From Isolation to Integration

Performance Marketing in 2019 – From Isolation to Integration

As a Performance Marketer, it’s a disappointing statement to make, but despite the evolution in technology, application of data, rich content/formats and accurate measurability in Performance Marketing, Brand and Performance Marketing still do not co-exist. General perceptions in the broader marketing industry are that branding/advertising and Performance Marketing cannot co-exist and are treated separately and often siloed by organisational structures, ecosystems, technologies, marketing strategies and goals.

In 2018 I have been a member of the IAB Advertising Effectiveness Council and I have to admit, it’s very easy to lose sight and awareness of broader marketing challenges when we’re very focused on our day to day in the Performance world. This Council explores how digital measurement data can be combined with other forms of media data to enhance cross media planning and buying. Upon my first meeting, I quickly learnt the ‘wedge’ that has siloed Branding and Performance is a challenge shared by many of the members from an array of marketing disciplines including, publishers, data agencies, media agencies, research companies and advertisers.

What’s driving the wedge?

Firstly, we need to look inwards, be accountable and look at what’s happened in the industry over the last 5 years and shoulder responsibility. There have been well documented incidents that have deepened the wedge, from mal practices in agencies to data leaks on social platforms that have unfortunately tarnished Performance Marketing and Digital Media in general. There has been a lot of debate and suspicion with issues around, Ad Placement Transparency, Data leaks, Viewability, Brand Safety and Click Fraud, and rightly so. This has unfortunately taken the limelight away from the great Performance Marketing stories and successes which have struggled for recognition amidst well publicised issues.

The ripple effects continue to linger despite good practices applied by Performance Marketers. I’m not by any means being dismissive to any of the issues, but this is where ‘Responsible Performance Marketing’ comes to the forefront. This includes the application of Verification Technology Partners which are continually improving, pressure tested, refined and re-released. Integral Ad Science, Comscore, Moat, Neilson and OpenSlate all offer solutions to tackle the issues and have been adopted by Performance Marketers, Agencies, Media Buying Platforms and Publishers including Google and Facebook.

Another factor for driving the ‘wedge’ of isolation, is Performance Marketing’s immediacy of impact on metrics and tangible results. Whilst this is one of its major benefits it has also had an adverse effect of siloing Performance Marketing into the short termism bucket. Subsequently, it is viewed as a cluster of direct response channels to execute rationale and functional marketing strategy, driving immediate sales, orders, leads etc and  not as a channel to complement brand building with mass media channels. Conversely, traditional mass media channels are brand building channels to increase penetration and market share, building salience for long term sales effects reaching all buyers in categories, but without that immediacy impact that is synonymous with Performance Marketing.

But Performance Marketing is Evolving.

However, the trends of increased consumption of media across digital continues to grow year on year, which we can see from the last six years of research conducted by PWC in the Australian market. Based on the submissions from publishers and estimates from Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Spotify, Snapchat and Twitter, online advertising expenditure hit a record high of $8.5B in the twelve months ending June 30th 2018. This represents an 11% increase YOY and continues the 6 year growth trend since the first study in FY13.

Two key growth categories that continue increasing YOY include;

  • Online Video, 45% growth, FY18 $1.3B
  • Mobile, 38.5% growth, FY18 $3.6B

While this is already known information, traditional mass media channels have and continue to evolve as they become digitised and connected, in line with evolution in technology and how we consume media. This is good news for Brand Advertising as it means we can apply a Performance lens for better optimisation, measurement and attribution from digital mass marketing. We can assess the impact it has on Performance Marketing over the long term from a brand building perspective and in the short term from a functional perspective.

Our Solution

In 2019, one of our goals is to continue to evolve performance marketing from direct response ‘isolation’ to full funnel ‘integration’. Branding strategy will continue to work in unison across paid, earned and owned media for a  consumer centric approach. We are committed to showcasing  the incremental impact of full funnel integrated solutions to  clients in both the short and long term and drive real tangible value to businesses. We will do this, by scaling our data-driven, tech-enabled, consumer-centric solutions in market and engaging our clients to work in close collaboration to address their business challenges.

In summary:

We’re very enthusiastic and raring to go in 2019. Our Solutions Team, The Core, comprises a unique mix of exceptional talent from multiple performance marketing disciplines including  Strategy, Content, Social, Paid Media, SEO, Search, Affiliates, Video, Display, Amazon Advertising, and Data & Technology. This blend of experience and skills gives us a unique edge to bring our Integrated Solutions to all of our clients.

My personal goal this year, is to be writing a similar article at year end 2019 about how we’ve successfully removed the Brand and Performance wedge and moved Performance Marketing isolation to true integration celebrating successes with our clients by growing their business.

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