Paid Media and its Role in Performance Partnerships

April 25, 2019

Paid media plays a huge role in the strength of performance partnerships. It’s important to leverage brand-approved key performance indicators (KPIs), such as Cost per Action (CPA) or Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), and current brand performance to measure the success of paid media through performance partnerships. Upper-funnel paid media also ultimately has a major impact on lower-funnel performance partnerships. The combination of these components can reap substantial benefits for any brand involved in the performance marketing space.

In terms of KPIs, goals will vary from brand to brand. These KPIs can range from CPA and ROAS, to Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) for brands whose primary focus is new customers. For branding partnerships, brands should be looking to back into the most effective CPM or engagement statistics. Regardless of the payment model, it’s important to ensure that your main KPI backs into the appropriate cost and that you optimize against that.

When it comes to forecasting paid media to ensure we’re backing into a performance partnership, projections are based on individual publisher performance with the brand’s current baselines. Agencies are able to combine those baselines with other clients’ experiences with individual publishers. In this case, where media placements back into lower ROAS projections, it’s vital to ensure there is room for other performance efforts. This is important in order for the blended ROAS to still back out. Working with publishers to figure out what’s needed in terms of payout ensures the partnership will align with a brand’s KPI goals.

Finally, it’s often overlooked that upper-funnel paid media directly impacts lower-funnel performance partnerships by creating brand awareness and driving the user by means of the last click. For example, if an advertiser is running a placement with the Huffington Post on a flat fee CPM, that advertiser could expect the exposure to be one of the first touches in the customer journey, whereas typically another five touches are needed for the final conversion.  In which case, the advertiser would partner with a deal site, such as eBates, to drive those increased conversions to a lower-funnel performance partnership. While the advertiser wouldn’t always be able to directly correlate the uptick in conversions to this upper-funnel placement, it’s safe to assume that the traffic that converted in the lower-funnel placement originated from that upper funnel placement.

Keeping KPIs at the forefront of strategy, as well as understanding how the entire customer journey is influenced by performance partnerships can drive success for your program. Want to learn more? Contact the Ignite OPM team now.

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