28th November 2022

Planning for effective outcomes – ‘Performance vs Brand' with Tom Roach and Claire Strickett

A cracker of an episode in the second installment of this series! The performance marketing vs brand debate is discussed by Tom Roach and Claire Strickett. The two have merits, but have different objectives and payback periods.

Many marketers get stuck in a hamster wheel of only measuring performance metrics like ROAS and CPA.

Instead of seeing it as a battle between brand and performance, why not work together to allocate budgets appropriately?

A highly interesting Ep#2 Planning for Effective Outcomes: "Performance vs. Brand"

Claire+Strickett Pic

Summary of the episode

  • 'Performance' has become synonymous with paid digital advertising, where brands are only charged when an action is taken, for example, a click. In order to elicit an immediate response, it is targeted at people who must necessarily be in the market
  • Often, digital platforms such as Meta convince stakeholders they can deliver a quick return on investment
  • It is common for performance to plateau at a point where diminishing returns are observed. Startups often use performance initially but hit a ceiling when their ROAS and CPA. The answer to growth will lie in brand building 
  • The word ‘performance’ is problematic because it creates a sense of division between brand and performance. Political tribes occur between one and the other. It has always been in the industry since the days of direct response vs advertising 
  • Digital platforms and digital specialists have further compounded this division
  • There is often conflict between 'sales' and 'brand' over budgets, which makes the work environment less enjoyable
  • How can two tribes work together? We all want to grow the pie rather than just taking a share of it
  • Brand building, in contrast to performance, targets the entire market and aims to lay down long-term memories, delivering payback after 6 months. Although it has a longer-lasting effect than performance, very often it also does have an immediate effect e.g. TV ads drive an immediate increase in search, website traffic and sales
  • The recommended 60/40 split on budgets is extremely difficult for most brands to digest because it varies depending on the age of the company, sector, and other factors
  • We must understand that both brand and performance need to work collaboratively. It’s better to do them on separate tracks, however, it is possible to achieve both in the same execution e.g. Geiko in the US
  • The most important distinction is the media choices and how close the audience is to the point of purchase. Essentially, who you choose to show to and when 
  • Brand vs performance could be achieved by choosing daytime TV slots for an immediate response, and evening TV slots for long-term brand memory structures
  • 60/40 doesn’t need to be followed to the T. You can start to do it incrementally, building it up by a few % over time 
  • Remember the 95:5 advertising rule: in most case, 95% of people are out of the market, and only 5% are in the market and will respond
  • A brand ad can be a product ad (like Apple) which have characteristics for short and long-term memories
The Balance Between Brand Marketing Vs. Performance Marketing
  • How can we get brands off the hamster wheel of constantly measuring short-term objectives? Teams are incentivised on ROAS and this can lead to over-targeting existing buyers, a bit like a striker getting all the credit for goals, so the coach only has a team of 11 goal scorers. It has to be the whole team working together 
  • Examples of brands doing a great job. KFC - great job at doing a mix of brand and performance. The brand is appetising using the Finger lickin’ good creative platform,. building memories over a long time. Equally, they have a ‘value’ activation message. Well-crafted creative does both the long and short 
  • McDonald's – consistent use of distinctive brand assets across all channels regardless of where it appears. A great amount of effort into production. Tremendous effect for creative effectiveness to promote creativity 
  • Compare the Market is built on building pure salience in a low-interest category with use of distinctive asset characters which has been sustained for a long time
KFC Finger Lickin Good

Interested in finding out more?

We hope this summary of the second episode in the WARC series has been helpful and inspiring. If you are in need of a marketing agency to help you with your next campaign, drop us an email, and let's chat! [email protected].

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