Date Added: 16.08.2023

Mins Read: 4 mins

Author: Chris Southgate

What is performance marketing?

Performance marketing

Performance marketing is a type of digital marketing strategy in which advertisers pay for specific actions or measurable results, rather than paying for the mere presence of an ad or the potential for exposure. The key distinction in performance marketing is that advertisers only pay when a specific action, such as a click, lead, sale, or conversion, occurs.

Performance marketing is often seen as a more cost-effective and efficient approach compared to traditional advertising methods because it directly ties advertising spend to measurable outcomes. 

The appeal of performance marketing lies in its ability to hold advertisers accountable for the success of their campaigns. By focusing on tangible results, it allows advertisers to make informed decisions, optimise their strategies, and achieve better ROI (Return on Investment) for their marketing efforts.

What are performance marketing channels?

Performance marketing channels are the various digital platforms and avenues through which advertisers can implement their performance-based marketing campaigns. These channels offer measurable and trackable actions that advertisers can use to evaluate the success of their campaigns. Here are some common performance marketing channels:


Search Engine Marketing (SEM): This includes paid search advertising, where advertisers bid on keywords to have their ads displayed at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for relevant terms. Advertisers pay when users click on their ads (PPC model), making it a highly performance-driven channel.

Social Media Advertising: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube and others offer performance-based advertising options. Advertisers can pay based on clicks, impressions, or specific actions like app downloads or lead form submissions.

Affiliate Marketing: In this model, advertisers collaborate with affiliates (publishers, influencers, or other websites) who promote the advertiser’s products or services. Advertisers pay a commission to affiliates for each sale or conversion they drive.

Display Advertising: Display ads can be placed on various websites and apps. Advertisers can opt for performance-based display advertising, where they pay based on clicks or conversions instead of impressions.

Email Marketing: Email campaigns can be measured based on open rates, click-through rates (CTR), and conversions. Advertisers can track how many recipients take the desired action after receiving the email.

Influencer Marketing: Influencers can be paid based on their performance, such as the number of clicks, conversions, or sales they drive through their sponsored content.

Retargeting/Remarketing: This strategy targets users who have previously interacted with a website but did not convert. Advertisers can run performance-based ads to encourage these users to return and complete a desired action.


Each performance marketing channel offers unique opportunities and challenges, and the choice of channels should be based on the target audience, campaign objectives, and the product or service being promoted. Effective performance marketing campaigns often involve a combination of these channels to reach a broader audience and maximise results.


How to evaluate marketing performance

Evaluating marketing performance is essential to understand how well your marketing efforts are contributing to your business goals and to make data-driven decisions for future campaigns. Here are some key steps to effectively evaluate marketing performance:

Define Clear Objectives: Start by setting specific and measurable marketing objectives aligned with your overall business goals. These objectives could be increasing sales, generating leads, improving brand awareness, or enhancing customer engagement. 

Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Identify the KPIs that align with your objectives. These are the metrics that will help you track progress and determine success. KPIs might include conversion rate, click-through rate (CTR), cost per lead (CPL), return on investment (ROI) or customer acquisition cost (CAC).

Implement Analytics and Tracking: Use analytics tools like Google Analytics, social media insights, or marketing automation platforms to track the performance of your marketing efforts. Ensuring that accurate tracking is implemented will be one of, if not the most important step when evaluating your marketing performance. As a Performance Marketing Agency, we’ve seen far too many incorrectly implemented tracking systems completely ruin a client’s ability to measure their own marketing campaign’s effectiveness, which is why this is always one of our high priority steps.

Attribution Modelling: Understand how different marketing channels contribute to your overall results. Use attribution models to determine which channels or touchpoints are driving conversions and allocate credit appropriately.

Analyse Data Regularly: Regularly review and analyse the data from your marketing campaigns. Look for trends, patterns, and insights that can inform your marketing strategies. Compare the performance of different campaigns and channels to identify what’s working and what’s not.

Qualitative Feedback: Don’t solely rely on quantitative data; gather qualitative feedback from customers through surveys, focus groups, or social listening. Understanding customer sentiments can help you improve your marketing strategy.

Report and Communicate: Present your findings and insights to key stakeholders or team members. Regularly communicate marketing performance results to ensure everyone is on the same page and can contribute ideas for improvement.

Below are some of the ways in which the performance of a marketing campaign is measured and, if using an agency to support your marketing efforts, how payment from client to performance marketeer is structured:


Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked, driving traffic to their website or landing page. 

Cost-Per-Lead (CPL): Advertisers pay for each lead generated, such as a user filling out a contact form or providing their information.

Cost-Per-Action (CPA): Advertisers pay when a specific action is completed, such as a purchase or a sign-up.

Cost-Per-Sale (CPS): Advertisers pay a commission on each sale generated through their marketing efforts.


What does a performance marketer do?

A Performance Marketer is the person who brings all of the above together. They help to define the objectives and KPIs, build the strategy to be measured, choose which channels should be used, ensure that tracking and attribution is set up correctly and measure the results of the campaign.

A performance marketer is responsible for planning, executing, and optimising digital marketing campaigns with a strong emphasis on measurable results and return on investment (ROI). Their primary focus is on driving specific actions or conversions, such as clicks, leads, sales, or other desired outcomes, rather than just increasing brand visibility. 

To find out more about how our Performance Marketers can help you, visit our Performance Marketing page or contact us today.


Get in touch

Fancy a chat? We would love to hear from you

Get in touch