Digital strategy

Results-driven marketing vs. brand-building marketing

As a marketing manager, your goal is likely to be to create as much value as possible for the company through the marketing activities carried out. Therefore, the choice of marketing activities becomes important for the success of your goals. Creating value can mean different things and every company has unique conditions and objectives that make the choices difficult. A typical choice for marketing managers is whether to focus on brand-building activities or more on results-driven marketing activities.

What is results-driven marketing?

Result-driven marketing is marketing activities where a direct result of the activity can be clearly measured. For example, a Google Ads ad on the keyword "buy SEO services" is a typical result-driven ad where the goal is clearly to click on the ad and then buy SEO services. It is also very clear how to measure the results of this activity; the number of sales of SEO services from those who have clicked on the ad. You can then measure an ROI on this activity by adding up how much profit you made on the sales and comparing this with how much time and money you spent on Google Ads.

The activities that are carried out can be different and can actually be any marketing activity, but what is synonymous with all activities is that they should have a clear objective and be followed up with a concrete effect. The basis should always be to try to measure the concrete value created. 

What is brand-building marketing?

Brand building marketing is an activity that is basically about increasing brand awareness in a specific target group. Typical examples of this are TV commercials, bus advertising or sponsoring a football team in the hope that these messages will reach the desired target group and that the brand will stick with these people. The real end result is, of course, that these activities will also create value for the company, but it is much more difficult to see and measure a concrete result. 

Results-driven marketing vs. brand-building marketing

There are times when each activity is appropriate and there are certain industries where a specific activity is more interesting and effective.
In general, results-driven marketing tends to be more effective for businesses where the business controls large parts of the customer journey, while brand-building activities are better for businesses that work through distributors or have an extremely large target audience. For example, it is a good idea for a company that sells shampoo through grocery stores to work with brand-building marketing as they want you to recognize the brand when you stand in the store and choose between 50 different shampoo bottles :) For the general B2B business, results-driven marketing tends to be more effective where it is possible to measure the effect on how many people, for example, filled out a contact form or request for quotation and then became customers from a specific activity. Brand building activities can also help B2B businesses as a potential customer may feel more confident about buying a service or product from a company they have seen before. However, these activities need to be very focused on a specific target group. Because it doesn't help much that your brand has been seen by engineers at Volvo if you sell marketing services to e-retailers. Then it is more interesting to work with e.g. SEO and appear on keywords such as "help with marketing e-commerce" as you are likely to get more results that can also be measured.

How do you get started with results-driven marketing?

The first thing to do to start working with results-driven marketing is to identify which goals you can measure that create value. This should be as close to a revenue as you can get. Often this is when you convert a visitor to a lead, e.g. by someone filling out a contact form or downloading a white paper. Once you have identified what is interesting to measure the results against, you need to start by analyzing which activity you think will get the best results. In the best case scenario, you already have access to historical data and can therefore develop a baseline. From that baseline, you can now begin what is the foundation of results-driven marketing; A/B testing and optimization! 

A/B testing is about trying at least two different ways of doing something, be it two marketing activities or just two different landing pages, and evaluating which one performs best. This should be done continuously to constantly evaluate where you have the best ROI. It's probably already being done today without you thinking about it. For example, you are certainly visible in search engines today even if you would not work actively with it and a company profile is in the vast majority of cases on some social media. Start by evaluating whether you get any leads from these two "activities/channels". Then it is about optimizing these activities. Can you improve any of these activities so that they perform better? Try and follow up. Then do this over and over again. If any activity does not produce any results at all, you should consider stopping that activity altogether. 


Results-drivenmarketing and brand-building marketing serve different purposes. You should choose the activity that best suits your business based on the type of service/product, the conditions that exist and the goals and ambitions that have been set. The important thing is that the strategy chosen creates value for your business.

"Thanks to the collaboration with Contitude , we have been able to create an efficient sales and marketing function that generates more revenue for the company."
Robert Conzato
CEO - Headhunting agency Closers

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