How performance branding boosts your brand awareness

Data and technology allow us to measure consumer behavior from the first impression to the last click. More and more budget is being allocated to targeted performance marketing: anything to get consumers deeper into the funnel. But how do you get them there in the first place? We're talking brand awareness! You have to start somewhere in facilitating a purchase. Performance branding is the way to fill your sales funnel and transform strangers into fans with brand awareness. Read here the why, how and what of performance branding.

Performance branding explained

Are you still using billboards, television and radio for brand awareness? Traditional media are notorious among digital marketing agencies. We dismiss them as unmeasurable. Sorry, not sorry. And as the number of touchpoints is spread across more and more channels, it gets increasingly difficult to measure each’s impact.

The combination with offline channels makes cross-channel ROI calculations tricky. Smart TVs, billboards with cameras and call tracking may offer insight, but they also bring an inhuman amount of interfaces, systems and manual work. How do you ensure the right insights?

Performance branding is all about providing insight into what happens in the top layers of the funnel. As a brand you simply have to invest in brand awareness. Otherwise you will never be considered as a potential supplier: brand awareness is a buy-in to the consumer's consideration set. The more often your brand is top of mind in different situations, the stronger your brand is. 

Coca Cola is just a sweet fizzy drink, 

but it enjoys a prime position 

in the minds of consumers. 

Why do it the hard way when it can be done the easy way? 

Reach out to your target audience on a large scale? And measure the results over the entire funnel? Then you simply have to step into the online world with both feet. Although there are different methods to measure omnichannel performance, it remains complex. Think of microsites, consumer panels or measuring the correlation between offline campaign expressions and the number of website visits in the same period. But aren't you making things too difficult for yourself?

In addition, the question remains whether you are actually reaching the right target audience. With online campaigns you set up target groups before you start targeting them. With an offline campaign you’re still in the dark when it comes to accurate targeting. Not to mention the cost of offline campaigns. How to make the switch from offline to online top-of-the-funnel marketing? We explain that below!

Plea for performance branding

The more you make the shift to online marketing, the more insightful your media spend is. That way, your marketing budget really is a demonstrable long-term investment in your brand. The impact of spending across channels is directly visible. In addition, you monitor the performance of your brand over the entire buyer's journey. 


We can hear you thinking: what about cookies and tracking? 

Read our blog on the developments in the cookie landscape 

and how to prepare for the future!


From first impression to last click: which channels made a relevant contribution in the purchase process? Perspective on who the customer is and what the return is on marketing spending forms an important bridge between CMO and CFO. This enables you to develop orchestrated marketing strategies and spend budgets as efficiently as possible. 

How do you apply performance branding?

Engaging in brand awareness with performance branding, can be done in different ways. In this article we look at programmatic buying, influencer marketing and the application of a Customer Data Platform (CDP). Excellent methods to reach relevant target groups and then guide them through the rest of the funnel. At the same time, you have the opportunity to turn the volume up. This way you build a scalable business case: how much more revenue will come from your online investments?


A seamless integration between online and offline spheres?

Read our blog on how to combine offline and online stores

Programmatic buying & performance branding 

Programmatic buying is an automated way to buy advertising space. Advanced ecosystems of algorithms analyze consumer behavior and serve up the 'right' ad to the 'right' person. With a Demand Side Platform - such as Google's DV360 - you advertise on all kinds of quality websites of your choice. It analyzes the intention of the user on a website in relation to the advertiser's criteria in real time. This has the advantage that you know for sure in which phase of the customer journey someone is and you can seamlessly target them with a relevant message.

So getting started with programmatic buying for your online brand awareness is a very good move. Because the Demand Side Platform monitors the intent of users, you know for sure that you are targeting groups in the desired phase of the buyer's journey. This is in sharp contrast to offline advertising, where measuring intent remains guesswork. 

Using a Demand Side Platform does require some finesse. The algorithms need guidance in serving the ads. That is why it is important to have segmentation and targeting carefully worked out. Depending on the stage of the buyer's journey, you steer on other KPIs to monitor the success of your campaigns.

