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Performance Marketing vs. Brand Marketing: Which is Better?

Oct 19, 2023
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Learn the difference between performance marketing vs. brand marketing and how both styles of advertising can benefit your business.

How two different styles of marketing can both benefit your business

According to eMarketer, digital advertising will account for over 67% of all marketing spending in 2023, for an estimated total spend of $627 billion. Why is that number significant? It nearly matches the number of people in the world with access to the internet.

An April 2023 Smart Insights report shows that 5.18 billion people around the world use the internet, which is roughly 65% of the global population. Put simply: When it comes to advertising, the money is following the audience.

When analyzing this trend, one might consider which marketing strategy goes best with digital advertising: performance marketing or brand marketing. But the question isn’t as simple as performance marketing vs. brand marketing. The reality is both techniques are valuable, it just depends on your goals. 

Let’s examine both to determine which is right for you and when. 

What is Performance Marketing?

Performance marketing is an advertising program in which a marketing company is paid only when it achieves a successful result, such as completing a sale or downloading a demo. This allows brands to focus their ad spend on high-ROI campaigns and pay only when they see the result they are after. 

With performance marketing, advertisers typically know exactly what they’re paying for. Results are tangible and directly measurable, making it possible to generate real-time performance statistics and A/B test different marketing channels, techniques, or creative to get the best result. This also gives marketers a clear picture of how audiences interact with advertising over time.    

What is Brand Marketing? 

Brand marketing, on the other hand, isn’t about achieving any specific action. It’s about building a relationship between the brand and potential customers. Brand marketing relies on creating an emotional connection between a customer and a brand so that the customer will associate purchasing from that brand with a positive emotional response.

A clothing brand, for example, might want to make customers feel cool when wearing their clothes. Their brand marketing will focus on that feeling, aiming to associate their brand with “being cool.” Their advertisements will then feature imagery that attempts to elicit that feeling. Over time, if successful, customers will begin to associate the brand with being cool.  

That’s not to say there’s no potential measurement involved with brand marketing, however. Brand recognition and lift are two possible KPIs that marketers can use to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. This is where using the right channel can make a huge difference; viewers of CTV ads, for example, show greater brand recall and affinity than viewers of other kinds of ads. To learn more, download our free report, How CTV Advertising Powers the Performance TV Revolution.

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Performance Marketing vs. Brand Marketing

So which is better? The answer is neither. 

In reality, there is no brand vs. performance marketing debate. Both techniques are valuable and, in fact, essential in today’s marketplace. You want your customers to have an emotional reaction to your brand, but you also want to pursue advertising that drives a specific action.

Ultimately, performance marketing and brand marketing are complementary. While performance marketing lends itself particularly well to measurements, brand marketing is a touch more difficult to quantify. It’s harder to draw a direct line from a brand marketing advertisement to a specific action, such as buying clothes. 

At the same time, while performance marketing may be easier to measure in the short term, its long-term effects are harder to pin down. Meanwhile, although brand marketing may be more nebulous than performance marketing, it’s just as valuable, as brands with positive images in the public marketplace typically demand a higher price tag and generate more loyal customers. 

Goals of Performance Marketing

The ultimate goal of performance marketing is to drive a particular result, but there is more than one kind of positive result from advertising. Performance marketing can be broken down into two broad goals:

  • Action-based: Action-based marketing is aimed at generating a specific action, such as clicking through an ad, downloading a demo, or making a purchase. The brand will then only pay when an ad leads directly to that action.  
  • Goal-based: Goal-based marketing is aimed at achieving a specific goal, such as generating a certain number of sign-ups or converting leads into sales. Rather than any one action, the goal is broader, encompassing a number of individual actions, and the brand then pays when the goal is met.

Performance marketing can be a powerful way to drive actions on new products or if a brand already has strong brand awareness. It can also be an effective way of testing or comparing marketing channels without spending a lot of money on A/B testing or ads with no tangible results.

Goals of Brand Marketing

A brand might engage in brand marketing to generate interest in an existing product or product line. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness of the brand in the marketplace, but that can be broken down further into three additional categories:

  • Create a strong brand identity: Brand identity is how the intended audience sees a brand. This can be informed by the brand name, logo, taglines, and imagery associated with the brand. Brand marketing will promote this identity and infuse it into the consciousness of your audience.  
  • Market differentiation: Brand marketing can help tell the story of how a brand differs from its competitors. What are your brand’s specific strengths, and how can you distinguish them in the marketplace? Brand marketing helps to answer those questions, ultimately leading to a greater familiarity with your brand.
  • Develop customer loyalty: Customer retention is also a goal of brand marketing. While acquiring new customers is always a goal, ensuring existing customers remain loyal is equally important. Brand marketing can help inspire confidence and establish trust in your brand. 

Collectively, these goals aim to create a positive impression of your brand, increase the likelihood of achieving a sale, and retain the customers you already have. 

How tvScientific Can Help

CTV is helping drive the future of digital advertising. Whether your marketing strategy calls for performance marketing, brand marketing, or both, tvScientific can help you build a custom platform for CTV advertising that will reach your audience and grow your business.

Utilizing over 15,000 unique segments, tvScientific enables precise audience targeting so that your ads get in front of your chosen audiences. With web-to-TV retargeting, you can track which visitors are responding to your ads and engage your most valuable visitors on the most influential screen. Plus, our multi-touch attribution allows you to gather real-time data on how your campaigns are performing and which are driving positive results.

The tvScientific platform gives you full control over your campaigns with a single interface, allowing you to make real-time optimizations to increase your ROAS by as much as 50%. The tvScientific platform is completely transparent, offering unparalleled views into the entire customer acquisition journey and the performance of your ads.

For more information about how tvScientific can help you customize your CTV ad campaigns, get in touch.