Possibly the most groundbreaking aspect of digital marketing is the ability to track and analyze data. When it became possible to track a user’s path from advertisement to purchase, it was a massive game changer and the genesis of performance-based marketing. If you were surfing the internet in the late ’90s and early 2000s, you experienced firsthand what analytics led to: dancing bears selling cheap loans; bright, shining colors; and demands to CLICK HERE in huge font sizes. These ads were terribly obnoxious, but cheap to create and occasionally “effective.”
Still to this day, the dancing bear ads exist, although they’re usually a bit more subtle. They are performance-based ads built with only one goal: Create the click. Occasionally they still actually work, but at what cost to your brand?
When you’re an established brand, your performance creative needs to be very different from that of a company just looking to sell products or capture data at any cost.
Today there is a ton of talk about A.I. and what it can do for your creative performance, and no doubt there is a lot there to talk about. A.I. can provide insight, but if it tells you to try the color yellow as the dominant color in your ad, but yellow isn’t part of your brand, should you use it? It might lead to a sale, but in the long run it’s going to undermine the value of your brand.
When you’re an established brand, your performance creative needs to be very different from that of a company just looking to sell products or capture data at any cost. Your creative needs to not just effectively sell your product, but help build your brand – or, at the very least, not hurt your brand.
A Harvard Business Review article titled “How Brand Building and Performance Marketing Can work Together”* stated, “We believe that pitting brand building and performance marketing against each other in a competition for budget and attention unnecessarily damages the effectiveness of both.” We couldn’t agree more.
Performance marketing creative shortcuts might provide some short-term analytical wins, but in the long-term they make everything harder. However, by sticking to your brand guidelines to build your brand, you make those sales easier and more sustainable in the future.
We believe it’s imperative to the health of a company to never lose sight of the brand it has built or is building. It takes some extra work, but the long-term benefits outweigh the additional effort.
That’s why when we talk about performance creative, we also bring up brand appeal. Every time a user engages with your brand, you have an opportunity to build your brand equity. If that engagement involves a metaphorical dancing bear, well, it might get their attention, but it can also devalue your brand.
To ensure you’re doing justice to your brand while still maximizing your KPI goals, you need a creative team that is focused on delivering premium creative no matter the medium. No creative shortcuts allowed.