With a solid background in performance and growth marketing, Casper Rouchmann knows a thing or two about data-driven experimentation. In truth, the self-described data-man knows more about the topic than most.
Casper was the second marketing hire at Templafy, a hyper-growth scale-up, three years ago. He has seen the company increase from 30 to 220 employees during that time and transitioned to the position as their Head of Growth. In his own words, a growth marketer is someone who finds tech-savvy, fast, and cheap ways to achieve growth. This data-driven way of working is reliant on tracking, and is, with the recent cookie rulings and the GDPR, very much under pressure. We caught up with him to get a fresh perspective on the future of performance marketing and how to be a successful marketer under these circumstances.
The GDPR has definitely impacted my work, and to be transparent, more than I would like it to. Working with the GDPR is something I have to do, not something I naturally want to work with, and I have had to adjust. But, at Templafy, we mainly sell to enterprise companies, where security and compliance are essential. Everything we do in sales and marketing has to reflect that, which means we have to be able to demonstrate compliance, have it as a core strategy, to be a valid choice for our clients. That is not to say we were non-compliant in the past, but when the GDPR came into force, there were some areas where we had to adjust, especially in relation to pop-ups and cookie consents.
"Working with the GDPR is something I have to do, not something I naturally want to work with, and I have had to adjust."
It is a big deal. My job is based on numbers, and we are dependent on people allowing us to track them, but right now, people are opting out of this, and there are now 20-30% of the numbers I can't see. I am hoping we can get to a model where most people accept being tracked - that is the goal. If these trends keep happening, my theory is that we will see a different way of working with data in performance marketing. It will be more of a case of looking at the tendencies that we can see working, but without knowing for sure. So we will have to trust that it is working, rather than knowing for sure, which I hate.
"If these trends keep happening, my theory is that we will see a different way of working with data in performance marketing. It will be more of a case of looking at the tendencies that we can see working, but without knowing for sure."
At the moment, when I look at data in Google Analytics, around 40% of users are untrackable. So, in reality, the cookie solution for remarketing use is dead, and we might see a shift away from the status quo from companies like Google. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
We are redesigning our whole website to ensure compliance across the site. This means we have to make a lot of compromises as performance marketers. When we can't track, we can't optimise accordingly. However, we still get data from converted sign-ups, and to be frank, this is some of the most important data for us. The data we have lost is related to other information, such as whether people are reading our content, bounce rates, and where people come from when they land on the page. But a majority of what we do still works, so it hasn't all changed.
"We are redesigning our whole website to ensure compliance across the site. This means we have a lot of compromises to make as performance marketers."
I think in the future there is going to be more emphasis on branding. Which, as a data man, hurts me to say. But when you can't track what you are doing, then it becomes a lot easier to convince people that branding is the right thing to focus on. Because tracking has been so easily available for the past 10-15 years, it has been very easy to measure the effectiveness of performance marketing activities. Whereas with branding, it is much harder to measure what works. I think people need to understand that there is a time and a place for everything.
Branding is about building demand, and performance marketing is about capturing demand. There are a number of studies on marketing budget spends, where you can see that companies generally spend 80% of their budget on lead generation, and much less on branding. However, the optimal balance between the two is 45% - 55%. So it looks like we will see a bigger focus on branding in the future.
One of the biggest struggles growth marketers face today is the lack of tracking. It is simple. When you can't track people, then you don't have the data. Because of ITTP, you can't see whether an activity has generated traffic, outside of converted leads.
We have also seen a huge drop in audiences we can retarget, which is putting pressure on ad-tech. In the future, I think this will have resulted in two very different working approaches. There will be those who double down on what they can see working, and those who double down on things they have no way of measuring, such as branding. The solution, as I see it, though, is to do something in between.
Find the metrics that matter to you, and track what you still can track. If you have lost some of the metrics you used to rely on, you have to dig a bit deeper.