• What is Performance Marketing?

    What is Performance Marketing?

    We look at long-term growth for our clients along with short-term campaign outputs. To that end, it all comes down to the math.Performance marketing has many different definitions, but at its simplest, performance marketing is a strategy where the success of the campaign is judged by adherence to explicit metrics and goals defined by the client.   Performance Marketing – a Step Further   We go a step further, to define performance marketing as meeting and exceeding the clear KPIs that will drive specific, bottom-of-the-funnel results that will grow a client’s business. For example, our key metric to measure performance might be cost per acquisition at X dollars, generating an average order value above Y dollars, or increase completed conversions by Z percent. Generally, these are hard, provable metrics that measure product sales, customer conversions, or financial growth that align with positive business outcomes and scalable growth.  Do the Math  We look at long-term growth for our clients along with short-term campaign outputs. To that end, it all comes down to the math. The right strategy should include the ability to model out every aspect of the campaign and the metrics therein that ladder up to the key KPI — and the math must make sense.  A series of equations, informed by past and present category data and audience behavior, will inform us if the campaign will work.    For (a very simplified) example, if the:  CPM is value A;   Average click-through rate is B;   Average first-visit conversion is value C; Cost of Goods is value D;  Offer configuration yields an average order value of E;    Repeat purchases happen on average every 5 months; and   Seasonality is weighted with 75% of sales in Q2 and Q3, … then we can begin to build out the equation that serves as a pro forma.   The pro forma serves as an essential roadmap to determine the feasibility of the campaign and what we expect the specific results to be. It is a predictive performance model — the pinnacle of performance marketing execution.  Vanity Metrics and Performance Marketing  Be cautious about vanity metrics that are often touted as performance marketing, or as “guarantees” of performance. Usually, these guarantees are centered on soft metrics that are not real signifiers of successful business outcomes.    For example, if someone “guarantees” 1M impressions with X budget, they can simply buy cheap media at bottom of the barrel CPMs to hit the impressions metric, but that does nothing to drive the business forward. Another “guarantee” might be driving 100,000 leads to a site because the client thinks lead volume will generate conversions. Well, they may well drive 100,000 leads to the site within the budget, but the leads will not convert, because again, the agency strategy was to drive a number of leads, but not necessarily qualified leads that will convert. As you can see, these types of guarantees of performance are built upon a shaky foundation of soft metrics that although easily achievable, might not be aligned with the actual growth of the business.  Other Types of Performance Marketing  Various other tactics can all be captured under the umbrella of performance marketing. For example, affiliate marketing, where an affiliate is paid only if their referral results in a sale of the product. There are also performance marketing tactics where an advertiser pays on a “per inquiry” basis, meaning if an agency delivers a qualified lead in the form of a phone call or site visit, then the agency gets paid for that “inquiry”. While these tactics are acceptable to utilize for tepid growth, they are rarely scalable or repeatable, and will not provide actionable, dependable short- and long-term growth.   Benefits of Performance Marketing  Some of the key benefits of performance marketing include:  Accountability. Performance marketing allows a company to measure the effectiveness of advertising in a provable, accountable way.  Speed. Performance marketing allows the company to react quickly to the indicators of the advertising campaign, practically in real time.  Efficiency. By carefully predicting results based on knowable and retrievable data, the campaign is an efficient investment, with a target ROI, instead of advertising spend that hopes for good results.  If you’re rolling out a pure branding campaign, and are simply seeking to raise unaided awareness, then performance marketing is likely not the best tactical palette from which to paint. But if you’re seeking to move the needle on sales, conversions, or other key business-driven metrics, performance marketing deserves exploration. Also, pro tip: with the right, responsive creative in place, you can build the brand at the same time!   If you’d like to see what predictive performance would look like for your brand, please contact us, send us an email, or call us and we’ll be happy to show you.

