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Relevance will win for performance marketing, say speakers at Navigate Digital's annual briefing

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Media agencies are embracing performance marketing at both the planning and executional stage, but it’s going to be relevancy that wins, according to a recent Navigate Digital breakfast briefing.

Ed Couchman is head of agency relations at Facebook

Performance marketing has been getting a lot of attention over the last couple of years, and in the area of digital, it’s proving to be a profitable source of income for both brands and agencies.

At Navigate Digital’s second annual ‘breakfast briefing’, speakers from Facebook, Affiliate Window, Radium One and Saltrock came to discuss the future of performance marketing.

The discussion found that media agencies had really embraced performance marketing, and were adapting to it at both the planning and the executional stage.

“They’ve really equipped and upskilled their teams to be much sharper implementationaly,” said Ed Couchman, head of agency relations at Facebook. “And also to be data driven. I’ve seen them educate their planners with data science and data driven planning.”

Couchman also went on to say that the next three years were going to be really challenging for performance marketers. “I think they need to embrace different forms of measurement,” he said. “So moving away from ‘last click’ and looking at ‘lifetime value’, essentially. They need to be able to see consumers in a single view across all devices. I think they need to seek partners, media owners and agencies that can give them that single view of their customers.”

David Walby, search director, Navigate Digital, agreed with him. “The biggest challenge is the single customer view,” he said. “Ensuring that media budgets are being used most cost- effectively to reach those relevant customers in the most relevant way. The advertisers who manage to solve that and get that single customer view will be the ones who really add that value to the customer experience from discovery through to potentially making a transaction.”

Navigate Digital has recently bolstered its performance marketing department, with Walby in charge of building its strength in the different platforms that consumers now use. “The most important development in the performance marketing arena, in relation to biddable media – be that PPC and social – is mobile,“ he said. “There’s a lot of platforms which can reach out and engage users in a much more vivid way than search can. I joined Navigate to head up the biddable offering, incorporating paid search alongside social. You look at publishers like Instagram where they’re finding new ways to engage their intended audience and beyond. We think that it’s key to be testing these new platforms alongside the bread and butter of paid search where we really pride ourselves on attention to detail and really driving innovation.”

Matt D’Alton, managing director at Navigate, said; “The growth of the performance marketing industry has had a big impact over how our agency has developed over the last couple of years. The biggest area has to have been head count. As more and more clients are looking for help with affiliate marketing and performance marketing in general, we’ve had to recruit more people to help cater for that demand. Also we’ve recently opened an office in Australia to help the clients who want to expand internationally.”

Both Walby and D’Alton believe mobile will lead the way for performance marketing. “I think we’re hopefully past the point where we’re telling advertising they need to have a mobile-optimised site,” D’Alton said. “Now we need to be looking much more closely at tracking mobile, and looking at cost averse attribution. Making sure we understand properly how users behave on mobile and how that affects our performance marketing.”

MC

Mairi Clark

Ex-editor of The Drum and various other marketing and advertising titles. Specialise in branding, marketing, advertising and social media. Have worked in digital since 1993.

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