Written by Sam Yadegar on Nov 17 , 2022

A performance marketing agency uses data-driven insights to optimize your investments and boost your revenue — but you’ll want to partner with the right team.

Here, you’ll find: 

  • Why performance marketing matters
  • Top performance marketing agencies and their specialties
  • How performance marketing helps companies meet their goals
  • Expert tips for picking a performance marketing agency

A recent Gartner survey reveals companies invest about 9.5% of their revenue in marketing. If these investments bear fruit with conversions and revenue, it’s money well spent.

But marketing sometimes feels like jumping blindly into a dark hole and hoping to land on your feet. Without support from experts, high-tech marketing solutions, and a solid plan in place, you may not like where you land.

The goal is to optimize precious marketing funds by creating campaigns that garner results. That’s where the pros come in. 

Performance marketing is all about data insights. Budgets only see withdrawals once a brand sees results, which means partnering with a qualified agency helps you hedge your bet to reduce risks and optimize revenue.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the top performance marketing agencies in the industry. Consider these experts the parachute and grassy landing spot for your marketing leap. On the other side of that jump? Increased traffic, revenue, and more.

Top 12 performance marketing agencies:

  • HawkSEM
  • Acceleration Partners
  • Merkle
  • Tinuiti
  • WPromote
  • MuteSix
  • iCrossing
  • SEO Brand
  • Obility B2B
  • DMI Partners
  • AdParlor
  • Moburst

hawksem homepage

1. HawkSEM

Here at HawkSEM, improved performance and higher client ROI is our bread and butter. Every word, message, and ad campaign we touch is carefully crafted to entice action from your customers. But we also know that’s only half the battle.

To find your ideal audience, we use A/B testing and analysis backed by the latest industry knowledge and tech. Our team of experts and strategists have years of experience in paid search, campaign strategy, and digital marketing services. We know what performance markers to look for and which metrics will transform your digital marketing strategy into revenue. 

And then there’s our secret success weapon. Our team leverages HawkSEM’s exclusive, proprietary AI-powered tech, ConversionIQ, to automate growth signals, account anomaly signals, trend performance, reporting, and more

The results? There are many, but a few highlights include creating campaigns for Honda that reached 30 million viewers and helping Verizon Digital Media grow conversions by more than 3,200%.

All of this adds up to a robust list of loyal clients who experience an average of 4.5X ROI.

Services: 

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) campaign management
  • Google Ads
  • Performance display
  • Funnel analysis
  • Landing page web design
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • A/B testing
  • Campaign strategy and execution
  • Amazon marketing
  • ROI and conversion tracking

acceleration partners

2. Acceleration Partners

Acceleration Partners is a global affiliate marketing agency with one prominent value point: global expansion. 

You might have a solid partner base of US publishers, but what if your offerings could cross borders into the audiences of international influencers?

This performance marketing agency helps you visualize that jump, boasting an average of 58% affiliate program growth for clients. They’re also renowned for effective scaling, helping Reebok grow its performance marketing strategy into its highest-revenue digital marketing channel.

Acceleration Partners leverage their affiliate network connections and their own APVision’s business intelligence (BI) and artificial intelligence (AI) models to transform comprehensive, accurate data into actionable insights. 

Services

  • Partner optimization
  • Partner recruitment
  • Data and analysis
  • Program design
  • Global and regional management
  • Full program management

Merkle

3. Merkle

Merkle is a one-stop shop for everything marketing, specializing in customer strategy, loyalty, gamification, B2B marketing, and more. 

A self-declared provider of customer experience transformation, the Merkle team is a jack of all trades. While they span many industries, they boast impressive work in the healthcare tech niches, using audience insights and media analytics to expand the Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s reach. 

Client reviews applaud Merkle’s expertise in streamlining marketing efforts for large organizations. 

Services:

  • Search engine marketing (SEM) such as SEO and paid search
  • User Experience
  • Content creation
  • Roadmap development
  • Social audit
  • Partner recruitment
  • Social media management and marketing
  • Email marketing

Tinuiti

4. Tinuiti

Seeking an agency with unparalleled affiliate marketing expertise? Tinuiti is a diverse digital agency with a special interest in affiliate partnerships.

