2 Industry Pioneers Chart the Course for Performance Marketing in 2024

Redefining the future of TV advertising

In the dynamic landscape of television advertising, the era of imprecise targeting and outdated metrics has come to an end, giving way to a new digital age where measurable outcomes drive performance marketing. Here, Mark Douglas of MNTN and Mark Penn of Stagwell break down the performance strategies needed to set the industry up for success in 2024.

MNTN’s Mark Douglas: Outcomes are performance

The TV ad industry has endured 50 years of pretend targeting and measurement with Nielsen. Those days are over. Television has gone digital, and the rise of connected TV has brought the expectation of accurate audience data and measurement. Advertisers are now demanding real measurable results, transforming all marketing into performance marketing.

Given that wave, what is performance?

  • Price is not performance
  • Reach is not performance
  • Outcomes are performance

Performance is outcomes—the things you can measure that generally lead to a sale. For direct-to-consumer brands, that’s easy. It’s visits, conversions or both. Those are measured with cross-device measurement solutions, which have been standard for social ad campaigns for over a decade.

For brand advertisers, it can be much harder to determine what to measure. That’s often due to a tendency to complicate outcomes, having spent decades with reach and frequency being the primary goal.  

However, reaching a place where your business prioritizes performance outcomes isn’t an impossible task. There are a few steps brand advertisers can take:

Determine the outcomes that you want to achieve. Then spend on media accordingly, and have a team ready to optimize based on those desired performance outcomes. Your brand team may not know how to handle those optimizations because they’re used to reach and frequency, so you’ll likely need to bring your social team in to optimize your TV campaigns.

Organize for outcomes. Instead of organizing your team based on the type of media they buy (e.g., TV, social, etc.), do it based on the outcomes you want to see. In other words, structure your team around the revenue you want to make—not on the money you plan to spend. And if anyone objects to that, it just goes to show how entrenched that old mindset can be.

It’s okay to continue to do brand marketing. MNTN has separate brand and performance marketing teams, but they work together to determine what the TV budget needs to accomplish for each. And everything the teams can assign an outcome to—even things traditionally thought of as branding—they do. Anything outcome-based is handled by MNTN’s performance marketing team, who are well versed in handling the pressure that comes with hitting clear performance metrics. That’s regardless of the type of media involved, including and especially TV, which is MNTN’s best-performing marketing channel.

Stagwell’s Mark Penn: All media is performance media

One thing hasn’t changed in the history of the industry: Every brand wants great creative and the power to quantify it. Historically, the two have been at odds as the industry’s prizing of metrics and ROI created an artificial divide between performance marketing and brand marketing, but this is narrowing as more brands are coming to understand the power of scaling creative performance.

Stagwell’s clients come to the network for the big ideas and for the ability to be precise in how to disseminate those ideas and measure their impact. In 2022, Stagwell reorientated one of its core networks to do just that—give brands an integrated solution, with complementary agencies that bridge creative, omnichannel media and connected commerce.

In 2024, advertisers and marketers who adopt a brand performance marketing mindset will be ahead of the game. Stagwell agencies are guided by a few clear convictions: 

All media is performance media. The best ideas can be measured wherever they are, and technology enables agencies to apply measurement where it previously did not exist. As their marketing stewards, agencies have to make sure brands have access to an advertising ecosystem that’s advanced enough to handle more than one kind of measurement at one time. In a unified performance advertising platform, once-disparate campaigns, channels and functions, can not only co-exist but be measured—from CTV to performance influencer marketing to performance PR.

Think beyond the (cable) box. Success for a brand is getting the right message to the right person at the right time, and that can look like many things. Yes, for some, it’s still as traditional as the advertising “Holy Grail”—placing a wildly popular TV spot during the Big Game or another nationally resonant moment. But increasingly, modern brands employ big ideas across performance media thinking; whether that’s engaging an influencer for the first time to build and connect with a highly engaged audience, launching a media relations outreach campaign to generate earned press or exploring media buys on a niche streaming network.

Put those together and you get possibly the most important one of all:

Storytelling is a cohesive, connected experience. People engage with marketing today no longer solely with individual TV spots but through a series of touchpoints across multiple devices. Global brand platforms, disseminated across channels. If you’re a brand, that means a Big Game spot you place on a popular CTV platform can be seen by an air traveler, run in a short-form TikTok campaign that goes viral and generate dozens of organic press stories. Brands have to abandon the view that brand campaigns and performance marketing can’t work in tandem.

Stagwell’s clients ask for fewer partners, fewer platforms, more data and more integration, and that’s what the blending of brand and performance accomplishes—the ability for brand campaigns to be creative, modifiable, scalable and measurable, all at the same time. And, as the industry accelerates AI’s capabilities throughout the marketing funnel, agencies can keep leveling up the value of today’s brands exponentially by transforming businesses to better anticipate customer wants and needs, nascent growth opportunities and overlooked efficiencies.

Mark Douglas is president and CEO of MNTN, where he oversees the strategic direction with his 20 years of product development experience gained through repeated success in helping fast-growth companies transition into emerging markets. Mark Penn is the chairman and CEO of Stagwell Inc., the digital-first global marketing network that delivers scalable, seamless solutions through a unique combination of culture-moving creativity and leading-edge technology.