Branding Vs Performance OR Branding with Performance?
How many times have we heard this – We spend on digital just for RoI, so let us not waste time in branding.
Our main purpose to be on digital is to build reach, create awareness. Buying can happen offline or at a later stage of the customer’s life cycle.
Let us spend 66% of the budget on Performance buys and 34% on Branding, let’s see how they work.
Taking a step back, let us articulate the two schools of thought.
Brand Marketing is in essence, everything that a company does. Right from the brand’s story, the attributes, characteristics, positioning to the way it talks to the customers, handles refunds or complaints and works on new products using the customer’s feedback. Performance marketing, is, therefore, part of the brand’s personality and hence, every single ad that reaches the potential or existing customer, is a part of this branding effort.
Performance marketing, on the other hand, is the effort to maximize revenue, has the single focus on generating either leads, actions, sales or some kind of transaction that has monetary value or importance. What we usually miss out is the fact that our branding efforts add value to the performance marketing and therefore, the relationship with the customer is a longer term if we do both in tandem.
In terms of digital marketing, how does this pan out?
B: Typically we call them CPM Buys – be it Mastheads, Videos, Rich Media Ads, Engagement Ads, etc
P: Search Ads, Display Ads, Form Fill Ads, Lead Capture Ads, Ads that Add To Cart, etc
B: Ad Lift, Reach, TOMA, Recall, Spont, Engagement, Viewability, in-target audience + spill over, unique reach and other Branding measures
P: Leads, Conversion, Transaction, Avg Order value, Mail Open rate, Ad Fraud, Fake Leads, Incentivized Traffic/installs, Bot Leads, Affiliate Fraud, etc
B: UI/ UX adds to stickiness, more time spent, visually appealing, breath-taking experience, creative, focus on messaging, longer customer journey, conversation led.
P: Lead / Buy destination as Landing Pages, no backstory, every click or page visited adds to the cost, shorter customer journey, conversion led, focus on optimization.
B: Brand teams, Media teams, Social Media teams and Creative teams
P: PPC Experts, SEM Specialists, SEO Team, Affiliate managers, E-comm team
Collaboration is the need of the hour
Synergy in marketing efforts, spends and RoI is easily possible by the collaborative efforts by the two teams.
Take any of the frameworks like AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action), or RACE (plan, Reach, Act, Convert and Engage) or AISAS (Attention, Interest, Search, Action, and Share).
When your framework has the KPIs across branding and performance marketing efforts, the results will be better and more in sync with the business goals as against individual departmental goals.
Here is an example of how all activities can be done in parallel under RACE and AIDA frameworks, which can add relevance as well as improved ROI to the marketing efforts.
Some of the important metrics that marketers globally calculate are ROAS (Return on Ad Spend), TOMA, Conversion Rates, ARPU (average revenue per user), Average Ticket Size, AVE (average value equivalency for PR) and so on.
Here are some of the top line tips to improve synergy in efforts as well as branding with performance.
- Measure Branding and Performance goals against Business goals, with a lot of common elements and co-ownership between teams.
- Business Strategy, Brand Strategy, KPIs, KRAs, Audience segmentation, Consumer journey, ROI Funnel to be revisited yearly.
- Marketing and Communication strategy to be at an overall level as against vehicle / channel / platform level.
- To move from channel focussed targets to audience centric outcomes
- Use affiliate channels that are usually low on CPM to spread brand messaging too
- Synchronize promotional messages, offers, coupons, etc
- Have a better balance between website’s UI and UX to accommodate brand and performance goals
- KRAs and KPIs to assist the brand and performance team’s targets and not put them at loggerheads.
- Make the brand and ecom team accountable for some (if not all) of the targets across brand growth and sales targets
- Have a seamless content calendar. Don’t let the exclusivity hamper each other’s efforts.
- Run experiments to test hypothesis of how branding and performance campaigns aid each other, if required, with a research agency or a consulting firm.
- Design cross channel funnels for all audiences, with clear KPIs across the funnel.
- Better alignment of goals for Top of the Funnel (acquisition) and Bottom of the Funnel (loyalty) customers.
- Audience Insights + Customer Journey + Brand Story + Behaviour Optimization + Relationship / Loyalty Focus = Better Lifetime Value of the customer.
There sure is a long way to go and make internal changes. But the best way is to include these in the regular reporting and see how the data makes more sense.
In terms of CPL or CPA, better SEO scores or PPC, a lot can make sense if we also look at the social buzz, video launch, influencer campaigns, and other display campaigns that may have added relevance to the communication and made the performance marketing a little more efficient.
It is always better to look at data in a holistic way than in isolation. What looks great on paper may not be the case in a macro brand parlance.
We at What Clicks work with some of our clients in looking at all possible sources of data holistically, in an integrated way and pull out insights that can help brands achieve their business goals in an efficient way, or atleast attributed well. And we have seen a lot of correlation between different departments, which, if executed in a planned way and scheduled properly, has led to improved outcomes.
Additional Resources, which makes a lot of sense while reading data.
As Avinash Kaushik says, every metric should be seen with another metric to make more sense (Read here: https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/excellent-analytics-tip-critical-digital-metrics/ ), No point to look at Conversion Rate, unless we see the Average Transaction Value, or else we would be chasing the wrong metric.
#branding #performance #strategy #RACE #AIDA #digitalmarketing #digitalaudit