performance marketing


By Jason Notte

Leaders from SeaWorld, BNY Mellon, Brainlabs said strategy should involve both short- and long-term preparation

At a panel entitled “Brand vs. Performance,” the brand marketingperformance marketing and “versus” portions of that thesis were all up for debate.

As SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment chief marketing and communications officer Marisa Thalberg told ADWEEK community editor Luz Corona during the Outlook 2024 event, “versus” presents short-term sales—”performance”—and long-term brand building as not only exclusive, but at odds with each other.

​”We are essentially implying that whatever is on the other side of the equation is what? Not performance,” Thalberg said. “If you’re a CFO (chief financial officer), which are you inclined toward? We’ve created a false choice that is really creating tremendous headwinds for us as marketers.”

Thalberg and others on the panel advocate for a “brand and performance” approach that’s gained momentum among marketers in recent years. With 50% of marketers telling LinkedIn that they want to run brand and demand campaigns together, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising recommends allocating 60% of marketing budget to brand and 40% to demand.

In the age we are all in, consumer psychology and platform mastery are the keys to brand success.

Divya Gururaj, global chief client officer of Brainlabs

But the brand also has to extend beyond building awareness. Thalberg said it has to speak to a brand’s salience and relevance in a consumer’s life: They may know your brand, but do they know what you’re about? That’s the issue that Natalie Sunderland faces as CMO of BNY Mellon, a 240-year-old institution that would love a cameo on HBO’s The Gilded Age—but also wouldn’t mind people identifying it as a modern financial services platform.

“We are the oldest bank in America and the oldest company in New York City, but people don’t really know who we are, and if they do know who we are, they might have a bit of an outdated perception of us,” she said. “I need to shift perception so that our clients recognize that we are solving not just yesterday’s problems, but today’s and tomorrow’s problems.”

This requires a blend of brand and performance marketing as subtle as adding dashes of yellow, pink and purple to the drab designs of the legacy banking sector and as urgent as building a full social media personality and touting BNY Mellon’s 240th-anniversary events.

As noted by Divya Gururaj, global chief client officer of Brainlabs, the modern marketplace requires “brand building with a performance mindset and performance with a brand-building mindset.”

The pandemic only made that need more acute. Gururaj noted that increased digital adoption, penetration, consumption, online commerce and social media traffic lowered entry barriers for brand launches. With 88% of respondents to Nielsen’s 2021 Trust in Advertising Study saying that they had more faith in the recommendations of people they knew than in any other channel, brands like Crocs and Stanley have unprecedented opportunity to build both brand and sales simultaneously.

“All of these brands, if you look at what they’re doing, it’s understanding consumer psychology, it’s mastery of platforms and leaning into influencers, social media, the whole digital landscape, and using them to inform how they are building brands,” Gururaj said. “In the age we are all in, consumer psychology and platform mastery are the keys to brand success.”

Feature Image Credit: Ivan Piedra Photography

By Jason Notte

Jason is an Adweek staff writer covering the business of marketing.

Sourced from ADWEEK

By Scott Everett

The 30- or 60-second TV spot – the ‘hero ad’ – has long been the prestige centre of ad campaigns. Is it time for that approach to die? PMG’s Scott Everett thinks so.

This might be controversial on the tailwinds of celebrating Cannes Lions, but it’s time to stop making hero ads the hero of every brand story.

The almighty 60- and 30-second spots that we have long revered as the centrepiece of every brand campaign are no longer the most important components of the marketing mix. That’s not to say that TV advertising and brand-building storytelling are not important, but it is time to acknowledge that advertising has fundamentally evolved. Today’s brands need a more nimble and data-driven creative model that recognizes live TV audiences are shrinking, streaming and social viewership are on the rise, and our creative canvas is exploding with opportunities to make advertising work harder and perform better.

Creatives have long put their faith into hero ads for building brands, but right now, we have an opportunity to embrace the power of integrated creative in telling stories and driving business impact. With audiences and engagement more fragmented than ever, customer journeys aren’t linear, and our creative strategies can’t be either. That means creative must be more unique, more complete, more agile, and in more places than ever before.

In media agencies, creative teams are benefiting from the innovation and inspiration that come from creative, strategy, and media working together. We are serving an increasingly complex and competitive marketing landscape, informed by new behaviours, artificial intelligence, and breaking through in new mediums ranging from Netflix to TikTok and Reddit.

Never before have we had more audience signals or indicators of intent helping us move people along the journey from awareness to purchase. Equally, never before has the journey been less of a straight path than it is today.

Mastering this creative flywheel is the hardest and most important job ahead of brands and creatives working together to build high-performing marketing strategies. Here’s how we can better align for the full-funnel future.

1. Build a flexible and robust story platform that fuels a high-performing media plan

Brand versus performance. Data versus instinct. Creative versus creators. Super Bowl spots versus Performance Max ads. It’s not either/or, and we all must embrace the healthy tension of building a plan together.

