The quality of the reporting used to measure performance marketing tactics directly impacts the chances a performance marketing strategy will be successful.
This is not a groundbreaking insight, but it’s one that agencies and incurious clients both tend to ignore as long as the metrics on the dashboard look ‘up and to the right.’
Unfortunately there are several ways performance marketing campaigns can seemingly deliver results in a high level report, but underperform when it comes to the bottomline.
If you feel like you’re struggling to measure the success of performance marketing, there’s a good chance a few preparatory tweaks to the strategy can help improve your results.
What is performance marketing strategy?
Before we define performance marketing strategy, we should first dispense with misconceptions about the term, “performance marketing”:
- No, it is not the opposite of ‘non-performance marketing’ - which isn't a thing.
- It does not involve scenery, props, or using Cameo
So what does 'performance marketing' entail?
In traditional forms of advertising, advertisers pay a fee, independent of performance, to utilize ad space. In performance marketing, advertisers pay only when certain metrics or conversions happen.
Examples of performance marketing conversions and pricing models include Cost Per Click, Cost Per Mille or Impressions, Cost Per Lead, or Cost Per Sale.
Common performance marketing channels include Display Advertising, Search Engine Marketing, Native Advertising, and Social Media Marketing.
Popular performance marketing platforms include: Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Choozle, Nativo, and Taboola.
Since performance marketing is so reliant on analytics, proper marketing data management is one of the most influential components to effective performance marketing strategy.
The entire concept of performance marketing centers around data. Data influences the strategy which inspires the selection of tactics and metrics, which will then be analyzed to adjust the strategy in an infinite loop of optimization.
Here are three ways reporting impacts performance marketing strategy.
1) Performance marketing strategy is built on reporting
Strategies are borne out of insightful research from curated data, which means the baselines and benchmarks established by marketing reporting software are 100% critical to engineering a successful performance marketing strategy.
Optimizing performance marketing campaigns without proper reporting protocols in place is a difficult task.
One of the best ways to take the headache out of performance analytics for agencies, is to ensure the marketing brief is buttoned up.
An effective performance marketing strategy relies on a strong brief, which entails business goals, quality assets, appropriate channel selection, detailed campaign launch sequence, and standardized performance measurements.
2) Reporting guides performance marketing tactics
Along with a solid strategy the success of a performance marketing campaign depends on the tactics chosen.
If you are manually creating reports, using copy+paste once a month to cobble together a dashboard or deck to share with clients, there’s a risk that you are missing insights which could help you choose better performing tactics.
While there may be hundreds of potential tactics available for performance marketing, not all tactics are created equal. If your reporting is dialed in, you can easily cross-reference channels with performance marketing metrics and make confident choices based on data you trust.
Solid reporting can inform your media investment; you can dial spend up or down in specific channels depending on which channels are yielding results.
3) Analysis of performance marketing data informs strategy
When it comes to communicating the success of performance marketing campaigns to clients or stakeholders, context is crucial.
Proper analysis and framing of performance marketing data guides strategy, helping marketers avoid campaigns that just deliver on the dashboard, and optimize campaigns that deliver results aligned with measurable goals. This is why data management is so important to engineering smart and effective performance marketing campaigns.
You don’t take the performance metrics that third-party platforms give you and just hand those over to the client, do you? No, you know how to tell a story with data and analytics.
Proper Reporting Can Prevent Performance Marketing Pitfalls
While it’s true there are many benefits to performance marketing, there can also be challenges to setting up a truly effective campaign.
One issue with performance marketing is that it’s very easy to collect and capture data that has little to nothing to do with actual results. Vanity metrics, fraudulent traffic and bots, and misattribution are just some of the dangers facing marketers attempting to track the efficacy of performance marketing tactics.
However, with a results-driven performance marketing strategy and a reliable reporting workflow, marketers can track the right metrics, the right incentives, and deliver the right results.
For examples of performance marketing reporting templates you can use, like Google Ads Report <- visit our Report Template Gallery.