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An introduction to Performance Marketing

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In today’s fast-paced digital world, marketers are constantly looking for ways to achieve the best results and get the most out of their marketing budgets. They want to know exactly what they’re getting in return from their advertising spend and are under increasing pressure to justify their marketing efforts. This is where performance marketing comes into play.

But what exactly is performance marketing? Following his recent BABs (Briefings at Breakfast) session on the same topic, we sat down with David Milner, our senior performance lead, to find out more about this growing form of marketing and how it can be used to get the best possible results for our clients.

What is performance marketing?

Performance marketing is a data-driven approach to digital marketing, which focuses on achieving measurable outcomes. It’s a short-term strategy that prioritises real, tangible results and return on investment, such as conversions, leads and purchases, over more traditional metrics such as awareness, impressions and clicks. The term refers almost entirely to online, paid-for activity, which allows us to deliver results quickly and at scale.

How does it work?

There are usually two parties involved, the platform which owns an audience and the marketer who pays to reach that audience. The marketer runs advertising campaigns with the aim of getting that audience to act – whether that’s to purchase a product, make an enquiry or sign up. The marketer then monitors the data in real time, tracks progress and optimises the campaign to ensure it’s running as efficiently as possible.

What is the performance marketing cycle?

Performance marketing is based on an active, iterative optimisation cycle – run campaigns, see what works, make changes and repeat. The aim is to maximise the return on investment by making conversion rates and conversion values as high as possible whilst minimising the cost of advertising. I’ve broken this cycle into four key stages:

  1. Plan: define the goals, target audience and budget.
  2. Create: develop assets, landing pages, messaging and calls to action.
  3. Execute: launch the campaign, monitor the data and run tests to see what works.
  4. Optimise: analyse, identify opportunities and act accordingly.

What can we learn from this kind of approach?

There’s a lot that we can learn from performance. It’s not just about the strategies and tactics we use but it’s just as much about having the right mindset. Ultimately, performance is about continuously learning, adapting, and improving, staying up to date with latest trends and best practices, learning from failures, and building your knowledge, which are all great qualities to have as a marketer.

What channels are used in performance?

We use a number of channels, but some of our most commonly used include search, display, social media and sponsored content such as advertorial or email. There’s no one size fits all solution, instead each client requires a unique, bespoke approach based on their business aims and objectives. We’ll also often use performance marketing as part of a wider mix of activity alongside more traditional channels.

So, there you have it, a quick, whistlestop tour of the wonderful world of performance marketing. Thanks, David! Want to know more? Let us know your thoughts on social media, or if you’re a company looking to invest in performance marketing as a way of getting data-driven, tangible results from your marketing spend, then get in touch.

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