Unbolting Performance Marketing: Demystifying the Key Components

Written by Sharoon Emmanuel

Performance marketing is completely changing the way how brands advertise and sell products. It has also revolutionized the success measurement of marketing campaigns as in the past attribution was nearly impossible.

Now, with the emergence of performance marketing, companies can easily measure success metrics from brand reach to conversion rate down to a single ad thus allowing them to gain valuable insights for optimization to ensure optimum cost per acquisition.

As performance-based online marketing offers more transparency, digital marketeers are looking beyond branding to craft marketing strategies with ensured ROI.

So, in order to better understand the core components of performance marketing, it is important to know the basics first.

What Is Performance Marketing?

While corporate giants can invest millions on branding, smaller businesses need to focus on the bottom line to stay profitable. Performance marketing fairly addresses this issue and puts the power back into the hands of the advertiser. It allows them to determine the action (sale, lead, or click) and pay when it is completed.

Performance advertising can simply be defined as an interactive method of marketing that centers on the service price dependent on the performance of the ad. For example, the price of an ad might be based on any of the metrics ranging from views, clicks, leads, or sales.

Related: - Digital Performance Marketing Agency in Dubai

Benefits of Performance-Based Advertising

Major benefits of running performance marketing campaigns include the following:-

  • Simplified Performance Tracking
  • Risk Proof
  • ROI-Centered

The best part about digital performance marketing is that it’s 100% measurable. Owing to the advancements in technology and ad platforms, all campaign metrics can be tracked and reported as per convenience.

Apart from easy tracking, performance marketing highly focused on ROI resulting in less risk for the advertiser. With least risk on hands, launch times are quicker and approval pushes are diminished.

How Do Performance Marketing Strategies Differ?

Unlike most forms of digital marketing strategies, performance marketing takes advertiser’s (business) convenience to an all new level where nothing needs to be paid upfront rather payment is done on successful transactions.

Just as with other marketing campaigns, performance advertising also requires A/B testing for optimization. Even in performance marketing, it is important to track success metrics as it is impossible to optimize any campaign without ample data. 

4 Fuel Types to Power Up Your Performance Marketing Initiatives (Pricing Models)


CPM stands for Cost Per Mille, or cost per thousand. In this pricing model, performance marketing companies charge advertisers for impressions, i.e. the number of times a specific advertisement is viewed.


CPC stands for Cost Per Click. The meaning of it is very obvious, performance-based marketing agencies charge the advertiser based on the clicks of an ad. The competition for this is usually high and target keywords are expensive.


CPL stands for Cost Per Lead. In this pricing model, digital performance marketing agencies charge the advertiser based on qualified leads. The CPL model is both advertiser and target audience-friendly as it gives the former a legit lead and the latter an attractive incentive.


CPA stands for Cost Per Action. In this pricing model, performance marketing consultants charge the advertiser only when a sale is matured i.e. Credit/Debit card transaction. Digital marketing campaigns centered around the CPA model focus on encouraging customers to buy instantaneously.

Related: -Performance based digital marketing in UAE

Disintegrating the Moving Parts of Performance Marketing

To make sure things get less complex, we’ll metaphorically describe performance marketing.

Here’s the decomposition of our supercar: -

  • Competition (Road)
  • Strategy (Chassis)
  • Business Operations (Seat)
  • Data & Analytics (Main Computer)
  • SEO (Engine)
  • Paid Media (Front Wing)
  • CRO (Tires)

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Expansion of the Super Car Analogy for Performance Marketing

Describing the main disciplines that constitute digital performance marketing: -

The Road- Competition

The road is the competition where all of the competitors are “stepping on it” to win it big. This specific section calls for strategy and planning based on competitive insights and data. A simple example of it would be a competitor’s search gap analysis, where businesses can identify weaknesses and strengths.

The Chassis- Digital Strategy

The chassis is something that holds everything together. It is the most important part as every component gets bolted onto it. From brainstorming to analysis, planning to execution and optimization, everything revolves around digital strategy.

The digital strategy reshapes traditional organizational strategies into integrated, distributed and cross-functional processes. While putting together a digital strategy, opportunities, challenges, assets, vision, interviews, goals, competitor analysis, strengths, weaknesses, heuristic evaluation, features/functionality analysis, financial constraints, ethnographic research, web analytics, performance assessment, funnel analysis, CRM analysis, statistical surveys, technical proficiency evaluation, process assessment, portfolio management, media plans, POC (proof of concepts), roadmap, KPIs and governance model are considered.

Driving Seat- Data-Driven Business Operations

Decision making can take place from both the agency’s and business owner’s end. The digital media agency can act in accordance to insights whereas the business owners can identify whether or not the strategy will work to achieve the defined business goals. Also, it is important for business owners to judge whether your performance marketing agency is fully knowledgeable and has all the aspects and components covered.

The Main Computer- Data & Analytics

This section comprises of the metrics that come back from the car. The feedback that comes from it carries chief importance for the driver (business owner) and engineers (digital media agency). By constantly overserving data and insights, both the driver and mechanics detect performance, find loopholes, predict future problems, find areas of opportunity and steer accordingly.

The Engine- Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the key component that needs to last longer and help businesses sustain in the racing season. Choosing the right engine involves getting all the SEO fundamentals in place. The SEO initiatives should be fast and accessible on all platforms. Ongoing optimization is like adding the right oil to the engine to make sure that it stays at the same pace as your competition.

The Front Wing -Paid Media

Paid media gives you the initial heads up and lessens time and effort to hit the market. Moreover, it can be quickly set up and feedback can be received almost immediately. Not everyone can set you up the correct paid media services as the success rate is determined by taking into consideration many factors such as a website’s user experience, social presence, competition, marketing time and much more. For optimal performance, your digital media agency should always be testing and learning i.e. A B testing. 

The Tires -Conversion Rate Optimization

Tires (CRO) plays an important role in digital success. The Conversion Rate Optimization in performance marketing helps businesses squeeze every last drop by persistently testing variations of ads, UI, content, prices, offers, forms, and Call to Action buttons etc. Keen consideration of all of these factors add up to make a real difference to campaigns (race).

Also Read: - 10 Digital Marketing Challenges Solved with AI

Are You Winning with Performance Media Marketing?

We hope this post helps you analyze the business benefits offered by performance marketing agencies and how they can minimalize your risks. Also, you can consider this post as a baseline for getting performance marketing services to juice out optimum results for your brand or business.

If you wish to learn more about how Bester Capital Media’s performance marketing services can help you increase ROI with least risk, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation session.



Originally Published February 18, 2019 12:00 AM, Updated February 19, 2019.

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