Road to 2020: Anubhav Sonthalia shares Performance marketing trends

Anubhav Sonthalia

Anubhav Sonthalia, CEO, Merkle Sokrati sheds light on the prevalent and futuristic Performance Marketing trends as a part of Road to 2020.

Performance marketing is not a recent addition to the Indian digital marketing realm but has seen phenomenal growth in the last few years, and it continues to evolve. Performance is en route to becoming synonymous with digital marketing and here are some Performance Marketing trends I foresee becoming an integral part of Road to 2020.

Multichannel to Omnichannel Journey

The industry is gradually shifting from multichannel to omnichannel journey and multi-touch attribution. Where multichannel tells us how to help a buyer complete their purchase journey in each channel, giving a more operational insight, Omnichannel allows you to coordinate and orchestrate buyer experience across all avenues so that it is connected as well as consistent.

As a brand, it is easy to imagine that your buyer may start their journey on one channel and eventually progress to another as per their convenience.

As John Bowden once said, “omnichannel is multichannel done right!”. It would not be wrong to state that omnichannel gives the ultimate forensic approach to capturing audience intent.

Multi-touch attribution is being adopted more universally as it includes touchpoint data across all platforms and shows precisely the highest contributors to revenues right from the start to end of the customer journey.

It can quantify the ‘relative impact’ of marketing efforts on ROI by accurately connecting and assigning the revenue contribution and associated costs. Implementation of multi-touch is presently possible with the help of some of the new-age marketing technologies. This is greatly going to affect the decision-makers by casting light on accurate insights.

Evolution of Display

Thanks to Programmatic Media Buying, AI tools bid for ad spaces on web pages in real-time using data-rich audience personas, delivers speed as well as accuracy. This in-turn increases conversions rates (CVRs) with drops in costs per acquisition (CPAs) at a scale that surpasses search impressions in the many thousands.

If you ask me the new additions in media channels, I’d consider marketplaces

There has been tremendous growth in the number of marketplaces and much buzz about each of their expanding universe. For instance, last year Amazon, which has emerged as one of the biggest e-retail players in India, has said to have recorded triple-digit growth in quarter by quarter ad revenue. These platforms are flourishing because of the higher buying intent of consumers and thus, can be an immensely strong tool for any consumer product brand. The pace with which these marketplaces are evolving is sure to change the future landscape of performance marketing.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)

AMP focuses on making the user experience more accessible and friendly. A standard web page could take anywhere between 8s – 9s to load on a mobile handset whereas the AMP-enabled pages bring down this speed to 2s – 3s.

As a marketer, I see it as a chain reaction process where the decrease in the loading speed also causes bounce rate to fall and thus, increases click-through rates (CTRs). Counting this in as one of the best SEO practices for improved performance marketing is a secret recipe for success.

Two social channels to keep an eye out for – YouTube and TikTok

YouTube has always been the go-to platform for video ads with millions of users and a highly engaging platform. But YouTube Masthead which would display ads at the top of the user’s YouTube feed was available at exorbitant costs until Google came up with an alternative- the Home Feed Ads.

The USP of Home Feed Ads being the comparable costs to other channels that it offers to the marketers.

On the other hand, TikTok is the wild horse; with ad options like never seen before. As a marketer, I get to literally keep my audience engaged for at least 10 – 15 minutes of their time when they are creating and sharing viral content! If you’ve been looking to break out of the “traditional” digital channels to start a conversation with your customers, look no further than TikTok.

Also read: Road to 2020: Industry experts share Marketing & Advertising trends

Communication tools in Performance marketing

Before concluding my thoughts on these trends, I’d like to add insights on communication tools in performance marketing which is perhaps the most crucial for a brand.

Believe me, the whole industry must, if they haven’t yet, make it a priority to follow a customer-centric approach – buyers’ convenience first. Only then the principle of hyper-personalized communication is possible.

The personalization process must be data-driven, scalable, quick and easy on the pocket.

Three emerging trends that are likely to grow in this space faster than expected are dynamic creatives, influencer marketing, interaction via chatbots.

As a summary note, I’ll leave you with this –

Performance is not a channel for marketing, it is a philosophy – to bring transparency in advertising budgets. In a few years, every medium of communication, be traditional or digital – will have an element of performance in it.

This article piece is authored by Anubhav Sonthalia, CEO, Merkle Sokrati


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