What is the difference between performance marketing and digital marketing?

What is digital marketing vs performance marketing? You may have heard these terms before, but you’re not quite sure what they mean. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the differences between these two types of marketing strategies. We’ll start by talking about the different digital solutions and marketing endeavors that are taking the world by storm. Then we’ll help you decide which type of marketing is right for your business- digital or performance marketing. Performance marketing is a newer term, but it’s quickly gaining popularity because it’s so profitable. Keep reading to learn more about both digital and performance marketing and see which one is the best fit for your business!

According to Wordstream, 72% of overall marketing budgets get to put toward digital marketing channels. 55% of the marketing is digital. Total digital advertising spending in 2021 was $436 billion versus offline advertising at $196 billion.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the process of using online channels to promote and sell products or services. Online channels include social media, email, search engines, and websites. Digital marketing uses a variety of strategies, such as SEO, content marketing, and paid advertising, to reach customers through the internet.

Digital marketing is more of an investment than performance-based marketing because its goal is long-term brand awareness rather than immediate results. Additionally, businesses have more control over their digital marketing budget and can adjust spending as necessary. However, the return on investment (ROI) for digital marketing can be harder to track compared to performance-based campaigns.

Examples of Digital Marketing:

1. Apple #ShotoniPhone


Apple #ShotonIphone Banner Image

The point of having a social media campaign is to help expand your brand by making people more aware of it and, as a result, generate sales.
In the case of Apple’s #ShotoniPhone campaign, the objective was to create a viral campaign to boast the unmatched quality and clarity of the new camera of Apple’s iPhone 6.

The global marketing campaign yielded 75 iPhone 6 users from 25 countries and 77 entries. To participate, Apple asked its users to share their best shots from their iPhone 6 using the hashtag #ShotoniPhone. They explored social media sites including Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even a Chinese site called Weibo.

The campaign was an immediate success and quickly went viral. The organization took advantage of this opportunity by displaying images from various social demographics and age groups on 10,000 billboards worldwide.

This campaign was successful with 6.5 billion media impressions and increased brand awareness. Not only did it improve customer engagement, but also led to the sale of 231 million iPhones- an increase of 62 million units from the previous campaign.

This example shows how a brand effectively used both digital and traditional marketing methods to support each other.

2. My Protein’s Global Brand Ambassador

My Protein's Global Brand Ambassador Banner Image

Affiliate marketing is another digital marketing form in which businesses compensate third-party publishers or affiliates for promoting their brands. Whenever these publishers generate traffic or sales conversions, they earn commissions that incentivize them to continue promoting the business. My Protein utilized this form of digital marketing with a campaign designed to increase sales and create awareness amongst consumers.

By collaborating with lifestyle and fitness influencers, My Protein successfully marketed its brand on popular pages. With the use of coupon codes, hashtags, and other forms of social media content, My Protein’s affiliates promoted the company well.

The influencers fulfilled the role of word-of-mouth marketers, and their efforts culminated in a 35% increase in sales and web traffic for the company. On average, they received 100 new customers from each affiliate.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

Global & Local Reach

Even a very small local business owner can reach an international audience with an online store. This would never be possible with traditional marketing or would cost a whole lot of money to do so. This online accessibility has opened many growth opportunities for businesses to explore.

Not only does digital marketing allow businesses to reach a global audience, but it also improves local visibility. This is important for businesses that rely on nearby customers. Local SEO and ads targeted at a local audience can bring more customers to your business.


Digital marketing is the most cost-effective solution for promoting your business, whether it be locally or internationally. It levels the playing field so that even the smallest companies can compete with larger companies by using highly targeted strategies. Most of these strategies are free to start with (such as SEO, social media, and content marketing).

Effective Targeting

Even if you’re in the dark about your target audience, digital marketing allows you to assess data and find out which audiences will be most receptive to your campaign. Targeting options include keywords for search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), or demographic information on social media. With so many targeting elements available, every campaign is bound to reach its intended audience.

What is Performance Marketing?

Performance marketing is a type of digital marketing that focuses on results. Digital performance marketing means that performance marketers only get paid when they achieve specific goals, such as generating leads or making sales. Because performance marketers are only paid for results, they tend to be very strategic in their approach. They use data-driven techniques to identify which methods are working and then invest more time and resources into those methods.

Examples of Performance Marketing

1. Outbrain – Search campaign

Outbrain Campaign Banner Imge

Outbrain’s Growth Marketing team doesn’t shy away from Performance Tactics to lift awareness and create leads for the Outbrain recommendation platform. Recently, they even ran a brand search campaign in Italy that led searchers who typed in “Outbrain” to a sales landing page.

The campaign performance was extraordinary: CTR 18.47%, CVR 13.39%, and an amazing 2028% ROI. This means that for every $1 spent on the search campaign, the return was $20.

2. Altran – Sponsored Content

Altran Sponsored Content Banner Image

In sponsored content performance marketing, a publisher posts content like a dedicated blog, and the brand compensates based on certain goals for the blog’s performance.

This can include native advertising, which is ad content that’s designed to fit in seamlessly with the medium it’s posted on.
The sponsored content is created by the publisher to post on their media, while in a native advertising scenario, it’s the advertising brand that creates the content and then hands it off to the publisher.

This native advertising video from Altran was featured in The Financial Times. As you can see, the Altran logo is in the top right, as well as a “Paid Post” icon at the bottom right.

Benefits of Performance Marketing

Pay for results

One of the most advantageous aspects of performance marketing campaigns is that you only pay for conversions, without having to worry about extra costs. This makes lower-funnel performance metrics much more reliable.

In performance marketing, marketers must set a goal and stick with it. Media campaigns that optimize for conversions and then switch to clicks might underperform in both categories.

Track performance

Performance marketing delivers quick results that give marketers an understanding of how they are performing. For example, things like spending, impressions, clicks, and conversions.

By monitoring these metrics, marketers can gauge how successful a campaign is and make changes as needed. For example, if a campaign isn’t going well, it can be put on hold and the money allocated to it can be used elsewhere.

Pivot in real-time

Being able to see how each advertisement performs with its target audience is a crucial element for success, as it allows marketers to constantly adapt and react throughout the campaign.

If an ad with a certain headline delivers a higher click-through rate than others, smart marketers will use that headline with other media to see if the conversion rate can be further optimized.


Expert help is always useful if you want to see your business improve, specifically when it comes to digital marketing platforms. If you are looking for an agency that can provide top-notch digital solutions, then look no further than Benchkart. Benchkart is a digital marketing outsourcing company, we’ll connect you with some of the best providers in just three steps. Schedule a call today so we can explain everything in more detail.