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9 July 2021 / Opinion



The worlds of brand and performance marketing, once considered separate, are now merging. One is considered people-focused and value-oriented, the other data-focused and profit-oriented. While there is no doubt that both marketing approaches have obvious individual strengths, they can also both fall short. As overall acquisition costs continue to increase for businesses, individual goals for branding and performance are impeding each other due to a siloed focus.

In 2020, Airbnb slashed digital ad spending in a permanent shift to brand spend and still generated 95% of the same online traffic as a year earlier. But can businesses afford to ditch one for the other? It’s difficult to create true differentiation today, but even in online-only industries you still need brand marketing to make performance marketing effective. Awareness, perception and advocacy make customer acquisition campaigns work more effectively, delivering customers for less money and ultimately increasing return on investment. As a result, consistency has become key to driving brand recall and conversion. 

Smart marketers are running more controlled experiment and learn initiatives to prove what portion of performance spend truly drives incremental business outcomes versus the spend that is wasted. Data is the glue that bonds brand development and performance enhancement at a granular level across every marketing touchpoint. Put simply, the more astute you become with data, the more effective your marketing becomes. 


At the Festival of Marketing’s Fast Forward event, we discussed how marketers can innovate with confidence to optimise brand and drive performance. Jaywing’s marketing effectiveness experts, Dr Catherine Kelly and Hanna Wade, were joined by Paul Tinsley, Brand, Marketing and Development Director at Furniture And Choice

We revealed how eCommerce retailer Furniture And Choice has adapted its strategy through advanced measurement and insight combined with experiment and learn tactics to ensure both brand and performance become more collaborative and co-dependent, enabling the brand to make more informed marketing investment decisions. 


Marketing drives growth, and optimising growth drives businesses.  

To measure and optimise all marketing activity, Furniture And Choice employ advanced data-driven attribution modelling to gain an accurate and impartial measurement of the incremental impact of every penny spent. Built at an individual customer level, Jaywing’s model uses AI technology to measure the impact of each event on a customer's journey and understand the timing and sequencing of these events. Enabling brands to understand how each marketing campaign and channel influence the sale, and: 

- Measure the incremental value of all marketing events; set budgets and optimise spend that drives the best ROI 

- Identify poor performing campaigns; reinvest budget across other channels or campaigns 

- Understand how channels, messages and campaigns work together, and which are most effective at each stage of the customer journey  

- Identify activity that works best to acquire new and influence existing customers; eliminate spend on customers that would have visited or transacted anyway 


To communicate via the best channel at every moment of need, it’s crucial to try new things, reach new audiences, test new content and creative and deploy new channels. Having accurate measures in place provides the confidence to innovate and grow in a financially safe way, while understanding the impact of any activity on future strategy development. 

Gaining a rich, data driven view allows marketers to move away from measuring channels in silos and deploy channels in a more robust and measured way. By understanding the role of each channel, accurate value can be attributed to different touch points in the journey, whether their role is to nudge customers along or clinch the deal at the point of conversion. 

Through continually experimenting and learning, Furniture And Choice has built an understanding of varying marketing strategies which can be immediately deployed as circumstances change due to macro environment, competitor or customer behavioural shifts. This culture of experimentation gives marketers a bank of insight that can inform immediate changes in marketing tactics, such as messaging or channel, or provide knowledge for future scenarios. This type of experimentation highlighted £100,000 of profit-diluting spend for Furniture And Choice. 


Harnessing deep insight, brands are able to be more sophisticated in their targeting approach, responding to customer behaviour across channel, product types and devices to refine marketing activities that offer more personal, contextual and relevant communications. 

For example, Furniture And Choice harness purchase trends to understand what the next best product looks like at the optimum cost. For a brand like Furniture And Choice, understanding when to act from a marketing mix perspective is of significant importance where products are often a more considered purchase over a longer period, and therefore inherently more complicated to understand.