State of Performance Marketing

Performance Marketing is dynamic and has seen growing importance over the past decade. As marketing budgets tighten, marketers are seeking innovative strategies and tactics where they can demonstrate their effectiveness in driving increased actions across key measures. With more consumer data signals available, user privacy has taken center stage in the evolving digital landscape and performance marketing strategies must evolve to stay relevant, effective – and of course, safe. The following provides two POVs addressing these changes.

The first POV, “Navigating the Privacy-Focused Future: Alternative Tracking and Targeting Strategies for Performance Marketing,” delves into the challenges presented by cookie restrictions and Apple’s ATT framework, prompting marketers to reconsider traditional approaches. It also highlights emerging alternative
tracking and targeting methods that can help marketers adapt to the new landscape.

The second POV, “Navigating the Future of Performance Media: Key Trends and Strategies for Success,” builds upon the first by emphasizing the importance of understanding these trends and implementing new tactics, fueling performance success. By embracing these strategies, we believe Our partners can engage audiences, drive growth, and thrive in a privacy-focused world. Together, the goal of these two POVs, is to provide a comprehensive yet consumable view of the changing performance marketing landscape and provide actionable insights to help our partners stay ahead of the competition. By remaining adaptable and open to experimentation, we believe we can successfully navigate the future of performance media and achieve success in an ever-evolving business.

POV #1:

Navigating the Privacy-Focused Future: Alternative Tracking and Targeting Strategies for Performance Media.

The shifting digital landscape is significantly impacting performance marketing and advertising, as major industry players implement changes to enhance user privacy. These changes necessitate a reevaluation of traditional tracking and targeting methods, prompting marketers to explore alternative strategies. Browser cookies, once a mainstay in tracking user behavior, are facing increased restrictions. Google has initiated a gradual phase-out, following in the footsteps of Safari and Firefox. As cookies become less reliable, marketers must adapt their performance metrics and identify new indicators of success.

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, introduced in 2023, brought further privacy-focused changes. Updates to link tracking protection in Safari’s private browsing, mail, and messages limit the ability to track user behavior through shared URLs. While the impact is currently minimal due to the limited use of private browsing mode, marketers should consider the implications for cross-platform ad tracking. In response to these challenges, alternative tracking and targeting methods are emerging. Browser-based tracking solutions employ JavaScript code to monitor user behavior on websites, while device-based tracking utilizes data such as IP addresses to track behavior across different sites. Contextual targeting focuses on the content users consume, and interest-based targeting identifies broad content topics of interest based on website visits.

First, second, and zero-party data remain a priority for marketers at large, as they provide valuable insights into consumer preferences and behaviors. Meanwhile, Universal IDs offer a potential solution by using hashed and encrypted email addresses for cross-device identity, compliant with privacy regulations. While the scalability of this approach is yet to be determined, a combination of strategies will play crucial roles in the evolving landscape.

Considering these alternatives and adjusting strategies can continue to deliver effective campaigns that respect user privacy while driving business growth.

POV #2:

Navigating the Future of Performance Media: Key Trends and Strategies for Success

In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving media landscape, it’s crucial for brand marketers to stay ahead of the curve. As the lines between brand and performance marketing blur, the need for a more holistic approach to media planning and execution is evident. By understanding and adapting to these trends, we can create more effective and efficient campaigns that deliver tangible results and drive business growth.

• The integration of brand and performance marketing: The distinction between brand and performance marketing is becoming less clear, leading to the emergence of “Brandformance.” This approach combines creative storytelling with measurable outcomes, enabling brands to differentiate themselves while achieving tangible results.
• A stronger emphasis on diversity and inclusion: Performance media is increasingly showcasing diverse voices and perspectives, with a rise in productions featuring underrepresented groups. This shift not only benefits society but also presents opportunities for brands that can authentically embrace diversity and inclusion and have a more relevant conversation with all communities.
• The growing influence of AI: While AI has long been used in media optimization, new and more advanced tools are expanding AI’s role in media, creative, and optimization. This increased efficiency can benefit brands, driving efficiency and effectiveness, while staying ahead in a rapidly changing consumer mindset.
• The amplification of Social Commerce: The fusion of social media and e-commerce, enables users to shop directly within social platforms. This growing trend offers our partners the chance to reach new customers, boost sales, and enhance brand loyalty. By prioritizing a seamless and engaging shopping experience, we can increase engagement, conversions, and revenue in the expanding world of online retail.
• The progression of influencer marketing: Influencer marketing is playing an increasingly crucial role in performance media, as brands collaborate with social media influencers to reach new audiences and drive engagement through authentic and trusted voices.
• The ongoing value of personalization: Personalization remains a must in performance media, leveraging data to tailor messaging, content, and product to individual consumers.

Why this perspective is important for our partners?

The evolving media landscape presents both challenges and opportunities for performance marketing. By understanding these trends and adapting to the changes in tracking and targeting methods, our partners can navigate the privacy-focused future with confidence. Embracing new strategies, such as leveraging alternative tracking solutions, contextual targeting, and first-party data, will enable our collective teams to create effective campaigns that respect user privacy while driving business growth. We believe it is crucial for all of our partners to remain agile and open to experimentation, as the industry continues to evolve. By doing so, we can stay ahead of the curve and succeed in the ever-changing world of performance marketing.

Laura Kavanagh

Laura Kavanagh is the Head of Media at Mediaplus North America. She is a veteran media and marketing professional with 25 years’ experience working in holistic media planning. She is a successful manager of strategy & implementation teams and owner of client/agency relations. Throughout her career she has worked across all media channels and on a variety of product categories with marquis clients such as AT&T, USAA, P&G, Samsung and Subway. She has worked with brands through full funnel and multi-touchpoint programs and has a track-record of consistently achieving client’s KPIs with innovative and creative media campaigns.