EXPERTISE

What You Need to Know About Performance Marketing in 2018

Four pillars of marketing your business are personal selling, advertising, promotion and public relations. While you’ve heard of these before, you may not know how to implement them for your business. Or — you may be trying, but something’s not working.

Performance marketing is what you need to increase your business growth and keep it growing beyond the next business cycle.

Valve+Meter Performance Marketing focuses its precision and experience on your business, increasing your sales through tried and true performance marketing techniques and new successful techniques. Good, reliable marketing takes time, and keeping track of what works and what doesn’t is a key to future growth for your business.

Let’s take a look at what performance marketing truly is, and how Valve+Meter can help your business understand and leverage it.

What is Performance Marketing?

We use the term performance marketing because we have a core value of delivering real, tangible results to grow your business. It is important to understand the way we view marketing. Marketing is intended to make your phone ring, and then convert the call to a sale. If it’s not, it isn’t working for you.

We’ve named our practice Valve+Meter because the variables we can manage with you are the flow and cost of new business. The “valve” part of our approach manages the right rate of new business for your operation, and we set our pricing with you not based on the activities we pursue but on the “metered” results we generate.

The Performance Marketing Association notes “Performance marketing is trackable and measurable down to the click. Advertisers can measure everything from the cost of acquisition to incrementality.” Your business alongside of Valve+Meter, the performance marketing partner, will find the help you need to achieve your lead generation, B2B appointment setting and sales goals.

How Performance Marketing is Different

You may be thinking, “marketing is marketing — how will performance marketing change the game for my business?” Valve+Meter’s approach to performance marketing include a mix of traditional and digital channels incorporating innovative communications to help businesses grow on an exponential scale.

Every advertising success builds on the previous successes, so at Valve+Meter, we recognize and leverage those successes in every possible way. We believe in testing and agility – we will test small and scale big, reallocating as necessary to focus on what works and jettison what doesn’t.

Performance Marketing is Highly Targeted

Valve+Meter performance marketing campaigns are not vague or blanketing; instead, they concentrate on your business and are highly targeted to its specific needs and abilities. We describe the process as a strong partnership building both your business and ours. When performance marketing is done right with Valve+Meter, both businesses can win and succeed.

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How Performance Marketing is Innovative

Traditional marketing is limited to traditional marketing methods — print ads, television and radio commercials, billboards, etc. Performance marketing is on the cutting edge of the new marketing frontier — meaning it uses the newest techniques to market your business and increase your growth whenever possible. Here are some strategy tips we find valuable and relevant from Neil Patel to help refocus your digital marketing:

  1. Know who your customer is
  2. Find and use the right influencers
  3. Create free content
  4. Write engaging blog posts
  5. Create Facebook Live videos
  6. Post relatable social media content

Your business may use all of these or just a few, and if you aren’t familiar with them, it is okay. Valve+Meter is — and we can help your business leverage them with our extensive experience and know-how.

Is Performance Marketing Measurable?

The short answer is yes, performance marketing is quite measureable, more so than traditional marketing techniques. This is precisely why your business should use it.

Marketing is the primary driver of your business’ revenue and growth, and a business who neglects to measure its market performance can’t measure its success.

Valve+Meter connects performance data directly to business outcomes, understands the difference between Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and ultimate business success, knows when to use metrics, and knows the value of those metrics in any given situation.

In other words, Valve+Meter can leverage its knowledge and your business’ ability to increase growth and sales by measuring the success of a marketing campaign.

How to Choose a Performance Marketing Agency

The best performance marketing agencies walk the walk and talk the talk when it comes to taking care of customers, being transparent and leading their clients to controlled growth.

Companies should identify agencies equipped with leaders and hungry teams of experts with years of experience, know-how and the skills needed to help. Websites, actions and knowledge will represent exactly that when looking for the right partner.

Have an Honest Conversation with Your Current Marketing Agency

Your current marketing agency wants to keep you — there is no question, it should be willing to sit down with you and discuss openly what’s working and what’s not. Do your research,  bring knowledge and performance information to the table, and don’t be shy. You are paying this agency to deliver – if it’s not happening, you need to go elsewhere.

Open the conversation with expectation setting. Let the agency know you expect a certain level of success and ask them if they can honestly deliver. This isn’t a dressing down opportunity; it should be an open conversation. If it isn’t provided, you will be better off with another agency.

Do Your Research

No matter how this conversation goes, your business and marketing team needs to research the success of the current campaign and identify places where improvement can happen — or, leave it to Valve+Meter; we can research for you and save you time and energy.

