By: David Frei
Using the right marketing mix plays an essential role in implementing a winning performance marketing strategy. Leveraging a strategically balanced mix can effectively optimize budget spend, target users in the right places, and gain a competitive advantage. So how are performance marketers approaching their marketing mix in 2021?
Today’s marketing mix doesn’t seem very diverse
Marketers use an average of 21 marketing platforms. But despite the acceleration of digital transformation in 2020 and all the disruption that has followed, they seem stuck on major advertising platforms.
In fact, big tech – Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple – still dominate the advertising landscape, accounting for nearly two-thirds of total U.S. digital ad spend in 2020, according to eMarketer. Marketers spent $ 110.1 billion on digital advertising, accounting for 51% of total ad spend in the United States, MarketingDiving reports.
Considering the huge amount spent on advertising alone, the question arises as to whether marketers are neglecting other channels, and at what cost. Also, how effective is their strategy and could they be overspending?
eMarketer estimates that marketers waste around 26% of their budgets, citing shoddy inventory in programmatic advertising as a problem. According to Ascend2 investigation, creating a comprehensive strategy remains the biggest challenge for performance marketers in 2020 (48%), with only 44% of them having “somewhat succeeded” in meeting their marketing goals.
So, it seems that vouching for bigtech platforms for fraud-free inventory and brand security comes at a price.
As the performance marketing landscape continues to change and become more and more complex, it is essential to frequently review and update your marketing mix accordingly.
Why it’s time to look outside the big tech
Challenges related to the cost and effectiveness of premiums: Advertising on bigtech platforms is expensive. Recently, Google also warned advertisers that from May 2021, it intends to increase the price of advertisements on its platform in France and Spain by 2% to offset the cost of the so-called “Gafa” tax, applicable in both country. And is that premium traffic ad spend reflected in a successful ROI? When looking at social media to date, marketing managers admit that they haven’t delivered a significant ROI.
Limited transparency, data management makes attribution difficult: Walled gardens give little information about their own data and generally do not allow the flow / integration of data from their own system to another system (for example, an analytics partner or advertisers’ CRM). For performance marketers who want to sync omnichannel data and align it with their own first-party customer data, scaling, measuring, and reporting their campaign is an additional issue. Instead, they rely on analytics shared by GAFA, bypassing first and third party verification.
Risks related to brand security and transparency issues regarding programmatic: Another popular method of buying media is programmatic, which uses automated technology backed by information and data algorithms to serve ads to the right user at the right time and at the right price. Programmatic ad revenue accounted for 80% of all digital signage revenue in 2019 (IAB). However, the lack of transparency is a concern, as is the safety of the brand. The algorithms have a limited understanding of morals and ethics and do not understand in detail what they are placing advertisements on, which has led to unfortunate incidents on platforms like YouTube.
Effective ways to diversify your marketing mix for more successful campaigns
There are many reasons why your marketing mix should be diverse, including: it spreads your marketing risk across different baskets; it allows you to provide a more complete omnichannel experience and collect more comprehensive data. Diversity in your campaign setup is essential.
Here are some alternative channels to consider:
1) Reach new audiences through partner marketing because it is fraud-free and profitable
Marketers are already adding partners to their marketing mix and the trend is for growth. In the United States, partner marketing spend was $6.82 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase in 2021. In Germany it will also experience a boom, shared Xpose360 in their investigation.
What makes the partner marketing model attractive? In this performance model, partners or publishers promote a product or service on their marketing channels in exchange for a commission. A partner network acts as an intermediary between several publishers and advertisers, offering advertisers access to the inventory of partners participating in their network. Networks profit from the difference between advertiser revenues and payments to partners. Focusing on a specific niche – known as vertical targeting – is crucial in the partner marketing model.
Various marketing tracking platforms bringing cutting edge technology to the table, partners benefit from more information and visibility. It solves a huge problem within the partner marketing industry: fraud. With cutting-edge technology partners have access to and work with when scaling and analyzing their campaign, everything is more transparent than ever.
Therefore, due to its ease of attribution and transparent approach – because advertisers know where the user is coming from and that they are real people – this type of partnership is fraud-free and can be more profitable than GAFA and programmatic traffic, but just as powerful. It also generates specific vertical traffic in high volumes globally, which has a positive impact on ROI.
2) Work with trusted network partners
In 2020, Appsflyer reported as networks skyrocket in the rankings and provide marketers with opportunities to diversify their mix, breaking away from the duopoly of Facebook and Google. Smaller networks prove that they are capable of delivering high quality users.
3) Invest in cutting-edge technology and innovation for secure, fraud-free inventory
Marketing experts say the focus is no longer just on user acquisition. Ekaterina Petrakova, Head of Customer Growth at Ace & Tate (formerly Marketing Director at Rocket Internet), shared with LTV Magazine that forward-looking marketers need to cultivate a broader, holistic and strategic vision that combines brand building and user acquisition. They also need to adopt new methods to ensure that everyone has access to the same data.
Essentially, successful marketers benefit from transparency and collaborations. Advanced technology supports this significantly:
- Advanced technology enables partner merchants to offer fraud-free and brand-safe inventory. By using a platform fraud filter, marketers can offer their partners more information about their campaigns and protect them from fraudulent traffic. Partners can audit and select high quality publishers, easily keeping track of the quality of the offerings.
- Partners can slice and slice their campaigns with more flexibility, easily distributing and accepting offers. They can handle more large requests, making performance marketing more efficient and scalable. Advertisers can benefit from data-driven optimization based on granular targeting options powered by machine learning.
- You can scale campaigns with a more international reach. Features like offer testing and automated insights allow you to import, create and accept offers from a large number of integrated partners based on pre-defined rules, saving tons of time and effort. resources. They also help to easily spot trends and patterns.
To achieve your business goals, it is important to create advertising campaigns strategically. Using the right marketing mix, backed by innovation, allows you to scale and meet your performance marketing goals in the future.
(The author is the President and CEO of Swaarm and the opinions expressed in this article are his own)