Brand vs Performance Marketing

/ Thoughtspace - Strategy

As marketers, we often preach about setting separate KPIs for campaigns in different funnel stages. We are comparing brand vs performance marketing depending on campaign goals. While this is needed, we must understand the synergies between the two to fully optimize campaigns.

At Coegi, we define ourselves as performance marketing practitioners. Does this mean we ignore branding and top funnel efforts? Of course not. We believe that all marketing efforts can ladder up to business goals.

What’s the Difference Between Brand vs Performance Marketing?

A Forbes article explains, “Brand marketing encourages customers to raise their hands. Performance marketing makes it as easy as possible for a customer to get your product into their hand after they raise it.” Branded campaigns are structured to build brand affinity, recall, values, and other emotion-based results.

Performance marketing, conversely, is all about the numbers. Finding ways to build efficiencies and grow total results. These measurement-focused campaigns are built to drive conversions, leads, purchases, and purposeful clicks. All while lowering the cost per action based on channel, audience, and creative learnings.

How To Hold Brand Campaigns Accountable

Marketers that have historically leaned on traditional channels are shifting to digital platforms to have a more targeted approach. However, brand campaign dollars are generally not held accountable like performance dollars. Yet, there is an increasing demand from CFOs and CEOs for those quantifiable results and clear ROI.

A marketer’s job is to showcase the value of upper funnel marketing on long and short term business results. For example, a McKinsey study reported, “With a clearer understanding of consumer preferences and behavior at the early stages of their buying journey, companies report marketing efficiency gains of up to 30% and incremental top-line growth of up to 10% without increasing the marketing budget.”

Measuring Branding Campaign Results

How can you start to measure brand campaigns? Identify business objectives towards awareness that indicate a positive sentiment towards or engagement with your product. Ask the right questions, determine the right methodology, and understand what actions are truly driving interest in your brand.

Taking Full-Funnel Full-Circle

A MarketingProfs article explained this by saying, “brand-driven insight is your truth—the WHY behind all that you do. The performance marketing is your plan put into action—the HOW and WHAT of manifesting that truth.” By understanding this full customer journey, brands can make audiences feel understood. This is accomplished through using data-driven insights to build meaningful messaging on the channels where they are most present and receptive. Ultimately, this builds trust while optimizing budgets simply by being relevant to your core audience. This sets the stage for lower funnel campaigns and creates a more seamless path to conversion.

Coegi built a full-funnel marketing campaign to increase emotional brand connection and drive product trials for  a CPG client. We executed a performance branding study on Facebook to evaluate brand lift and conversion lift for key website events. This blended approach allowed for valuable insights into multiple stages of the consumer journey, from awareness to purchase intent. The results surpassed various CPG benchmarks and highlighted the importance of creating synergies between creative execution and operational strategy. It also placed more accountability on the incrementality of our branding efforts.

Key Takeaways

  • Treat all marketing campaigns as performance-based
  • Hold brand campaigns accountable with custom measurement frameworks that then inform business outcomes
  • Pull insights from bottom funnel campaigns to inform top funnel campaigns (and vice versa)

For more, read Boost Customer Lifetime Value with Awareness Marketing.

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