Performance Marketing vs Growth Marketing: Choosing the Right Path For You

Performance Marketing vs Growth Marketing

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, two prominent strategies are becoming more prevalent as game-changers: Performance Marketing and Growth Marketing.

These two approaches, each with its distinct set of advantages and applications, have a unique role to play in determining the advancement of online marketing.

As a business owner or marketer, being able to understand the differences between these strategies is essential to make well-informed decisions that align with your unique business goals.

In this blog, we will take a closer look into growth marketing vs performance marketing. We will explain how they work, explore the benefits they bring to the table and help you gain clarity on which path is best suited to your objectives.

What is Growth Marketing?

Before we dive into the comparison, let’s answer what is Growth Marketing?

Growth Marketing is not what you would call a typical marketing strategy. Unlike traditional marketing, which often focuses solely on the initial stages of the customer journey, like building brand awareness and generating leads, Growth Marketing goes the extra mile.

This approach goes beyond the “awareness” stage. It is a comprehensive strategy that covers every step of the customer’s journey, from the moment they first hear about your brand to the point where they become loyal, referring customers who contribute to your revenue (AAARRR – Awareness, Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral and Revenue).

Growth marketers are relentless explorers, exploring all aspects of the customer journey to ensure your business grows consistently. Their focus is not only on attracting potential customers, but also on nurturing and retaining them for the long haul, creating a lasting impact on the market place and cultivating sustainable growth on a long-term basis.

How Growth Marketing Works

At APM, we are a performance marketing agency that follows a systematic and repeatable process for Growth Marketing. We begin by aligning your brand story, establishing your mission and identifying your core values.

This emotional connection with your audience builds trust and forms the basis for effective marketing. We then create buyer personas to tailor your messaging to address their pain points. Key performance metrics (KPIs) are identified to measure the success of your marketing campaigns.

In the engagement phase, we develop lead magnets and compelling content that not only answer customer questions but also establish your brand’s authority. A seamless user experience (UX) is created, reducing friction in the buyer’s journey.

As we move into the conversion phase, engagement and automation are employed to gather feedback and strengthen customer relationships. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) tactics are applied to pinpoint areas of your digital ecosystem that require improvement to enhance return on investment (ROI).

Growing your business involves the creation of a growth platform with specific initiatives designed to increase revenue and profit. These initiatives are executed at every stage of the buyer’s journey, expanding your brand’s exposure.

Once we are ready to scale, we begin Digital Integrity Optimization (DIO).

This framework prioritizes issues and opportunities based on business impact and includes web design, CRO, UX, PPC, SEO and other traffic-driving strategies to continuously optimize and increase your ROI.

Benefits of Growth Marketing

Growth Marketing offers several benefits:

  • Enhanced Efficiency: 

In the world of Growth Marketing, the key to success is data. Growth marketers are experts in data, using information to track how effective their strategies are and making real-time adjustments. This data-driven approach ensures that every penny you invest in marketing is put to its best use, maximizing the value you get from your marketing budgets.

  • Sharper Focus: 

Instead of casting a wide net and hoping for the best, Growth Marketing is all about precision. Growth marketers identify the most effective marketing channels and tactics tailored to your specific audience. This makes your marketing efforts more effective as well-aimed arrows, hitting the bullseye and ensuring that your strategy is both targeted and strategic.

  • Informed Decision-Making:

Growth marketers don’t make decisions based on gut feelings or guesses. They use analytics and data to make decisions. This data-driven approach helps refine strategies and leads to better outcomes.

  • Sustainable Success:

Unlike some marketing strategies that provide quick results but eventually fade away, Growth Marketing remains committed to the long term. The focus is on creating sustainable growth, laying the groundwork for lasting success. Marketing growth is all about achieving success in the long run.

Examples of Growth Marketing

Several renowned companies have successfully embraced Growth Marketing:

  • Etsy: 

Etsy, with over four million sellers and nearly 40 million buyers, finds growth opportunities at craft fairs and flea markets. Their continued growth can be attributed to split testing and experimentation.

  • Slack: 

Slack grew from 15,000 free users in 2014 to over three million paid users by focusing on user feedback and continuous growth marketing efforts.

  • Zoom: 

Zoom’s success during the pandemic can be attributed to its innovative approach, offering a growth loop and allowing users to meet with anyone with an email address, encouraging more prospects to try out the tool and subscribe.

The Future of Growth Marketing

Growth Marketing is consumer-centric and focused on retention. Marketing teams aiming to connect branding, product development, engineering and design should consider this replicable path to success. Scientific methods ensure each aspect of the process is testable, scalable and trackable.

Understanding Performance Marketing

Now, let us shift our focus to Performance Marketing. Performance Marketing primarily includes social media advertising, search engine marketing (SEM), influencer marketing and sponsored content. This approach is characterized by paying for marketing activities based on the completion of specific actions.

What does Performance Marketing Include?

