Results-Based Marketing: What Is It?

The aim of results-based marketing is to take the goals you want to achieve in your marketing strategy, and work towards reaching those goals. First, it is important to figure out what it is you want the end result of this process to look like, what do you want to see? Then, it is time to put the marketing plan into action. 

This type of marketing can increase in not just the quality of your company's marketing efforts, but the quality of the results as well. Knowing what demographic is being affected by your strategy allows your company to narrow and strengthen its focus. This can be a good indicator of how the project should be worked moving forward.

Ultimately, results-based marketing is about finding the right combination of message and messenger. Figure out the most effective marketing mix and use that to achieve results-based marketing. For instance, when a business decides on a message, the way its delivered may change. The best message in the world doesn't mean a thing if it's not visible to potential customers. A lack of visibility can lead to a lack of results, which leads to a lack of sales and a waste of marketing money spent.

Saving Money for Your Business and Getting Results

It's best to figure out your goal before spending money on any marketing campaign. Top marketing individuals, like top investors, are most likely to put their money where they know they are likely to see it returned. Due to this, results-based marketing calls for a stop on all techniques that aren't working and replacing them with those that do.

People at the top of the business world are able to consistently see results from their marketing efforts. Most use results-based marketing to achieve these results. This technique isn't just about marketing, but about marketing strategically and smartly, as it can save a lot of money for your business. Instead of wasting time and money on strategies that don't work, they put value in the ones that do. As a result, it can not only saves their company money but help to generate consistent revenue as well.

Other Benefits of Results-Based Marketing

Results-based marketing works to do more for your business than simply save money. It needs for clear goals to be set from the very beginning, both as a company and for your marketing techniques. Your business should try to establish its goals, and figure out how to achieve them. Results-based marketing brings about the aligning of objectives. These objectives are between the type of marketing you choose and the business itself. When these two aspects are in sync with each other it can make getting results easier as well as faster.

Results-Based Marketing: Basic Process

The following steps describe the procedure between a results-based marketing professional and a business client. We'll discuss and look at a more in-depth version further on in the reading.

  1. The business client and marketing professional decide on the goals.
  2. The best way to achieve these goals is discussed.
  3. The time and resources to be used are decided and agreed to.
  4. The professional and the client establish what is currently being done and what is not.

Five Factors That Determine Payment

Typically, when using results-based marketing, a mutual relationship is established between the business client and the marketing professional. There are many different aspects of how this relationship works, and payment is one of them. It brings up a few personal points that companies should think about when applying this type of marketing technique.

  • How much did the marketing campaign affected the overall results?
  • Who knows how to do this type of marketing?
  • What are the possible risk factors outside the consultancy exchange that could affect results?
  • An estimated timeline that’s required for getting the results?
  • What is the monetary benefit of the marketing campaign, to the business client?

Also, keep in mind that you may be asked to send parts of the payment at individual goals if the ultimate goal is too difficult to measure. Marketing professionals should work to a high standard by providing an outline of the marketing process and all of the attainable goals, for the business client to look over. However, if there are issues getting certain information to the professional then the timeline may not be on schedule. Accordingly, most payment plans include a minimum time-based fee as an insurance against a change of priorities by the client, or other internal issues.

Important Points to Keep in Mind

There are just too many variables to keep in mind, both within the elements of the client and professional, as well as outside factors. However, it is possible to align a marketing project's results to the business as much as a business and consultant are able.

First, create the steps for your marketing project and add a cost to each one. Then, review your results. By doing this you should be able to determine if any of the steps need to be changed based on whether or not they're producing results.

Clients are less likely to commit to large projects that are riddled with uncertainties. So, by setting and tracking both the goals and their results, the likelihood of success increases. It can also create a satisfying environment for clients and professionals to work in, and can help increase profit margins.

It is important during this process that the client commits to the goals that are set and provides the information needed to achieve them. This includes information support about the client's backend information and access to the companies systems. The business should know its current activity to act as a baseline for results-based marketing. Without a baseline, it's difficult to measure any possible impact and can make it a longer and harder process to get results.

In-Depth Examples of Results-Based Marketing

Changing Your Advertising Medium 

Results-based marketing calls for your business to choose the marketing program that's going to give the maximum return. This can mean ten times the amount that was spent on the marketing efforts themselves. To do this, a business should track how each dollar was spent and if it is working there.

