BusinessDigital Marketing

Understanding How to Get Started with Performance Marketing

Recognizing opportunities for strategic partnership

In the context of digital marketing, ‘strategic partnerships’ are most often defined by a deal between two (or more) parties where the desired outcome is a win-win for all concerned. Ideally a strategic partnership should be about synergy: all parties should come out of the relationship with more than any of them could have achieved alone.

Online strategic partnerships usually go something like this

A large portal with 1 million visitors per day sells inventory (space) on its site to a travel company to advertise its products and special offers. In that scenario, the burden of risk is entirely with the travel company – they are paying to advertise on the portal’s website in the hope of attracting new customers. But wait a minute, isn’t that just a form of online advertising? Yes, except that, in order to mitigate some of the risk, the travel company may negotiate with the portal to lower the cost of rental in exchange for certain incentives.

What is performance marketing?

This section covers performance marketing, an increasingly popular channel for brands within the digital marketing mix. In previous editions of the book I referred to this area as ‘affiliate marketing’ but like all things digital, the term has steadily evolved to be now more commonly referred to as ‘performance’.

Why brands should use performance marketing as part of the marketing mix

In this section, we focus on why brands should use performance marketing if they are not already doing so. We review the benefits, investigate a few of the considerations that brands should take into account, and get some tips on what to look for.

On the face of it, performance marketing seems like a no-brainer and is something all brands should get involved with. In the main, this is true. However, there are a few important questions that brands need to answer before jumping in with both feet.

How to set up a performance marketing programmer

There are three main elements to the set-up of a performance marketing programmer: the commercial structure, the technical implementation and the marketing collateral. The elements are interlinked yet each play different roles in the running of a performance marketing programmer. In this section we’ll look at each one individually and then put them together to show the final implementation. More on this topic can be found at isaimini blog.

Setting goals and KPIs

Now that we have a performance marketing programmer set up, the next stage is ensuring that the results of the activity are in line both with company objectives and industry benchmarks. With this in mind, it is now time to set some goals and begin to monitor important KPIs. In the first few months of a performance marketing programmer, the KPIs are unlikely to be record-breaking sales numbers.


  • The performance marketing industry is growing faster than any other form of advertising and brands should seriously consider entering into a performance programmer if they haven’t already.
  • The industry offers numerous benefits at very low risk and, with the variety of publishers in the market, brands can keep at the forefront of digital without investing large amounts of resource.
  • Other marketing channels can benefit from the integration of performance publishers and overall conversions can be improved very quickly.
  • While performance marketing may not be as well-known as other areas of digital, it can offer significant gains if implemented correctly

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