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  • 12 ways leaders can handle multiple jobs without burning out

    12 ways leaders can handle multiple jobs without burning out

    Small businesses often run on limited resources, which don’t always leave available funds for hiring an ideal number of employees to cover all the work that needs to be done. Most small business leaders are required to wear multiple hats to cut costs. While this is a cost-effective strategy, it requires a lot of energy and time on the leaders’ part, which can lead to leaders becoming overwhelmed and eventually burning out. Below, 12 professionals from Business Journals Leadership Trust offer advice on how a leader can manage to handle multiple jobs without burning out. 1. Break tasks down by dividing them into two buckets.As a solopreneur responsible for everything, I break out tasks into two buckets. Administrative functions ensure the smooth functioning of my business, and these non-critical tasks can be delegated. High ROI functions, like client coaching and business development, directly impact the bottom line and are too important to delegate. I focus on only those tasks that bring the greatest value to me and my clients. – Faizun Kamal, The Franchise Pros 2. Seek guidance and counsel when necessary.Small business leaders manage to wear various hats within their organizations by possessing the following qualities of being open-minded, positive, hard-working, humble, disciplined and consistent. They must also be willing to seek guidance and counsel when necessary. Additionally, a leader must learn to trust and delegate tasks as needed in order for the organization to reach its optimal potential. – Robert McCray, Vantage Realty Capital 3. Write tasks down to conquer them one at a time.As a business leader, you must always be ready to do whatever is necessary to keep the business running efficiently. To prevent burnout and feeling overwhelmed when you have to wear multiple hats, write all open tasks down and conquer them one at a time, checking them off the list as you go. Seeing the tasks written down in an organized format helps bring a sense of organization to the chaos. – Donna Stockham, Stockham Law Group, P.A 4. Map out your day before you start.Map out your day before you start your day. Whether you do it at the end of a workday or at the beginning, look at your schedule and create blocks on your calendar as to when you will complete each task or group of tasks. And then stick to it! If you can get yourself in tune with this discipline, it will be easier to take on more with less stress. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency 5. Utilize as much technology as possible.Make sure you utilize as much technology as possible. Focus on “human tasks” for humans and allow automation to do the rest. There are many inexpensive ways to automate, even with limited resources. Take the time to lead by creating silos of tasks and making the most of human talent. – Rachel Namoff, Arapaho Asset Management 6. Be methodical in your approach to the day.One can manage burnout by being methodical in the way they approach the workday. A well-disciplined approach includes taking care of key initiatives early in the day, leaving the remainder of the day to handle various tasks and ending each day with handling any emails. Setting boundaries will ensure that you start the day fresh, and you’ll be able to handle three times the work with this steady approach. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising 7. Use automation to lighten loads when possible.I am of the opinion that you shouldn’t do a job that you are not passionate about. Use automation wherever possible to reduce workloads. Prioritize tasks, train your team and delegate. Hire a skilled workforce, create a collaborative environment, inspire and empower your team. Manage your time and build next-generation leaders. – Samy Muthusamy, reliableparts.com 8. Prioritize the work that brings the most value.Prioritizing that which will bring the organization the most value, even if it isn’t perfect, is essential. Imperfect action yields better results than inaction. – Justin Livingston, Reflektions Ltd 9. Set aside one day a week to tackle strategy.I like setting aside one day a week to tackle strategy and work on gnarly problems without interruption. This answers two important pieces of business ownership by allowing for visioning, strategy and deep thinking with focus and helping you spend the rest of your week mentally present with your customers and your team. Everyone wins! – Kimberly Lucas, Goldstone Partners 10. Delegate to grow with every initial hire.Delegate to grow. When I started my firm, I did sales, recruiting, operations, accounting, IT, etc. With every initial hire, I looked for leaders who could take on these responsibilities. This freed me up to do the things I do best and allowed others to shine in areas of my weakness. Know that others may not do things the same way as you, so set goals for them and get out of their way. – Matt Rosen, Allata 11. Have clear business goals and objectives.Having clear business goals and objectives is critical to determining which tasks and activities are most important and impactful. Chasing shiny objects and going down unnecessary rabbit holes can easily create overwhelm and burnout. Knowing exactly what needs to be accomplished to get the business where you want to take it streamlines decision making and reduces the risk of overwhelm and burnout. – Laura Doehle, Elevation Business Consulting 12. Organize and prioritize well in advance.I’ve found the best way to effectively manage multiple roles and responsibilities in an organization is to organize and prioritize. I manage my calendar to the minute, a week or two in advance, including time-blocking for non-interrupted work sessions. I also prioritize my tasks on a daily and weekly level based on what’s important, not just urgent. – Kent Lewis, Anvil Media, Inc.

