Four Insights into Performance Marketing We Learned Along the Way

Startup for Startup


4 min read

These days, Performance Marketing is the most basic tool for reaching customers for your product. However, it is also a relatively new tool – our paradigms are constantly changing, and there are things you have to learn the hard way before mastering it. Here are several insights we’ve reached after making quite a few mistakes along the way.

1) You must start somewhere

As product-oriented people, we tend to think about scale first. A lot of product people prefer to wait until they think their funnel is perfect, but any time spent working on the funnel instead of trying it out on real users is time wasted.

If you run a big campaign and it fails, it’s hard to know exactly what the cause of the failure was. If you start with a small audience, on the other hand, you can get more precise insights and understand where to proceed from there. If you run a big-scale campaign before knowing what works, it could end up being a waste of money, because if you put a million dollars into a funnel with lots of holes, you can’t learn out of which holes your money is pouring out. 

So how many people should you start with? You should start with the minimum number of users from whom you can get real input. 

2) The product is itself your marketing. Don’t separate the two.

When you build a product, you also build its marketing. The two things are not separate – both tell a story that answers your user’s needs. To do that, the first thing you need to do is look at the market. It doesn’t matter what we want to give customers. What matters is what the customers want, what they understand, and what they’re thinking at any given moment. With that in mind, you can plan your campaign. Don’t build your own product and then let someone else think about how to market it. Instead, try to constantly think about how to market your product as you build it. That way you can create the product the audience is really looking for, as opposed to the product you THINK they’re looking for. 

3) Not only does a good ad draws audience in, but it also filters audience out

Because there’s a lot of competition for every ad, sometimes there’s a sense of urgency to make the ad appealing by making big promises to try to get as many clicks as possible. We believe in a different approach – your ad not only draws people in, but it also filters out people who aren’t a good fit. A user who will click on your ad but then discover that the product isn’t what they were promised – that it doesn’t solve the problem they’re experiencing – is a user who won’t move further down your funnel. Your ad has to match your product one hundred percent, it has to attract the most fitting audience possible for your product. You’d prefer fewer clicks on the ad if they were made by a more accurate audience. That way, you attract one paying customer instead of four non-paying people.

4) There are four things that must work together for your marketing to work

  • User Targeting
  • The Ad 
  • The Landing Page 
  • The Product 

If one of those isn’t working properly, your marketing won’t go as well as it should.

If one person out of 200 clicked on your ad, then this is a unique, singular person. Did you get this person’s attention? If so, they must be the relevant person for your product. Otherwise, you’ve wasted both their time and your ad. 

If they clicked on your ad, and you promised them X but your product is actually a Y, that person would not want to continue. Getting the user to click on the ad is only the beginning of your relationship with them. If you make them a promise you can’t keep, you haven’t accomplished much with that.

That is why the user needs to get the most relevant ad, the most relevant landing page, and a product that suits them. You can’t move forward without all four of these things being clear to you.

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