Performance Marketing. You are doing it wrong.

Spoiler Alert: Most companies are looking at Performance Marketing from the wrong angle or with very limited understanding.

This is only partly Google’s fault. Most times it is done that way, because of the huge “experts” market that feeds many extremely good sales people, but almost no holistic marketing experts.

  • I did my Masters focusing on consumer behavior research with regards to advertising effectiveness.
  • I look at the religious believe in Performance Marketing extremely critical. Still, I see its benefits in specific cases.
  • Bottom line: I would consider myself very experienced, but still unbiased.

Why Companies use Performance Marketing

Measurement and ROI.

The number one reason in every survey.
Let’s do some quick fact check.

Customer Touch Point.

Another reason would be to reach people, who, for example, search for a chair on Google or Bing (or Facebook).


Performance Marketing usually does not involve huge upfront costs. You can start a search ad within minutes. You can also move budgets quite easily.

It’s digital.

Let’s face it, many companies use Performance Marketing, just because it is “digital” and they do not want to loose ground.

Advertising — the 3 big Games

After looking at the reasons to do Performance Marketing, let’s have a look at the major marketing game fields.

Retaining existing customers.

Photo by Lane Jackman on Unsplash

Staying at the top of mind.

Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

Attracting new people.

Photo by David Everett Strickler on Unsplash

So, what’s wrong?

Thinking about the examples in the beginning, it should be quite clear by now, why the have failed.

  • They were expecting to generate revenue from those measures only, directly, and immediately.
  • They thought, that performance metrics directly related to their overall business success.
  • They blindly trusted in advisors, who earned money by selling them Performance Marketing only.
  • They no longer looked at marketing in a holistic way.
  • They no longer thought about marketing strategy with putting the target audience first. They rather let others “decide”, who the audience looks like.
  • It can be a good part of one marketing mix, but could even do harm for the strategy at another company.
  • It is almost never the ideal strategy to focus purely on, because Performance Marketing or “Digital Marketing” is just one measure.
    It is not “Marketing 2.0”!


Performance Marketing is not dead, neither is Google Ads a “Scam” or “useless”.

Tech Founder, Leader, End-to-End Product Manager, Full-Stack Developer, Marketing and Digitalization expert. 🚀

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