In many companies, marketing and distribution operate as two separate departments. And even marketing is often not viewed as a unit in itself: While some staff is responsible for branding, others deal with sales. There are competencies for online marketing and offline measures, while in online marketing there’s a unit for display advertising, one for SEA and another one for affiliate marketing.
Obviously, this is not ideal for a consistent appearance in which branding and performance goals would be matched and the invested budget would be used more efficiently.
FIVE TIPS FOR A BETTER INTERACTION OF BRANDING AND PERFORMANCE
1. INTEGRATED PLANNING
It is a proven fact that branding and performance influence each other (also see ASMI study “Branding und Performance”, 2010). Respectively, advertising measures should be controlled across all channels to benefit from synergy effects. For example, a spot aired on TV, if well produced and watched closely, has a positive impact on the brand and the advertised product. At the same time, it creates more search volume as many people place their smart phone or tablet next to the remote control. If branding and performance measures are planned and matched in advance, the advertiser ensures that the time when the TV spot is aired, also guarantees enough visibility in search engines so that incentivized viewers quickly find what they’re looking for.
However, it is not easy to coordinate these measures because often there are not only different parties responsible within the same company, but also different agencies supporting the advertiser in their respective area of expertise. So, it’s important to bring all involved to the table to talk and act coordinately instead of each for themselves.
2. BREAKING UP SILOS
Joint action must begin within the company itself, because this is where the responsible departments for branding and performance, offline and online, often work separately rather than together as they pursue different goals. This prevents an ideal coordination between those areas. This divergence has evolved over time because, even though online marketing has been established as a marketing channel, it is still a relatively young discipline. There is often a lack of understanding for one another and other departments seem like a closed book. This can be avoided, however, through a change in thinking: there should no longer be separate areas and marketing works as one team, one unit, where everyone works toward the same goal. Also, an exchange at operating level can lead to 1) understanding, 2) awareness and 3) a strategic coordination of measures.
3. CREATING A TECHNICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
A cross-channel customer journey tracking facilitates a holistic analysis, which requires the right attribution model for proper evaluation and optimization. Ex-post views using static models such as Last Cookie Wins or an equal allocation, don’t reflect the reality when there are several channels. Advertisers should prefer dynamic attribution models that use specific data in real-time for each customer journey and learn constantly. That way, the value contribution of each touchpoint involved in the conversion can be identified much more precisely, and budgets can be constantly optimized through reallocation.
4. PROVIDING OFFLINE DATA
Classic marketing mix modeling shows how offline measures and other factors such as the weather or public holidays can influence online sales. Especially, TV commercials correlate with purchases on smart phones or tablets. Therefore, it is important to model them into the customer journey by means of respective attribution.
5. USING A CENTRALIZED TOOL FOR PLANNING AND MONITORING
For a comprehensive and holistic analysis of all measures, modeling and attribution should be united on one central platform where all KPIs are integrated. A holistic optimization of budgets and, consequently, the efficiency is only possible through interaction.