How do we define Performance Marketing?

14 July

Within the universe of digital marketing, we can find a subcategory of strategies called Digital Performance. This strategy (or set of strategies) is characterized by being driven and oriented towards achieving results. As its name suggests: Performance-based Marketing. Therefore, it is necessary to work on a set of channels that are measurable (being able to measure such results). That being said, it can be stated that a large part of traditional media could not be used for this type of strategy.

Before delving into the marketing plan, it is necessary to understand what are the main channels that a Digital Performance strategy includes, as each channel will have a series of tools and tactics different from the rest.


  • Social Media
  • SEM
  • Email Marketing
  • SEO


So how to plan and implement the right digital performance strategy?

A plan will help align business objectives, organize initiatives to better connect with your audiences, engage with them, and drive them to action. While there are many ways to establish the steps for an effective performance plan, these are the main ones I consider:

1- Define Objectives

Every company has its business objectives, whether it is to improve profitability, increase sales, expand markets, etc. From these objectives, the objectives of digital marketing will be derived. The objectives of the digital performance plan must be aligned with these business objectives, and at the same time, they must be measurable, achievable, specific, relevant, and within a period of time (SMART). These objectives can be established as KPIs, measurable and specific metrics that each strategy and campaign will deliver.

2- Define targets, audiences, and buyer persona

Having your buyer persona defined is very important because from there we can establish what types of audiences to impact. Segmentation at this step is important because we can communicate with a specific message to each of the audiences of interest. Doing this point of the plan well is also fundamental to identify which channels to use in the strategy (which channels allow me to impact the audiences of my interest).

3- Competitor Analysis

For marketing efforts to be effective, we need to know who our competition is, what they do, and what they communicate. A thorough analysis of the competition will give us insights into how to leverage online marketing tools to outperform these competitors (e.g., see which channels are strong and which are weak).

4- Establish a budget

Defining a budget will determine how much we can invest to achieve our objectives and will also serve as a guide to determine the channels, campaigns, and strategies to use. That is, the budget will be distributed among the media according to their respective tools to achieve our objectives. Establishing an accurate budget will depend on many factors such as revenue, brand positioning, historical results, objectives, market, expected profitability, etc. While it is important to start with a solid budget allocation, we must be flexible to capitalize on campaign learnings once they are active (budget redistribution).

5- Define marketing channels

In this step, we must choose the channels to carry out the strategy. The choice of these channels should take into account factors such as objectives, budget, audiences, etc. It is important to have our target audience defined for the choice of channels. For example, if our company is B2B, we could use LinkedIn, whereas if our target audience is teenagers, a good option would be TikTok. Here we must focus on how to offer value to our audience within the channels they like the most. Synergy between channels is good: often we will have channels that can work with common strategies and boost both media. For example: a PPC campaign that seeks lead generation and accompany it with an email marketing medium to turn these leads into sales.

6- Develop marketing strategies for each channel

Once we have chosen the channels, we must think about the best strategy that fits our objective. For example, if our channel will be SEM, we must create a structure of search terms that achieves finding our target audience when they perform a search on the internet, and deliver a specific message to each user.

Each channel offers different tools that suit different objectives. Example: Google Ads offers campaigns optimized to obtain application downloads and Facebook has product re-engagement campaigns.

Ultimately, the choice of these strategies will depend on the points we have been working on so far, such as the business or commercial objective, the digital marketing objective, the budget, audiences, etc.

7- Scheduling

Every effective performance strategy includes a campaign implementation schedule. This is because possibly not all strategies start and end together. This point should also be affected by the times specified in the objectives of the strategy. A widely used tool for scheduling is Gantt Charts.

Let’s see an example:

For the launch of an application, we must establish at what specific moment campaigns will be run for user acquisition, campaigns to improve profitability, campaigns to re-impact users, among others.

To achieve effective scheduling, we must take into account factors such as campaign implementation times, learning times, optimizations, and objectives.

Measure results and KPIs of the marketing plan. Once the campaigns are active, the final step of the marketing plan is to measure the results of the campaigns (KIPs). We must make a comparison with the initial objectives of the campaign, and if the main KPIs are below expectations, a process of optimization will be carried out to improve performance.

It is important to measure the performance of each channel in order to establish which ones are working most successfully and which ones could be eliminated. Budget redistribution is ideal for this stage.

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