14+ Best Performance Marketing Agencies in 2020 and How to Choose One [Worldwide Updated Review]

Outgrown your digital marketing agency?

In the world of digital marketing, performance agencies are the ones doing the most to bring in tangible ROI for their clients.

The hard part is finding the right fit for your business. Which is why review lists like these are so helpful.

We’ve done the legwork for you and compiled a diverse list of talented, experienced, and respected performance marketing agencies from established and emerging markets.

Take a look at our list of top performance marketing agencies in America, Europe, Australia, South Africa and Russia.

But first, let us define what is performance marketing.

    What is Performance Marketing?

    The following video by PerformInsidercom explains this term and the difference between affiliate marketing and performance marketing:

    While this video talks about performance-based agreement, please keep in mind that many performance agencies ALSO ask for a monthly retainer.

    This retainer is calculated, in many cases, as a percentage of the monthly advertising budget.

    Performance marketing main channels

    Performance marketing agencies utilize a range of channels in order to maximize their marketing efforts. These include:

    • Display Advertising– through displaying rich media formats such as images, audios, videos, texts and banner ads on frequently visited sites.
    • Native Advertising– blending your advertisement into its surroundings, by mimicking the design, content and writing style of a particular web page e.g. Buzzfeed.
    • Search Engine Marketing- including ads on search engine pages when certain key words are entered e.g. Google, Bing and Firefox.
    • Social Media Marketing– introducing ads on various social media platforms to increase visibility and traffic, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
    • Affiliate Marketing– where a partner markets a product or service to increase sales, traffic and leads for an agreed upon target and compensation.
    • Amazon Advertising– digital advertisements of a business’s products and services who wish to increase brand awareness, generate sales and improve loyalty etc.

    How to choose your performance marketing agency

    7 Things to Know About Performance Marketing - Outbrain
    7 Things to Know About Performance Marketing- Outbrain

    When assessing potential performance marketing agencies for your business, one might get a bit dazzled by their client portfolios, awards, or beautiful websites. However, it is important to take the following criteria into consideration when appointing your new agency, and don’t forget to ask those tough questions.

    Service and Support

    1. Multi-channel offerings: does the agency offer media opportunities across a variety of channels and platforms? Or will you be stuck with a one-trick pony?
    2. Strategy and experience: do they offer solid strategic advice as part of their core service, or do they simply activate what your in-house marketing team briefs them on?
    3. Core team: is the core team made up of individuals with enough expertise and seniority to lead your account, and will you have access to their senior leadership?
    4. Support team: is the agency support team (client service, account managers, project managers) big enough to give you high quality, hands-on support?
    5. Staff turnover: it is important to discuss staff turnover in both core and support teams; you don’t want to be changing strategists and account managers every few months.

    Track record

    1. Compatibility: have they worked with a company like yours before? It’s important to discuss this with your potential agency to find out if they understand your industry well enough.
    2. Client testimonials: ask for latest client testimonials. It would help to request references or testimonials from clients in a similar industry to yours.
    3. Results-based case studies: request case studies that show real ROI – don’t be afraid to ask for the numbers!

    Added Value

    1. Certifications and Accreditation: in some cases, experience matters more than certifications. However, having Google, Facebook, and other partner certifications might unlock other premium platform opportunities
    2. Other digital services: does the agency have other departments that you could tap into such as graphic design, web development, video production?
    3. A great network: is the agency connected to other media partners and networks that could be beneficial to you?

    Remember, it all depends on what your business needs are. Whether it’s straight up SEO or part of large integrated campaign that requires content and design, there’s an agency for you on this list.

    North America

    OAK Digital

    OAK digital

    OAK Digital is a leap above the rest when it comes to digital performance marketing. Based in New York City, OAK Digital specializes in optimizing a brand’s direct to customer (DTC) approach and is one of the leading providers of Facebook advertising, affiliate marketing, and Google Ads management.

    By connecting with them, right from the start, each client is assigned a senior level account manager with at least 12 years of experience behind them.

