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Aditya Saxena, Senior Vice President- APAC, iQUANTI
Since the pandemic, Performance Marketing's popularity has picked up significantly.
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Performance Marketing: Where is it headed?

Since the pandemic, Performance Marketing's popularity has picked up significantly.
  • Affiliate marketing, which is part of performance marketing, is worth $12 billion and will grow by 10% over the next few years.
  • Aditya Saxena, Senior Vice President- APAC, iQUANTI writes how since the pandemic, Performance Marketing's popularity has picked up significantly.
Performance marketing has been around since the internet was born. It has taken off over the past decade since digital devices became inexpensive, and the quantum of content on the internet exploded. Today agile businesses that want to maximise sales use performance marketing. While indeed not the only channel to grow sales, performance marketing is one of the most effective.

According to some estimates, affiliate marketing, which is part of performance marketing, is worth $12 billion and will grow by 10% over the next few years. Besides affiliate marketing, Search Ads are more popular than ever. They are a proven way to reach customers, and virtually every competitive business uses them. Due to advances in technology, AI and automation are being widely used to display Search Ads. In the years ahead, professionals will have to learn how to use AI and automation to display search ads that maximise spends.

The reason performance marketing is on an upward trajectory is easy to understand. People are spending more time online than ever before, and their trepidation with shopping on e-commerce sites has abated.

Also, the unparalleled interconnectedness of the internet is allowing brands to precisely target consumers who are most likely to want their products. Performance marketing takes advantage of the massive traffic on the internet and the matching preferences of countless consumers to reach buyers of every kind.

Performance Marketing was already going strong in the early part of this year. Since the pandemic, its popularity has picked up significantly.

The pandemic has accelerated pre-existing trends.

Today because of COVID-19, there is an even greater migration online. People are rightly afraid of shopping in stores where they could come in contact with someone infected by COVID-19. Despite malls, cinemas reopening, footfall in such areas is at a minimal. Instead of shopping in stores, people are choosing to shop online. Even those who never shopped much online, like baby boomers, are turning to buy online in increasing numbers.

As a result, there’s never been a better time for performance marketing. Firms can take advantage of the fact that there are millions of consumers at home who have little to do but shop online. The numbers back this up. Globally, online sales since the pandemic spread have risen consistently. Just last month, online sales rose by an astonishing 76%. Attracting these consumers with compelling content has never been more critical.

Businesses that use performance marketing not only sell more in the short run but also learn where their consumer segment congregates online. This knowledge, derived from customer analytics, helps firms increase sales in the long term by revealing which marketing channel works best for them. As a result, when more people than ever before are spending time online, businesses have the opportunity to create more extensive and more reliable marketing funnels.

Evolution of performance marketing

Since the outbreak, performance marketing has undergone a shift. Businesses have to change the language and to message to make it fit the current situation. Because of the epidemic, people are more likely to interact with content that keeps abreast of the current situation. For instance, they are more likely to click on links that reveal how they can keep themselves and their families safe. The content created online must match what’s happening in peoples’ lives. As lives across the globe have been more severely disrupted than ever before, businesses will have to create new, more relevant performance marketing techniques to attract traffic to their sites.

How brands can stay relevant

At a time when every brand understands that having a presence online is more vital than ever before, brands have to find a way to stand apart. To do so, they have to create content on social media, visually appealing images, and video content that helps consumers connect with the brand.

The behavioural changes forced upon society by the pandemic aren't going anywhere for the time being. Some industry pundits believe these changes are here to stay and will become the new normal. As a result, performance marketing will become a significant driver of sales. To take advantage of performance marketing, firms will have to rely on compelling content that includes images and video.

Don’t bombard consumers with videos

Firms that create outstanding visual and video content have to use it wisely. For instance, despite how good their content is, they mustn’t bombard audiences with it. Too much of a good thing can lead to its ruin. Instead of trying to saturate buyers with such visual or video content which could lead to ad fatigue, businesses will have to use their productions wisely. Posting content on sites where it is likely to be seen only a few times will lead to consumers to becoming intrigued. That’s the kind of emotion businesses have to evoke in consumers. Unless they do so, their marketing campaigns may start with a bang and end with a whimper.

Businesses will have to leverage analytics

One of the most significant advantages of performance marketing is it reveals which channels generate the most sales for a business. Last click attribution, which is the last click after which a customer makes a purchase, makes it easier for companies to identify which marketing channel is leading to the most conversions. Last click attribution is a crucial part of performance marketing. Firms that understand from which channel most customers arrive to have a better chance of increasing sales in the future.

While last-click attribution remains a crucial channel, upper funnel marketing is even more essential to creating brand awareness and attracting consumers. Brands can create a broad upper-funnel by crafting engaging content and videos. Then by seeing how consumers engage with such videos and content, businesses can understand their target segments preferences well. With an iterative process in place, firms can create more content and videos that convert sales. Such leveraged assisted conversions are becoming more important to sales conversions than last-click attribution. Large brands that have a full-fledged ad stack gain more relevant information about how consumers are connecting with their brand and how sales are being converted.

To thrive in the years ahead, businesses will have to understand the nuances of last-click attribution to succeed. Importantly, they will need to understand that while last-click attribution plays a vital role in increasing sales, knowing which touchpoint customers interacted with before is just as important. To drive customers to their sites, firms will have to leverage analytics.

Just as a little over a decade ago, inexpensive digital devices made billions of people spend more time online than ever before. The current pandemic is driving millions more online. As a result, businesses are presented with many opportunities. They can use performance marketing to reach audiences who are most likely to need their services. Almost certainly in the years ahead, performance marketing will play a vital role in every firm's marketing arsenal.