3 Barriers Holding Back Your Performance Marketing Strategy

Performance marketing has long been associated with last-click attribution and ROI, terms that cause bottom-line focused marketers and executives to celebrate because they can “prove marketing is working.”

But  performance marketing does not necessarily equate to growth. As retargeting audiences drive already primed audiences to purchase or act, many marketers that rely on these channels for success are actually converting the converted, spending money on tactics and individuals that fail to produce incremental results.

Marketers need to stop living in the false sense of security of short-term wins and recalibrate their focus efforts on the challenging performance-driven strategies that support the long-term impact and center attention on the consumer experience.

Here are barriers to performance marketing success that are inhibiting your company growth:

Barriers between media and creative teams. Accountability doesn’t just mean ROI. In order to create effective marketing strategies that are not just meeting KPIs, but serving ultimate business goals, tear down the arbitrary walls between creatives and media strategists. 



This artificial division creates a handoff effect and stifles communication. Intelligent strategists and talented creatives may be tackling the ultimate business goal from many different angles. However, if they don’t come together to unify the strategic process from start to finish, performance will suffer.

How do you practically integrate media and creative teams?

  • Bring everyone to the table to holistically evaluate historical efforts and plan for the future
  • Brainstorm together about what types of creative will resonate best with your customers and shine on each platform
  • Involve creatives throughout media activation and give consistent performance feedback

Barriers between media performance and business results. There will be times when media metrics can communicate marketing performance: Understanding reach and frequency at the awareness stage. Looking at things like time spent on site to understand potential interest. Media strategists are often looking at KPIs and celebrating when we surpass benchmarks.

Still,  those quick, easy wins are not always the strongest signals of long-term dividends. You have to see beyond what looks good in platform and refocus on true business goals.

Turn to more advanced measurement tactics, such as brand lift and sales lift studies, to gain more detailed insights. These are especially important for retail brands and CPG brands where the majority of sales are happening in store.

Barriers between brand and consumer. Because consumers have so much information at their fingertips, the consumer journey is no longer as simple as awareness to consideration to acquisition.

To drive performance, you need to identify the trigger points in the user journey. What’s going to take someone from being loosely aware to meaningfully engaging with your brand? Research, observe, and listen so you can understand where the consumer is and how quickly they are moving in their journey and align your message accordingly.

People are not robots. We can’t always predict their next move or rely on them to follow a series of rational steps. So rather than rigid, funnel-based advertising, create meaningful content that supports authentic brand engagements -- not a flashing "Buy Now" button. Effective marketing content simply needs to move the consumer one step closer to becoming a brand advocate.

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