This piece was written by Andrew Turner, Commercial Director at NMPi by Incubeta.
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that the retail landscape has shifted dramatically over the last ten months amidst the global pandemic. Online shopping has boomed, and with eCommerce increasing by 5.7% since last year (equating to roughly 27% of total retail sales), the post pandemic hit to retail has had a profound impact that will undoubtedly send tremors well into 2021.
Whilst some industries have steadily burgeoned throughout the shifts in demand, many are watching the colossal increase in online competition, and the subsequent 0.3% increase in digital ad spend with bated breath. Now more than ever, advertisers are seeking certainty in the face of adversity, and with factors such as Google’s new DST taxes coming into play, brands are vocalising their need to cut costs, optimise budgets and to deliver against strict ROAS targets. It is times like these when Performance Marketing comes into its own, offering advertisers a risk-free approach that combats the rise in competition and guarantees a fixed return on investment for each action driven.
As we draw closer to Christmas, and the inevitable influx of consumer spending that accompanies it, now is the time to optimise your campaign and implement performance marketing within your digital strategy, and this article explores the way you can do this via four specific channels:
- Google Shopping
- Paid Social
With over 3.5 billion unique visits a day, Google is a prime example of where performance marketing can be implemented to reign in one’s strategy and ultimately refine expenditure. Whilst Google Shopping is relatively easy to set up, it’s not quite so simple to optimise. A perceived lack of control over campaigns often leads to an over-reliance on Google’s own algorithm which adversely impacts product performance, resulting in a diminished ROAS and wasted ad spend.
Working off of a performance based model, allows the advertiser to work with an incentivised agency who are aligned with the brand’s business objectives to the maximum possible extent, driving success and measurable results for both the advertiser and themselves.
The performance model drives innovation to improve campaign performance, and in the case of Google Shopping, this comes from implementing and combining the power of search query optimisation, product insights, propriety machine learning and feed management. By adopting a granular approach, advertisers ultimately achieve greater control to maximize the performance of the budget invested.
As it stands, Google is heading into the holiday season with a SOV of 70.07%, so optimising one’s strategy for this channel is a valuable avenue to explore as we draw closer to Christmas and the deluge of festive shopping.
What with the fragmentation of social media and the unpredictable surges in mainstream social – such as the sudden emergence of Tik Tok as a staple to the industry- the paid social landscape may be difficult to navigate. That being said, with approximately 3.80 billion social media users worldwide, paid social should undoubtedly be the diamond within your marketing strategy crown going into 2021. Social engagement is the most popular online activity and the challenge for brands is understanding how best to capitalise on this opportunity. Whilst many may be seduced by the upcoming trends in social platforms, it’s important for advertisers to view paid social channels holistically, recognising that the volume and Q4 opportunity still firmly sits with the more established platforms, Facebook and Instagram.
Unlike conventional advertising, paid social allows advertisers to identify and engage with niche audience interests at an efficient cost, enabling a very targeted message to drive action. Niche audiences can then be enhanced through controlled expansion of targeting parameters in addition to lookalike profiling, expanding your target audience with ease. Paid Social is designed to facilitate business goals, gather marketing insights and establish brand awareness – whilst generating leads, and increasing traffic to the site. With all of this said, Paid Social can be a minefield to operate when trying to identify the performing audiences and scale effectively, citing the value of the performance model to remove the risk element of playing with this exciting channel.
Display is at the forefront of digital advertising and should be a crucial part of any marketing campaign, however, with display ads typically showing a lower CTR than that of other channels, the budget is often funneled elsewhere.
As we move closer to Cyber Weekend, advertisers should be focusing their attention back to display, implementing strong creative as a part of their strategy. By designing and implementing strong creatives within your display strategy, advertisers can establish a more innovative means of communicating with their target audience, enabling them to cut through all the noise during the holiday season, and boost their customer engagement and reach. The use of smart, effective and dynamic creative is the key to driving display performance, allowing brands to tailor creative messaging in line with the customers buying signals and web environment – re-engaging existing customers, site visitors and new audiences.
Visually, performance display is the most compelling, and cost-effective way for advertisers to drive a significant performance uplight, and by implementing the perfect blend of technology, data and artistry within one’s strategy, advertisers can target specific audiences, with the right message, at the right time.
With Amazon accounting for roughly 50% of the entire US retail market, the platform offers undeniable opportunities for retailers, yet the advertising product is often overlooked by brands. The ad platform itself is somewhat limited, and many retailers are sitting on the sidelines, unaware of the untapped potential the platform can offer them. As a result, Amazon often falls below the radar as factors such as cross-competitor comparison, identifying areas of improvement, or analysing the impact of strategy changes are difficult to determine within the platform, and many find this lack of insight frustrating. Although challenging to dominate, Amazon ads offer strong performance and ROI, and going into 2021 advertisers should be recognising the platform’s ability to drive brand awareness, increase customer consideration, drive purchases and gain consumer loyalty.
Delivering performance marketing via Amazon Ads effectively requires the use of AI driven tools that synthesise and analyse vast quantities of behavioural data to help advertisers reach customers at every stage of their journey. This helps brands achieve their advertising goals whilst guiding customers to the products that they’re looking for.
Through the capabilities of Amazon ads, advertisers can drive performance and business growth, and as Amazon’s colossal dominance continues to grow, implementing a robust and reliable performance driven strategy shouldn’t be overlooked.
While there may be no such thing as a perfectly optimised campaign, with the twists and turns of 2020, the performance model has never looked so appealing. And with so much uncertainty hanging over us, more and more advertisers are choosing to opt for a risk-free approach that guarantees results this Christmas and into 2021.
NMPi by Incubeta offers a bona fide performance-only marketing model that is 100% risk-free, guaranteeing our clients a fixed ROI for every action we drive. We’re only paid on performance, so our teams are rewarded for their ability to innovate and test, driving the best results for our clients.
In the run-up to Christmas, allow NMPi by Incubeta to re-evaluate your advertising activity and get your campaigns back on track. For more information on how NMPi by Incubeta can provide your brand with certainty going forward, get in touch with us today.