What the heck is Performance Marketing, and why do I need it?

Alison-Watson-cwtkIn traditional marketing and advertising, the advertiser pays for a campaign and it runs regardless of of whether it’s successful or not—not a terribly efficient way to get that all-important ROI. There is an alternative though: performance marketing. In this particular type of marketing, the advertiser only pays when someone completes a desired action, like a click, form download or other impression. Performance marketing gives advertisers a much more accurate picture of how a particular campaign is working.

We sat down for a chat with Alison Watson, our VP of Connections Planning & Media (and resident performance marketing expert), to find out more.

Why would a client choose performance marketing over a traditional campaign?
It depends on what their objective is. Performance marketing works best when you’re trying to achieve a specific, measurable and attributable result like a click, form-fill or viewable impression. Or if a client has a pipeline that they’re trying to model based on a certain result, we know we would need “x” cost per click to result in a specific ROI. 

What types of brands should consider performance marketing?
Any client who’s trying to measure down to ROI. E-commerce, B2B and tech are the most obvious, but even consumer clients leverage performance marketing. It’s made for clients that have specific, measurable goals they’re trying to hit.

To what extent is nFusion’s approach to performance marketing different from the norm?
nFusion brings a unique approach to performance marketing. We have the know-how to develop consumer-centric strategies and recommendations based on our team’s considerable experience with CRM platforms. We work in partnership with our clients to help them align their internal sales and marketing teams. 

How does that work?
Once the client’s program launches, we act as an extension of our client’s team by examining and measuring metrics front-to-back and optimizing performance based on the results. In some cases, we are able to tie performance to actual revenue to our clients.

What sort of metrics do you look at?
We don’t just look at front-end metrics like form completions, impressions and clicks. We examine back-end metrics generated by users’ behaviors once they enter the marketer’s site. These back-end metrics include things like total Marketing Qualified Leads, Sales Qualified Leads and the conversion rate from the former to the latter. And in some cases revenue.

What are the advantages to nFusion’s approach?
Our approach simply means better business results for our clients. Our client Alert Logic is a great example. Using our performance marketing approach, they had a 156 percent return on their advertising spend in 2014, and that’s up to 220 percent through 2015’s third quarter.

What sort of questions do you get from clients interested in performance marketing?
It depends on the client and how well-versed they are in the landscape. A lot of our clients are new to paid media. And the technology is moving so quickly, so often they ask things like, “What the heck is this type of technology?” and “How are we estimating and why are we are we paying that way?” Most of the questions we get as a media team are around the technology we use to drive the performance marketing. “What’s a DSP?” and “How are we leveraging this data to achieve X?” We do a lot of modelling on the front-end as well, so helping them understand our models in terms of, “We’re estimating this many impressions based on this type of response rate and we got to this response rate based on these inputs.”

What trends are you seeing?
Much more integration. So for instance, we use a lead management platform called Integrate It allows us to integrate this platform to back-end systems like Marketo, Eloqua and Salesforce. Our media partners can upload leads, and then the platform validates the leads and auto-filters out the ones we don’t want to pay for based on our negotiated buy. Then the coolest part is on the back-end. We can use Integrate to look at all the leads we’ve generated in the front-end, pull in pipeline results from Marketo and look at which leads have a higher conversion rate. So again, the integration of these platforms is becoming more of a trend. We’re able to see the results and optimize in real-time to get even more insights.

I think to the higher point, the technology continues to get more sophisticated. All these systems are all starting to work more together—allowing for deeper insights, more actionable insights and hopefully better results because we’re able to get more data and act on it more quickly.


If you want to learn more about performance marketing and what it can do for you, drop us a line.