How to Elevate Your Performance Marketing Game in 2023

Performance marketing is a form of digital marketing that focuses on measurable results and return on investment (ROI). It involves paying for specific actions, such as clicks, leads, sales, or downloads, rather than impressions or reach. Performance marketing is becoming more popular and competitive as marketers seek to optimize their campaigns and maximize their outcomes.

However, performance marketing is also evolving rapidly due to the increased adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies. These technologies enable marketers to target and engage their audiences more effectively, as well as measure and optimize their performance more accurately. To stay ahead of the curve and unleash your campaign’s potential, you need to master the key performance marketing trends that are shaping the industry in 2023.

How to Elevate Your Performance Marketing Game in 2023
How to Elevate Your Performance Marketing Game in 2023

In this article, we will summarize the main insights from a webinar hosted by Search Engine Journal and iQuanti, a digital marketing agency that specializes in performance marketing. The webinar, titled “Unleash Your Campaign’s Potential: Elevate Your Performance Marketing Game”, was moderated by Heather Campbell, Director of Marketing at Search Engine Journal, and featured Sreekant Lanka, Senior Vice President of Digital Solutions at iQuanti. The webinar covered five key performance marketing trends that you need to know in 2023:

  • Planning: How to use data and analytics to plan your media channels and align your campaigns with smart bidding best practices.
  • Audience: How to leverage AI and first-party data to target and segment your audience more precisely and effectively.
  • Creative & Experience: How to enhance the user experience by combining fresh visual styles and messaging with AI and human analysis.
  • Measurement & Optimization: How to use incrementality tests and inter-channel optimization to measure and improve your campaign performance beyond last-click attribution.
  • Future Outlook: How to prepare for the upcoming changes and challenges in the performance marketing landscape, such as privacy regulations, cookie deprecation, and platform innovations.

Planning: How to Use Data and Analytics to Plan Your Media Channels

Planning is the first step of any successful performance marketing campaign. It involves deciding which media channels to use, how much budget to allocate, and how to set up your campaigns for optimal results. However, planning is not a one-time activity. It requires constant monitoring and adjustment based on data and analytics.

According to Lanka, there are three key considerations when planning your media channels:

  • Assessing media channels over time: You need to analyze how each media channel performs over different time periods, such as days, weeks, months, or quarters. This will help you understand the seasonality, trends, and fluctuations of each channel and adjust your budget accordingly.
  • Accounting for external factors: You need to consider the impact of external factors, such as competitors, market conditions, consumer behavior, or events, on your media channels. For example, if there is a major sporting event or a holiday season, you may need to increase or decrease your spending on certain channels depending on the demand and competition.
  • Aligning campaigns with smart bidding best practices: You need to follow the best practices for smart bidding, which is a form of automated bidding that uses AI and machine learning to optimize your bids for conversions or conversion value. Some of the best practices include setting realistic goals, using sufficient data, testing different strategies, and avoiding frequent changes.

Audience: How to Leverage AI and First-Party Data to Target Your Audience

Audience is the second step of any successful performance marketing campaign. It involves identifying and reaching your ideal customers with relevant and personalized messages. However, audience targeting is also becoming more complex and challenging due to the increasing use of AI by platforms and the growing importance of first-party data.

According to Lanka, there are three key considerations when targeting your audience:

  • Leveraging AI capabilities of platforms: You need to take advantage of the AI capabilities of different platforms, such as Google, Facebook, or Amazon, that allow you to target relevant audiences based on their interests, behaviors, demographics, or intent. For example, you can use Google’s Discovery Ads or Facebook’s Dynamic Ads to reach potential customers who are likely to be interested in your products or services.
  • Building a robust first-party data strategy: You need to develop a robust first-party data strategy that enables you to collect, store, analyze, and activate your own customer data across different channels and devices. First-party data is becoming more valuable and essential as third-party cookies are being phased out and privacy regulations are becoming stricter. You can use tools such as Google Analytics 4 or Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) to manage your first-party data effectively.
  • Optimizing setup and assets for conversion: You need to optimize your campaign setup and assets for conversion by ensuring that you have clear objectives, relevant keywords, compelling creatives, landing pages that match user intent, and tracking codes that measure conversions accurately.

