Online advertising holds a role of primary relevance in building brand image, promoting products and services, as well as in corporate social communications. This sector has acquired importance over the last few years, with the pandemic emergency and restrictions related to individual mobility increasing the number of users who turn to the Web to make consumption choices, or related to job opportunities, study, entertainment and relationships.
At the same time, the number of companies that have decided to invest in digital channels for their advertising campaigns has also grown, often adopting initiatives related to traditional channels (television, press, signage…) or replacing them fully with the latter.
Given the increasing complexity of the industry and its implications from the point of view of competition, a marketing activity managed without the necessary expertise could underperform and not guarantee adequate results in terms of ROI (Return On Investment). For this reason, a new professional figure has emerged over time, namely the Performance Marketing Specialist, capable not only to organize advertising campaigns, but also to verify their impact, detect their strengths and criticalities, and pursuing as a goal the maximization of performance.
Like many of the professions related to Digital, even Performance Marketing Specialists are Data-Driven professionals. In fact, most of their work consists of using data and metrics with which to define strategies, detect trends, identify the characteristics of the targets and verify the results obtained. It is also for this reason they do not work alone, but they are an integral part of a team.
In a workgroup that sees the participation of a Performance Marketing Specialist there are often figures such as:
- the SEO specialist, who is responsible for optimizing content for search engine ranking, and identifying the most effective keywords for a campaign;
- the Data Engineer, who collects all raw data, selects and converts them into a format more suitable for analysis;
- the Analytics Specialist, who interprets historical data by formulating diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive analysis for the organization of advertising activities.
- creatives, that is those who have the task of conveying an advertising message to the end user or target.
Now that we have defined what Performance Marketing Specialists are, and the context in which they operate, let’s try to understand what they specifically do.
What Performance Marketing Specialists do
To collect the expected success, an advertising campaign must be studied, designed, planned and analyzed with care. The goal of advertising is not always to sell a product or provide a service to as many users as possible. In fact, it often has the purpose of giving visibility to a company or strengthening its image, but different purposes require different strategies.
A Performance Marketing Specialist therefore is responsible for managing an advertising campaign, considering the results that the brand wants to achieve. When it comes to online advertising, this task cannot be separated from the use of some channels that allow it to be conveyed to reach the target audience.
Among the latter, there is Google Ads (formerly AdWords) which is currently the main platform for Search Advertising, from the perspective of market share. Also with regard to SEM (Search Engine Marketing), it is impossible to ignore Microsoft Ads, a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) service which, although it is unable to count on the same audience as that of Big G, is headed by a network that collects 689 million of unique visitors per month.
Even the largest global e-commerce operator offers spaces for advertisers’ content with Amazon Ads, just as well as all the most popular general-interest social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, and specialized social networks such as LinkedIn.
The tasks of a Performance Marketing Specialist
Performance Marketing Specialists leverage their competences to understand which of the aforementioned channels could be the most suitable for the advertising campaign they have to run, for as the name implies, “suitable” involves those channels that are able to ensure the maximum ROI.
Their job therefore consists in providing support and advice to both customers and the team working on the creation of content intended for campaigns, such as advertising banners, ad texts and landing pages that are displayed by users once they click on ads.
In the same way, they have an important role both in designing advertising campaigns and in optimizing already active campaigns, in order to constantly improve their performance. Trends and results must also be monitored, in order to evaluate the results and take action on all those elements (keywords, target definition, ads, channels…) that determine the success of an advertising activity.
Performance Marketing Specialists are also responsible for reports creation and analysis relating to the progress of campaigns over time, also considering metrics, such as the KPI (Key Performance Indicator), which allow to measure the effectiveness of the chosen strategy, in terms of achievement of the expected goals.
On the basis of the reference sector and its continuous innovations, Performance Marketing Specialists must always be able to identify new opportunities and carry out continuous experimentations through which to understand the potential of the many tools provided by Digital Marketing. For this reason, their work also consists of constant training and updating on industry trends, features offered by platforms and new opportunities of PPC campaigns.
How to become a Performance Marketing Specialist
Performance Marketing Specialists are both technicians and creatives, in fact they must have skills in communication and marketing, as well as advanced skills in everything related to content creation and curation.
Although this is a professional figure increasingly sought after by companies, to date we do not yet have a dedicated course of study, neither within the academic field.
To succeed, you need a mix between field experience and training, like the one offered by the Digital Marketing Master provided by Talent Garden, a 14-week full immersion training course with which to learn how to effectively use the main communication and digital marketing channels, as well as to apply methods and frameworks with which to analyze the campaign performances, and then optimize them.
The next edition of the Digital Marketing Master will take place starting from 26th September 2022 in blended mode, with both online and in person lessons at the Calabiana Campus of Talent Garden, located in Milan.
Talent Garden also offers a Digital Marketing Essentials Master with which it is possible to acquire the basic skills of Digital Marketing. Aimed at young high school and university graduates, marketing professionals and freelancers, the next edition of the master will be carried out in a fully online mode, between 5th May and 9th July 2022, and it will be divided into 20 evening lessons for 9 weeks.
The most sought-after skills
Performance Marketing Specialists are first and foremost experts in marketing and are able to operate with the same degree of effectiveness, regardless of the platform of choice and the number of platforms used for the creation of campaigns.
For this reason, they must have an in-depth knowledge of the functioning of services such as Google Ads and Facebook that represent a large part of the online advertising market. At the same time, they are required to know how to interpret the data provided by advanced analysis tools such as Google Analytics, or tracking systems like Google Tag Manager, and data visualization solutions like Google Data Studio.
Their skills also depend on their interest in all Digital-related topics, especially in terms of the latest updates from the world of social media, online advertising trends and Search Marketing strategies.
Performance Marketing Specialists: how much do they earn?
The average salary of a Performance Marketing Specialist in Italy is € 28,279 per year. However, some elements may affect the level of remuneration, such as the company they work for and the years of experience in the reference sector.
Performance Marketing Specialists can also operate as a freelancer and decide which rates to apply for the services, depending on the project to be developed, their reputation in the sector, and the expertise they can provide to clients.