How to drive a successful performance advertising campaign

As the marketplace continues to be saturated with ever-increasing levels of content, a clear aim, well executed customer journey across all platforms, and smart generation and data is required to engage with consumers and drive campaign success. David Raitt walks through how to drive a successful performance advertising campaign.

David Raitt 180In a world where the average attention span is officially less than that of a goldfish, advertisers face a monumental challenge: how to grab the attention of buyers who are bombarded daily with new technology, entertainment and calls to action, while continuing to deliver value to their businesses.

The good news is that, in the recently released Criteo ‘State of Mobile Commerce’ report, it was found that Australian consumers are increasingly using smartphones to make purchases online and that Australia is rapidly rising up the ranks in mobile share of transactions from ninth place in the third quarter in 2015, to fourth place in the fourth quarter.

This represents a huge opportunity, and Australian advertisers will need to move fast and be smart about their mobile strategies if they are to win customers.

Performance advertising has moved from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have’ in the advertiser’s weapon arsenal for 2016. If advertisers are to optimise their customer relationships, it is essential that they develop smart strategies to grab the attention of buyers, who are increasingly communicating, purchasing and social networking on their devices, particularly mobile ones.

Every business is different and therefore has different business objectives, meaning there is no out-of the box performance campaign that advertisers should deploy. Instead, the key to success lies in advertisers’ ability to understand their business as well as the landscape they’re operating in, and adapt accordingly.

The following tips will help drive your next next successful performance advertising campaign.

Know where you’re going and define your objectives

You wouldn’t start a journey without knowing where you wanted to go, just as you wouldn’t kick off your campaign without knowing your business objectives. The first step is to determine the amount you’re willing to pay for a transaction.

It’s important to keep in mind that new customers are more expensive to engage than existing ones, so it’s critical to build unique goals for each user type. This strategy will allow you to correlate ad spend and ensure goals are on target for each audience.

If you are unsure of what your ROI target should be, you should test the campaign volume elasticity at different levels.

It’s all about the user

Who are you targeting? Are they an engaged, or a non-engaged audience? Your KPIs and bidding strategy should be based on whether you are targeting an engaged (retargeting) or non-engaged audience (new or lapsed users). Adjusting budgets and targets based on that will allow you to get the right scale, ROI and enable you to track the rate of new customers and unique visitors.

Tweak your marketing analytics stack to make it work for you

There is no one-size- fits-all approach to setting up your marketing analytics stack, so play around with options to evaluate if best in breed or a unified stack is the right approach for you. Legacy data and systems, future technology investments, and the capabilities of your in-house team are all factors that should be weighed in deciding how your company approaches its investment.

Understand the customer journey

There has never been a better opportunity to understand your customer. By focusing on your customer’s path to purchase over time you can uncover unique insights that allow for better ongoing conversion attribution.

In order to better understand your customers and their purchasing behaviour, you need to identify the following:

  • What’s the average time between first web site visit and conversion?
  • How many paid-for clicks are there per conversion?
  • What’s the bounce rate at each stage of the funnel?
  • What’s the frequency of purchases from repeat customers?
  • What’s the rate of sales from new customers per channel?


Without a clear understanding of the customer journey, you could forego valuable information required to create campaigns that pay off.

It’s a cross-device world

If you don’t appreciate the opportunity that exists across multiple devices, you stand to lose out to your closest competitor who is likely capturing your customers as you read this. The consumer shopping journey has changed; it now takes place in a non-linear fashion across laptops, smartphones and tablets.

According to our recent ‘State of Mobile Commerce’ report, nearly 40% of transactions occurred across multiple devices or channels in the fourth quarter of 2015. Furthermore, 37% of desktop buyers browsed the same retailer’s site on at least one other device before purchasing, and cross-device shoppers who completed their purchase on a tablet were the most likely to have used multiple devices in the path-to-purchase, with 43% of tablet shoppers using multiple devices in their shopping journey.

You will need to adopt a strong consumer focus and use of technology in order to succeed. To ensure you get the most out of your campaign and avoid your devices being siloed, you must embrace a cross-device approach .

Optimise for mobile

Retailers with a strong mobile shopping experience closed out 2015 with impressive sales results, shifting many mobile device browsers into buyers, with Australia leading the charge. Leading Australian retailers, for example, saw their mobile share of all transactions reach a high of 48%.

To win over the mobile friendly consumer, you need to invest in a mobile marketing strategy that meets consumer wants and needs across all devices.

Smart data means better ads

Gather as much data as you can, but make sure it is meaningful to your business. The more data you can gather online and offline, the better equipped you will be to build a successful campaign. Every day, people create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, and that number isn’t slowing down. Take the opportunity to aggregate data and build a smart, effective way of targeting your consumer base.

Understand your data

Data is meaningless without context. To make sure you’re maximising your data to its full potential, hire in-house data analysts. They will challenge the data set, thereby enabling you to refine your requests with every campaign.

Performance advertising is the new normal

Driving a successful performance advertising campaign can seem daunting, but in actual fact with the retargeting capabilities that exist today, it’s an exciting time to be an advertiser. Until now,there has never been an opportunity to personalise advertising in such a clever way. With consumers demanding relevant content, it’s also a non-negotiable.

Performance advertising is the new ‘normal’, and to disregard this means you are opting out of the chance to deliver tremendous value to your business.


David Raitt is the commercial director of Criteo in Australia and New Zealand.