Solving the performance marketing conundrum

Performance marketing is disrupting the way companies advertise as well as market their products. This data-driven marketing and advertising strategy is giving digital marketers valuable insights into their performance, their brands’ reach, conversion rate and much more. Increased focus by brands on providing personalised experience to consumers is fuelling performance marketing.  

How performance dollars are driving digital adex growth was a subject of intense discussion by some industry leaders at the first ever Digi Media Summit 2019, organised by Adgully on March 29 in Delhi. 

The panelists included, Bharat Bhatia, VP - Marketing, Junglee Games; Prathamesh Dembla, Head - Digital Marketing, Milk Basket; Rahul Deorah, VP - Marketing, UrbanClap; and Swayta Singh, AVP - Brand Strategist, DCMN India. Akash Gupta, Co-founder & COO, CommerceX, moderated the panel discussion. 

Akash Gupta affirmed that it is possible to do personalisation at scale as well. To support his point he mentioned how CommerceX is using tech and data to bring about an increased level of personalisation in the OTT space while working with Eros Now. Gupta claimed that on the initial test that CommerceX did, the company saw around 15-20 per cent uplift in click-through rates, which were coming from the creators. “I think there is definitely a need for a more unified customer view for personalised marketing,” he maintained. 

Along similar lines, Prathamesh Dembla, too, stated that as more and more brands talk about performance and they talk about personalisation, and the same also goes for the partners. He added, “Partners and the agencies also need to evolve towards talking about the same matrix that the brands care about, which is moving more and more towards ROI.” 

He also called for a change in the traditional way that media planning is done, where instead of thinking in terms of the platforms where the money will be invested, the focus needs to be on which segment of users the brands are spending their money on and where the end revenue would come from. 

Bharat Bhatia here spoke about his experience in digital marketing, a journey that he began in 2012. He recounted, “As an agency, my conversations were always about getting as many installs as I could get. At that time there was no ROI. Then the conversation shifted towards getting non-installers because people started realising that you are getting Rs 5-Rs 6 per install as against the expected Rs15-Rs 20. The conversation started shifting towards people who were registering, but not installing and not making purchases. Everyone here has gone through that cycle with their agencies.” 

Continuing further, Bhatia said, “Today, we have an ecosystem where we have moved towards a level where we can talk what do we want, which segment to target, and there are agencies coming up in India who are actually who care about the customer who will actually give you ROI. As soon as we reach that level where one agency also starts taking care of social, the packages as well as retention and maybe has decent inputs about it, that is like the dream agency that any client would want to have.” 

When asked to share her experience in helping brands solve the problem of attribution and performance, Swayta Singh said, “As of now, e-commerce is becoming very conflated and what everybody is thinking about is that performance is something which is just going to give them value without even thinking that there would be limitations. Moreover, if a brand has to accelerate growth, they will have to look beyond digital and there is the very tough task for a marketer or even an agency comes in – how to actually make it a full robust integrated media plan, where clients will the RoI and the results for whatever penny that they are spending.” 

Singh further said that agencies also need to keep in mind the growth stage that they are in – whether they are at the starting phase or are well-established. “In India, television is still a very robust medium. Then there is radio and OOH, and everything is now trackable. Traditional media is actually attributing to the performance of your website as well,” she maintained. 

“The way DCMN does it is, it marries both and gives you a full-fledged ROI driven or performance driven plan which helps in achieving the objective of the client and which is beyond digital,” Singh added. 

Prathamesh Dembla added here, “Retention, acquisition, product on boarding – anything could lead to a cascading effect in your matrix. I would say make love to one KPI!” 

Swayta Singh stressed on creativity and innovation to beat the clutter. 

Here, Akash Gupta asked the panelists how comfortable marketers were today while putting more and more ad dollars towards television and radio. 

Speaking about his company, Milk Basket, Prathamesh Dembla said that since they were in limited cities, they didn’t opt for television. “If we were to do the NCR, Delhi is not what we are serving, but I could relate it to the offline hoardings that we do or we do leaflets. When marketers decide on whether or not to spend on branding, it comes more from the product-market fit,” he opined.


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