Protecting Your Brand in a Performance Focused World

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Adam Hadi (VP of Marketing at the mobile bank Current) dives into why branding matters, especially for high-involvement products like fintech apps.

Source:
Protecting Your Brand in a Performance Focused World
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(direct link to watch/listen)
Type:
Podcast
Publication date:
February 1, 2020
Added to the Vault on:
February 20, 2020
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💎 #
1

The more you spend on performance marketing, the more brand marketing efforts to support that spend might be valuable.

12:47
💎 #
2

You need to find the balance between aligning with your brand values/guidelines in your ads and performance. For early startups: balance tilted heavily towards performance.

15:52
💎 #
3

 A podcast listener is probably not going to sign with Current when hearing the podcast but the next time that listener is hit with an overdraft fee then you're most likely to convert. That's where the impact of a "non-performance" effort can pay.

17:25
💎 #
4

Evaluation process: 1. Verification stage (references, case studies, etc.) 2. Ask for a test budget (a few thousands of dollars over 10-14 days and requiring 50 installs/day) 3. Assess cohorts quality 4. Move forward with IO if satisfying/promising (trend).

15:28
💎 #
5

You can do surveys but nothing is more impactful that talking to both people who know your brand and people who don't know your brand

19:30
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💎 #
1

The more you spend on performance marketing, the more brand marketing efforts to support that spend might be valuable.

12:47
💎 #
2

You need to find the balance between aligning with your brand values/guidelines in your ads and performance. For early startups: balance tilted heavily towards performance.

15:52
💎 #
3

 A podcast listener is probably not going to sign with Current when hearing the podcast but the next time that listener is hit with an overdraft fee then you're most likely to convert. That's where the impact of a "non-performance" effort can pay.

17:25
💎 #
4

Evaluation process: 1. Verification stage (references, case studies, etc.) 2. Ask for a test budget (a few thousands of dollars over 10-14 days and requiring 50 installs/day) 3. Assess cohorts quality 4. Move forward with IO if satisfying/promising (trend).

15:28
💎 #
5

You can do surveys but nothing is more impactful that talking to both people who know your brand and people who don't know your brand

19:30
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💎 #
1

The more you spend on performance marketing, the more brand marketing efforts to support that spend might be valuable.

12:47
💎 #
2

You need to find the balance between aligning with your brand values/guidelines in your ads and performance. For early startups: balance tilted heavily towards performance.

15:52
💎 #
3

 A podcast listener is probably not going to sign with Current when hearing the podcast but the next time that listener is hit with an overdraft fee then you're most likely to convert. That's where the impact of a "non-performance" effort can pay.

17:25
💎 #
4

Evaluation process: 1. Verification stage (references, case studies, etc.) 2. Ask for a test budget (a few thousands of dollars over 10-14 days and requiring 50 installs/day) 3. Assess cohorts quality 4. Move forward with IO if satisfying/promising (trend).

15:28
💎 #
5

You can do surveys but nothing is more impactful that talking to both people who know your brand and people who don't know your brand

19:30
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Realization of the importance of brand

Adam used to work at Topps (baseball card company) where they launched a digital apps division for digital trading cards. Within that vertical being able to brand themselves as Topps had a really strong impact even though the marketing was direct response focused.


The case for branding (or not)

[💎@07:23] Hypercasual games vertical is one of the vertical where brand is the least important.

The need for trust is a huge factor in making branding important or not, and user behaviors when it comes to make a decision vary depending on the kind of apps (casual game vs. dating app or fintech).

[💎@08:42] There is  a longer lasting effect to branding: example of seeing ads for dating apps while not looking for one but when the day comes that is when you engage and download.


The bigger the "ask" the more trust/branding you needed

From an acquisition perspective the goal of Current is to get users to switch their direct deposit to them.

[💎@10:24] That is a big ask with a lot of friction in that process and trust needed, especially as you are competing with big banks like Wells Fargo.


Brand marketing at the day-to-day level

Brand marketing is very integrated: it is here to support the performance marketing and work hand-in-hand.

[💎@12:47] The more you spend on performance marketing, the more brand marketing efforts to support that spend might be valuable.

It's about making sure that the values and the message they're trying to deliver are delivered through their performance ads. It is not "performance over all else" (which erodes your brand over time).

It's not only about using "brand channels" (TV ads, magazine ads, billboards, etc.) because you can use these channels in a very performance driven way and you might erode your brand (instead of building it!) if you don't do it right.

[💎@15:52] You need to find the balance between aligning with your brand values/guidelines in your ads and performance. For early startups: balance tilted heavily towards performance.


Developing a podcast with no performance element at all

Current has developed a podcast where they read the terms (especially on overdraft fees) from several banks.

Reasons:

  1. It is not very resource intensive
  2. [💎@17:25] A listener is probably not going to sign with Current when hearing the podcast but the next time that listener is hit with an overdraft fee then you're most likely to convert.


Evaluating the impact of brand marketing

Brand marketing is more qualitative, especially for smaller companies.

[💎@19:30] You can do surveys but nothing is more impactful that talking to both:

  • People who know your brand
  • People who don't know your brand

"What do you feel?", etc. Everybody knows it's a good idea but a lot of people don't talk to their users on the phone or in person.


Creative process and iterations

At Current brand designers and brand marketers are in the meetings for performance ads ideation/iteration and have input.


Brand marketing at the highest level?

A lot of companies start very performance driven on the marketing side and when they get to series D they get a CMO from traditional consumer brand. It rarely works.

But you do need someone that is both respectful and has a good understanding of brand.