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 2015
    • Location: New York City, Brooklyn
    • Number of employees: 19
    • Top clients include: Angie’s List, Paravel, Lumin, Yummy, Bearaby
    • Website: https://www.oakdigitalagency.com

    Services:

    • Affiliate marketing
    • Facebook advertising
    • Paid search marketing
    • E-commerce sales
    • SEO
    • Social media management
    • Influencer marketing
    • Web development

    Performics

    Performance Marketing Agencies: Performics

    Performics is the performance marketing arm of Publicis Media and part of a collection of agencies under the Publicis Groupe network. Founded in the late 90s, they are true pioneers in performance marketing with their background in SEO and SEM.

    The agency offers clients the added benefit of their large network of creative and media resources, as well as their deep partnerships with search engines and social media networks.

    Agency snapshot:

    • Founded: 1998
    • Location: Headquarters in Chicago with an established global footprint
    • Number of employees: 1,001 – 5,000
    • Top clients: Nestle, Airtel, Fiji Airways, HP
    • Website: https://www.performics.com

    Services:

    • Performance Media
    • Performance Content
    • Planning & Research
    • Insights & Analytics

    The Goodway Group

    The Goodway Group

    The Goodway Group has a long history of transforming their business to suiting the changing media and marketing landscape – starting in 1919 with the founding of a printing business. The company transformed from a direct marketing company a leading digital media agency with specialist media services including a proprietary performance-driven digital advertising platform.

    Agency Snapshot

    • Founded: 2006 (as a digital media agency)
    • Location: Jenkintown
    • Number of employees: 201 – 500
    • Website: https://goodwaygroup.com

    Services:

    • Programmatic Media
    • Data & Analytics
    • Multi-location digital marketing platforms
    • RealValue digital advertising platform

    iProspect

    iProspect

    iProspect is one of the biggest and most well-known performance marketing and advertising agencies in the world, and is part of the Dentsu Aegis Network. The agency boasts a world-wide network of specialists, partners, and platforms with a core strength in performance marketing and local market expertise.

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 1996
    • Location: Headquarters in Boston with an established global footprint
    • Number of employees: 4,000+ (global)
    • Top clients include: Hilton, Diageo, Sunglass Hut, Microsoft, GM
    • Website: https://www.iprospect.com

    Services:

    • Content creation
    • Paid Search
    • Social Media Advertising
    • Performance Display
    • Data & Insights
    • Conversion Optimisation
    • Native Advertising

    Hughes Media

    Hughes Media

    Hughes Media is one of the leading marketing agencies in Atlanta with a focus on long term relationships. According to their website, the average client on their books has been with them for 8 years. The multi-award-winning agency has a wide range of services ranging from content production to performance marketing.

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 2000
    • Location: Atlanta
    • Number of Employees: 11 – 50
    • Top clients include: Re/Max, Eat Seer Hear, Sunshine Recycling
    • Website: https://www.hughesmedia.us

    Services:

    • SEO
    • PPC
    • Email Marketing
    • Programmatic Advertising
    • Marketing Automation
    • Design and Creative Production

    Europe

    Ad Agents

    Ag Agents

    Ad Agents is a performance marketing company within the Ad Pepper Media Group – a holding company with customers in over 50 countries. The company focusses on scalable performance marketing with a proprietary platform called iLead – a platform that enables brands to quickly adapt and activate campaigns in multiple markets.

    Agency Snapshot:

    Services:

    • SEA
    • SEO
    • Affiliate Management
    • Social Media Advertising
    • Tracking & Analysis

    Kwanko

    Performance Marketing Agencies: Kwanko

    Kwanko is a leading marketing and advertising agency with a specialisation in cross-device performance marketing. They have just launched the Kwanko Platform: a unified platform which offers a complete suite of tools to create, manage, track, and scale campaigns.

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 2003
    • Location: Ille-de-France
    • Number of employees: 51 – 200
    • Top clients: Ali Express, Audi, BMW, Mini, The Body Shop
    • Website: https://www.kwanko.com

    Services:

    Antevenio

    Antevenio

    Antevenio is a pioneering performance marketing agency with over 20 years of experience in the digital marketing industry. The agency has an experienced team of certified specialists with established relationships within a variety of industries in Europe and America. The company’s focus areas are in performance, branding, and loyalty.

    Fun fact: Antevenio was the first Spanish advertising company in history to successfully IPO on the Alternext Paris Market.