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  • CTV Video Creative Best Practices

    CTV Video Creative Best Practices

    Welcome! SteelHouse is officially MNTN. If you’re a current customer, please note your campaigns and tracking pixel are still live and your logins are unchanged. If you’re new to MNTN, we’re happy you’re here. Please explore the site to discover how you can launch direct-response campaigns on television to drive revenue, visits, and more. Explore the Site

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  • Top 10 New Years Resolutions for Inventors

    Top 10 New Years Resolutions for Inventors

    Happy New Year from Edison Nation! It’s a new year and a new decade, and there’s no limit to what you may achieve! Although we aren’t yet traveling in flying cars or sharing our homes with robot butlers, which some predicted would have happened by now, the world is undoubtedly a different place than it was 50 or even 10 years ago. Rapid advancements in production, logistics, and information technology have created a fertile ground for invention in the 21st century. It’s a great time to be an innovator! In 2020, we don’t yet have robot butlers, as some predicted (although we do have robot vacuums!) To help you get the most out of this exciting moment—flying cars or no—we’ve come up with a top 10 list of inventor resolutions that will help your ideas soar in 2020. 10. Get organized. While it’s a popular stereotype that successful inventors are absent-minded professor types, having your act together is actually key to success. Particularly if you’re a sole proprietor, you’ll be responsible for making sure all your paperwork is complete and up to date as you complete each step toward getting to market. You’ll also want to keep notes on your workshop successes and failures as you develop your project—don’t depend on your memory to retain all the details. For many, an inventor’s notebook is an indispensable tool.   9. Prioritize. Sadly, we all have limited time and attention—we simply can’t do it all, as much as we try. Multitasking, once considered a great way to get a lot done, is more and more being viewed as inhibiting productivity. When developing your invention, stay focused on the research and experimentation that actually serve you, and tune out the rest. This may occasionally require shifting gears, which brings us to number 8. 8. Consider new avenues for inspiration. If you find yourself in a rut, change things up. While it’s important to maintain steady work habits, doing things exactly the same way each time can lead to a feeling of stagnation. You know how when you stop looking for that item you lost, it suddenly turns up? It’s like that. Shift your focus or try out a new routine, and you’re likely to find that your ideas begin flowing again.   7. Perfect your WOW statement. As we noted in a previous post, the classic elevator pitch is losing ground to the more succinct and engaging WOW statement. This brief pitch piques your conversation partner’s interest without overwhelming them with information, and the process of crafting it will help you clarify what makes your product unique. Let 2020 be the year you perfect your WOW statement! 6. Remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Many successful inventions are actually tweaks on products that already exist, so don’t be too concerned with making something completely novel. Inventions from the cotton gin to the television employed the accumulated work of several inventors to reach their optimal state. 5. Don’t fear failure. As Thomas Edison himself acknowledged many times, failures are just steps on the path to eventual success. Learn from them. Edison said it best: “I can never find the things that work best until I know the things that don’t work.” 4. Find your market. The importance of knowing your target market can’t be overstated. No matter how novel your idea, the likelihood is that only a small percentage of the overall population is likely to buy it. Conduct target research to find your audience, then see what products similar to yours already exist for that audience. With some exceptions, the sweet spot for an invention is having a small number of competitors. 3. Engage with your community. As Edison knew well, success doesn’t occur in a vacuum, but as the result of many minds coming together as they did in his Menlo Park research laboratory. Reach out to your mentors and other inventors for advice and information, as well as to celebrate joys and recover from disappointments. Attend conferences and trade shows, and participate in online communities such as the Edison Nation forums. By linking up with other innovators, you’ll meet benchmarks faster and have a richer journey as you do so. 2. Persist, persist, persist. As you’ve likely already discovered, the road to market is rarely obstacle free. As mentioned in resolution 5, failure is an inevitable component of success. When you hit a roadblock, take a minute to recover and then get right back to it. And if you’re feeling discouraged, check in with some Edison Nation members for motivation! Mark your calendar for the premiere of Everyday Edisons, February 11, 2020! Premiering on National Inventor’s Day, February 11, 2020, the inspirational series about inventing is back and better than ever. You’ll see talented inventors compete to have their product supported by Edison Nation, receiving mentorship from successful entrepreneurs along the way. The rebooted series will have a special focus on education, so you’ll learn about everything from prototypes to patents alongside the contestants. Perhaps you’ll even be inspired to try out to be one of next season’s Everyday Edisons!    How do you plan to make your 2020 a success? Let us know in the comments. WRITTEN BY Emily Dings

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