A flexible creative storytelling platform is a comprehensive, consistent library of stories that fuels a smart media plan, facilitating real-time iteration, optimization, and learning. When everyone is operating from the same blueprint and playbook, creatives can flex into any opportunity, planned or unplanned, and advertising works harder to deliver more for the brand.

2. Plan for speed and agility

While our creative palette for building cultural relevance has expanded, speed to market is critical. Everyone must work together across strategy, insights, creative, and media to adapt to where consumers are and what they expect from advertisers. Once everyone is aligned on the brand’s objectives, teams can be empowered to deliver impact in real time. This can be anything from partnering to accelerate the media and creative working hardest to leaning into emerging opportunities like AI, the metaverse, first-mover advantages with creators and platform partners, and any number of new ways of bringing creative ideas to market.

3. Embrace the white space between brand and performance

While TV ads are great for building broad awareness, product ads can be untapped opportunities for creatively engaging with a brand’s audience. Too many advertisers continue to bridge brand-to-conversion with discount messaging rather than creating a cohesive storytelling strategy around building brand and product love. The middle funnel is the creative frontier that makes all marketing work harder, and it’s beckoning us to think beyond the creative approaches of the past.

Technology advancements in this area are particularly exciting. For example, at PMG, we’re using AI to determine real-time creative insights that tell us what creative is performing best in any given moment, based on creative elements ranging from colour to product types to backgrounds or the use of models.

Once we let go of making hero ads the hero, creative can work harder across the full customer journey. Integrated creative can then truly become the hero of helping businesses meet their goals and accelerate into the future.

Feature Image Credit: Ali Kokab via Unsplash

By Scott Everett

Sourced from The Drum


Although 86% of marketers feel they are adequately trained and skilled, nearly all report that they want a new skill in order to advance their careers. The most frequently reported skills are data analytics, performance marketing, social media, and SEO.

Sidecar surveyed 146 marketing professionals in the retail industry. The majority of respondents were based in the U.S., with the remainder in Canada. All reported that they contribute to ecommerce marketing efforts at their company.

  • C-Level executives want skills in data analytics, social media, and performance marketing.
  • SEO directors or vice presidents want data analytics, performance marketing, and leadership skills.
  • Associated and managers want data analytics, SEO, social media, and performance marketing.

Job titles including associate, manager, director, vice president, chief marketing officer (CMO), and chief executive officer (CEO). The analysis groups these titles into associates and managers, directors and vice presidents, and C-level. Responses were fielded between September and October 2020.

Some responses were not discrete skills marketers want, but rather strategic knowledge and big-picture capabilities they hope to acquire. One CEO cited the ability to create the perfect balance between digital marketing spend and great content. A director asked for strategic thinking on how to lead a brand through the changing environment.

The top five functions that have had the greatest focus in hiring during the past 12 months include social media, content marketing, SEO, email marketing, and graphic design.

This differs from the functions that marketing professionals plan to hire for during the next 12 months. Social media marketing tops the list, followed by email marketing, content marketing, digital strategy, data analytics, and graphic design.

Survey participants were asked what platforms they would like to spend more time on. Some 42% cited Google paid search, while 41% cited Facebook, 40%, Amazon; 40%, Instagram; 37%, Google Shopping; 32%, Pinterest; 20%, TikTok; 15%, Snapchat; 13%, Walmart; and 10% cited Microsoft.

Participants in the survey were asked which tasks they want to devote more time to. Brand building and data analysis were tied for the top response, with about 45% saying they want more time to do each, followed by 43% who cited competitive analysis, while 36% cited customer experience; 34% cited creative; 33% cited multichannel strategy; 32% cited customer shopping trends; 32% cited marketing attribution; 20% cited more time to devote to improving their company’s mobile experience; and 14%, more time to set goals.

  • C-Level executives cited that they want more time for brand building
  • Directors and VP levels want more time for brand building
  • Associate directors and managers want more time for competitive and data analysis.

Marketers at small businesses want more time for data analysis, creative, brand building, multichannel marketing, and customer experience.

When asked to cite the number one goal for the company’s marketing team rather than an individual goal, 38% of marketers cited the acquisition of new customers, while 29% cited driving profitability; 9% cited increasing customer lifetime value; 9% cited retaining existing customers; 6% cited growing brand awareness; 3% cited growing website traffic; 3% cited SEO; 2% cited developing quality content; and 1% cited improving the customer experience.

When asked to cite the top challenges for this year, (multiple choice) 51% of respondents cited limited time, followed by 40% who cited limited budget, while 32% cited competing priorities, 26% cited brand recognition, 24% cited achieving scale, and 23% cited manual processes, among many more such as competition, lack of skills in-house, lack of data-driven decisions, insufficient marketing attribution, and lack of collaboration.


Sourced from MediaPost