Performance Marketing gains considerable traction this year as a marketing channel.
When marketing budgets shrink, Performance Marketing becomes an attractive choice for brands or marketers, due largely to its results-oriented pay model; posing the question, ”What is the real value of online performance marketing?” Forrester Research has projected that the Performance Marketing industry will grow to 4.5 billion by 2016. Thanks to emerging new technologies and access to “Big Data”, Performance Marketing is teeming with fresh, exciting opportunities and faced with the challenge of understanding a more tech-savvy, informed and multi-channel user.
In an effort to identify the trends driving Performance Marketing this year, we researched over 30 articles, whitepapers, and case studies, and identified five that were consistent across all of our research. We just shared the first one with you. See how easily you can integrate each of these into your 2013 campaigns using best practices and HitPath.
Data privacy, security, regulation and compliance take center stage.
An increased investment in Performance Marketing brings increased scrutiny. With that in mind, it is critical to follow regulations. Consumers have made a clear statement with regards to data privacy, and legislation relating to data protection and information security has become increasingly vigilant. Marketers need to demonstrate that they understand the needs of consumers and respect their privacy. To achieve this, strict rules regarding suppression compliance should be standard operating procedure. The Suppression Management tools available in HitPath™ help manage all of your suppression data-handling needs. Compliance reports and suppression download histories make suppression compliance nearly autonomous.
“..the Suppression Management and Fraud Protection tools in HitPath are the gold standard in compliance and security”
Also, strict standards should be in place for any potential security, privacy or fraud concerns. When there are cases of fraudulent leads, advertisers should work directly with networks to identify these so the network can investigate and discontinue business with the source. The Fraud Protection tools are in place to provide real-time fraud monitoring. Fraud screening assists in early detection of possible fraudulent activity by affiliates, and Fraud reporting provides a breakdown of sales, with their associated fraud score. HitPath’s deep integration of FraudLogix allows you to identify and react quickly to indicators of fraud across all of your traffic. When applied, the Suppression Management and Fraud Protection tools in HitPath are the gold standard in compliance and security.
Brands that don’t deliver personalization will be left behind.
Consumers are demanding more personalized and relevant content. Over half of the major trends this year relate to providing thoughtful, relevant content, and connecting with consumers on their terms.
More and more brands are turning to Performance Marketing to tailor campaigns for a specific audience. Take advantage of tools like segments, to divide a potential audience into subsets of consumers with common needs. This should make targeting for your audience and identifying the most relevant content, much easier. Get to know your audience by conducting A-B testing for campaigns – see which subject lines, landing pages or other elements perform best. To achieve a more granular audience, increase targeting requirements – include geo-targeting to specify a country or state for your audience, or device targeting to build an audience by iPhone, iPad, or Android users. Take advantage of multiple landing pages for the same campaign and drive audiences to the offer page customized for them. The days of sending out an offer to a mass audience are gone. Segmenting an audience by location or by needs targets the most receptive audience and insures that they are receiving a more relevant message.
“..[technology] is vital in identifying and optimizing the high-value target audiences that let marketers work smarter, not harder”
Technology will be the foundation for success.
Utilizing advancing technology is imperative and quite possibly the most important trend on the list. At the end of the day, the analytics to understand your audience is only as good as the technology and techniques that you employ. Reliable tracking, accurate data, and a dedicated hardware solution are obvious necessities. But equally important, is a mix of data mining, audience segmentation, targeting, tracking user activity, and other scalable analytical actions that require access to a flexible, but broad toolset like HitPath. Collectively, the technology and the analytical activity it yields, is vital in identifying and optimizing the high-value target audiences that let marketers work smarter, and reach or re-engage consumers in a manner that will yield a better quality lead. High quality leads are essential, to foster long-standing partnerships with advertisers, happier clients, and eventually loyal customers.
Mobile growth is set to drive record revenues for Performance Marketing in 2013.
Last, but not least, is an item on every Performance Marketing Trends list – the big-ticket item; the single largest (projected) contributor to anticipated growth this year: Mobile Performance Marketing. In 2012, more consumers bought a smartphone, than a PC. And with the introduction of new tablets like the iPad Mini, the number of tablet users is expected to reach 70 million this year. Clearly, this is where marketers want to be. There are two keys that cannot be overlooked:
- What are you waiting on? With the surge of smartphone and tablet users set to continue, and consumers’ unwavering demand for apps, you will see Mobile Performance Marketing really take off this year. Mobile price comparison sites and user review sites, location-based discounts and promotions, and the app market (with apps for in-store shopping, UPC scanning, and shopping lists) are some of the mobile opportunities that should be included in everyone’s 2013 campaigns.
- Know thy Customer: Also growing at a phenomenal rate, is mobile commerce. More consumers are making purchases from their smartphones. In fact, Retail is projected to see the most growth in mobile commerce, accounting for $25 billion over the next 3 to 4 years. Identify and reach these mobile consumers.
There are several HitPath features that can give you an advantage with this mobile consumer audience. Use Events to track activity and usage for a mobile app or a cross-section of mobile apps. Know how many consumers downloaded the app, which users actually use the app (and how frequently), which users pay for the app, and other useful metrics can contribute to the custom analytics necessary to get to know your audience; including the ability to specifically target inactive users in an effort to reengage them.
Also, use Android App Tracking to track usage and conversion of an Android app to the same end. Other HitPath features that you should employ, to make the most of the mobile opportunities on the horizon, include adding cookie-less tracking, reviewing full user-agent string information, and taking advantage of the benefits of device and / or geo targeting.
Understanding trends in Performance Marketing, like the ones discussed here, gives you an advantage, but finding ways to exploit your knowledge of these and integrate them successfully into your 2013 programs, will move you closer to your goals this year.