Performance vs. Brand Marketing: Finding the Right Balance

7 min read by Charlie Taylor 24 Feb 2022

From our meals to our workload to our bank account, we’re constantly trying to balance things in life. Your marketing strategy is no different: To achieve optimal results, you must find the right balance between brand marketing and performance campaigns.

Brand marketing defines your company’s reputation, what it has to offer and why customers should trust it. Performance strategies fuel business growth using methods like lead generation and email signups.

While these strategies involve varying tactics and produce different results, they’re at their best when working hand-in-hand.


In an Ideal World, Both Strategies Work Together

Rather than viewing them as separate entities, recognise that your performance and brand marketing strategies work in unison. Typically, it’s best to start with a brand strategy to establish a strong reputation among your target audience. Then, you can move into a performance-based marketing strategy.

Simply put: Nurture your clients through brand strategy, then hit them with a performance campaign geared toward conversions.

The result? When the strategies work together, your organisation attracts more qualified leads.


In Reality, That’s Not Always Possible

Unfortunately, budget constraints can make running both campaigns a challenge at times— especially for startups. If funding is tight, there are quick wins that help you get the best of both strategies, sharpening your approach whilst remaining within your budget.

First, focus on quick enhancements, such as touching up and improving your:

  • Logo
  • Website design (cosmetic only)
  • Social profiles 
  • Brand messaging

Then, reassess your budget and allocate the remaining resources to performance strategies — like Paid Media advertising and email campaigns.

How to Prioritise Your Ad Spend

If you have to pick one strategy to focus on, first ask:

  • Where are you at as a business, and how strong is your brand?
  • What are your current marketing and sales objectives?
  • If we move forward with a performance strategy, is our brand strong enough to generate quality leads? If the answer is no, then you need to start with branding.
  • Can your company support a high-yielding performance strategy?

The last question is critical because while you might believe your organisation is ready for more leads, you may not have the resources to handle them. 

For example, StrategiQ was approached by a client who was already running effective performance marketing campaigns. In fact, they were so effective, they needed to focus more on branding because their sales team was too overwhelmed. Thus, the client prioritised repositioning their brand while their sales team got caught up.

The takeaway: Use both your marketing budget and where your company is at in its lifecycle to determine whether you should prioritise a performance or brand marketing strategy. 


Understand Your Strategies and Measure Their Success Accordingly

While performance and brand marketing strategies work hand-in-hand, they are not the same. They have different goals and long-term objectives, and therefore require different measurements of success.

You can evaluate performance-based campaigns by assessing:

  • Website traffic.
  • Click-through rates (CTR).
  • Lead generation.
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA).
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS).
  • Average order value (AOV).

Likewise, you can evaluate brand strategies by measuring:

  • Impressions.
  • Reach.
  • Engagement.
  • Social Following
  • Brand Uplift

Objective and quantifiable measurement of brand strategies is ever more possible now due to tactics like Programmatic Marketing. Here, we can use big data, AI and machine learning to find new customers and report back on the performance from this –  at StrategiQ, we do this using Quantcast.


Partner With an Integrated Agency to Achieve Your Marketing Goals

When working collaboratively, your performance and brand marketing strategies can be perfectly balanced and have the power to produce robust results. 

By first focusing on establishing a solid brand reputation, you can nurture new prospects. Once you begin implementing performance strategies, you’ll start attaining quality leads. As Donald Miller wrote in Building a Storybrand, “People trust those who understand them, and they trust brands that understand them too.”

If you’re stuck, review your marketing objectives with an integrated agency that can assist with both your branding and performance goals. Holistic agencies don’t focus on just generating leads or creative elements — they view the full picture and create a strategy that helps your business grow

Schedule a call with our marketing specialists to learn more now.

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