Gone are the days of laborious decision-making to determine where to focus ad spend. Finding the balance between direct response (DR) sales activation and long-term brand growth has been challenging for many advertisers. While both are integral to marketing success, up until recently, the two strategies have been siloed with their own budgets and objectives. In 2019, Northern Commerce partnered with Facebook to become the first eCommerce agency to test and launch a new concept called performance branding.

What is Performance Branding?

Performance branding calls for a shift in strategy from exclusively selling products to a more holistic approach, including brand awareness tactics. By adopting performance branding as a marketing strategy, advertisers can drive impactful results while simultaneously building strong, consistent, and memorable brand experiences. By delivering indistinct DR and brand awareness advertisements, the innovative advertising solution allows brands to tell their story without sacrificing a strong call to action. The blurred lines between branded and direct response advertisements enable brands to target audiences in all funnel stages, ultimately delivering a more comprehensive brand experience. 

Unlocking the full benefit of performance branding requires a fundamental shift in marketing practices toward greater precision and adaptability. 

Pulp & Press Facebook Ad

4 Core Elements for Getting Performance Branding Right

1. Mobile Optimization

Northern Commerce partnered with Facebook to determine that Facebook platforms, due to their high engagement rates, allow advertisers to run direct-response campaigns while concurrently scaling brand awareness. On Facebook platforms alone, an advertisement could appear in a variety of placements such as the Facebook News Feed or among Instagram Stories. While Facebook offers automatic placements, manually selecting ad placement is key to narrowing down targeting and getting the most out of ad spend. Mobile continues to diversify the creative content marketing used to connect with people, and as such advertisers who optimize creative assets for mobile experiences see better performance across brand familiarity and ad recall.

2. Branded creatives

When seeking to build brand awareness through a direct-response campaign, it becomes essential for advertisers to establish brand identity in their creatives. Facebook conducted a brand lift test where they determined that the absence of a recognizable brand visual resulted in the lift of an entire product category rather than the intended brand. In the study, 57% of the brands saw brand awareness uplifts for their competitors as well as for themselves. Crafting brand identity in your creative assets will increase brand familiarity and instill long-term loyalty in your consumers.

3. Audience targeting

With performance branding, an advertiser can target a more broad audience leading to increased flexibility and efficiency. Improved reach is achieved through a best-in-class pixel set-up to allow for advanced signals to be considered and used for optimization related to direct response objectives, such as purchase conversions. In addition, creating a defined audience structure that incorporates targeting toward reaching customers who have not been exposed to the brand ensures results can be analyzed accordingly to determine the effectiveness and incremental impact on the brand.

4. Measurement

To effectively determine how impactful a performance branding strategy is in driving outcomes for both brand and DR metrics, brands should leverage a multi-cell conversion lift study. Designed to measure lift across multiple objectives within a defined time period, the study ensures direct brand impact and positive outcomes are being achieved. Utilizing all elements of the performance branding framework enables the study to evaluate the “halo” effect your direct response efforts have on brand building. The tactic enables an understanding of Facebook’s role in brand development, enabling advertisers to scale reach by leveraging incremental budget to deliver DR results.

Benefits of a Successful Performance Branding Campaign with Facebook

A major benefit of performance branding is allowing advertisers to overcome the division between marketing strategies. Without performance branding, different marketing strategies require different data and tools to build objectives and campaigns. Performance branding serves as a single source of truth and helps companies deliver a holistic experience, including brand awareness and DR tactics. 

Performance branding allows advertisers to target campaigns in a strategic, high ROI manner. Advertisers have the ability to compare ad spend impact across media channels and analyze brand performance across the entire customer journey. With one single source of data, advertisers are able to deliver a thoughtful omnichannel approach, resulting in more favourable outcomes and a better user experience. 

The all-encompassing nature of performance branding replaces the funnel approach, resulting in a holistic advertising strategy. By incorporating strong brand visibility in direct-response campaigns, both brand awareness and purchase conversions are targeted. 

Make an observation of the revamped approach of performance branding compared to the traditional funnel of DR and brand awareness marketing strategies.

1) Performance / direct response; 2) Branding

The Launch of Performance Branding with Facebook 

Today’s consumer journey is an omnichannel experience that can pose a challenge for many marketers; however, it also opens an immense opportunity—the opportunity that lies at the intersection of mobile consumer behaviour and video advertising. There are 2.8 billion monthly active users on Facebook, and 81% of users only use Facebook on mobile. On average, a person checks their phone up to 96 times a day; what better way to target consumers than through mobile-first creative assets with Facebook as the new storefront?

Northern Commerce partnered with Facebook to launch two notable performance branding campaigns.

Performance Branding Success Story: Pulp & Press Juice Co.

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Performance Branding Success Story: tentree

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Considering Performance Branding For Your Organization?

Discover the holistic approach to advertising designed to improve customer experience without sacrificing performance. To learn more about the impact of performance branding and ad optimization, contact Northern today.