Ashish Kumar, CEO, Red Dash Media

Ashish Kumar is the CEO and conceptualizer of Red Dash Media – a Delhi-based Full-Service Global Digital Marketing Agency helping brands shape their digital conversation and bringing ideas to life. He has worked strategically with several businesses in the past as a Hospitality Advisor. He compliments his busy lifestyle by being a fitness enthusiast and nutrition expert.


The internet has forever changed the way we buy, browse, and interact with products. And while doing so, it also changed the way brands advertise and sell. Before the Digital Marketing takeover, Advertising was a bit more basic – there were no shares, impressions, engagements, click, and installs to measure the advertising success. The creative geniuses would use their magic to create ad campaigns, pay for the placements, and hope to see results.

But, it’s 2021, and things are a lot different now! With spends on Digital Marketing surpassing 400 billion dollars, Advertisers and brands are demanding more for their money. They want digital strategies that are driven by results and influenced by consumer behaviour. In comes Performance Marketing!

As the name suggests, Performance Marketing is based on performance attributing to the Return of Investment (ROI) of each campaign and activity. It puts the authority back in the hands of the advertiser who determines the action and pays only when that action has been completed. In this marketing type, an advertiser only pays after they have achieved a specific result, be it – follow a Call to Action, Cost Per Click, Cost Per Impression, Cost Per Lead, Sales, and more. Performance Marketing gives advertisers the confidence to spend their budgets only on successful campaigns.

Brands are changing and Digital Marketing is evolving, but it seems that the only constant these days is the screen in front of a consumer. Digital Marketers are leveraging this phenomenon by getting users’ attention on a daily basis. This is the reason why brands are turning to Performance Marketing to keep track of the results.

Performance Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing

Before Performance Marketing existed, brands would often pay thousands of dollars without seeing any impression or conversion. But, with this form of marketing, Advertisers only pay for the transactions that are successful. Technically, both seem similar on paper, but there is a completely different approach to each. Affiliate Marketing does not ensure conversions and leads as Performance Marketing does. This is where Performance goes far beyond as just being affiliated with a brand does not assure true value.

Sure a brand can partner with an affiliate to give out discount codes to drive sales, but that in itself will not create the brand value a business might be looking for. What leads to new sales are brand awareness, customer engagement, product awareness, and solid communications – provided by Performance Marketing. It is often said in the marketing circle to pre-sell to your customers and not post-sell. Affiliate Marketing is trying to capture sales when a person is already sold and you just have to lure them into finishing their purchase with the help of discounts. But, pre-selling takes time and work! It requires a performance-based approach.

How to Measure Performance Marketing as a Brand

Measurable Return on Investment is a defining element of Performance Marketing. Every action is measured and analyzed against pre-defined key performance indicators. This helps further optimize the performance to maximize these outcomes:

Cost Per Click (CPC)

There is a cost associated with every time a viewer clicks on an ad. This method is a good indicator of engagement as the viewer takes an action and clicks on the ad. Higher CPC means that the value of the conversion is higher for your ad. A classic example can be luxury car brands setting their CPC higher for quality leads. This makes the cost for every click very expensive, but the potential return is much higher.

Cost Per Impressions (CPM)

This is the cost for every 1000 views or impressions on an ad. CPM, however, does not measure the engagement by a viewer, but only determines the price of getting your ad shown to the viewers. So, if your ad has 30,000 views, you would have to pay your base rate multiplied by 30.

Cost Per Action (CPA)

Want your target audience to take a desired action like purchasing an item, subscribing to your newsletter, sharing their contact information, or any other action? That’s what Cost Per Action or Cost Per Acquisition measures for your campaign. Any action taken by the customer is considered the most tangible result in defining the performance matrix.

Cost Per Leads (CPL)

Cost Per Leads, as it may suggest by the name generates leads for your brand or campaign. CPL is mostly used to follow up on the leads that are generated, so you can drive sales. This may be in the form of newsletters, emails, and webinars.

Channels Used in Performance Marketing

As a brand, it is important to know the right channels that will drive traffic and benefit your campaign. This is why Digital Marketers use various marketing and advertising channels, including the following:

  • Banner or Display Ads

Your audience wanders around several websites every day and a display ad is a visual advertisement on those websites. These ads generally appear on the side of your Facebook feed or a web page you have just visited. If you have your target audience set, you can target display ads to users with the same interests, demographics, or online activities.

  • Native Ads

If you want to promote your brand in a natural way that may seem organic to users, Native Ads is your way to go. Native ads live seamlessly beside organic content and take advantage of the natural layout of a webpage. An example of this can be the ‘watch next’ section of a YouTube page which carries sponsored videos that acts like a chameleon between the organic ones.

  • Social Media Advertising

If your campaign needs various ad formats, payment models, and targeting options – you should definitely try out Social Media Advertising. One of the best parts about Social advertising is the fact that it extends your reach to users who don’t follow you. This extends your reach far beyond any other form of digital advertising.

  • Search Engine Advertising

More than 90% of the online experience begins when a user finds himself on a search engine. This gives you the perfect opportunity to increase your online visibility with Search Engine Advertising. This advertising method focuses on Cost Per Click and the ads appear on top of the result pages. With Performance Marketing, you only have to pay when a user clicks on the ad, goes to your landing page or takes another action.

As digital marketing moves on a promising path, Performance Marketing can help your brand scale its advertising efforts, measure ROIs, and pay as you go. If you use the full potential of Performance Marketing, you will find a creative and effective way to diversify your audience – all while capturing valuable data.

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