Performance Marketing includes various techniques:

  • Social Media Advertising:

Social Media Advertising is a powerful tool. It involves utilizing popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to showcase your products or services.

These platforms offer a unique advantage – the ability to target users with pinpoint precision. You can reach the people most likely to be interested in what you are offering by considering their interests, demographics and online behaviors.

The potential here is enormous, and it can be a game-changer for your business.

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM):

When you want your website or online content to make a strong impression on the internet, Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is the key.

SEM revolves around search engines like Google and Bing. It is all about creating well-thought-out campaigns, where you select specific keywords relevant to your business and then bid on these keywords. When someone searches for one of those terms, your website or content has the chance to appear prominently in the search results.

This can lead to a substantial boost in visibility and, if done right, conversions.

  • Influencer Marketing:

For businesses aiming to tap into younger generations and engage with a diverse audience, Influencer Marketing offers access to the digital world’s most influential people.

This strategy involves forming partnerships with influential individuals on social media who engage a significant following. These influencers have established trust and credibility in their niche. By collaborating with them, you gain access to their audience, which can be immensely beneficial.

Keep in mind that choosing the right influencer is key to success in this strategy.

  • Sponsored Content:

In online advertising, Sponsored Content stands out as a subtle, yet impactful approach.

It is the art of paying to have your message seamlessly integrated into a website or platform, seamlessly blending with existing content. Rather than disrupting the user experience, this strategy enhances it.

You can embed a promotional message within a story or article, making it less intrusive and more engaging. When done well, sponsored content can be so seamlessly woven into the platform that users may not even realize they are looking at an advertisement. This subtlety can be highly effective in conveying your brand’s message while respecting the audience’s online experience.

What Does a Performance Marketing Manager Do?

A Performance marketer is responsible for driving the team’s commercial performance. They plan and execute campaigns to meet KPIs, test new channels and trends to improve ROI and allocate and optimize budgets for maximum cost per acquisition (CPA) and scaling new customers.

Benefits of Performance Marketing

Performance Marketing offers several benefits:

  • Cost-Effectiveness:

It often proves more cost-effective than other types of marketing because you only pay when someone takes a specific action, like clicking on your ad.

  • Targeted Reach:

You can precisely target specific groups based on location, interests or behaviors, increasing the chances of reaching potential customers ready to make a purchase.

  • Improved Customer Experiences:

Personalization, made possible through targeted marketing, leads to better engagement and enhanced customer experiences.

  • Measurable Results:

Performance Marketing focuses on specific actions, making it easy to track and adjust marketing efforts to align with your goals.

The Future of Performance Marketing

Performance Marketing relies on targeted, personalized campaigns and continuous monitoring to make informed decisions about current and future campaigns. It is all about managing costs and driving results.

Growth Marketing vs. Performance Marketing

Now, let’s distinguish between performance vs growth marketing:


Both Growth Marketing and Performance Marketing use data and analytics to drive business results. They involve setting specific goals, tracking marketing efforts and employing continuous testing to optimize strategies.


  • Scope: Growth Marketing focuses on the entire funnel, while Performance Marketing concentrates only on the bottom of the funnel, targeting prospects who are most likely ready to take action.
  • Duration: Growth Marketing is oriented towards long-term business growth by building customer relationships, whereas Performance Marketing is a short-term strategy to convert new customers quickly.
  • Channel Diversity: In Growth Marketing, a wide range of marketing channels are employed, including content marketing, social media marketing and email marketing. Performance Marketing primarily relies on paid platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads.

How Growth Marketing and Performance Marketing Work Together

In digital marketing, Growth Marketing and Performance Marketing can complement each other. Your choice between the two depends on your business status and objectives.

If you are building a customer base and aiming for customer retention, Growth Marketing is the way to go. On the other hand, if you are an established brand with specific KPIs and sales quotas to meet, Performance Marketing becomes more relevant.

Both strategies can work in harmony, covering every stage of the buyer’s journey. Growth Marketing attracts potential customers, keeps customers engaged and builds awareness while Performance Marketing is the extra push you need to quickly convert prospects into customers.

Why Choose APM as your Performance Marketing Agency?

At ACE Performance Marketing, we are a specialized Performance Marketing Agency, leveraging a range of techniques to help you achieve your goals.

Our team of experts is skilled at social media advertising, search engine marketing, influencer marketing and sponsored content.

With a focus on measurable results, our Performance Marketing strategies are designed to maximize your ROI while ensuring targeted reach and improved customer experiences. We are committed to our cost-effective approach, ensuring that every marketing penny spent delivers tangible outcomes.


Ultimately, the choice between growth vs performance marketing depends on your business goals and both have their merits.

If you are seeking a trusted partner for Performance Marketing, ACE Performance Marketing is here to help you achieve your marketing objectives and ensure that you are successful in driving your business forward in the digital world.

Contact us today to explore how we can work together to elevate your brand and maximize your online presence.


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