Brand Marketing vs. Performance Marketing: What's the Difference?

By consultantsreview team Friday, 12 August 2022


consultantsreview team

The global digital ad spend is forecast to reach $781 billion by 2022, up from $723 billion in 2021, a $58.0 billion increase. As this industry continues to grow, performance and brand marketing are more intertwined. As a result, brands should adapt to the changing landscape as it evolves.

There is a myopia that many modern marketing campaigns often fall into, focusing their efforts solely on performance marketing. It's all about the instant results and the quick wins to guarantee investors and make a quick buck in many cases.

However, marketers need to remember that brand marketing, although a more traditional approach to marketing and advertising, has a massive role, especially in the long run. That being said, various companies and brands are often in positions where they don't have the luxury of extensive brand marketing, especially as they're starting up. 

This leads to the question of how much marketers and business owners should focus on performance marketing platforms versus brand marketing platforms. App developers and marketers have differing viewpoints on brand marketing vs. performance marketing. Our goal here is to explain the two concepts, highlight the positives and negatives, and explain how they can be used to tick your digital marketing boxes. 

What does performance marketing entail?

Various advertising methods are involved, including:

  • Influencer Marketing
  • Native Advertising
  • Partner Marketing
  • Search Engine Advertising (SEA)
  • Email Marketing

The term refers to campaigns where commissions are earned based on actual leads, sales and conversions. Brands placing adverts pay the advertisers when specific successful actions are taken. 


  • The ROI-driven approach can be measured, tracked, scrutinized, and justified because it is results-driven. You can follow the user journey in real-time. Budgets can also be allocated based on the advertising platforms and service providers that offer the best results.
  • It facilitates a superior campaign strategy. Since you can test various types of messaging and styles, you're able to optimize your campaigns for maximum effect.
  • Compared with other marketing strategies, including brand marketing, performance marketing has a reduced risk profile and also reduces your CPA. At the same time, your Return on Investment is increased, which means you have an extra budget for other functions. 


  • Choosing your channels wisely requires research and can be risky. CPAs can be high in specific industries, and specific channels can be costly and highly competitive. It will take time to develop a strategy. 
  • Your traffic should come from trusted sources. Otherwise, visitors will not return to your site, damaging your brand. 
  • Testing, tracking, and measuring campaigns regularly are the only ways to make it work. However, performing this process manually is time-consuming and labor-intensive. 

What does brand marketing entail?

A brand's reputation is built through brand performance marketing. Through storytelling and positioning, brands can foster trust, loyalty, and credibility with customers and the general public. A brand's success is often measured by consumer recognition and long-term consistency.


  • Marketing your brand increases the brand footprint. More brand recognition means more people purchase your goods and services. 
  • Consumers respond more to organic performance marketing when they know your brand well. This leads to better click rates and reduced CPAs. 


  • Brand marketing campaigns can be costly and aren't effective without other elements in place. They are designed to increase brand visibility, not drive traffic or conversion. Therefore, investing solely in them is very expensive and doesn't guarantee results unless you have a strong brand reputation. Campaigns should be run across various channels if a company has enough funding for the campaign. Therefore, branding campaigns are more suitable for established and prominent brands. 

What is the best digital marketing tactic?

Undoubtedly, both variations have their benefits and are vital to success. However, it is easier to grow organically when performance marketing activities include an ever-present brand identity. 

A holistic approach is needed, and it is best to use them synergistically to get the most benefit for your business or application.

Performance and brand marketing must be balanced to achieve growth and long-term success. It's time to stop thinking about performance marketing versus brand marketing and which is better.

If your company focuses exclusively on performance marketing to drive short-term conversions, without considering the brand marketing strategy, it will be unable to grow.

Focusing exclusively on brand marketing is not helpful for companies and brands that need to meet specific criteria for continued investment, especially those starting. 

As with most things in marketing and life, nuanced, educated analysis is needed, and a combination approach between the two strategies based on your specific needs should be initiated.

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