Is performance marketing a mystery to you? Digital Media Solutions is here to help. In this article, we’ve answered five of the most-searched questions about performance marketing. Click on your question below to see the answer.
- What is performance marketing?
- What are the benefits of marketing?
- What marketing tactics are included in performance marketing?
- Why is marketing return on investment difficult to measure?
- What is cross-channel attribution?
Performance marketing is a sub-section of marketing for which all campaigns are designed to achieve a specific objective and the performance of all efforts are tracked. Performance marketing can include a long list of media channels, but all efforts must be tracked against the campaign objective. Actions such as clicks, leads and sales are often the measurement tracked for performance marketing campaigns.
The benefit of performance marketing is a clear understanding of whether or not marketing successfully achieved the defined objective. Because performance marketing campaigns are designed to achieve a specific objective, and because all performance marketing campaigns are tracked against their objectives, it should be easy to evaluate marketing performance and calculate ROI.
Performance marketing can include any and every marketing tactic, as long as the tactic can be measurable. Because it is easier to measure digital marketing than traditional marketing, performance marketing is often restricted to digital marketing.
Top performance marketing channels include:
- Paid search and PPC: Paid search and PPC marketing campaigns include search engine marketing and remarketing. These campaigns efficiently place your brand and direct response ads in front of prospects when they’re on Google and millions of other sites.
- Email marketing: Email marketing is the art and science of building and nurturing prospect relationships to enable better and more efficient transitions along the conversion funnel. Successful email marketing typically includes the deployment of automated and verified email messages, carefully created to be relevant at the moment received, are deployed utilizing device-agnostic, responsive designs and email best practice guidelines.
- Search engine optimization: Search engine optimization (or SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility, traffic and clicks to a website from a search engine’s natural results.
- Lead generation: Lead generation is the act of acquiring leads, often from third-party sources, of consumers who may be interested in a product or service. Many leads are the result of inquiries from potential consumers.
- Pay-per-call lead generation: Pay-per-call lead generation is the act of acquiring inbound calls, including click-to-call leads for which the prospect clicks to begin the call with a marketer and live agent transfers, sometimes called hot or warm transfers, which are inbound calls generated by a call center.
- Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing is a form of performance marketing that typically involves third-party management of publishers promoting an advertiser’s products or services. In most cases, the advertiser pays only for results, on a cost-per-action (CPA) basis.
Marketing return on investment (or ROI) can be difficult to measure for a number of reasons, including:
- Consumer journeys are not linear. Especially in a multi-screen environment, consumers no longer take direct paths from awareness through to conversion.
- Multiple channels attribute to successful conversions. Most conversions are the result of multiple touchpoints, frequently from multiple media channels. While cross-channel attribution helps assess the importance of each channel, there is no one correct way to calculate attribution.
- Traditional media channels are difficult to track. While digital media tracking has been simplified with cookies and tracking pixels, traditional media channels – such as billboards and print ads– are much harder to track. It can be difficult to know who saw an ad, when the ad was seen and what action was taken afterward.
Cross-channel attribution tracking and modeling allows marketers to demonstrate the value of what they do. By providing timely, insightful and actionable data with which marketing campaigns can be holistically (versus channel-by-channel) optimized, attribution tracking also assists in the effectiveness of marketing efforts, ultimately boosting performance.
Though the tracking of digital campaigns is far simpler to put in place than the tracking of traditional marketing, accurate ROI tracking mandates cross-channel attribution models that evaluate every active channel and assign credit (or attribution) to each marketing touchpoint. With a realistic attribution model in place, marketers can understand how well a holistic marketing program is achieving its objectives plus how significantly each component is contributing to the success. This information allows for successful campaign optimization and the achievement of better results with less time and effort.