Why Creative Agencies Can’t Keep Up in a Performance Marketing World – Rolling Stone

Why Creative Agencies Can’t Keep Up in a Performance Marketing World – Rolling Stone

As the CEO of Hawke Media, I’ve witnessed the digital revolution and now the shift to AI in advertising firsthand. It’s an thrilling time, nevertheless it’s additionally a time of great change — and never everyone seems to be maintaining.

In explicit, conventional inventive businesses are struggling to match the tempo set by efficiency advertising businesses. And there’s a good purpose for this shift.

The Old Guard vs. the New Kids 

Creative businesses have lengthy been the darlings of the advertising world. These are the groups that dream up big-picture ideas, just like the Geico gecko or the Energizer bunny. They’re masters of storytelling, model constructing and creating memorable campaigns. When I consider inventive businesses, I consider the sorts of jobs each dad appeared to have in the flicks in the Eighties and Nineties. It was obscure, it appeared enjoyable, it may hold them busy or free… regardless of the script wanted. 

But in the digital age, this mannequin is exhibiting its limitations.

Enter efficiency advertising businesses.

These businesses specialize in the nitty-gritty particulars of particular advertising channels — suppose search engine marketing, paid media, content material, internet online affiliate marketing, e-mail and SMS campaigns. They’re data-driven, hyper-focused and dedicated to delivering tangible, measurable outcomes.

If you’re placing these characters in a film, it’ll look extra like The Matrix than some household comedy. These specialists are deep in the weeds, with information that the particular person throughout the corridor from them wouldn’t have as a result of that particular person is specialised in a completely different service. These people might be big-idea thinkers however are most comfy at a marketing campaign degree reasonably than a model id degree. 

Unlike their inventive counterparts, efficiency businesses aren’t nearly arising with intelligent concepts. They’re about executing these concepts successfully and effectively, utilizing each device at their disposal.

The Digital Shift

The shift in the direction of efficiency advertising has been pushed by the digital revolution. Today’s shoppers are on-line, and so they’re savvy. They don’t simply wish to be advised a story — they wish to interact with it, share it and really feel a a part of it.

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Performance advertising businesses perceive this. They know how you can leverage the ability of digital channels to create interactive, immersive experiences. They can monitor each click on, each conversion and each buyer journey, utilizing this knowledge to optimize their methods in actual time.

The Rolling Stone Culture Council is an invitation-only group for Influencers, Innovators and Creatives. Do I qualify?

Why Performance Marketers Set the Pace 

There are a number of the explanation why inventive advertising businesses could battle to maintain up with efficiency advertising businesses in the digital age.

First, there’s the problem of over-promising and under-delivering. Creative businesses can spotlight massive wins they’ve had with different shoppers, however inventive concepts reside or die on the model’s id. It will work for some and never for others. Plus creativity is elusive, so even when your model seems a lot like Geico, the gecko thought is a sort of lightning that gained’t strike twice. Meanwhile, efficiency markers function on a marketing campaign degree and might modify their findings in actual time to ship the perfect outcomes. 

Next, many inventive businesses don’t absolutely perceive the companies they work with. Without a deep understanding of the shopper’s enterprise, it’s tough to create efficient advertising methods. In distinction, efficiency advertising businesses are usually extra data-driven, permitting them to tailor their methods to the particular wants of their shoppers. They A/B take a look at and modify methods to accommodate the trade. At businesses like mine, we’ve labored with nearly each sort of firm you possibly can think about, however even a model new sort of shopper can profit from efficiency advertising businesses as a result of that mannequin permits for sooner studying. 


Most clearly, efficiency businesses are trackable. With digital advertisements and efficiency advertising, you possibly can monitor each click on, conversion and buyer journey… then personalize it per person. 

Even the demise of the third-party cookie has in the end helped profit efficiency entrepreneurs over inventive businesses. Creative businesses can’t simply blast their advertisements and hope for the perfect anymore, however efficiency entrepreneurs typically function in first-party knowledge like e-mail lists, SMS numbers and trackable affiliate hyperlinks. 

The Bottom Line

Don’t get me mistaken — creativity continues to be very important in advertising. But in the digital age, it’s not sufficient to simply give you a nice thought. You have to know how you can execute that concept successfully, measure its influence and modify your technique primarily based on real-time suggestions.

That’s why efficiency advertising businesses appear to be pulling forward. They’re not simply dreamers — they’re doers centered on outcomes whereas conventional advertising focuses on inventive and model consciousness. And in right now’s fast-paced digital world, that may make all of the distinction.

That’s to not say there isn’t a place for sticky inventive and out-of-the-box campaigns; virality and catching the wave of the cultural dialog will all the time have a position in advertising. It’s extra of an emphasis on whether or not that piece of inventive, plus the work and funding, produces measurable enterprise outcomes for the model.


This shift is not only a fad. It’s the way forward for advertising. If your model continues to be caught in the outdated methods, it could be time to rethink your technique.

In some ways, efficiency advertising has launched a shift in the trade that has embedded itself in the instruments, techniques and techniques that entrepreneurs on both aspect of the spectrum use day by day. At this level, it’s simply a matter of how they leverage the entire knowledge that’s out there to them.


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About the Author: Amanda