This can sometimes translate to changing the way you are advertising, from ways that create awareness to ones that create results. This can happen by moving to direct response advertising which can allow you to quickly see results by asking for an immediate response. Therefore, your business can immediately know if the advertising is working or not.

Using Direct Marketing in Results-Based Marketing

To find where your marketing efforts are working best, sometimes a full change is necessary. For example, it may make a bigger impact to change your marketing from general print to something more direct, such as Facebook. This brings us back to an earlier statement about having the right message combined with the right messenger.

How Results-Based Marketing Applies in a Hypothetical Business Scenario

For this example, we'll call the business Company XYZ and say they have $200,000 worth of funds for ads in relevant magazines. Also, the business attends trade shows, has a sales team, and has 1000 active customers, making the average transaction size $5000. Below we'll look at each step that should be questioned and the techniques in a results-based marketing campaign.

Operation Efficiency

After looking at all aspects of the business it is found that, overall, things are running at about 70% of what they could be. This means there's a 30% capacity loss in potential revenue and more money to be made if the company can work to 100% capacity.


Before knowing how to best use the results-based marketing strategy, the business should first know how their current marketing strategy is working. This will create the baseline you can use to measure against future results.


Results-based marketing requires using your marketing money in a smart way that will bring the positive results you want. Business's should also consider quarterly training for all sales staff.

Direct Response Marketing in Results-Based Marketing

To gain brand awareness and name recognition, a formal referral system is suggested. Give customers perks for referring more people.

Direct Marketing in Results-Based Marketing

  • Directly mail inactive customers.

Inactive means not having bought from the company in the last three months. It's suggested to follow this sent mail with a direct phone call by a representative.

  • Train staff to ask for customer feedback.

This helps to solve any issues that may come up and also lets the client/customer feel heard and looked after.

  • Aim to increase transaction frequency.

Try sending reminder cards before the expected renewal or replacement of a product or service. This can entice people to buy "before it runs out" so they don't miss out.

  • Get a list of key people at trade shows.

This list can be extremely valuable as it gives you a targeted list of interested parties. From it, you can send special invitations, and provide some form of follow-up contact after.

Brand Awareness in Results-Based Marketing

  • Unpaid advertising (Public Relations).

This includes activities such as press releases and interviews and can lead to results through word of mouth.

  • Send articles to newspapers or editors of key journals.

This is helpful to get your brand and its products or services out there and raise your sales. Typically, at minimum 5 editors or press firms will run your article out of every 100 you contact.

How is Brand Awareness Different from Results-Based Marketing?


The idea behind brand awareness is to gain attention from the public so that potential customers know your brand and the products or services you offer. Ultimately, the goal of brand awareness is to get consumer recognition simply by the name. It's a promoting strategy that doesn't always have clear results. 

Results-based marketing, however, is about an entirely different part of marketing. In results-based marketing, you keep the methods that work and drop those that don't. This helps avoid the waste of both a companies time and money.

Terms of Success:

Using brand awareness, success is when your business, brand, or company is well-known. "Top-of-mind" status generally leads to an increase in sales but not every time, but that isn't the focus. This strategy is to make your name more well known, whereas other strategies are used to raise sales more directly. Results-based marketing calls to increase the tactics that are providing results and stop the ones that aren't.

Steps in Marketing

Brand awareness is one of the first steps in marketing as people usually don’t buy what they don't know. Your business should try to define itself and its message before beginning to advertise. However, if you are already getting positive results with your current strategy, we can focus on increasing those even more and improving elsewhere.

Brand Awareness vs. Results-Based Marketing

Though both brand awareness and results-based marketing are strategies you can use to achieve success, they are also very different. Brand awareness is a technique meant to bring attention to your brand or company. Its goal is to have most of the public not only know the brand, but the products or services it offers as well.

Results-based marketing, on the other hand, measures the results of marketing techniques already in place. The amount of results shows whether each strategy should stay the same, need to change, or stop altogether.

What Success Looks Like for Each

In ‘Brand Awareness’ success is when your brand or company is well-known among the general public. It has reached ‘Top-of-Mind’ status. When it comes to results-based marketing, an increase in sales and then using that strategy for other campaigns, is how you can measure success.

If you want help with your companies marketing campaign please, don't hesitate to reach out to us for more information on our contact page or through the form below.