Performance Marketing vs. Brand Marketing: What Are the Differences?

Performance Marketing vs. Brand Marketing: What Are the Differences?

A successful marketing funnel starts with brand awareness and ends with conversion – two key components of performance marketing vs. brand marketing. The former aims to introduce people to your brand; the latter focuses on acquiring them as customers.

Naturally, this prompts the question: Are two different marketing strategies required? How do you measure the success of each, and, more importantly, how can they work together to maximize your marketing efforts?

Keep reading below to learn the unique goals of performance vs. brand marketing and why you need both.

What Is Performance Marketing?

Performance marketing is a form of digital marketing that focuses on countable results measured in real time. This means marketers know exactly where each dollar goes. For example, you give an influencer an affiliate link to your product, and they get a percentage of the profit following each sale made through that link.

Another important point about performance marketing is that it achieves quick, short-term goals. Need to build hype around your new product? You can run ads on your socials and see how people interact with them.

Benefits of Performance Marketing

A performance marketing strategy can offer some of the following benefits:

  • Automation: Performance marketing can be fully automated using performance marketing software so you don’t have to track progress manually.

  • Transparency: Performance marketing KPIs give you the exact number of people who have clicked on your ad, filled out a form, or subscribed to your email.

  • Budget-friendliness: By posting relevant ads with strong wording and SEO, you can boost the Quality Score and rank higher on SERPs for less money.

  • Customization: Performance marketing tools allow you to customize your strategy from top to bottom, like showing an ad in a specific location and to a particular demographic. You can also schedule your ads to show during a specific time of day.

  • Freedom in ad format: Thanks to the many available performance marketing channels, you can advertise your brand via text, video, email, search ads, carousels, and much more.

Performance Marketing Channels

Want to do performance marketing but don’t know where to start? Here are some ideas:

  • Content marketing refers to any type of content intended to promote your brand. Examples include blogs, videos, social media posts, and more.

  • Affiliate marketing: This is where you pay someone to advertise your brand on their platforms. You’ll benefit most from reaching out to influencers within your niche who also have a big social media following.

  • Email marketing: You can collect new leads by prompting them to sign up for a free trial via email and then track the numbers. It’s also a great way to create a mailing list to check in with these new subscribers for new deals and promotions.

  • Native advertising: These ads show up naturally in a user’s feed without being intrusive. They are related to the content the user is already interested in, making them more receptive to these ads.

KPIs in Performance Marketing

KPIs in performance marketing are quantitative, meaning they’re represented in numbers (of clicks, sales, conversions, impressions, etc.). Here are a few you can use to start:

  • CPC (Cost Per Click): This is a simple KPI showing how much you spend per click on your ad.

  • CPS (Cost Per Sale): This is a KPI you can use to track the cost of a single sale in affiliate marketing, for example. Affiliate marketing software can help you keep track of your affiliates and their sales percentages.

  • CPL (Cost Per Lead): Lead generation can be done through site pop-ups, submission forms, landing pages, etc. This KPI shows you how much you spend on each new lead.

What Is Brand Marketing?

Brand marketing is not always about tangible results. Its primary goal is to enhance brand recognition and make your brand a household name in the market. It results in long-term growth rather than quick turnarounds.

Why Does Branding Matter?

So, here's a brief breakdown of what to look for in such software:

According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer Report, a person’s favorite brand:

  • Communicates honestly
  • Respects their customers’ privacy
  • Adapts to customers’ changing needs.

Branding is the cornerstone of your business, providing a platform to build your business’s identity, strategy, and market presence. However, acknowledging your customers’ needs is only one piece of the puzzle.

When building a brand, you’ll run into challenges, regardless of your growth stage. Staying relevant and consistent, achieving expansion, and thriving despite market saturation are only a few. With the right brand marketing strategy, you can grow your profits and tackle some of these problems, which is only possible through maintaining a steady client base.

So, how does marketing play into this?

Your brand is the specific feeling or experience your products or services invoke in customers. Marketing outlines the steps required to keep this experience consistent.

Benefits of Brand Marketing

Let’s look at some of the benefits you’ll gain from quality branding:

  • Improved brand awareness: The right brand marketing strategy will increase your customer reach and make your brand more recognizable, leading to a significant boost in your business.

  • Increased customer sentiment: People will associate your brand with positive feelings, making them seek your business more often.

  • Customer recommendations: Word-of-mouth will always be in style. People feel more comfortable trusting brands vouched for by their friends. So, the more satisfied customers that leave your shop, the more new ones will enter.

  • Better brand recall refers to how easily people can identify your brand in the world. It can be achieved through a good visual identity, slogans, and brand messages. For your brand marketing strategy to be successful, all of these elements must be part of it.

Brand Marketing Channels

Some brand logos—like Coca-Cola—are instantly recognizable thanks to their meticulous brand strategy that uses various marketing channels:

  • Social media marketing: According to a 2024 Hubspot marketing trend report, the biggest social media channels with the best ROI are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter/X, and LinkedIn, in that order.

  • Influencer marketing: People often take recommendations from their favorite influencers, usually done through reviews and tutorials. Get an influencer to promote your brand in a positive light, demonstrating its advantages.

  • Events: Promotional events are an excellent way to raise brand awareness. For example, you can invite your loyal customers to try your new product for free.

  • Customer care: Earlier, we explained how a brand is a feeling. If you want to improve people’s perception of your brand, you should be ready to provide an exceptional user experience.

KPIs in Brand Marketing

KPIs in brand marketing can be quantitative (numerical and statistical) and qualitative (subjective insights). Let’s look at them in more detail:

Quantitative KPIs:

These KPIs show you the number of new clients or sales:

  • Search volume: The number of searches for your brand on search engines and socials. You can measure search volume by analyzing how your brand-related keywords are performing using SEO tools.

  • Sales volume: The number of products sold over a specific period. By tracking your sales, you can gauge how your strategy is performing and what changes are required.

  • CAC (Customer Acquisition Costs): The total cost to acquire a new customer through your campaign. You can calculate CAC by adding all customer acquisition costs together and dividing them by the number of gained customers over a specific period.

  • CLV (Customer Lifetime Value): The revenue you generate from a single customer throughout your brand-customer relationship.

Qualitative KPIs:

These KPIs show how your customers feel about and interact with your brand:

  • Brand equity: Refers to the brand experience, i.e., how customers perceive your brand as opposed to your competitors.

  • NPS (Net Promoter Score): Shows how likely your customers are to recommend your brand to others. You can measure NPS through customer surveys.

  • CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Scores): Your customers’ overall satisfaction with your brand. You can gather CSAT data through surveys as well.

Combining Brand and Performance Marketing

Brand and performance marketing go hand in hand. Performance marketing is a potent tool for increasing brand visibility and driving engagement, particularly for businesses in the early stages of development. When combined with brand marketing, marketers can increase their reach and expand their advertising opportunities while focusing on customer conversion and retention.


What’s the difference between performance marketing vs. brand marketing?

Performance marketing focuses on tangible results, whereas brand marketing puts an accent on customers’ subjective feelings about your brand.

The KPIs used to measure success in performance marketing revolve around counting the numbers of impressions and conversions; KPIs in brand marketing measure the success of your brand based on your customers’ experience with it.

Streamlined your marketing efforts by fusing both of these strategies for the best results. This will help you effectively lead potential clients down the marketing funnel through targeted ads and exceptional customer experience.

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