What is performance marketing and how can you get certified in India?

  • Author: Rhea
  • |
  • Published Date : 8 August , 2020
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Performance Marketing, as the name suggests - is marketing which results in better ROI for your business. It is a digital marketing strategy beyond branding commonly used by brands and advertisers with the aim of cutting down cost per acquisition and increasing ROI. It is a strategy purely based on results or performance where you pay only when a customer completes certain actions such as clicks, leads or purchases at your store or website. It comes into play when businesses need to focus on the bottom line despite spending millions of dollars in branding and ultimately giving the power back to the advertisers. 

According to the Performance Marketing Association, “Performance marketing is a comprehensive term that refers to online marketing and advertising programs in which advertisers and marketing companies are paid when a specific action is completed; such as a sale, lead, or click.”

Unlike other forms of traditional marketing where you pay in advance for an estimated reach that may achieve no guarantee of outcomes, a performance marketing strategy gives us the ability to measure everything from brand reach to conversion rate. In the former, for example, you pay for an ad in a newspaper hoping it will bring traffic to your website or store. Whereas, while measuring marketing performance, you determine the action first and you pay only when it is completed and not just for the effort to promote the product and get thousands of impressions or clicks.

Let’s navigate through the basics of Performance Marketing:

  1. Pricing Model
  2. Performance Marketing Channels
  3. Benefits of Performance Marketing Strategy
  4. Future of Performance Marketing 
  5. Certifications

Pricing Model:

Performance Marketing allows for the creation of a partnership between Advertisers and Publishers. The Advertiser pays the publisher only when a certain action is completed. They follow different pricing models as follows:

  • Pay per Sale
  • Pay per Lead
  • Pay per Click
  • Pay per Install

Pay per Sale: The advertisers pay the publishers only when their effort has resulted in sale of product being promoted. The publisher needs to bear the overall risk in this type of partnership.

Example: An e-commerce brand partners with multiple influencers on social media and instructs them to create posts and videos around a specific product or category with the objective of driving sales. Here, the influencer gets paid only when his/her post has resulted in sales.

Pay per Lead: In this case, the publishers are paid for each lead generated from the promotion. Lead refers to the contact information of the user interacting with the advertisement.

Example: A Health Insurance Company partners with various affiliate sites for generating quality leads who show interest in buying their product. It pays the affiliate for every lead generated by the affiliate.

Pay per Click: In this type of agreement, the advertiser pays the publisher for each click or user interaction with the advertisement.

Example: A real estate company running Search Campaign shows ads to users who are searching for properties on Google search engine. The company pays Google for every click on the ad by users.

Pay per Install: This type of partnership is applicable for all advertisers who promote apps and want to drive installs. The publisher is paid for each download.

Example: A Gaming App company partners with various publishers for driving installs to their app. 

Performance Marketing Channels:

There are various performance marketing channels available to execute advertising campaigns. Here are some:

  • Search Engine Marketing 
  • Display Advertising
  • Native Advertising
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
ChannelPricing Model
Search Engine MarketingCPC, CPA
Display AdvertisingCPC, CPM, CPA
Native AdvertisingCPC
Social Media MarketingCPC, CPM, CPV, CPA,Cost-per-like
Affiliate MarketingCPC, CPL, CPI

Search Engine Marketing: With Search Marketing, our ads show up when people enter queries into the search engines such Google, Bing, Yahoo etc while searching for products or services. This type of marketing follows the CPC pricing model in which the advertiser needs to pay the search engine for every user generated click on the ad in the search engine results page. This type of high-intent based performance marketing strategy is effective for brands that want to be present where their target audience starts their research online in their shopping journey.

With the advancement in machine learning, various advertising platforms have smart bidding features for better optimization. For example, Google Ads offers multiple smart bidding strategies such as 

  • Target Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
  • Target Return on Ad Spends (ROAS)
  • Maximize conversions
  • Maximize conversion value
  • Enhanced CPC (ECPC). 

With the help of past campaign data, the system optimizes ads to users who are more likely to take an action. 

Display Advertising: A great performance marketing strategy, it helps advertisers reach internet users across millions of websites, news pages, forums, blogs etc using images, logos and rich media. The main idea of this form of advertising is to stand out from competitors on the publisher site, grab users’ attention and direct them to their brand’s website to take any action (fill a lead form, make a purchase etc). The publisher is paid either based on every click on the ad (CPC) or for every 1000 impressions (CPM) that the advertiser receives on their site.

