This is a guest blog post by InMobi:
In the realm of digital marketing, there have historically been two camps: brand marketing and performance marketing. Brand marketing was focused on awareness and other top-of-the-funnel benchmarks, while performance marketing was focused further down the funnel on goals like prospects, leads, downloads/installs, purchases, sign-ups, re-engagements, etc.
But, in today’s mobile-led world, is this distinction still relevant? Not necessarily. As many brands have now shown time and time again, all digital marketing now can – and should – have a major performance component to it.
Performance Marketing: Two Birds with One Stone
To illustrate how this principle works in action, let’s consider a quick example. Let’s say a brand new e-commerce app is looking to attract new users. What might an ideal digital marketing strategy look like for them?
Under the traditional two-tier way of thinking, the app would first run ads designed to generate awareness, and then supplement that with ads designed to generate app installs once enough name recognition is garnered. It’s easy to see the inefficiency here.
After all, wouldn’t tweaking all advertisements to serve both awareness and lower funnel needs serve the brand better? Why spend inefficiently, when it’s possible to measure performance across all campaigns?
This principle works for just about any brand with a digital-first business goal. After all, ads designed to drive signups or one-time purchases also help on the branding front, especially when impressions and viewability is included in the final reporting.
Pairing Online Marketing with Offline Goals
But what companies don’t have an online metric they care about? For example, restaurants (at least those without their own app or major delivery business) care more about in-person traffic than about email signups. The consumer packaged goods space is wholly dependent on purchases made in person at convenience stores, groceries, etc.
Even with non-digital benchmarks, these kinds of companies can run performance marketing campaigns. Thanks to advanced footfall attribution and location targeting, brands are now able to more accurately see if people who saw an ad on their mobile device later went to a physical location in person afterwards (coupon codes can help track this too).
Digital marketing provides the added benefit of allowing marketers to only target individuals who are in specific locations or meet specific demographics criteria, as opposed to the spray-and-pray approach of traditional mass media.
For example, consider the work InMobi did with a leading casual restaurant chain in the U.S. They wanted to increase footfall among millennials, which is why they ran ads on mobile. Only individuals with a proclivity to eat at quick-service restaurants and who were located in the vicinity of one of the brand’s locations would see an ad, and each video spot included a map highlighting their route to the nearest restaurant location. All of this helped the chain boost in-person visits among their target markets nationwide.
Thinking Differently About Brand Marketing
There are still some brands that focus on branding and awareness above all else. Still, even for these kinds of campaigns, it’s beneficial to adopt a performance mindset.
Often, in digital marketing, brand campaigns are both bought and measured on an impression-level metrics. But even for brand purposes, raw impressions don’t tell the story (even if they’re better than the viewership numbers brands used to get from legacy, non-digital media).
Did viewers engage with the ad? How did they engage with it, and which kind of people watched it?
By asking these kinds of questions and pressing their partners to provide these kinds of metrics, brands will eventually adopt a performance-first mindset even if they’re not running a traditional performance campaign.
InMobi’s work with Wendy’s is a prime example of this in action. Instead of just video ads, Wendy’s used more specific age parameters. And, instead of just focusing on impressions, they more specifically looked at video completion rates to determine whether or not their in-app efforts were successful.
This is the kind of mindset that all brands running digital marketing campaigns now need to take. No matter what business they’re in or what their larger goals are, everything needs a performance-first approach.