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 1997
    • Location: Headquarters in Madrid, with offices in Mexico, Argentina, Italy, and France
    • Number of employees: 200 – 500
    • Top clients include: The Slice, The Affiliate People
    • Website: https://www.antevenio.com

    Services:

    • Performance Marketing
    • User Acquisition
    • Lead Generation
    • Social Media Advertising
    • SEM
    • Content Creation
    • Loyalty Marketing

    Quisma

    Quisma

    Quisma is a performance marketing agency which specialises in the German market. The agency is part of the Group M: the world’s largest advertising media company. Quisma clients have the added advantage being able to tap into the vast WPP network of agencies, platforms, and specialists.

    Agency Snapshot

    • Founded: 2001
    • Location: Munich
    • Number of employees: 52 – 200
    • Top clients include: Expedia, Adobe, and Bank of Scotland.
    • Website: https://quisma.com/

     Services:

    • Performance Marketing
    • Performance Display Marketing
    • Programmatic Advertising
    • Affiliate Marketing
    • SEO
    • Conversion Optimisation
    • Social Media Marketing

    Russia

    AD LABS

    Ad Labs Performance Agency

    Ad Labs Advertising Agency, a division of Add Labs, is one of the leading performance agencies in Russia, offering a wide range of internet marketing services for over 10 years. They are also well known for running their advertising campaigns through their very own automated advertising management systems.

    Agency snapshot:

    •       Founded: 2004
    •       Location: Moscow, Russia
    •       Number of employees: 80
    •       Top clients: KMP Group; MGTS; Quelle.
    •       Website: https://www.adlabs.ru/doc/adspromo/

    Services:

    •       Contextual advertising
    •       Targeted advertising
    •       Display advertising
    •       Mobile ads
    •       Web analytics
    •       SEO and content strategies
    •       SMM
    •       Email marketing
    •       Creative strategies
    •       Production

    e-promo

    E Promo Performance Agency

    e-promo is a very popular performance marketing agency in Russia, well equipped to develop and customize a sound mix of advertising channels and tools for a wide range of companies. They also perform marketing work as a subcontractor for other marketing agencies, such as iProspect.

    Agency snapshot:

    •       Founded: 2008
    •       Location: St Petersburg, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod
    •       Number of employees: 12
    •       Top clients: Spar, Virgin Connect
    •       Website: https://www.e-promo.ru/

    Services:

    •       Display advertising and programmatic purchases
    •       Targeted social media ads
    •       Video and mobile ads
    •       Re-targeting
    •       SEO

    Australia

    Metrixa

    Metrixa

    Metrixa is a data-driven marketing agency with a goal to drive efficiency and streamline digital marketing operations for their clients. The agency specialises in the Asia Pacific market with offices in both Australia and Singapore.

    Bonus: Metrixa offers a free Adwords Audit

    Agency Snapshot:

    Services:

    • Performance Marketing
    • Digital Marketing Automatino
    • Ecommerce Automation
    • Social Media Advertising

    Columbus

    Columbus

    Columbus is an award-winning performance marketing agency which is part of the Dentsu Aegis Network and Merkle Inc (a global data-driven performance marketing agency). The agency is listed as Google’s top agency partner in APAC, and have also been listed as Google’s Most Qualified Agency in the ANZ region.

    Agency Snapshot:

    Services:

    • Paid Search
    • SEO
    • Content Planning
    • Affiliate Marketing
    • Content Marketing

    Contevo

    Contevo

    Contevo is a conversion focussed digital marketing agency and one of the most experienced in Australia. The agency offers a full-service suite of services from SEO and PPC to social media and ecommerce.

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 2005
    • Location: Melbourne
    • Number of Employees: 11- 50
    • Top clients: Swarovski, Groupon, Disney.
    • Website: https://contevo.com.au

    Services:

    • SEO
    • PPC
    • Content Marketing
    • Social Media Marketing
    • Ecommerce Marketing
    • Data & Analytics

    South Africa

    Algorithm

    Algorithm

    Algorithm is a leading performance marketing and data specialist agency along with their sister agency Quant. The agency specialises in SEO, SEM and Conversion Rate Optimisation. Their approach is to “Be brilliant at a few things rather than average at them all”.

