What is performance marketing and what can you do with it?

by Marcel Nanning | Last Updated: February 14, 2022

Chances are that you, as a b2b sales or marketing professional, are focused on results and performance marketing. A beautiful brand is important, but ultimately you are in the numbers game and it’s about the results of the marketing and sales activities. What is the meaning performance marketing and what can you do with it in b2b marketing?

A definition of performance marketing

The meaning of performance marketing:

Performance marketing is the use of activities that lead directly to measurable results. These can be results such as;

So the defining characteristic of performance marketing is that measurable results flow from the activities that can be demonstrably attributed to those activities. In most cases, payment is also made only after certain results have been achieved.

Well knowns forms are: paying per click (Cost per Click, CPC), paying per lead (Cost per Lead, CPL), or even paying per conversion to customer (Cost per Sale, CPS).

The latter we see a lot in affiliate marketing where a publisher only gets paid when a sale takes place that can be traced back to the publisher’s efforts.

Performance marketing examples

Many marketing activities today are measurable and focused on results. With that, much marketing automatically becomes performance marketing. It is a popular form of marketing for a reason; both for clients and for agencies that help clients with their marketing. Read more about this in Forbes’ article on the increasing popularity of this form of marketing.

In practice, it mainly refers to campaigns that focus on concretely generating leads or increasing sales. Examples of performance marketing activities are:

So there is always a clear call-to-action and a measurable link between the marketing effort and the result. Because online marketing lends itself extremely well to this type of marketing, it is also a go-to route for setting up performance marketing.

This form of marketing is also popular because it’s relatively easy to test. You can also easily scale up and see where certain tipping points are and saturation occurs, for example.

performance marketing score

Prerequisites for scoring with performance marketing

A high-scoring performance marketing campaign will have to meet a number of conditions. It is more than just pouring a bucket of money into ads. A number of areas of focus will ensure greater success.

1. Choose a channel that suits your target audience

A general marketing rule but still relevant to mention. If your target group is active on Facebook and also appears to be receptive to your marketing message, it is wise to experiment with this. You can experiment with multiple channels and keep the ones that score best. Also take into account the timing and seasonal influences. Perhaps your LinkedIn campaign scores well during the day and your Facebook campaign for the same target group scores well in the evening.

2. Create a seamless flow in all your expressions

This is an important variable to pay attention to; what does your flow look like? The expressions you deploy can best be seamless and funnel to the target audience in the best way possible. An example:

Your Google ad appears at the top of the search engine when the target audience searches for a relevant term such as ‘SEO advice’. The ad promises the following; ‘request a free test blog from SEO advice BV‘. Then you land on a general website where you can find nothing of this offer. You also don’t recognize anything of the tone-of-voice from the ad.

This is an example of a flow or marketing funnel that doesn’t connect seamlessly and causes a poor performance. It would have been better if, after clicking on the ad, the visitor lands on a clean landing page with more explanation on how to request the free blog post with a form and an ‘ask for’ button.

3. Performance marketing requires creativity

Because of the measurability and the practical application of performance marketing, people sometimes forget to make optimal use of ‘creativity’. By providing campaigns with a powerful message, good imagery, language, and the right creative angles you can increase the performance of your campaigns.

So invest in a good creative set-up for your marketing activities so that the entire funnel is tightly structured from front to back. Make a translation of the strategic marketing plan and base your concrete idea and activities on it. And, so that you hit your target group with your means and message.

4. Correct measurements of performance marketing

Measuring = knowing applies 100% to performance marketing campaigns. An important task of performance marketers is to continuously analyze, adapt and adjust campaigns. This means that you have to be able to see where certain opportunities for improvement lie. If your campaign consists of several campaign steps, you will have to set the right measurement indicators at all these points. This is also important for determining a good ROI.

Some important indicators for a campaign if we only look at the online advertisement:

As you can see, there are already multiple KPIs to determine for just 1 step of your performance campaign. This does allow you to make the right adjustments and optimize the return of your campaign.

5. Tools to support performance marketing

Use the right tools to set up and measure performance marketing. You also need tools to extract as much value as possible from the information obtained. Consider using content creation tools for content and ads, analytical tools to analyze the performance of campaigns, and database tooling to support the lead follow up. Some examples:

Check out this article for the best CRM software for Small and Medium Business

What does your performance marketing strategy look like?

Hopefully, you are inspired to ramp up your marketing activities right away. Find out more about performance marketing tactics on this site. Please share your strategies with us!

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