Econsultancy’s report, The Performance Agency Plan for Growth (in partnership with Google) delves into this topic in depth.

The report is based on an online survey of nearly 400 senior executives from performance marketing agencies, with leading agencies being contrasted against the mainstream by their 2018 revenue growth.

Here’s just a few key takeaways from the research, focusing on how performance leaders are staying relevant and generating success.

A focus on long-term outcomes

Customer lifetime value – which indicates the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer – is a difficult metric for performance agencies to measure, certainly in comparison to straightforward conversions.

However, Econsultancy’s survey suggests that the fastest growing performance agencies are increasingly focusing on CLV. Results show that leaders are 53% more likely than the mainstream to say that more than half of their clients view CLV as a key metric of success.

It is not only CLV that is being prioritised either. Other short-term marketing metrics are being sidelined for long-term business goals and strategic outcomes like revenue, profit, and market share. Ninety five percent of leading agencies say that they prioritise these goals when assessing the effectiveness of their marketing strategies for clients.

Powered by machine learning

In order to shift KPIs from immediate returns to long-term business growth, agencies require deep partnerships that include sharing insightful data and strategy.

Econsultancy’s survey found that leading agencies are succeeding in this area due to a prioritisation of automation and machine learning. These agencies are 57% more likely than the mainstream to say that machine learning and automation has allowed them to move towards driving business growth for clients as a KPI.

Indeed, leading agencies also view the long-term benefits afforded by machine learning to outweigh short-term losses.

From channel-centric to customer focused

Another reason why agencies are increasing their focus on machine learning is because the technology makes it possible to leverage consumer intent data at scale, as well as across multiple channels.

This helps agencies move away from fragmented, single-channel planning, and allows them to evolve their role from being channel-centric to highly customer-focused.

It isn’t just technology that helps to break down silos either. Leading performance agencies are also more likely to develop cross-functional teams, using this collaborative and open approach to help drive client success.

For more on this topic, the Performance Agency Plan for Growth is available to view by anyone by clicking here.

As always, subscribers can download the Performance Agency Plan for Growth in full from the Econsultancy site.