Look for a Story

After research is complete, you will often find a company’s abilities mentioned will be their strong suits, while those unmentioned may be their weaker points. You should know what your business needs and the performance marketing agency you choose should demonstrate acumen and experience in the areas where you need attention.

Check References

Checking references is important in any line of business. With the ease of website design and content creation today, website design can be done by anyone looking to get a business up and running — it doesn’t mean they are the best fit to do so.

References will often be readily available and requesting additional references, or asking for an actual referral from another business can provide confidence about your choice of performance marketing business is top in its arena.

Why Your Business Needs Performance Marketing

The reasons your business needs performance marketing are specific to the way your business functions. In many cases, it requires time, skills and resources your employees and business may not have. The knowledge to create excellent marketing techniques and results are gained over many years of experience, and a marketing team like Valve+Meter can pass that knowledge on to you and your team.

Lead generation, consistent lead and client contact and B2B appointment setting all take time and require filtering of information. A marketing agency focused on performance can handle all these aspects of marketing so your sales team can focus on making the sales and nurture quality leads.

While your business may be successful, it may not be as successful as you’d like. The right marketing partner can help ramp up your business growth, partnerships, lead generation and marketing quickly.

Get more return on your marketing spend.

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How Valve+Meter Helps With Performance Marketing

Valve+Meter uses several methods of performance marketing to increase your business growth, focusing on results and not on specific tactics.

First, we offer a free Gap Analysis with no obligation. A Gap Analysis is a high-level digital asset and competitive landscape analysis focused on your business. This analysis helps Valve+Meter identify actionable business opportunities and the best path for our performance marketing partnership.

Second, Valve+Meter focuses on two core variables: the flow of new business and the cost of each part of obtaining new business. This is done through the ThinkFirst process. It is a multi-disciplinary approach that leverages your financials to determine your customer acquisition cost and growth targets. From there we build the infrastructure and testing strategies to achieve those growth targets.

Third, Valve+Meter concentrates on many different areas of performance marketing, and integrates traditional, tried-and-true marketing techniques with the newest, most effective digital techniques available today.

Best Marketing Techniques

Valve+Meter’s techniques are extensive because it takes different types of digital marketing today in order to create and grow your business. Let’s take a look at them and how Valve+Meter can leverage them to help build your business.

Strategic Plans

The first step in executing any marketing campaign is to develop a plan. Rushing off willy-nilly to an unreputable SEO company or hiring someone with questionable skills or proof of results will not going help your business; it will hold you back.

Valve+Meter’s experienced marketing experts have years of on-the-job marketing know-how, so you don’t have to worry about whether they’re qualified, or whether you’ll have to pay for services not rendered. Call us to learn more about the companies we’ve worked alongside.

Strategic planning is ideal to ensure every aspect of your business is considered, as well as the marketing concentrations and desired results.

This planning phase is the most important part of the entire process, and a good agency will take it seriously. Expect requests for business data, an intense examination of your current marketing plan, and suggestions to help your business begin to grow immediately.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is an important metric in the marketing of your business. Many people talk about it, and a good firm will know the ins and outs well while being able to tell you about them. If you’re not sure, ask Valve+Meter what SEO is really all about — we are happy to share our knowledge.

Content Marketing

One of the problems with marketing and sales in this age of digital information is the prevalence of repeated information. Content marketing strives to deliver personalized, specific, necessary and entertaining or enlightening information to engage your readers, clients, and leads.

No one wants to read the same boring messages over and over — your website should tell your story, teach your readers something and keep them coming back for more. Content marketing is a great way to do this.

There are many strategies companies can use to boost their organic traffic through content marketing. They include but aren’t limited to finding ways to pair text with visuals, meet your consumers where they are, use video within your content, share your content everywhere, engage guest writers from your industry, build personas for your target audience, change formats through repurposing quality content, learn how to write better headlines and to add flair, find a storyteller within your company.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is essentially another lead generation tactic — it’s also an extremely efficient and direct way to target your clients, leads and book B2B appointments quickly and effortlessly. Email marketing is one of the most popular marketing techniques today because it’s effective. A good performance marketing firm will include this in its toolkit for marketing your business.

Website Design

There is a reason web developers and designers are in demand — the design of your website is a major part of your marketing plan. A well-designed website retains and finds leads for you — and can even set those desired appointments for you. A good firm understands the importance of your website, its components, and its ease of use — all factors in the success of your business.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, effectively helps funnel your website visitors into customers through sales conversion. In other words, how many of the people who visit your website end up buying your services or products? This is an important measurement of your website and your business success. A good agency will know your business’ CRO and have a plan to improve it.