Creative & Experience: How to Enhance the User Experience by Combining Fresh Visual Styles and Messaging with AI and Human Analysis

Creative & Experience is the third step of any successful performance marketing campaign. It involves creating engaging and memorable experiences for your audience that motivate them to take action. However, creative and experience are also becoming more dynamic and diverse due to the emergence of new visual styles and messaging formats, as well as the integration of AI and human analysis.

According to Lanka, there are three key considerations when creating and enhancing your user experience:

  • Experimenting with new visual styles and messaging formats: You need to experiment with new visual styles and messaging formats that capture the attention and interest of your audience. For example, you can use video, animation, interactive, or immersive ads to showcase your products or services in a more appealing and realistic way. You can also use different messaging formats, such as headlines, descriptions, calls to action, or slogans, to convey your value proposition and persuade your audience to act.
  • Combining AI and human analysis to understand what resonates: You need to combine AI and human analysis to understand what resonates with your audience and why. AI can help you generate, test, and optimize different variations of your creatives and messages based on data and algorithms. Human analysis can help you add context, emotion, and creativity to your creatives and messages based on intuition and experience.
  • Aligning creatives and messages with audience segments and channels: You need to align your creatives and messages with your audience segments and channels by ensuring that they are relevant, consistent, and coherent. You need to tailor your creatives and messages to the specific needs, preferences, and expectations of your audience segments based on their characteristics, behaviors, or stages in the customer journey. You also need to adapt your creatives and messages to the specific features, formats, and guidelines of your channels based on their objectives, capabilities, or limitations.

Measurement & Optimization: How to Use Incrementality Tests and Inter-Channel Optimization to Measure and Improve Your Campaign Performance

Measurement & Optimization is the fourth step of any successful performance marketing campaign. It involves tracking and analyzing your campaign performance and making data-driven decisions to improve your results and ROI. However, measurement and optimization are also becoming more advanced and sophisticated due to the adoption of incrementality tests and inter-channel optimization.

According to Lanka, there are two key considerations when measuring and optimizing your campaign performance:

  • Using incrementality tests to gauge channel value beyond last-click attribution: You need to use incrementality tests to gauge the value of each channel beyond last-click attribution, which is a method of assigning credit for conversions to the last channel that a user interacted with before converting. Incrementality tests are a type of experimental design that compare the outcomes of two groups: one that is exposed to a channel (treatment group) and one that is not (control group). The difference in outcomes between the two groups is the incremental value of the channel.
  • Focusing on business goals for inter-channel optimization: You need to focus on your business goals for inter-channel optimization, which is a process of allocating your budget across different channels based on their performance and potential. You need to define your business goals clearly, such as increasing revenue, profit, or market share. You also need to measure your performance against your goals using key performance indicators (KPIs), such as return on ad spend (ROAS), cost per acquisition (CPA), or customer lifetime value (CLV).

Future Outlook: How to Prepare for the Upcoming Changes and Challenges in the Performance Marketing Landscape

Future Outlook is the fifth step of any successful performance marketing campaign. It involves anticipating and preparing for the upcoming changes and challenges in the performance marketing landscape that may affect your strategies and outcomes. However, future outlook is also becoming more uncertain and complex due to the rapid pace of innovation and disruption in the industry.

According to Lanka, there are three key changes and challenges that you need to prepare for in the near future:

  • Privacy regulations: You need to comply with the privacy regulations that are being implemented or updated in different regions or countries, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the US. These regulations aim to protect the personal data and privacy rights of consumers by requiring marketers to obtain consent, provide transparency, limit data collection and usage, and ensure data security.
  • Cookie deprecation: You need to adapt to the cookie deprecation that is happening or planned by different browsers or platforms, such as Google Chrome or Apple Safari. Cookies are small pieces of data that are stored on users’ devices by websites or advertisers to track their online activities and preferences. Cookie deprecation refers to the removal or restriction of cookies by browsers or platforms due to privacy concerns or technical issues.
  • Platform innovations: You need to leverage the platform innovations that are being introduced or improved by different platforms or providers, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, or Microsoft. These innovations include new features, formats, or tools that enhance the capabilities or performance of platforms for marketers. For example, Google recently launched Google Marketing Platform Partners Program, which is a network of certified partners that offer services such as consulting, training, implementation, or support for Google Marketing Platform products

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