Chief Growth Officer

What does Performance Marketing mean for today’s marketing leaders?

Forrester just released its newest Wave Report: the 2019 Forrester Wave™: Performance Marketing Agencies. A Performance Marketing Agency by Forrester is defined as an agency that helps marketers deliver ads across digital channels (like search, social, and programmatic display) to reach consumers at the right moment in the right context. These agencies are known for tying investments in digital channels back to business goals—and clients hold them accountable to performance metrics like return on ad spend, ROI, conversions, and revenue.

We are so excited that our agency was recognized as a Strong Performer, especially within a very elite field of agencies! With that said, I want to share Rise’s approach to performance marketing, and how we believe that adopting this framework can create a foundation of success for your brand.

A Full-Funnel Strategy

When we hear the term “performance marketing,” some of us may automatically think of direct-response marketing or bottom-of-funnel tactics and measurement. Some definitions of performance marketing are even more specific, such as defining affiliate or other commission-based models.

In this case, Rise’s definition of Performance Marketing is mastering the entire marketing funnel and leveraging data to determine your digital marketing mix. We believe that marketers need to invest not only in those customers seeking out and ready to buy your products and services, but also in creating category and brand awareness, staving off competitors, and driving brand preference.

Leveraging Data to Develop a Performance Marketing Plan

First and foremost, it is critical to define what success looks like as you enter a new planning period. It’s important to be as specific as possible in terms of revenue, margin, and new customers. Establish the right measurement framework to track and optimize campaigns, and validate your goals are attainable based on the resources and budget available, as well as the overall market landscape.

Next, you must understand the value in historic campaign data and channel audits. Whether you leverage internal capabilities or work with an agency partner, you should perform periodic analyses of your digital strategy to answer specific questions, including:

  • What is or is not working and why?
  • Where are dollars potentially being wasted?
  • What is working well that can be amplified?
  • What plays are you not running that you can test into to prove value?

Additionally, there is an abundance of competitive intelligence tools that track messaging and spend. These allow you to establish where you may need to be more aggressive for conquesting and defending turf. You should leverage your platform partners to advise you on what is working best in your vertical and with leading brands. The combination of historic audits with competitive and market intel should form the basis of a channel and budget allocation strategy.

Audience-Centric Approach

Activating on customer insights is also an incredibly important component of an effective plan. Building an audience-centric strategy will help to deliver relevant experiences (creative, messaging, and landing pages) to end customers regardless of channel, resulting in higher engagement, conversion rates, and ultimately more efficient spend.

When possible, look to your own “first-party” data and leverage what you know about existing customers to re-engage shoppers with specific and relevant ads. This can be done through a variety of segmentation strategies based on frequency and loyalty, product categories, and more.

When first-party data is uploaded into search, programmatic, and social platforms, brands can create highly specific strategies to deliver relevant ad experiences, ad formats, and message sequencing, as well as corresponding bids and budget allocation based on potential returns. This enables brands to activate against look-a-like audiences for prospecting based on key attributes that are prevalent with existing customers. Finally, creating suppression lists can be an important step to limit unwanted spend and ad overlap.


As you execute your 2020 digital marketing strategy, be sure to consider a data-driven, audience-centric approach to maximize performance. With customers today being overloaded with options and ways to purchase products, marketers must use their budgets efficiently and effectively to tie their digital investments back to business goals. If you need assistance with your performance marketing strategy, contact Rise to see how we can help.

12/11/2019 at 02:15