Integrated winner: Performics (Publicis Media)

Telco provider Vonage’s shift to B2B came at a time of pivoting customer behaviors owing to the pandemic – Performics responded by acting on the notion of joining up brand plus performance marketing approaches, and the results speak for themselves

Awards US Publicis

Vonage wanted to reach a new audience – namely those responsible for buying or administering new B2B services for their businesses, and Performics’ strategy prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 centered around getting in front of the audience face-to-face. 

However, audience behavior unsurprisingly shifted in the pandemic and Performics made the move to incorporate a ‘brand-plus-performance’ marketing strategy that was personalized to audience mindsets at different points throughout the customer purchase journey. The hypothesis was that this approach would boost conversions.

Performics’ research had to seek the digital channels audiences engaged with, and it found that they wanted to learn how B2B communications providers would support their businesses in working through the pandemic. The findings springboarded Performics’ idea to continue not only to build brand awareness but drive conversion and purchase online.

A deep dive into the mindset of each B2B decision maker at different phases of the purchase journey meant the strategy could align advertising and experiences. Brand advertising including OLV (online video), audio and programmatic display was integrated with performance advertising including paid search and paid social to create a full-funnel campaign, with all the elements held accountable to the campaign’s primary objective and KPI: purchase.

A new multi-attribution measurement framework

Performics built a multi-touch attribution measurement framework to understand the role of each touchpoint, so it could quickly make decisions on where to pivot investment between channels. The results uncovered several high performing ad types that were previously underleveraged, including Reddit Community Category Takeovers, iHeartRadio podcasts and animated display banners.

Integrating online branding and performance marketing meant conversion rates were up x10, with supporting increases in awareness, consideration, opinion and purchase intent higher in the funnel. An illustration of this is that conversion rates from paid search alone was 2.26% but seeing these ads and Reddit Community Category Takeover ads uplifted conversion to 23.73%. And Vonage is quick to endorse the performance. “Performics helped us sift through the sea of media placements to come up with innovative ways to reach our target audience,” it said.

Judges’ comments

The campaign hit all the marks for a great entry, said Kris Tait, US Managing Director at Croud, with its “full funnel thinking and understanding [of] the B2B journey”. 

Matt Brown, Managing Director of SYZYGY said Performics’ approach was “a good example of how brands and their agencies have needed to pivot to changing consumer needs and habits throughout the various stages of the pandemic” and Dalbir Gill, VP of Corporate Partnerships at Seedtag judged the campaign to be a “good use of emerging channels”.