Performance marketing is the process of strategically managing, measuring, and optimizing a series of campaigns to achieve business objectives. It is an important part of a company’s digital strategy and it’s the main focus of most of the ambitious startups out there from SaaS business to Mobile Apps and Games.
With the rise in technology and its use in advertising, performance marketing has been changing rapidly over the last few years. However, it’s not as easy as opening a Facebook campaign or just boosting one of your posts anymore. Nowadays, marketers need to tweak their strategies over and over again, In order to stay ahead of the competition and the changes happening in the industry.
But what are these changes? Will your performance marketing strategy survive in 2021? How to really change your plans and survive? Well, this is the subject of this article. Let’s get started!
The advertising landscape is now more challenging than ever. From third-party cookie restrictions, Apple’s tracking transparency, to survive in an ongoing COVID-19 world.
Let’s breakdown each performance marketing trend that is changing the privacy for good after a messy 2020 as media buyers look to garner the most of their dollar spend;
- Third-party cookie restrictions: In the old days, vendors used to place cookies on behalf of a website to capture user’s data such as interest or behavioral data. This was good as ad channels used such data to predict who and when to display an ad so that advertisers get the most of their dollar spent on a campaign.
However, this is changing for good. Ad channels will no longer be able to have the same level of resiliency and tracking which will directly affect advertisers and their return on ad spend “ROAS”.
Privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA or even the tough 2020-approved CPRA have put businesses on notice. Don’t follow the law and get a huge fine with a ban from doing business in the region.
This forced companies like Apple, Google, and other tech giants to announce their intention to rely only on first-party data and block 3rd-party cookies by default in their browsers.
- Apple’s tracking transparency: Giant apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and others are used to track user’s activities such as the websites visited and the items purchased from an online store then use such data to display relevant ads to their users. However, they didn’t do this only within their apps but within other apps and even websites visited in your phone’s browser.
Apple is changing this, at least in their iPhones. They introduced Apple Tracking Transparency where apps are obliged to prompt users and ask for permission to track their activities. If the user agrees, you get the IDFA and more data with it but if the user rejects, you only get less information such as campaign ID in form of postback.
The bad news? Well, regardless of the user’s consent, they use a framework called SKAdNetwork that limits a lot of things that advertisers used to have. From real-time data, delayed postbacks, to a limited number of campaigns and no adSet or ad level data will be reported back through that framework. Also, it has a threshold so you won’t get a postback for every action.
This makes it even harder for performance marketers to do their very basic job of analyzing what are the best-performing channels or campaigns and scale them. Bad for business.
Read more: How Google changes 80% of your web tracking
Performance marketing is now just marketing
With the current privacy-first trend, all the different ad channels are having issues targeting the right people at the right time.
Above that comes attribution challenges leading to the birth of different models and technologies such as probabilistic attribution which uses different signals to substitute IDFA.
But it can be hard to know what will actually work for you or what will work in general. Have you ever wondered why you’re not seeing the results that your peers are, while both of you are using the same models and MMPs?
Well, no one knows what will work and what won’t yet but we know this is a good chance for us to think of the basics of marketing that everyone forgot about;
- Creatives: In theory, ad channel algorithms use engagement signals to determine if a user is the right person for a specific ad then it shows them an ad or multiple ads to try and predict their behavior.
As a marketer, you now need to focus more on this. I’m not saying go produce 100 creatives and test them on a weekly basis but I’m saying, re-check your value propositions, tweak your ad copy, and produce a creative that conveys the previous two. But remember that you still need to hook the user and get them to engage with you so that the algorithm learns.
- Brand: Performance marketing is awesome but also it’s gambling and we’re all guilty of falling for it. We used to make these changes and check the next day to harvest the success of our change whether it was a bunch of cheap leads, sales, or in-app purchases.
This led to an excess in looking at numbers, we became more interested in short-term investing but not long-term brand investing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying let’s go spend our budget on video view campaigns but let’s build brand first strategies that help us overcome the iOS14 challenges by creating loyal users or customers for the business. Read this success story, it’s an actual implementation of a brand first strategy
Also, the brand first will help in targeting, you simply are going to have a top of funnel level where you hook highly interested people and convert them down the funnel using awesome creatives and valuable products.
Read More: How to amplify your growth on Facebook Ads
Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all. You need to change the way you approach marketing for every channel or campaign. That can be daunting, especially with today’s trends and constant changes in technology.
These trends and new technologies require talent, skill, and experience to implement. But it doesn’t have to be!
Hiring a marketing agency can help you get up and running quickly with the right strategies in place. We will be able to provide fresh ideas for your business, update your marketing strategy as needed, and help you communicate your value proposition in a timely relevant way.