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 the SMEs. In digital channels, not only do you have access to the actual number of times your message is displayed on a screen or clicked on; but by cross-referencing with expenditure in each channel, you can also have a clearer vision of the returns you are getting on your investment while making sure that 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. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising, most advertisers use soft or no metrics at all 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.
There are some e-commerce companies who do not use Google Analytics. They do not analyse what is happening on their own website. Every website should have its goal and every single dirham invested in performance marketing should bring you few more.
Clients are not demanding performance services. So, they are not receiving it. However, there is a 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 that can bring you the highest outcome possible. Stop spending money on channels where you cannot measure their performance. You just need to start asking the right questions. For example; What is the lowest profitable ROI for us? What type of campaigns give us better results (=business)? Can we generate more revenue if we invest more on 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 are themselves clueless about the entire procedure. 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.
Five 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 the performance of your agency when it comes to the below-mentioned points?
Having performance targets and KPIs
“What is the goal of your campaign?” This should be the first question of every agency 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-per-visits, cost-per-click or click-through rate).
Using performance metrics in reporting
Every performance campaign 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 focus on are performance metrics.
Do you have non-stop access to Google AdWords or Facebook accounts? Can you check your campaigns any time? No? Why? All performance campaigns should run in client’s account, and the client should give access to the agency – not vice versa.
Direct payment to Google/Facebook
PPC systems like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads work on an auction basis, and usually, there is no valid reason for an agency paying media fees on behalf of a client. You can link your credit card to both the platforms and stay aware of all expenses incurred.
Testing new trends
Performance marketing is about testing, reporting, optimisation and testing. This process never ends. You should use the latest trends in your campaigns; rather, your agency should regularly inform you about the latest features in Google/Facebook and recommend the best that would work for you.