Performance Branding — How, What and Why is it a better Marketing Strategy?
By Rowena Fernandes, ‘Challenging Stereotypes.’
Let’s start by understanding the two terms (Performance Marketing and Brand Marketing) which forms the bases of Performance Branding by using the Sales Funnel.
Performance marketing is about maximizing ROI on the marketing spends in Digital Media. These include personalized messages, re-targeting and direct impact measurement at the individual users. Basically activities that drive conversion and purchase at the lower end of the sales funnel.
On the other hand, Brand marketing is aimed at building credibility with customers, which leads to emotional responses, positive perception and customer loyalty — covering the ZMOT and the upper & mid-level of the sales funnel through traditional media.
Further, the performance metrics for both these also differ. For example, in digital marketing, attribution models are used to measure the returns generated by investments in search-engine market; whereas the brand team adopts the marketing-mix models to make the case for a bigger TV budget for increasing Brand Awareness (refer to the below image).
In the past, performance team aimed to drive conversions even at the expense of long time brand loyalty, while the brand team may have generated awareness that does not lead to conversion or doesn’t tie back to the product/service. Hence the need to look at every marketing touch points that builds emotion connection to drive brand loyalty and awareness higher and also push the customer to the lower funnel i.e. to the product /service.
Today the worlds of brand building and performance marketing, once considered completely separate and working in silos are now merging….thus resulting in a whole new world of Performance Branding!
Performance branding is a cross team strategy that incorporates brand thinking where it can deliver the best return. The framework applies creative brand rules and fundamentals throughout a measurable performance funnel to maximize revenue potential and increase brand lifetime value (LTV). The simplest way to put it is that you are building brand equity against your media spends across digital channels to provide unified experience across the marketing touch points.
Working on both performance and branding is done by creating content and creative with business KPIs and audience data in mind, in order to get post-serving feedback from the performance team. The idea is to incorporate brand awareness and engagement along with direct acquisition or retention fuelled by performance marketing.
As a result of these developments, a larger part of the marketing budget can now be managed like a true investment rather than as a sunk cost. This gives you the ability to compare spend impact across media, analyze brand impact across a consumer’s entire decision journey, allocate in-campaign resources more effectively and tailor content.
Why should you adopt performance branding?
Because it helps you align marketing program with the business objective — which is to maximize long term profitability.
The second advantage is that it serves as a single source of truth and helps create synergies between different elements of the marketing mix, such as online and offline, or between investments in brand perception and sales stimulation.
It’s a well-known fact that bigger brands enjoy lower CPAs on social-media platforms like Facebook, higher click-through rates in paid search and even higher rankings in organic search. Just think about it — would you click on a promotion from a brand you know or one you’ve never seen before or don’t like?
For example, Nike uses “Just Do It” as a brand platform to launch Nike+ and other digital services and mobile applications keeping the Brand Identity intact and ensuring conversion through subscription model.
The other example is Apple which earns 22% of its revenue from selling a range of services , such as iCloud storage services, Apple Music subscriptions and AppleCare warranties — a higher contribution as compared to MAC, Ipad and Wearable in Q3 of year 2020.
To summarize, when brand and performance work closer together, you start to develop better creatives and deliver brand consistency, while maximizing their impact through smart targeting and future refinement based on performance feedback….and that’s how you get the best of both the worlds.
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