Embrace Performance Marketing

Unlock the secret to doing more with less.

Authored by

Andrew Marsh 
VP Digital Strategy

Brad Camus 
VP Client Performance

Tom Romhanyi 
CRO Lead

Wisam Abdulaziz
 VP Technology

If you’re applying the principles of performance marketing to paid advertising alone, you’re limiting your ability to impact business goals: severely.

To say that the market dynamics are unpredictable is putting it mildly. And all signs indicate that another major recession might be right around the corner.

Chief Economists Outlook warns to expect weak economic growth and high inflation.

Even if we set the numbers aside, not that we would ever recommend that; the reality we live in today speaks for itself. Layoff announcements continue to dominate the news cycle. Some of the biggest brands with strong financial track records continue tightening their purse strings. And many growth-scale businesses continue seeking new ways to overcome the hurdles that come with limited budgets.  

While the pressure is on for all organizations to reduce spend across their business units, marketing teams, in particular, share a considerable brunt of that load. Insider Intelligence reports that US Digital Ad Spending Growth is at its lowest (7.8%) since 2009. Meanwhile, Canadian Digital Ad Spending Growth has slowed to 6.0% as advertisers have pulled back budget in the midst of uncertainty.

Despite this significant reduction of means, the expectations from marketing to help their organization survive and thrive during these difficult times have only grown. IAB’s 2023 Outlook Survey reported that acquiring new customers was the top goal for all media spend; increasing brand equity and improving media efficiency followed, taking second and third place in the top-three list.

Long story short, you have to do more with less. And you need to do it really well.

It is easier said than done, but it is doable. However, you need to reframe how you build your marketing strategy to succeed.

First, you must expand your focus beyond KPIs like lead volume or CPL, and not be limited by it. Don’t get us wrong, they both are important metrics to understand and improve performance. But they don’t capture the full extent of marketing’s contribution to business growth, whether you judge based on revenue or demand generated.

KPIs like the cost of customer acquisition or customer lifetime value, on the other hand, do just that. How? It recalibrates your leadership’s point of view. They are no longer looking at revenue generated from each channel. Instead, they are focused on what it costs them to acquire a new customer, how much revenue each acquisition brings in, and the ROI from all your efforts holistically.

Second, drawing from the first, you must stop measuring marketing’s performance through the lens of channel performance alone. As you already know, the reality is that some channels are tailored to generate results fast, and others are better suited to help you build trust and win the long game. It simply isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison.

A better way to approach this is by reframing your thinking in terms of initiatives meant to:

•Drive results over the next two quarters, i.e., bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU).
•Help win the long game, i.e., top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) demand generation efforts.

The first helps you hit revenue goals. And consequently, it creates the room for the second that sets you up to play the long game simultaneously.

Download the white Paper

Eager to learn more about how performance marketing can help you meet your business gaols?

Fill this form to get a free copy of the white paper delivered to your inbox.

Reframing your approach in this manner will set you up perfectly to embrace the performance marketing way.


Because you’ve already taken the first and most important step to succeed at it: you’ve started evaluating marketing performance in the context of the metrics that matter to your organization in its entirety.

With your mindset reframed, let’s dive into how you can build a performance marketing strategy that meets your unique needs. And, to ensure that you walk away with an actionable strategy, we’ve laid the rest of this white paper out as a set of sequential stages. 

Visualize your organization’s big picture

Align the big picture with customer needs

Understand your sales cycle

Build your marketing strategy

Define your core KPIs

Break marketing strategy down into actionable campaigns

Map your supporting KPIs

Test, learn and act

Evaluate performance

A Note From the Authors

This altered and expanded approach, which focuses on driving results by putting customers first and contextualizing them within the framework of business objectives and goals, is what makes performance marketing stand out. Even though it leverages the same channels and tactics as any digital marketing strategy, performance marketing is a far more effective and reliable method of consistently meeting and exceeding goals.

Food for Thought

Embracing performance marketing is ultimately about creating a win-win-win scenario.

Your customers win because they’ve found a solution that makes overcoming their challenges not just possible but achievable.

Your organization wins because more customers have chosen them, whether you preface this in the context of revenue generated or capturing a higher market share.

You win because the value marketing brings to the table is indisputable. And, as a bonus, you’re no longer at the mercy of budget cuts. All your eggs are not in the paid initiatives’ basket, and you’re primed to do more with less.

Let's Talk

Want to explore if an agency can fill the gap?

Not sure if your team has all the skills and bandwidth to put performance marketing in practice?

We’re a collective of digital marketing experts. 20 years and 2,000 clients later, we’ve mastered maximizing ROI. Work with an SEO/SEM and CRO team that will generate real leads, more sales and increase revenue.

© 2023 Search Engine People. All rights reserved