Pay-per-click Ads + Social Media Marketing

Put simply: it works, when done correctly. Pay-per-click ad campaigns can be nuanced and a challenge so it’s best left to experts in performance marketing. Success often takes time and requires careful monitoring and adjustments.

Social media also requires an investment of time, as regular posting cadence, topic creation, and lead engagement often pile up and lead to lost revenue and brand promotion opportunities when neglected. A good firm can handle all pay-per-click and social media ads and social media posting for your business, freeing you and your team up to close sales.

Public Relations

This is another time-consuming and crucial part of performance marketing — public relations can literally make or break a business. Make sure your media relations and community engagement is spot-on with meaningful and developed stories specific to your niche or market. An interesting story draws in an audience and leaves them wanting more.

Public relations can be a great lead generation tool and a good partner will know which questions to ask to make yours shine.

Brand Identity

Brand identity is the core of your business, and is the idea or message your market identifies with your business. Your business already has a brand identity, yet you must refine and build it as you scale and grow to increase brand recognition. Doing so will help you stand apart from competitors garnering (you guessed it) higher sales and more revenue for your business.

Projecting your company’s values through brand identity and branding messages, as well as business performance is the best advertising strategy. A good agency like Valve+Meter develops a business brand identity and reputation in your industry over time, increasing general knowledge of your business and brand recognition.

Video Storytelling

Video storytelling is key in the era of YouTube marketing — video can be listened to, continues to gain in popularity and influence and provides a different kind of connection with your brand. Good videos on your website, in email marketing, or in webinars or online presentations are an excellent support for your marketing initiatives.

Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing still works — it’s been proven. The Data and Marketing Association (DMA) notes delivered mail to a targeted marketing niche is one of the best ways to reach clients. The DMA found  42 percent of direct mail recipients read catalogs delivered to them.

Naturally, as the marketplace has become crowded and online channels steal market share, the effectiveness of direct mail can still convert when paired with the best strategy.

A good firm knows, depending on your business and industry, direct mail in combination with digital marketing is a strong strategy.

TV + Radio Advertising

Just as people still look at their mail, people watch television and listen to the radio, whether at home or at work. Television and radio commercials usually reach captive audiences and are targeted for specific client niches, just like direct mail marketing campaigns.

Performance marketing firms will integrate these types of ads with the online campaigns for those who stream shows, reaching the most possible leads and retaining clients whenever possible.

Contact Center Marketing

Call centers are a direct and more personal aspect of business marketing than direct mail. The rate of conversion for businesses called by your company depends on various aspects of the callers’ skills, abilities, and the call script.

Performance marketing agencies with know-how will establish excellent call scripts, test them and help teach callers to adapt the script to increase lead conversion and gain more sales for your business. Oftentimes, direct mail campaigns, email campaigns and call center campaigns are combined in a strategic workflow to provide the best possible results for clients.

The Results of Excellence

Performance marketing is the new wave of marketing for your business and leverages every possible marketing campaign component in order to drive business growth and enable careful measurements of business performance.

Your business may be unable to track performance measurement or the effectiveness of your current marketing plan, or your marketing and sales teams may be too busy following up on leads and making sales to increase the effectiveness of the current system.

Valve+Meter focuses on the marketing campaign so you don’t have to, saving your team time and building your brand recognition equally.

In Valve+Meter, you gain an outsourced CMO with the muscle and experience of nearly 30 experts. Our team has decades of combined experience in delivering cost per acquisition marketing strategies. We believe performance equals measurable results, and your marketing is no different.

The results are only as good as your agency, so do your research and choose a trusted, reliable, established firm. Successful marketers rely on the SMART sales plans creation technique, meaning their plans are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

Valve+Meter studies the industry constantly, learning and obtaining new techniques and working strategies to increase business revenue, brand recognition and growth together.

Generating leads, setting B2B appointments and making sales are crucial parts of company strategy. Gain a better understanding of how performance marketing helps your business through Valve+Meter.

We are committed to results, not tactics — we’ll drive your lead generation and B2B appointment setting strategies to the next level through a free Gap Analysis and excellent, seasoned advice for your business. Valve+Meter is focused on your business, with decades of marketing, business, finance and data analytics.

Contact our team now or visit us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We can’t wait to make marketing work for your business.

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AUTHOR

Marcia Barnes
Marcia Barnes
CEO + Founder

Marcia has a rich history in leading and serving performance-based marketing organizations with nationwide impact. In addition to leading multiple marketing agencies, she has received notable recognition for her leadership as President and CEO at Indianapolis-based Defender Direct (now called DEFENDERS). Over the course of her 14-year tenure with the company, Defender Direct experienced exponential growth from $2MM in annual revenue to more than $400MM.