Digital Marketing Agency vs. Performance Marketing Agency: Who You Need and Why

If there’s one fact, it’s that the shifts in Marketing as the internet continues to evolve—digital marketing in particular—causes terminology to constantly change.

One of these sticking points is the definition of a digital marketing agency vs. the definition of a performance marketing agency. How do the two types of marketing agency differ and why would you choose one over the other?

Spoiler alert: it comes down to your corporate culture, goals, and best fit.

What’s the difference?

A digital marketing agency traditionally manages a specific channel to a goal. For example, managing a Google search campaign to achieve ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) goals. The client is in charge of strategy and tells the agency what to execute.

A performance marketing agency is an evolution of the digital marketing agency. It manages multiple channels to meet a goal, while keeping the big picture of the overall digital marketing program and company goals in mind. The client works collaboratively with the agency for recommendations and guidance to meet the company’s overall growth goals.

Which type of agency should you use?

The answer depends entirely on what you want to achieve and the scope of your marketing efforts.

For organizations with strong opinions about how things should be done, a digital marketing agency makes perfect sense. This tactical team gets in, implements the options that need to happen, and gets ‘er done. Milestone achieved.

For organizations with a more collaborative approach, on the other hand, hiring a performance marketing agency to assist is a strong choice. Why? A performance marketing agency’s entire focus and experience is in “tying investments in digital channels back to business goals.” (Forrester)

What type of agency is QuanticMind Digital?

QuanticMind Digital is a performance marketing agency that guides and collaborates with clients about performance marketing programs across channels, as well as handling implementation. The QuanticMind Digital team uses a variety of industry tools, including QuanticMind’s own offerings, to optimize performance marketing efforts and drive results and revenue for an organization’s overarching goals.

Conclusion

If there are two words to describe the difference between a digital marketing agency and a performance marketing agency it’s COLLABORATION and ACCOUNTABILITY. 

A performance marketing agency is held accountable for—and in some cases even paid based on—performance metrics like ROAS, ROI, conversions, and revenue. Which requires collaboration and flexibility on both the agency and the organization side.

Some organizations want total ownership of their marketing programs—which is fine! This type of company needs a vendor to execute the details, and the digital marketing agency is an excellent fit.

Neither agency type is wrong: the decision really comes down to how your organization operates and what is the best fit.