The Forrester Wave: Performance Marketing Agencies

By Brian DeCicco, Executive Director, Mindshare USA

At Mindshare, we respect the importance of the word performance in performance marketing. Above all else, we must deliver and validate impact against our clients’ key business outcomes. True performance – moving the needle on demand generation objectives – does not live in pockets or silos; it comes from integrated strategy and cross-channel buying and optimization. In the latest Forrester Wave report on performance marketing, we are proud to see GroupM performance land in the upper echelon of the ‘strong performers’ category. While we have a long history of channel excellence in search, social, and programmatic, what Forrester values highest – multi-channel planning – is what Mindshare’s performance practice values most and delivers consistently for our clients.

Great multi-channel planning is built on good data and predictive analytics. In performance marketing, the brief starts with a singular goal – and job #1 is providing the most efficient path to achieving that outcome. We earned highest marks here, with our ability to provide our clients with predictable returns on their performance media investment, identify risk in efforts based on internal and external factors, and develop adaptive plans to address those risks and mitigate diminishing returns.

One of my favorite examples of this in action, came from a leading DTC home environmental control brand. We identified an external trigger, the release of the annual State of the Air report, developing a scenario plan ready to go at the moment of release, forecasted incremental impact if we could own the moment, setup a domain-level monitoring system to track coverage of the report, and immediately deployed a custom-white list and keyword strategy to own every possible impression surrounding the report in real-time. The result: 112% increase in attributed sales versus the benchmark. That’s data-driven strategy and agile, performance media activation working in harmony.

In short, what’s critical to success in performance marketing can be boiled down to three core principles:

  1. Accurately predict outcomes and risk to best service demand generation.
  2. Democratize insights, from not just campaign performance but the external factors surrounding that brand, across channel teams to optimize at speed, with confidence.
  3. Plan to be Agile. Develop a multitude of pre-built scenario plans, from data-informed risk assessments, that allow for easy throttling of media spend in market.

Congratulations to GroupM performance for landing ourselves among the elite.  And, as GroupM CEO Tim Castree applauded, congrats to Mindshare for moving the needle on the Multi-Channel Strategy and Optimization layer that Forrester, and the industry at large, recognize as the X-factor in great Performance Marketing. Check out the full report here.