Brand Marketing vs. Performance Marketing: Which Makes the Biggest Difference for Real Business Results?

Which is better: brand marketing vs performance marketing? Learn how using both marketing campaigns is essential to drive real business results.

Major cultural events, like The SuperBowl or The Grammys, should be a marketer’s dream. Millions of people, even casual fans, stay glued to multiple devices because everyone wants to be part of the moment. We check our phones for the best memes and commentary. We watch commercials on our TVs. And we read roundups for days after, just to make sure we’re in the know.  

And the chance to get in front of millions of engaged individuals really is rare. But it also creates a conundrum—one that marketers have debated for years. Should you build a brand marketing campaign or a performance marketing campaign? Do you try to get your brand in front of new audiences? Or do you try to inspire conversions and purchases while people are living in the moment? Can you do both? Let’s talk about it. 

Brand Marketing Defines What’s Possible for Your Company

Brand marketing is what most people think of when they discuss ads shown during major events. These campaigns aim to broaden awareness for a company, its strengths, its values, and the overall tone of the company. These are the clydesdale horses or Betty White eating a candy bar. 

Brand marketing campaigns are essential for growing your audience of potential customers, reaffirming your existing customers’ allegiance to your brand, and ensuring you stand out against competitors. They aren’t known for driving revenue. At least not directly. 

But without brand marketing campaigns, you don’t have the audience necessary to execute performance marketing campaigns. You don’t know how to refine your messaging to reflect exactly why people love you. And, ultimately, you can’t grow. 

Performance Marketing Drives Real Business Results

Performance marketing uses the audiences built by brand marketing and turns them into customers. Performance marketers focus on real business results, such as Return On Ad Spend (ROAS), store visits, incremental sales or check growth, and other metrics tied to measurable outcomes. In short, performance marketing focuses on action and revenue—the results of all your efforts. While these kinds of ads don’t typically have a memorable catchphrase, they turn passive fans into repeat customers. 

A major mistake companies make while planning for big events is focusing only on brand marketing campaigns. They get all the attention, but don’t have a plan for what to do with all the new eyeballs. Recently, Solo Stove rolled out a brilliant partnership with Snoop Dogg, but failed to convert into new sales because their performance marketing campaigns didn’t have the same attention. 

You can avoid overspending and ensure real business results with a combination of brand marketing and performance marketing campaigns, especially during shared events. But you need to make a plan now. 

Brand Marketing vs. Performance Marketing? Who’s the Winner?

In truth, both brand marketing and performance marketing are important, but neither of them will work without each other. Companies need both to ensure their marketing efforts result in real business results. But how should they work together? Let’s talk about it. 

Plan Your Brand and Performance Marketing Strategies

To deliver the real business results you need, here are the steps you need to take before launching your major event advertising campaigns. 

  1. Know why customers love you: Brand marketing campaigns that work don’t try to reinvent the wheel. They take what works for their most loyal customers and find a clever way to get new people to care. Is your thing humor? Lean into it. Is your brand known for bold choices? Don’t shy away from that. Authenticity and clarity make a successful brand ad. 
  2. Pick one goal and stick with it: Performance marketing fails when it tries to do too much at once. Pick one or two conversions you want new audiences to complete and funnel all new traffic there. Choose something realistic that delivers value right away. A focused campaign is a successful campaign. 
  3. Keep building from what you learn: With new customers, key metrics like ROAS and cost per acquisition, will start to shift. These metrics show you where to iterate and where to expand your strategies. Keep an eye on these important business results so that you can scale and repeat your success. 

GroundTruth Delivers Real Business Results for All Your Advertising Campaigns

GroundTruth has a proven track record of driving real business results for all types of businesses, like PepsiCo’s Yachak Mate Organic Energy Tea which saw a 583% boost in incremental visits to stores carrying their products after one of their campaigns. Want to learn more about what’s possible for your brand and performance marketing campaigns? We have answers! Schedule a call and we’ll show you how you can turn your marketing campaigns into real business results with GroundTruth.