    Agency Snapshot:

    Services:

    • SEO
    • SEM
    • Data & Insights
    • Paid Media
    • Consulting

    Rogerwilco

    Performance-Marketing-Companies - Rogerwilco

    Rogerwilco is an established full-service digital marketing agency which holds over 30 awards for performance marketing. They are “led by strategy, fuelled by creativity and driven by results”. For clients looking for a technical advantage, the agency is a listed partner with Google, Drupal, and IBM which speaks to their core web development offering.

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 2008
    • Location: Cape Town
    • Number of employees: 11 – 50
    • Top clients: World Economic Forum, eBay, Hisense, MSF
    • Website: http://www.rogerwilco.co.za

    Services:

    • Marketing Strategy
    • Performance Marketing
    • User Experience
    • Web Development
    • Content Creation

    Digital Optimization

    Performance Marketing Agencies: Digital Optimization

    Digital Optimization is an agency driven by technology and “obsessed with performance”. The agency is listed as premium partners of Google and Facebook and is a Facebook Ambassador Agency for South Africa.

    Agency Snapshot:

    Services:

    • Digital Media Strategy
    • Media Planning & Buying
    • Social Media Advertising
    • Content Marketing
    • SEO
    • Web Design & Development

    Branding Agency VS Performance Agency

    A branding agency and performance agency may appear similar, but they are in fact very different. A branding agency solely concentrates on developing the identity of an organisation or business through a range of marketing services.

    These include creating a unique identity and logo, conducting market research and customer surveys to understand the target market and then segmenting and profiling the target market. A performance agency rather focuses on helping a brand reach a broader audience.

    These audiences are reached through a wide range of marketing channels (as listed above). Other services include search engine advertising, copywriting, conversion rate optimization, paid social media ads and landing pages creation, amongst many more.

    Digital Agency VS Performance Agency

    Digital agencies and performance agencies differ largely in the variety of marketing services they offer, while they also have a level of overlap.

    Performance agencies specialize in optimizing a brand’s reach through all the marketing channels listed above and focus primarily on marketing performance.

    They achieve this by adhering to each company’s unique set of KPIs. Performance agencies often have a very wide marketing reach.

    On the other hand, digital agencies tend to offer a much broader range of marketing services that focus on growing and optimizing a company’s digital assets, such as their website, online stores, audio-visual media, logos etc.

    A digital agency can also be seen as a full service agency, in which case they might offer performance marketing and branding services as an additional service.

    These services would also include using performance marketing channels, such as search engine marketing, native advertising and affiliate marketing.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much do companies spend on digital marketing?

    Companies typically budget for 5 - 15% of their total revenue towards marketing. This will usually be lower for companies with a higher cost of certain goods, such as construction or manufacturing companies. While service related companies, such as technology or SaaS companies will typically budget more towards marketing. Of this marketing budget, companies are spending approximately 50% or more on digital marketing.

    How to choose a performance marketing agency?

    Find the performance marketing agency that suits your company and marketing goals, by looking at the following key criteria:
    1. Service & Support
    a. Does the agency offer multi-channel support and services?
    b. Is there a wealth of strategy & experience available to you?
    c. Core team- is there enough experience in the core team and do you have access to senior staff?
    d. Support team- who does it consist of to provide you with the high quality work you need?
    e. What is staff turnover like and will this impact your work?
    2. Track Record: look at-
    a. Compatibility
    b. Client testimonials
    c. Results-based case studies
    3. Added Value: evaluate their-
    a. Certifications & accreditation
    b. Other digital services
    c. Other network or media partnerships that could benefit you.

    What is performance marketing?

    Performance Marketing is a method of interactive advertising which is only paid out on a completed action, based on the “performance” of the agency. The action required is based on a sale (Cost Per Sale) or on a lead (Cost Per Lead), including Cost Per Download. Affiliate Marketing is a subset of Performance Marketing which is based on a cost-per-sale, where the revenue is shared and the affiliate receives a portion of the sale of the product.

    References

    What is Performance Marketing? https://www.upgrow.io/blog/what-is-a-performance-marketing-agency

    Best SEO Digital Marketing Agencies: https://www.ventureharbour.com/best-seo-digital-marketing-agencies/

    What You Should Know About Performance Marketing: https://thepma.org/our-work/the-performance-marketing-industry/

    Top 10 Performance Marketing Agencies: https://www.outbrain.com/blog/top-10-performance-marketing-agencies/

     

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