highly qualified audience and drive them to action. Using a channel mix also allowed the media team to play both sides of the scale, enabling them to optimize the campaign further.


Putting the plan to work and reaping the results

By the end of the fourth quarter, the campaign performance met and exceeded original benchmarks and expectations through continual real time monitoring and weekly optimizations.

The programmatic portion of the campaign maintained a consistent performance level during its second half achieving a steady set of benchmarks such as CTR and CPC. Overall the campaign had a 0.41% CTR—a noteworthy increase over Gitlab’s original goal of 0.2%. CPC for the campaign also beat the programmatic benchmark of $3.11, with a $2.77 CPC. In the end, the campaign was beyond successful. Centerline’s ability to strategize and pivot according to performance data was central to this success.

Gitlab surpasses brand awareness KPIs