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Performance vs Brand Marketing: Which Career Is Right For You?

14 OctoberBy Gigi Marks

So brand marketing is the ‘fun’ side of marketing - to the naked eye, anyway. It’s where the creative minds of the world come together and produce advertisements, points of sales and everything else you can think of that you would see from a brand perspective. The pure intentions are to attract customers, make their product/service look desireable and subsequently build an invisible connection between their offerings and those who will be buying it. And that’s 100% necessary. However, how the hell do you know if it’s working? Fact of the matter is, you don’t (not entirely, anyway). You’re spending shed tons of money in the hopes that in return you’ll get: higher sales, more interest and increased interaction with the right kind of people.

Performance marketing, on the other hand, is where the analytical beings come into play. We're going through a huge digital transition, so the importance of having the skillset of a performance marketer has never been more relevant. Now, it’s not a complete riddance of creativity, don’t get me wrong, but there isn’t the same amount of freedom and lack of pressure that you can get when creating brand marketing. This role is completely based on ROI, so even if you've created an absolute mind-blowing ad, if you can’t track the response from it, it’s a waste of money and effort.

SO, how do you know which side you’d fit nicely on? Think of this as a very basic (/basically not at all) Myers-Briggs-style overview of which path would suit you best.


If you’re full of ideas and eager to convey them, without having to worry about the pressure of making sure there’s an immediate direct result in return, brand marketing is best for you. Yes, your goal is to ensure your brand is growing (which you can find out via traffic increases, the opinion of panels etc.), but you more often get to utilise your creative mind, choose what you think would attract customers and put it out there for people to see. The success of brand marketing is more so in the eye of the beholder - subjectivity can make or break a brand-focussed ad, so you need to be able to positively target the mass market and make your work viral (for all the right reasons).

Suggested role titles: Brand Manager, Brand Response Advertising Manager, Brand Marketing Manager.



Like seeing a response from what you do, proving your hard work has paid off? Performance may be a more suitable route. Performance is all about tracking what you do in order to have evidence that what you’re doing is genuinely benefiting the company. This route can not only reinforce your capabilities to your seniors, it can make your work objectively successful - something that creativity cannot guarantee. It’s a lot more analytical and, to be honest, brand marketing will likely soon become obsolete thanks to the level of ability we now have to track what we do.

Suggested role titles: Performance Planner, Performance Account Director, Sales Performance Manager, Digital Performance Manager.

Where do you put yourself? Really think about the path you want to take here, because once you go down one road, it’s likely this will be your way forward for a long time. Sure, you can change careers, but if you want to truly be a master of what you do, make your choice and give it 100%. If you’re still unsure, you can always talk to one of our consultants at NinetyThousandHours.


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