Redefining (Performance) Media


I like numbers and I like data. There, I said it. Like most people in our industry, media wasn’t something I was particularly aware about in terms of its existence, let alone the opportunity to use my analytical interests and skills in a way that could benefit the clients that we work with.

Performance media is an intriguing area, and one that I have had the benefit of seeing evolve over time in the industry. Whether it is due to the proliferation of media channels available to planners, the requirement from clients of a more measurable and holistic planning approach or the over-arching need for clients to quantify ROI to wider stakeholders, what might have previously been known as direct response planning has taken more of a centre stage in clients and agencies minds alike.

Where describing yourself as a “direct response” planner may have in the past implied a constant churning of numbers and analysis (don’t get me wrong, this is still a huge part of a media planners’ role), this is no longer wholly true as agencies become increasingly adept at redefining what that actually means and I believe Dentsu Aegis are at the forefront of this understanding.

“Performance Marketing” can be defined as marketing activity that delivers a measurable and actionable result in line with pre-defined KPIs.

In the last 18 months, working with one of the largest retailers in the UK, we as an agency have been tasked with challenging the norm and educating not just the wider client stakeholders but agency alike in the merits of performance marketing and media as a key part of an overall strategy to great success.

What we have collectively found is the increasing interest in the way that actionable results defined by the client span wider than pure e-commerce ROI; whether this is isolating business area performance, driving in-store footfall, increasing purchase intent, driving app downloads and increasing usage, all of this constitutes performance in one way or another. As the availability of data increases and evolution of technology allows for the sharing of this data, we are incredibly excited to be able to work with our clients to understand the full capabilities of what this can offer in terms of granularity of results.

The collaboration between data partners and constant communication with clients is key to understanding where “performance” can add value. In fact, there is an argument to now address Performance planning as “Response Planning”, as the granularity of data available now allows to plan around desired actions over and above driving bottom line revenue. We have spent a lot of time as a team understanding the data landscape to help evolve our planning approach to a data-driven, audience first approach across all digital channels, resulting in strong quantifiable results that have in turn led to awards nominations and industry recognition.

So when considering responses to briefs, don’t isolate performance in terms of channel selection, more think about what you are hoping to achieve from a campaign, and whether the functionality exists to deliver actionable results in line with client objectives.

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