The more you use data-driven marketing solutions, the more fluid the marketing mix looks. Price, product, place and promotion are optimized in real-time for the best results. Your branding is the solid foundation on which all communication rests. 

Does this sound like hocus pocus? Then read our

blog on how to unite data and branding.


Influencer marketing & performance branding

Influencer marketing offers endless possibilities for branding at various stages of the buyer's journey. As a rule of thumb, the size of the influencer determines in which stage of the buyer's journey you deploy them. From small to large: there are micro, macro and mega-influencers. The number of followers and the engagement rate determine which scale the influencer falls into.

In short, micro-influencers have a following of less than 10,000 followers. Macro falls somewhere between 10,000 and 1 million. Mega-influencers, like Kylie Jenner, have one or more millions of followers. 

How do you integrate influencer marketing in your performance branding strategy? This is where things get exciting! Because it varies by industry and brand. The cool thing about influencer marketing is that it's about the unique personality of your brand and finding a matching endorser. But there are a few rules of thumb you can take into account when funneling with influencer marketing. 


Fully immerse yourself in digital atmospheres? 

Read our blog about the metaverse, NFT’s and influencers.


The influencer marketing funnel

TOFU: Think BIG: TOFU influencer marketing starts with big influencers. And as is the case with offline channels, TOFU media spend in influencer marketing is pricey (but definitely worth it). With big influencers, you pay for image and reach. The ultimate goal is to fill the top of the funnel with a relevant audience and build brand awareness.

Pro tip: You can't just assume that the influencer himself is a reflection of the following he or she has. So always do some research on this!

MOFU: for mid-funnel influencer marketing, macro-influencers are the best move. In a campaign period, hook macro-influencers a little later. Why? Because mega-influencers are known for always being the first to endorse new products or services. So you want to keep them happy at all times. The motivation of macro-influencers increases when a mega-influencer was involved in the campaign as well.

Midfunnel strategies focus on the community of semi-active followers of macro-influencers. In your communications, focus on the common denominator of that following: what passion, drive or mission do they want to accomplish? 

BOFU: Complete your influencer marketing strategy with BOFU content. Micro-influencers are definitely the way to go here. The focus is on the loyal following of small influencers. Micro-influencers are seen by their following as authentic trusted advisors. Endorsing products or services has a big impact on them. We therefore see very high conversion rates when using micro-influencers. 

We took a brief step sideways regarding the influencer marketing funnel.

Want to know more about the application of influencer marketing in your organization?

Then get in touch with John Meulemans!

Everything comes together in a CDP 

Both programmatic buying and influencer marketing are excellent tactics to build brand awareness where you want it to: a relevant audience. Once guided to your website, what do you want them to do next? A Customer Data Platform is the  perfect business asset for you. Powered by insights and AI, a CDP ensures everyone gets the best personalized website experience.

At the first website visit, the CDP finds out with what intention someone visits the website and what he or she is interested in. This is why programmatic buying and a CDP are such a good combination, as it ensures a seamless experience across channels. Once users are on your website, a CDP is the best pull marketing method. With each interaction on your site, the customer profile is enriched. A CDP allows you to apply data-driven segmentation and build in real-time relevant cross-sells. 

Want to know more about the possibilities of a Customer Data Platform?

 Read our blog on personalisation with a CDP.


Does someone visit page x and does this person spend x time here? Then that person ends up in segment x. The next time this person visits the website, what do they see on the homepage? The products they looked at on their first visit. Coincidence? Absolutely not. These segments are also extremely suitable as retargeting audiences and input for look-a-like and audiences in Meta and Google Ads. 

Branding starts digital

Like we said, the more you move your marketing into digital realms, the more insightful your media spend will be. Branding simply starts digital. Combining performance branding with a Customer Data Platform brings a lot of fireworks into the organization (read: satisfied customers and higher turnovers). Initially, online branding methods are sometimes received with skepticism. However, once you've had a taste of data-driven digital marketing, you’ll never want to go back. The added value of branding is so transparent that many companies adopt it very easily into their efforts. 


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Herwin van den Berg

Managing Director Strategy, Concepts & Content & Partner

Founder & Partner

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