Measuring milestones: Performance marketing, by SHAREit’s Karam Malhotra

In an era where results are expected and demanded in equal measure, more and more organizations are prioritizing the implementation of performance marketing into their respective strategies, writes Karam Malhotra, partner and global vice-president, SHAREit Group.

Now more than ever, organizations are bound by comprehensive strategies, with a culmination of actions instrumental to achieving long-term objectives. Irrespective of the sector, organizational strategies clearly define one’s business priorities, providing a roadmap that encompasses the activities and personnel required to move the company forward and translate ambition to reality. However, this is by no means a foregone conclusion. The new normal is a challenging climate to navigate, accompanied by an unprecedented degree of uncertainty. For every company pursuing organizational strategies, measuring milestones is imperative – and a particular form of marketing has emerged as a viable option for substantiating and driving success.

In an era where results are expected and demanded in equal measure, more and more organizations are prioritizing the implementation of performance marketing into their respective strategies. In simple terms, performance marketing refers to online marketing and advertising programs where companies acquire the services of specialized firms and honour their payment obligations only after a specific action – such as an app download or a certain degree of target audience exposure – has been completed or delivered.

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For companies considering performance marketing in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), this is especially relevant. As a hub for digital advertising in all its forms, the region boasts overall internet penetration of approximately 92 percent, significantly higher than the global rate of 54 percent. Moreover, digital advertising expenditure was projected to reach USD 6.51 billion in 2020, while the GCC has one of the highest social media usage rates worldwide, with the UAE and Qatar leading the way globally with 99 percent.

With this in mind, unprecedented performance marketing popularity and uptake are certain to transpire in due course. Already, the practice has rapidly evolved on a massive scale, bringing advertising and innovation together to help organizations go above and beyond business continuity to create unique value propositions while growing their profiles, customer bases, and revenues. At the same time, performance marketing enables real-time return on investment (ROI) measurement and ultimately presents win-win scenarios for all concerned parties. Advertisers capitalize on the aforementioned benefits, while the publishers behind the campaigns receive payment for delivering results and acquire more business.

From an advertiser standpoint, onboarding a publisher that maximizes ROI and provides value is fundamental for several reasons. Firstly, performance marketing is an avenue for measuring success in numerous ways. One is lead generation, which is prudent for attracting interest and attention from target audiences. Publishers introduce brands to potential customers and promoting offerings.

Another is application downloads, which applies to an organization that has its own app. Publishers promote advertiser apps and the advantages they provide, leading to significantly higher download numbers that, in turn, drive increased sales and revenue. It’s important to note that performance marketing is not restricted in terms of options on how to achieve results, yet advertisements and other forms of promotional content also encourage customers and provide the same advantages. Local brands and marketers – from those in traditional industries to mobile apps – can also use publishers like SHAREit Group as a platform for marketing and growth.

Performance marketing and the ability to measure milestones have also become integral to organizational strategy through the multitude of channels available to drive campaigns and deliver positive outcomes. Social media influence in the GCC was mentioned previously, and social media ads represent a powerful channel to reach out and attract new customers, with various ad formats and payment methods available to explore.

Although there are multiple options to choose from, search engine advertising and display ads are two of the most integral elements in the performance marketing world, using a pull and push approach, respectively. To elaborate on the approach, search ads only appear to those who are already looking for a product or service, while display ads appear in paid placements based on stipulated targeting parameters.

Search ads drive far greater exposure as the vast majority of online interactions are triggered through search engines – with publisher payments made after advertisements are clicked and end-users are redirected to the organization in question’s landing page. Display ads also immensely beneficial. Comprising attractive visual features, these target end-users based on their interests and demographics, with payments once again made upon successful landing page conversion. However, the one thing they have in common is that, when implemented properly, both drive excellent campaign results.

As organizations look ahead to the future and pursue their business aspirations, performance marketing represents an essential element of any organizational strategy. With support from experienced and resourceful publishers, advertisers can reap the rewards from the services they provide, surpassing many milestones on a journey that yields sustained business success.