With the holiday marketing season closing, many performance marketers have already turned their attention to 2013. Inevitably, their thoughts turn to what they should do to finish the current year on a strong note and ensure the new year is an equal success. Here's a checklist of what you should do:
Performance-driven advertising is all about action. Performing an action is a significant leap forward in a user's conversion path. However, actions that are not translated into sales are, to put it simply, missing the target. After all, you can't go to the bank with clicks and engagements, only real dollars.
There's no doubt that performance marketing is a significant force in online marketing, and will continue to grow. What will 2013 have in store for the performance marketing industry? As I see it, there are four key trends that will influence performance marketers' work in the new year:
For CMOs seeking ways to guarantee ROI without sacrificing brand affinity or customer value, affiliate marketing is a channel worth considering. It helps them achieve their ROI goals by utilizing publishers to conduct their marketing efforts via multiple media channels on a pay-for-performance basis.
Ever since retargeting stormed the U.S. online marketing space, using just one retargeting provider was standard practice. But why is this? To be honest, it doesn't really make sense. In Europe, for instance, running with multiple retargeters is standard. Thousands of companies do it, including the biggest and brightest. How can we explain the discrepancy in the U.S.? Let's explore.
The explosive growth of smartphones has presented a number of perplexing challenges for performance marketers. There is a lack of scalable mobile lead-gen programs. Few brands have a clear definition of their mobile user or a coherent mobile strategy. Advertisers aren't always equipped to manage the mobile traffic channel. And quality is often no better than co-reg. These issues are leading to inefficient mobile lead-gen traffic that further complicates an already messy formula for consistent return on investment in mobile marketing campaigns.
That's the premise of an insightful opinion piece by independent digital business consultant Mary Keane-Dawson in UK marketing trade The Drum. Keane-Dawson's headline-grabbing op-ed unleashes the big, fat performance elephant in the room. Not surprisingly, it drew its fair share of naysayers. The performance marketing industry, particularly the affiliate side, has its share of unscrupulous actors within its ranks. All industries do, but, unfortunately, the performance business seems to have a hard time shaking its "grubby" reputation. That ill-fated label arises from three distinct areas:
Marketers love to create new terms to explain their work. From "brand advocacy" to CPA, CPM, CPE and the myriad of acronyms that fill the digital marketing landscape, we'll turn almost any new business practice into a marketable term. What, then, to call the phenomenon of once beloved - or, at least, begrudgingly tolerated - affiliates being shunned by the very industry that fervently embraced them? As the performance marketing industry matures, and as brands seek more sophisticated and legitimate agencies and affiliates to manage their online marketing campaigns, are we entering a period of "Online Darwinism"?
I'd like to begin with a bold statement: E-marketers in today's online world are trapped in a box. They are still conceptually tied to "impressions" and "views," ignoring basic measurements of online campaign success.
Traditional analytics and multi-variant testing are excellent ways of understanding trends in customer behaviour online. For publishers, the technology allows a review of what a customer has read or watched after the event, which, in theory, enables more relevant content to be presented next time. But since these organizations rarely capture any customer information, content optimization can only remain a blunt tool.