I’m often asked about the technologies and processes entailed in planning, buying, and optimizing media. Much is written about that, including Forrester’s research on using technology to develop more compelling creative and how to improve TV advertising’s planning, buying, and measurement processes. I’m rarely asked, however, about the people that improve media’s results. The human conditions of advertising get overlooked in favor of machine-driven automation.

“Performance” Defines And Confines Marketing

I’m also asked about the value of performance marketing. Every channel now parades as “performance.” The term has been abused as a catch-all that connotes lower funnel efficiency at the expense of brand. According to Forrester’s Q4 2023 B2C Marketing CMO Pulse Survey, 46% of US B2C marketing executives plan to “integrate performance and brand media assignments with a single media agency” in the next 12 months. Moreover, due to data deprecation, 77% of them struggle to measure media’s performance across channels and devices. Data deprecation undermines performance marketing’s accountability. Nonetheless, “performance” persists as an effective label. Countless agencies rethink “performance” while Google purports to maximize it.

Our latest report — Role Profile: Performance Marketer — highlights the people who improve media’s results and unpacks the concept. Our profile defines the competencies of effective performance marketers and refills the term with a gist that’s conducive to advertising’s future. The role profile helps marketers cultivate higher-performing teams. It includes:

  • A job description that, when fulfilled, helps performance marketers own the advertising lifecycle from audience understanding to creative optimization. This description empowers performance marketers to transcend their reputation for optimizing the bottom of the funnel at the expense of incremental reach, turning them into full-funnel strategists who mitigate wasted spend, delight audiences with engaging creative, and measure media’s efficacy.
  • The roles and responsibilities of effective performance marketing, including setting and measuring goals throughout the funnel by correlating awareness-generating exposures that expand retargeting pools with demand-harvesting exposures, coordinating agency partners to integrate media and creative into more than the sum of their parts, and fostering teammates’ curiosity and creativity.
  • The personas with whom performance marketers must closely collaborate, including heads of finance and analytics as well as data engineers and creative directors.
  • Technologies, ranging from advertising resource management platforms to creative automation and intelligence tools, that accelerate performance marketers’ time-to-value.
  • Success metrics, including lifetime value and incremental return on ad spend.
  • Compensation structure, education, skills, behaviors, and more.

I look forward to your feedback on our role profile for performance marketers. In addition, look out for forthcoming research on AI-integrated advertising, which will put generative AI’s emergence into context, separate fact from fiction, and recommend how advertisers can capitalize on AI without forsaking transparency or control. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to reach out.