Being mindful of branding is part of the evolution of mobile (which is historically very performance driven) and things are therefore swinging towards an hybrid approach.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
Upgrade Your Plan

Realization of the importance of brand

Adam used to work at Topps (baseball card company) where they launched a digital apps division for digital trading cards. Within that vertical being able to brand themselves as Topps had a really strong impact even though the marketing was direct response focused.


The case for branding (or not)

[💎@07:23] Hypercasual games vertical is one of the vertical where brand is the least important.

The need for trust is a huge factor in making branding important or not, and user behaviors when it comes to make a decision vary depending on the kind of apps (casual game vs. dating app or fintech).

[💎@08:42] There is  a longer lasting effect to branding: example of seeing ads for dating apps while not looking for one but when the day comes that is when you engage and download.


The bigger the "ask" the more trust/branding you needed

From an acquisition perspective the goal of Current is to get users to switch their direct deposit to them.

[💎@10:24] That is a big ask with a lot of friction in that process and trust needed, especially as you are competing with big banks like Wells Fargo.


Brand marketing at the day-to-day level

Brand marketing is very integrated: it is here to support the performance marketing and work hand-in-hand.

[💎@12:47] The more you spend on performance marketing, the more brand marketing efforts to support that spend might be valuable.

It's about making sure that the values and the message they're trying to deliver are delivered through their performance ads. It is not "performance over all else" (which erodes your brand over time).

It's not only about using "brand channels" (TV ads, magazine ads, billboards, etc.) because you can use these channels in a very performance driven way and you might erode your brand (instead of building it!) if you don't do it right.

[💎@15:52] You need to find the balance between aligning with your brand values/guidelines in your ads and performance. For early startups: balance tilted heavily towards performance.


Developing a podcast with no performance element at all

Current has developed a podcast where they read the terms (especially on overdraft fees) from several banks.

Reasons:

  1. It is not very resource intensive
  2. [💎@17:25] A listener is probably not going to sign with Current when hearing the podcast but the next time that listener is hit with an overdraft fee then you're most likely to convert.


Evaluating the impact of brand marketing

Brand marketing is more qualitative, especially for smaller companies.

[💎@19:30] You can do surveys but nothing is more impactful that talking to both:

  • People who know your brand
  • People who don't know your brand

"What do you feel?", etc. Everybody knows it's a good idea but a lot of people don't talk to their users on the phone or in person.


Creative process and iterations

At Current brand designers and brand marketers are in the meetings for performance ads ideation/iteration and have input.


Brand marketing at the highest level?

A lot of companies start very performance driven on the marketing side and when they get to series D they get a CMO from traditional consumer brand. It rarely works.

But you do need someone that is both respectful and has a good understanding of brand.

Being mindful of branding is part of the evolution of mobile (which is historically very performance driven) and things are therefore swinging towards an hybrid approach.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.

The detailed notes taken for a resource are an easy way to see the gems in context to get a better understanding. They also include any relevant visuals from the source.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
GET Access

Realization of the importance of brand

Adam used to work at Topps (baseball card company) where they launched a digital apps division for digital trading cards. Within that vertical being able to brand themselves as Topps had a really strong impact even though the marketing was direct response focused.


The case for branding (or not)

[💎@07:23] Hypercasual games vertical is one of the vertical where brand is the least important.

The need for trust is a huge factor in making branding important or not, and user behaviors when it comes to make a decision vary depending on the kind of apps (casual game vs. dating app or fintech).

[💎@08:42] There is  a longer lasting effect to branding: example of seeing ads for dating apps while not looking for one but when the day comes that is when you engage and download.


The bigger the "ask" the more trust/branding you needed

From an acquisition perspective the goal of Current is to get users to switch their direct deposit to them.

[💎@10:24] That is a big ask with a lot of friction in that process and trust needed, especially as you are competing with big banks like Wells Fargo.


Brand marketing at the day-to-day level

Brand marketing is very integrated: it is here to support the performance marketing and work hand-in-hand.

[💎@12:47] The more you spend on performance marketing, the more brand marketing efforts to support that spend might be valuable.

It's about making sure that the values and the message they're trying to deliver are delivered through their performance ads. It is not "performance over all else" (which erodes your brand over time).

It's not only about using "brand channels" (TV ads, magazine ads, billboards, etc.) because you can use these channels in a very performance driven way and you might erode your brand (instead of building it!) if you don't do it right.

[💎@15:52] You need to find the balance between aligning with your brand values/guidelines in your ads and performance. For early startups: balance tilted heavily towards performance.


Developing a podcast with no performance element at all

Current has developed a podcast where they read the terms (especially on overdraft fees) from several banks.

Reasons:

  1. It is not very resource intensive
  2. [💎@17:25] A listener is probably not going to sign with Current when hearing the podcast but the next time that listener is hit with an overdraft fee then you're most likely to convert.


Evaluating the impact of brand marketing

Brand marketing is more qualitative, especially for smaller companies.

[💎@19:30] You can do surveys but nothing is more impactful that talking to both:

  • People who know your brand
  • People who don't know your brand

"What do you feel?", etc. Everybody knows it's a good idea but a lot of people don't talk to their users on the phone or in person.


Creative process and iterations

At Current brand designers and brand marketers are in the meetings for performance ads ideation/iteration and have input.


Brand marketing at the highest level?

A lot of companies start very performance driven on the marketing side and when they get to series D they get a CMO from traditional consumer brand. It rarely works.

But you do need someone that is both respectful and has a good understanding of brand.

Being mindful of branding is part of the evolution of mobile (which is historically very performance driven) and things are therefore swinging towards an hybrid approach.