The Performance Marketing Summit didn’t have the same pizzazz as Connect, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg touted experimental metaverse technology, such as virtual reality avatars with legs. Instead, performance marketers—direct-to-consumer brands and small agencies—discussed a more pressing issue: how to maintain their businesses after Facebook and Instagram were cut off from vital data signals on iPhones and web browsers, marking a new period of internet privacy.
The marketing transition, with less access to personal data, has been traumatic for many advertisers, and Meta is trying to fix this Web 2.0 problem, even as it sets a course for Web3 and the metaverse. The Performance Marketing Summit, as Meta billed it, was meant to reaffirm the social media giant’s status as an efficient advertising machine today. The summit brought together more than 650 advertisers to Meta’s Menlo Park headquarters, and another 1,000 online. Meta also tied the event to the metaverse, telling marketers that the adjustments they make today will translate to success in virtual commerce.
“The majority of your efforts, about 70%, should be allocated to making sure you have strong Web 2 foundations,” said Eva Press, Meta’s VP global business group, during one talk at the marketing summit last month, “because metaverse technologies and opportunities will be built on those foundations, many of which you’ve already heard about today, things like ‘performance five’ and ‘creative catalysts.’”
“Performance five” is Meta’s short-hand prescription for brands, referring to tactics they should adopt if they want to maintain successful ad targeting on Facebook and Instagram. The tips include joining Meta’s Conversions API, which is an ad targeting and measurement platform that keeps data flowing after Apple’s restrictions. The “performance five” is basically Meta’s roadmap for direct-to-consumer and app marketers, which built their businesses on highly targeted, personalized ads. Meta is investing in automation and artificial intelligence to run its ad algorithms, so its machines do the targeting and measurement, as opposed to the more hands-on controls marketers used to have. Meta’s performance tips also address new creative tools like Reels and how to use the TikTok-style videos for direct-response advertising.
On its face, concepts such as “performance five” might seem unrelated to how Meta is building its metaverse, but the two are intertwined. The Performance Marketing Summit touched on augmented reality and virtual commerce, which are intermediate technologies on the road to Web3. For instance, performance marketers, especially those in apparel, home décor, beauty products and consumer goods, have always used product catalogs, whether through the mail or online. The product catalog is as old as modern consumerism, and in Web 2.0, with social networks and e-commerce websites, catalogs have been digitized and made shoppable within ads that link to online stores. At the summit, Meta advised marketers to turn those product catalogs into augmented reality goods, which could one day sell within virtual worlds. “So when your business is ready to lean into digital goods and NFTs,” Press said, “you have the infrastructure in place to build out those offerings.”