Growth Marketing vs Performance Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Growth Marketing vs Performance Marketing: What’s the Difference?

8 Min Read

If someone asked you, “what’s the goal of your marketing campaign,” would you have an answer? It’s easy to think that all marketing is aimed at improving your business. But how you improve your business changes based on the type of marketing you use.

Understanding performance marketing vs growth marketing, for example, can help ensure you are using the right marketing strategy to meet your business’s unique goals.

What is Performance Marketing? 

Performance marketing is a results-driven strategy where advertisers pay only for specific actions, such as clicks, leads, or sales, that their ads generate. This approach emphasizes measurable outcomes, allowing for real-time tracking and optimization to ensure maximum return on investment.

Importance of Performance Marketing

Performance marketing matters because it allows you to assess how your marketing dollars are being spent, then make informed decisions about which performance marketing channels provide the highest return on your investment. 

Performance marketing can also be a smart choice for marketing teams with a tight budget. PPC advertisements, for example, only charge per click, and you can determine how much money to spend on these advertisements. This puts you in direct control of how many clicks you’re willing to pay for. 

Performance Marketing Measurement

What marketing metrics should you look at while assesing your efforts? Here are a few KPIs to consider:

  • Cost Per Mille (CPM): The cost of 1,000 ad impressions.
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): The revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of users who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The ratio of users who click on an ad to the number of total users who view the ad.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): The amount paid by an advertiser for each click on their ad.

Performance Marketing Strategies

Implementing an effective performance marketing strategy is vital for the success of your campaign. Here are the three primary channels to consider using:

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Utilizing paid search ads on platforms like Google to appear in search results, targeting users actively searching for related keywords, and driving highly relevant traffic to your website.
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM): Running targeted paid ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to reach and engage specific audience segments based on demographics, interests, and behaviors, ultimately driving conversions.
  • Connected TV (CTV) Advertising: CTV advertising (a branch of OTT advertising) involves placing video ads on streaming TV platforms to reach viewers with precise targeting, leveraging the popularity of streaming services to deliver engaging ads to a highly targeted audience and achieve measurable outcomes.

What is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing focuses on driving business growth by optimizing every stage of the sales funnel through continuous experimentation and data analysis. This approach aims to attract, engage, and retain customers by identifying and leveraging the most effective tactics at each funnel stage to maximize long-term value and revenue.

Importance of Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is all about improving your loyal customer base by providing the best marketing experience to leads and the best continual experience to your loyal customers. While you may not see an immediate return on investment, growth marketing can lead to the long-term ‘growth’ in your business. 

Keep in mind that it costs five times less money to maintain a current customer than to acquire a new customer. Growth marketing is just as focused on customer retention as it is on customer acquisition. With growth marketing, your focus is on providing value to current and potential customers so they want to work with your brand in the future. 

Growth Marketing Measurement

Accurately tracking and evaluating the success of growth marketing efforts involves analyzing key metrics, including:

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): The total revenue expected from a customer over their entire relationship with the company.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): The total cost of acquiring a new customer, including marketing and sales expenses.
  • Churn Rate: The percentage of customers who stop using a product or service within a given period.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): A measure of customer loyalty and satisfaction, indicating how likely customers are to recommend the brand.
  • Monthly Active Users (MAU): The number of unique users who engage with a product or service within a month.

Growth Marketing Strategies

What types of initiatives should you take during a growth marketing campaign? Here are a few strategies to use that set growth marketing apart from performance marketing:

  • Content Marketing: Creating and distributing valuable, relevant content to attract and engage a target audience, fostering brand loyalty and driving long-term growth.
  • Referral Programs: Encouraging existing customers to refer new customers through incentives, leveraging word-of-mouth to expand the customer base.
  • Product-Led Growth (PLG): Using the product itself as the main driver of customer acquisition, expansion, and retention by focusing on user experience and value.
  • Customer Retention Programs: Implementing strategies to keep existing customers engaged and satisfied, reducing churn and increasing lifetime value.
  • Growth Hacking: Experimenting with unconventional marketing tactics and rapid testing to identify the most effective ways to grow the business quickly and efficiently.

Growth Marketing vs Performance Marketing

Still trying to figure out the nuances of performance marketing vs growth marketing? You’re not alone! These two marketing strategies have some important overlaps. But there are also some key differences that make them distinct from one another. Let’s take a closer look:


Both growth marketing and performance marketing strategies are designed to help your business thrive. They both rely largely on digital marketing efforts, and to get the most out of either marketing strategy, your team needs to be prepared to do market research and test your advertising techniques. 

Setting SMART goals (goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-constrained) can help you evaluate whether your growth marketing or performance marketing efforts are working. Although the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you would track for each marketing strategy are different, in both cases, you’ll want to track your results and make minute adjustments over time to attain better results. 


Despite their many similarities, there are key differences between performance marketing and growth marketing. The biggest of these differences is the focus of marketing efforts when utilizing each. 

  • Performance marketing is profit-focused and largely benefits the brand.
  • Growth marketing, on the other hand, is consumer-focused and does its best to benefit customers as well as the brand. 

The other major difference between performance and growth marketing efforts is the length of campaigns.

  • Performance marketing campaigns are often short-term campaigns focused on faster returns on your investment.
  • Growth marketing campaigns, on the other hand, often take place over a longer period of time—which means marketing teams will see a slower but steadier return on their investment.

Combining Growth and Performance Marketing

As you consider the differences between performance and growth marketing, you may be thinking that you want to enjoy the benefits of both marketing strategies.

Well, you’re in luck—combining growth and performance marketing allows you to reap both short-term and long-term rewards, acquiring new leads while also nurturing the leads you already have. 

To make this work, it’s often best to develop a growth marketing strategy first. Once you’ve decided how you plan to nurture your leads and have developed a list of content topics to address in the coming months, you can better envision where to collect leads to support those growth marketing efforts. 

For example, consider a brand that sells protein bars. If the growth marketing strategy involves talking about wellness and feeling good in your body, then a good performance marketing strategy might include PPC ads aimed at people who attend yoga or self-identify as caring about wellness. Those PPC ads might be aimed at keywords like “wellness” or “health.” 

If, on the other hand, the long-term growth marketing strategy was focused on using health food bars as an everyday carry item on hikes, then performance marketing efforts would be better off targeting hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. 

How Performance TV Can Help

If you are looking to take both growth and performance marketing to the big screen, look no further than MNTN Performance TV. This CTV platform is a powerful marketing tool that allows marketers to combine the power and prestige of TV advertising with the attribution and targeting capabilities of channels like search and social.

With the MNTN Performance TV platform, you can get your CTV ad campaign live in a matter of minutes: Just upload your creative, target your audience, set your budget, then launch your campaign. Performance TV also comes with data analytics tools to help you evaluate your advertising efforts, make changes, and improve the effectiveness of your campaigns down the road. 

Growth Marketing vs Performance Marketing: Final Thoughts

Brands rarely need to choose between performance marketing and growth marketing, because neither marketing solution works in a vacuum. Instead of stressing about performance marketing vs growth marketing with the intention of picking one over the other, it’s better to understand the difference between the two marketing strategies so you can develop a marketing plan that tackles both to diversify the types of leads you’re nurturing. Ultimately, this will help you scale your business and increase profits simultaneously. 

Connected TV is a powerful channel that can help you improve both performance and growth marketing efforts. Request a demo to see how MNTN can help you develop CTV campaigns that nurture leads in impactful and long-term ways.