In order to increase the brand’s reach and grow business, Display Advertising provides various highly targeted approaches as given below:

  • Remarketing (reconnect with your past website visitors)
  • Targeting by Website Placement (choose which websites to place your ads on)
  • Targeting by Interest (target visitors based on users’ interest categories)
  • Contextual Targeting (uses keywords to find relevant websites to show your ads on)
  • Topic Targeting (choose specific topics of web pages to display your online ads on)

Native Advertising: Another interesting performance marketing channel, native ads really don’t look like ads and they are blended with the content of the website that shows up. With its unique ad design and content style, the users don’t realize that they are consuming a paid advertisement. These types of platforms provide either CPC or CPM based pricing models based on the type of ad (text, video, rich media) and type of action required from the user (ad engagement, clicks to website etc).

Social Media Marketing: With social media marketing on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat, advertisers can connect with their audiences to build their brand, increase page likes, drive website traffic and increase sales. The most commonly used pricing strategies are CPC and CPM across most social media platforms. 

Affiliate Marketing: It is a revenue sharing performance marketing strategy in which the advertiser pays the affiliate when the traffic from the affiliate's site has led to completion of action or sale by the user. The affiliates work on various pricing models such as Cost per Click, Cost per Lead and Cost per Sale model depending on the business model and advertiser’s objective.

Benefits of Performance Marketing Strategy:

There are multiple benefits to performance marketing campaigns:

  • Know what you are paying for
  • Easy to track and measure
  • High ROI and Low Risk
  • Extended Reach

Future of Performance Marketing

Cross-channel Insights: It’s important to understand that users move seamlessly between search engines, social platforms etc. Hence, the net impact of performance marketing campaigns need to be looked into by referring cross-channel data and tailor ad messages for better results.

Leveraging Display and Programmatic: Most of the marketers think that Display advertising is only users in the awareness stage. But slowly, advertisers are understanding the importance of Targeted and Contextual Targeting, Premium inventories and rich media formats on Display and Programmatic help in increasing click-through rates and driving quality traffic to websites.

Holistic Attribution Model: With the data driven attribution in place, marketers have evolved to assign credits to each touch point of consumers’ journey. This will eventually improve performance marketing campaign results.


With thousands of certifications available online, it’s difficult to find the right certification to become an expert in the field of Performance Marketing. We have made it easier for you by curating the must-complete list of accreditation exams offered by Google and Facebook in order to boost your CV, credibility, knowledge  and career.

Google Ads: Google Ads Certification should be one of your top goals if you are looking to start a career in Performance Marketing or if your main objective is to drive sales for your brand. It is a process followed by Google to recognize the experts in this field. It is considered as a criteria for hiring in agencies and companies. This free course includes separate modules and assessments for:

  • Search
  • Display
  • Video
  • Shopping
  • Measurement

Google Analytics Academy: It is a free course by Google that helps you learn various tools to measure and analyse data about your website visitors. This helps in giving actionable insights to your performance campaigns resulting in increase in revenue for the company. Various modules provided by Analytics Academy include:

  • Google Analytics for Beginners
  • Advanced Google Analytics
  • Google Analytics for Power Users
  • Getting Started With Google Analytics 360
  • Introduction to Data Studio
  • Google Tag Manager Fundamentals

Google Marketing Platform: It brings together DoubleClick Digital Marketing and the Google Analytics 360 Suite to create an integrated marketing experience. It helps advertisers create smart, data-driven campaigns, resulting in better revenue for your business using a variety of tools and features as listed below:

  • Display & Video 360
  • Search Ads 360
  • Campaign Manager

Facebook Blueprint: Becoming Blueprint certified depicts that you have a complete understanding of Facebook advertising, from strategy building, implementation and analyzing the results. There are various exams available for media planning, buying and strategy as given below:

  • Facebook Certified digital marketing associate
  • Facebook Certified Marketing Science Professional
  • Facebook Certified Creative Strategy Professional
  • Facebook Certified Media Planning Professional
  • Facebook Certified Media Buying Professional
  • Facebook Certified ads Product Developer

As brands have started moving from traditional marketing to digital marketing and money starts pouring in, the need for accurate, reliable data and higher ROI is increasing. Performance Marketing strategy is a growing marketing strategy that most companies are slowly investing in. It helps improve audience reach, interactions and conversions at low risk and low cost than any other marketing channel.

If you want to grow your business in terms of maintaining ROI, Performance Marketing is the next big step and it should be a major part of your strategic plans for the future. Explore our digital advertising courses in DigiGrad to gain the skills required to master this growing field.