The art of linking performance-based marketing initiatives

Posted: 9th November 2016 12:53

Learn how innovative analytics solutions can integrate all of the elements of performance-based marketing initiatives to give you the big picture

There’s no doubt about it, performance-based marketing has been a game-changer. Where once - and not so very long ago - internet advertising was too much like a shot in the dark, pricing models such as CPM, CPC, CPL, CPA, and PPC have given digital marketers a much-needed way to tie marketing expense directly to ROI, much to the delight of CEOs and CMOs everywhere.
But that ever-evolving alphabet soup of performance-based marketing options hasn’t been without its own challenges for the marketers whose job it is to juggle multiple campaigns and tactics while keeping their eyes on the big picture at the same time. It’s a rare marketing initiative that relies on only one or two channels to achieve the goal, and that leaves a lot of balls in the air at any given time.
How can you hit a moving target?
Taken one by one, each strategy may be effective, and the numbers may prove that, but each of them is just a part of the whole. That means the people managing the campaign have to figure out how all the pieces fit together and if they add up to meeting projections, and do all that while every piece of the puzzle is in motion.
Or, they need the help of sophisticated tech tools that integrate all of the data in real time and render it in an accessible visual format.
When it comes to marketing in the digital age, nothing ever stands still, and nobody can wait for the next quarterly report to ascertain whether they are meeting their goals. If your PPC initiative is on track but your CPL is lagging and your CPA is dead in the water, how are you doing overall? How’s your marketing return on investment (MROI) looking? Unfortunately, before you can make the calculation, you just might find that your CPC has flat-lined and all the other numbers and ratios have already changed, too. Your assessment is out of date before it’s even completed.
State-of-the-art dashboards bring it all together
A recent blog post by Datorama, a leader in helping companies connect the widely-varied data sources we all contend with today, traced the evolution of the performance-based marketing models that both enable data-driven campaigns and, at the same time, drive harried marketers just a bit mad trying to keep up with it all. In the post, they look at the development of the most common models, and offer some pluses and minuses for them. 
The run-down includes everything from the early internet pricing models of Cost-per-thousand (CPM) and Cost-per-impression (CPI) to evolving models such as Cost-per-click (CPC), Pay-per-click (PPC), Cost-per-lead (CPL), and Cost-per-action (CPA), noting that each of them can, with modern metric tools, help link marketing expense to marketing return.
But it is the aggregated data that do that in a comprehensive and definitive way. Customizable, integrated dashboards provide marketers with a continuously updated view of all of the parts of a campaign and how they are working together to serve the overarching strategy. At any given moment, it is possible to determine ROI for any one of the performance-based marketing strategies being employed, as well as for the overall campaign. That gives marketers unparalleled control to ensure that revenue goals are met, and invaluable guidance to make sound decisions, grounded in both current data and predictive analytics.
The hidden benefits of linking performance-based models
The practical, and tactical, demands of keeping up with day-to-day business are compelling reasons enough to link multiple performance-based marketing models into a single, actionable overview. But there’s a less obvious reason as well. For any organization, it is all too easy to slip into a pattern of siloing the various operations that make up the whole.
The versatility of modern dashboards - and the ease of customizing them to integrate, analyze, and visualize any number of data sources - also means that their usage goes beyond any number of performance-based initiatives to help visualize every facet of operations.
In that way, they provide a single source of truth for all of the stakeholders in a business, breaking down silos and making sure that everyone is sharing the same information at the same time in pursuit of the same objectives.