Commentary

The D2C Equation: Brand+Performance+Attribution

When it comes to brand vs. performance, one marketer says any time his company invests in branding, it asks how it can make the branding as impactful as possible.

Rob Towne, director of performance marketing, Purple Innovation, told our Search & Performance Insider Summit on Friday how he tested a hunch he had about Google by modifying the script and bidding down to see how revenue would be impacted if Purple came in No. 2 on Google search. With hardly any impact, the brand is saving thousands and thousands daily by not paying for the top spot. 

With TV, Towne said they like to have a spot run in a locality, then track the data for the next three to five minutes after that to see if there is a lift in branded search. 

Most recently, Purple is using influencers to digitally make more connections. "Their audience becomes part of ours. We want to build awareness without impacting the influencer's authenticity."

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The category presents a low barrier to entry so the challenge, he said, is how to help consumers understand that Purple is "truly different." To do so, the brand uses long-form video on YouTube and Facebook. "We've chosen to express the brand as being fun and creative." After billions of views, Towne said he has found that consumers are staying, not skipping.

"It takes a lot to make somebody problem-aware, solution-aware," he said, as mattress producers face a five to ten-year cycle. With 100 touch points on the consumer journey, Towne keeps building brand awareness top of mind.

Purple has grown into a lot of other channels, taking a larger slice of the pie. "Attribution is one of the problems that everyone in this room would say is challenging," he said. "We try to solve it different ways. There is no right multitouch attribution model, only useful ones -- but they're all wrong in some way."

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