Skip to main content

Marketing has become an essential metric that determines the success of a brand. Marketing teams spend thousands to create campaigns that propel brands to a higher level. Some use strategies that include content creation strategies or video creation or focus on PPC advertising. For those thinking about how and where to spend your marketing budget, these options could be a lot.


The top contenders in the marketing territory are performance marketing and digital marketing. This article explores the differences between performance marketing and digital marketing. More importantly, how you can opt for one once you know the difference between these two options.


What is Performance Marketing?


Performance marketing is a tactical approach to digital marketing where businesses only pay when a specific ‘result’ occurs. This result could be anything – a new sale, lead, etc. Performance marketing involves channels such as online advertising, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing. It focuses on maximizing outcomes, such as app downloads, lead generation, product or service purchases, and other metrics.


How does Performance Marketing work?


The key difference between performance marketing from other types of marketing is the how businesses pay for their campaigns. Advertisers pay when a specific action takes place, instead of paying upfront.


What is Digital Marketing?


Digital marketing is an umbrella term that incorporates all the marketing efforts that use digital channels – social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), creating awareness, content marketing, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), website marketing, affiliate marketing, strategies to generate traffic and transform leads into loyal customers for the business – to name a few.


How does Digital Marketing work?


Digital marketing uses various strategies mentioned above to reach one key goal through different approaches. With these digital tools, you can plan accordingly and meet your marketing targets efficiently.


Digital marketing is a mixed effort where the strategies aim to make the business successful. These strategies include generating traffic, creating awareness, and more.


Digital Marketing vs Performance Marketing:


Digital marketing and performance marketing are two different marketing strategies that don’t compete with each other, but if you understand them, it will give you a full picture of your marketing efforts than simply understanding them individually.




Not everything about digital marketing is the same as performance marketing, but the vast majority of performance marketing is similar to digital in nature. The biggest similarity between the two types of marketing is that they both function in digital environments.




The key difference between performance marketing and digital marketing is the technicality of the term.


The term digital marketing refers to all aspects of digital marketing, while performance marketing refers to a specific marketing strategy that prioritizes return on investment.


Key comparisions:


To understand performance marketing and digital marketing, it’s vital to understand the differences between the two. Both of them have benefits and are truly effective for businesses; they also have distinct characteristics and approaches.


Performance marketing is aimed at getting immediate results, like conversions and sales. This approach is common for campaigns or promotions that aim to drive a particular action from the audience such as pay-per-click advertising, affiliate marketing, and email marketing


Digital marketing focuses on the longer-term approach and is more focused on building brand awareness and engaging with customers. It’s difficult to track the results of digital marketing but nonetheless, it is vital for building a strong online presence and creating a connection with the target audience with tactics such as social media marketing, content marketing, SEO, and more.


By combining both approaches, businesses can reach a wider audience to achieve their marketing goals.




  1. What is the difference between performance marketing and digital marketing?

The difference between performance marketing and digital marketing depends on the approach. Digital marketing channels like social ads, display ads, and paid search are part of a successful performance marketing strategy — but traditional digital marketing often focuses on vanity metrics, like reach, likes, or impressions.


  1. Is SEO part of performance marketing?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a performance marketing strategy which is used to help websites rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).


  1. What are the 8 Ps of marketing performance?

The 8 Ps of marketing is product, price, place, promotion, people, positioning, processes, and performance. For a successful campaign, all of them should work in tandem.




With the above factors, you can make an informed decision to choose the right strategy that’ll help you reach your audience. The basics of both marketing options are covered including their similarities and differences so that you can weigh in on which one is better suited for your business.


In a nutshell, performance and digital marketing are crucial in assisting businesses in reaching and engaging their target audience. This article explores the distinctions between these two approaches and how to use them effectively in their marketing strategy.


Using digital and performance marketing tactics together can help you reach and engage the target audience.

Still confused?

booking a call with team illustrake