Brand and performance marketing complement each other—and compete with one another. The two are often talked about separately because they focus on different parts of the customer life cycle and marketing funnel. Brand marketing influences awareness and supports brand reputation, whereas performance marketing is focused on conversion. Yet they often compete within an organization for resources, budget, and priority.
With Collin Colburn, our guest speaker from Forrester, we explored this topic in our in-depth webinar Why Brand and Performance Marketing Will Have to Come Closer Together in 2020. You can stream the recording online here and read on for some of the key highlights and predictions that came out of the conversation.
Four developments that will affect brand and performance marketing
As the consumer landscape continues to see a radical change in technology and the way brands communicate, 2020 will force marketers to think differently and ultimately find ways to connect brand and performance marketing strategies.
The media landscape is extremely fragmented compared to 10-15 years ago, and the sheer volume of digital media is now so extensive that it surrounds us all day every day. The downside for consumers is an overwhelming bombardment of messages from marketers. The subsequent downside for marketers is that consumers are tending to avoid ads, driving the need for marketers to look for new ways to reach their target audiences via the media available.
Subscription fatigue will become a thing
With so many subscription-based services available and more on the horizon, we are going to see consumers take a step back when they see the costs of these pile up. Consumers will start to narrow down their subscription services and choose the ones they really need, forcing subscription-modeled services to provide solutions that combine subscriptions to mollify this consumer backlash.
Streaming services, for example, will react to increasing consumer choice by redefining advertising techniques—and increasing investments in creative integrations, such as product placements—in order to get paying advertisers in front of viewers in a non-disruptive way.
Podcasts will continue their inexorable rise
Podcast ad spend reached $400 million in 2018 and, with consumers spending more and more time listening to podcasts, this is predicted to top $1 billion in 2021.
Podcast listeners are highly valuable to marketers. They are generally high-income and highly engaged, spending three hours every week listening to online audio content. They can also be reached by marketers in a less disruptive way, especially as advertisements are increasingly being delivered by podcast hosts themselves.
US retailers will focus on digital advertising
Online retailer revenue is growing exponentially year over year. In fact, according to Google, US retail ad inventory volumes grew at a rate of 48% in June of 2019 compared to 10% for all other publisher vehicles. Strategically incorporating ads into an online shopping experience can improve the experience for consumers and help retailers grow their revenue.
Budgets will shift towards influencer marketing
Influencers are already a popular, low-cost way for marketers to create authentic forms of content for their consumers. Brands are now widening their range of influencer partners from micro-influencers to non-influencers and even non-human influencers, where brands are building their own influencer personas. Marketers will continue to shift more of their digital marketing budgets to influencer marketing to reach their target audiences.
How to optimize your efforts in 2020
- Understand the performance impact of your brand campaigns—and the branding impact of your performance campaigns. In order to drive alignment between brand and performance marketing, measure how how performance marketing vehicles drive brand and vice versa.
- Innovate and iterate on your digital marketing strategy. Test new tactics by identifying emerging channels your customers are using, and learning how can you create paid, earned, or owned experiences in these channels. Maximize national marketing efforts by localizing messaging for specific regions based on the research and insights you have at your disposal.
- Prepare for the end of the cookie now. Contextual targeting will be the preferred method of reaching consumers going forward, as explained in great detail in our post about digital advertising in a cookie-less future.
- Adopt unified marketing measurement approach to your organization. Bring together marketing mix modeling and marketing attribution measurement to create a big picture of overall marketing effectiveness across all programs. Think about how your organization can bring measurement tools and capabilities together to get a holistic understanding of what is happening across all touch points and purchasing paths.
Sounds like a lot, right? Fortunately, we happen to be one of the world’s most significant Performance Marketing Agencies—and our unique Enterprise-to-Local strategies have got cohesive, coordinated digital marketing campaigns down to a science. Let’s talk.