3 Marketing Tips for Startups from Performance Marketing Insights Berlin

Recently, Berlin welcomed advertisers, publishers, affiliate networks, startups, and adtechs from around the world for Performance Marketing Insights 2015.

This two-day event brought together industry leaders including Ken Segall, Apple’s former creative director and Jeremy Waite, Head of Digital Strategy at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, to discuss the latest and greatest in performance marketing and provide advice on how to tackle it going forward.

More than 800 attendees were eager to hear from world renowned keynotes and expert led panels on industry challenges, technology-driven innovations and what companies, big and small, can expect for the future of performance marketing.

Needless to say, there was a lot of learning to take home, particularly for startups that are new to the world of performance marketing. If you’re a startup looking to improve your marketing strategies and push the envelope in the digital landscape, then these top 3 takeaways from Performance Insights Marketing Europe 2015 are for you.

1). Marketing strategies need to be customer-centric

If there was a central theme at Performance Marketing Insights it was that the customer is king. Several speakers including iPullRank’s Mike King, and Net Media Planet’s Kevin Spinks, advised advertisers, marketers, and publishers alike to remember that a strong marketing strategy keeps the consumer – as an individual – in mind.

Mike King of iPullRank speaking. Photo courtesy of @IngeniousTechAG.


Mike King, Marketing Technologist at iPullRank shared 3 steps to building customer-centric campaigns:

Build the persona – Use data to build an accurate picture of your consumer. Whether you’re an established or up and coming business, your first priority must be to get to know your customers and their engagement behaviors. With the plethora of customer related data available at your finger tips, including social media engagement data, email response habits, mobile app usage, it shouldn’t be difficult to analyze and understand exactly who your target audience is.

Understand the user journey – In order to build your customer’s experience with your brand you need to have a full understanding of their pathway towards your product or service. What’s your overall marketing strategy and how well integrated is it with your business goals? How long is your marketing funnel, and at what point do users fall off? Where are your most valuable customer touch points? Based on these learnings, you should be able to build smarter strategies instead of guessing blindly.

Understand your metrics  simply put, if you don’t know what you are measuring you will never see results. But pick and choose the right metrics for your business – no two marketing stack looks the same. So measure what’s most important to you.

“As a brand, the job is not to make influencers advocates, but to make advocates influencers” – Jon Myers of Marin Software.

Customers are your brand’s advocates. Once your customers are your champions, they will do the talking for you – so make them your number one priority!

BONUS: King was kind enough to share his incredibly useful tips from Performance Marketing Insights here

2) Mobile is different from desktop

There is no doubt that mobile is the new black for marketers – it has officially eclipsed desktop in terms of global usage. But what marketers may be inclined to thinking is that what worked on desktop will work on mobile. This is not the case!

In order to conquer the mobile space, advertisers, marketers, and publishers need to be innovative in finding new ways to connect with their audience. The way consumers interact with their mobile devices is fundamentally different from how they interact on desktop, so your methods of reaching them in this space should differ as well.

The most successful campaigns will involve a fully integrated experience that incorporates several channels (mobile, desktop, video etc.) and ultimately provides a unique experience for the consumer in each of these channels.

“Omnichannel isn’t the future, it’s right now” – Anne-Marie Schwab, General Manager and Vice President RetailMeNot.

Having a customer-centric approach will allow brands to reach the right person, at the right time and right place which will deliver true ROI and ultimately breed success.

3) Use native advertising but don’t forget to engage consumers

In the simplest terms, native advertising is advertising that blends in with the content of the publisher they appear on. It is the newest frontier in advertising and is now available across multiple devices and various formats, including the recent launch of native ads on Snapchat.

At PMI Europe, the discussion on native advertising was led by Kevin Flood, CEO of Powerlinks. He made it clear that native is experiencing explosive growth. With US native ad spend forecasted to hit $10.7 billion (Flood) this year, money is evidently pouring into one of the fastest growing forms of advertising and flowing away from traditional forms.

Kevin Flood speaking at Performance Marketing Insights Berlin 2015. Photo courtesy of @kevinfloo88.


The key to success with this ad format is relevancy with audiences which includes content and channel of delivery.  Whatever message you are trying to get in front of audiences via native ads, it needs to be relevant to the context of the publisher it’s being served on. The consumer is visiting that publisher because it offers the content they are interested in. It’s the advertisers’ job to deliver ads that are relevant and personalized to this experience.

Customer, mobile, and native are most definitely the three key marketing takeaways from #PMIEUR. For startups worldwide, getting in on these channels early and doing them right from the get-go could be the difference between stagnation or real growth in our fast-paced digital world.

Image Credit: Performance Marketing Insights on Facebook

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Written by:
Megan is the Marketing Coordinator at WhatRunsWhere - the premier competitive intelligence service for marketers. Her background in Marketing and Communications and curiosity for technology got her involved in the Toronto start-up community during university. Since then, her passion for the digital world has continued to grow daily. Outside the office you can find her experimenting in the kitchen, finding the latest and greatest cuisine in the city or dreaming up her next travel destination. Keep up with her latest posts by visiting the WhatRunsWhere Blog or Twitter @WhatRunsWhere
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