Choosing the most appropriate marketing channel to grow your business is key to an efficient use of your marketing budget. One of the main advantages of digital vs “traditional” marketing channels is the ability to track and measure the performance of your marketing activities to a great level of detail. Unlike traditional channels (e.g. billboards, radio ads, flyers, etc.) where money is invested based on an estimate of potential reach that each of the channels claims it can offer, digital channels are by far the most accountable, affordable and accessible marketing channels currently available to SMEs. In digital channels, you not only have access to the actual number of times that your message is displayed on a screen or clicked on. Accountability does not stop there, as by cross-referencing with expenditure in each channel, you can also have a clearer vision of the returns that you are getting on your investment and make sure you are putting your money on the most profitable channels. In digital marketing, you can track and pay based on the performance of your ad, and this is why performance marketing investment is growing significantly in all major markets, including the GCC region. In fact, according to research by Orient Planet Research, a regional consultancy, online advertising spending in this region is expected to grow faster than the world average in the next five years, while achieving a 25% increase in this year alone. Under these circumstances, SMEs cannot afford to waste increasing amounts of money by not using performance marketing correctly
How to make the most of performance marketing?
Performance marketing in the UAE is like the latest Lamborghini: everybody wants it, many people talk about it, but at the end, it is very rare to see it in action. No matter if we are speaking about Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising, most advertisers are using soft or no metrics when it comes to analysing their campaigns. They are satisfied with “something is happening” but they do not really care whether they are getting some returns on their investment or not.
Clients are not demanding performance services. Therefore, they are not receiving it. However, there is great opportunity for SMEs to increase their market share as many big companies are also struggling. This is not a question of money. If your budget is limited, it becomes even more important to use it for channels and campaigns which can bring you highest outcome possible. Stop spending money in channels in which you cannot measure their performance. You just need to start asking right questions, e.g.: What is the lowest profitable ROI for us? What type of campaigns gives us better results (=business)? Can we generate more revenue if we invest more to this channel as opposed to another one?
Knowledge on how to set up and run the most efficient campaigns as well as the appropriate measurement of outcomes is also key to profitable performance marketing activities. Unfortunately, many times SMEs outsource these activities to agencies that they do not have a clue themselves. For this reason, we would like to point out five things that you should make sure your current agency is doing to get the most out of your performance marketing campaigns.
5 Things you should be making sure your agency is doing
You should always work with people and vendors you trust. At the same time, you should be able to check anytime if they are doing the best for you. How is your agency doing when it comes to the points below?
1.Having performance targets and KPIs
“What is the goal of your campaign?” This should be the first question every agency asks you before they start working with your Google or Facebook Ads. When speaking about performance marketing, your answer should be about real performance. It should be about getting new customers. You should use metrics like ROI (return-on-investment), CPA (cost-per-acquisition), CPL (cost-per-lead) or similar as your KPI. Definitely not number of clicks/visits, cost per click or click-through rate.
2. Using performance metrics in reporting
Every performance campaigns report should answer a simple question: “Are we achieving our targets (based on recommendations above)?” No matter how many slides and beautiful graphs your agency creates, what you should take care of are performance metrics.
3. Account access
Do you have non-stop access to Google AdWords or Facebook accounts? Can you check your campaigns any time? Not? Why! All performance campaigns should run in client’s account, and client should give access to agency – not vice versa!
4. Direct payment to Google / Facebook
PPC systems like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads works on an auction basis, and usually, there is no valid reason for agency paying media fees on behalf of a client. You can link your credit card to both of the platforms and stay aware of all expenses you have got there.
5.Testing new trends
Performance marketing is about testing, reporting, optimisation and testing. This process never ends. You should require latest trends are used in your campaigns, or I would say, an agency (they are the professionals) should come to you regularly informing you about the latest features in Google/Facebook and recommending what could also work for you.
Picture by Francisco Anzola under Creative Commons license.