Measure to Manage: Transforming the Role of Performance Marketing  

Becky Doles

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Digital marketers have learned this lesson over the past few years with the rise of mobile marketing; more traditional marketers are slowly catching on. Yet, performance marketers have known this forever, and have been saying it since the dawn of the affiliate industry. As large companies shift their focus to data-driven insights and measurable results (and away from costly brand marketing), and small companies vie to make an impact as efficiently as possible, the role and perception of performance marketing is shifting with them.

Below, we outline the reasons why it’s more critical than ever to do performance marketing well — and why it’s not just a form of marketing, but the future of marketing.

1. Performance marketing IS marketing.

At TUNE, we’ve long held that all marketing should be measured on performance. As CEO Peter Hamilton explained at 2017’s Postback conference, “This might seem like an obvious one, but most of marketing is still not measured. Whether we’re talking about TV and out-of-home is beside the point. Even most digital advertising is bought on programmatic, based on impressions and clicks and in display and not judged on engagement, return, or revenue. Marketing must be measured on the impact that it has.”

Increasingly, brands are catching on. Forrester predicts that performance marketing will grow at a rate of 10% each year through 2020, which is a rapid figure rarely seen with mature industries such as performance marketing.

2. Small and large companies win.

Performance marketing is a trend both enterprise companies and small startups can get behind. It allows large companies to measure more of a direct return than brand campaigns with no direct ties to leads, purchases, and revenue. And it allows small companies to get the most bang for their buck, spending only on things that directly return ROI.

You can learn more about what individual performance marketers and the companies they work for are predicting about the industry’s future in our e-book with Acceleration Partners, “Performance Evolution: Putting the Brand Budget to Work.” Don’t feel like reading? Watch our 2021 webinar instead.

3. New technology calls for it.

With the world becoming more connected and digitized, there’s really only one form of marketing that can help measure it: you guessed it, it’s performance marketing. Consider the up-and-coming technologies and ad supply opportunities we’ve seen in the past few years alone, such as podcasts, OTT, and connected TV. Performance marketing is essential to understand which search terms customers used and what results they were satisfied with. Similarly, with IoT devices like smart cars, it would be impossible to understand when to serve customers ads for oil changes without measuring when they were due for maintenance.

4. It’s the only way to make sense of cross-device marketing.

Speaking of new devices and technologies, performance marketing is ultimately enabling marketers to better connect the customer journey. Without measurement, marketers wouldn’t be able to make sense of how one customer saw on ad on their phone, was reminded of it later while watching TV, and logged in on their completed to complete the purchase online. The right  measurement can complete the picture for marketers and ensure they’re not retargeting customers who have already made a purchase, or wouldn’t be interested in the first place.

5. Measuring performance makes for better marketing, period.

Performance marketing enables marketers to reach the right people, at the right time, with the right message. Instead of a blanket advertisement to a wide demographic, performance marketing allows marketers to get super specific in not only their targeting, but in their measurement and refinement based on results. That enables marketers to deliver content that customers actually find useful and want to receive — re-establishing modern marketing as something that provides value, instead of noise.

Where to Begin

At TUNE, we believe that performance marketing is the way of the future, so we’re building the technology to support it. Learn more about TUNE, the industry’s most flexible solution for managing marketing partnerships across mobile and web, or reach out to [email protected] to get started today.

This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

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