The company has an affiliate team with over eight years of experience in agency and in-house partnership roles to inform their expertise. Plus, the marketing firm has built successful relationships with affiliate networks and programs. 

Tinuiti was named a Platinum Agency Partner of Rakuten Advertising, one of the world’s largest affiliate marketing service providers — a recognition only achieved by 10% of Rakuten’s partners. 

Tinuiti is backed with serious affiliate experience, which makes things easy for a business just starting out in the space. 

Services

  • Lifecycle marketing
  • Paid social 
  • Amazon, Walmart, and Target sales
  • Full-service funnel solution for influencer marketing
  • Programmatic display
  • Careful partner recruitment and vetting

Wpromote

5. WPromote

A marketer’s worst nightmare is a siloed strategy. Without insights from every channel, you risk leaking valuable budget spend and acting on inaccurate data.

WPromote’s combined tech focus and marketing expertise paint a more complete picture. Their proprietary tech, Polaris, cuts through siloed and inaccurate data and presents clear cross-channel insights. 

Notice a growing target audience on TikTok and Instagram? WPromote will dive deep into each channel, carefully selecting potential influencer partnerships based on an aggressive assessment of their audiences. The result? Improved brand awareness, customer engagement, and diversified content. 

As for other publishers and affiliates? Wpromote has strong relationships with over 1,000 prominent affiliates. Their diverse network allows them to conduct beta testing and access audience demographics to select suitable partners for your brand. 

Then, the company wraps it all together with historical data and trends to inform their recommendations and strategies. As for their clients? Notable ones like GrubHub and Frontier Airlines speak highly of Wpromote’s team and results. 

Based on reviews, Wpromote may be better suited for larger corporate companies than startups or small businesses. 

Services:

  • SEO and PPC
  • Amazon
  • Data science and modeling
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Partner recruitment
  • Paid social
  • Data visualization

MuteSix Homepage

6. MuteSix

MuteSix is a full-funnel performance marketing agency with a special focus on media buying, ad creation, and omnichannel strategies. Considering 38% of marketers describe a cohesive performance across all channels as a top challenge, MuteSix’s holistic, cross-channel approach is appealing.

If you’re looking to expand your reach on social media, this agency offers support with tailored strategies for TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Their strategies are data-backed and focus on improving brand social media profiles rather than merely enlisting influencer marketing support. 

Reviews are largely positive, with many clients citing tangible improvements to their marketing campaigns. 

Services

  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Custom data reporting
  • First-party data
  • Native advertising
  • Social media, channel-specific strategies

icrossing homepage

7. iCrossing

Craving a customer-centric agency? Digital marketing agency iCrossing centers their services around providing an impeccable customer experience through performance media and data analytics.

Brands will appreciate iCrossing’s impressive tech stack and partnerships. Backed by rich relationships with Adobe, AWS, Shopify, and Contentful, iCrossing tailors every strategy with tech-driven workflows to improve each client’s performance. 

Of course, most brands need extra attention distinguishing window-shopping leads from buyers. Clients praise the company’s flexible services, client-centric approach, and clear communication.

Services: 

  • Content creation
  • Web analytics
  • 360 customer profiles
  • Media strategy
  • SEO
  • Paid search and social

seo brand homepage

8. SEO Brand

With 15 years dedicated to improving rankings and revenue for clients like Sotheby’s and the Ritz-Carlton, SEO Brand has some serious street cred. As a full-service agency, they offer a host of marketing services, from web design and content creation to PPC ads and various SEO services, with a hyper-focus on data collection and analysis. 

So, how do they land such top-tier brands in their client pool? It might be the company’s low turnover rate paired with a loyal staff that’s grown with them over the years. It could also be the abundant positive reviews, with many clients reporting big gains in expanding reach. (One even mentions a sharp increase of 1,000 to 10,000 followers on social media.)

Another nice touch is the overarching sentiment that SEO Brand genuinely cares about their clients’ success, shown by personalized communication and above-and-beyond service. 

Services: 

  • Content optimization
  • SEO and PPC
  • Public relations and reputation management
  • Ecommerce development

obility homepage

9. Obility B2B

Obility B2B is a digital marketing company specializing in services for tech and SaaS companies, boasting AutoDesk and Moz in their client roster. 

They support businesses in distinguishing MQLs from SQLs (marketing-qualified leads from sales-qualified leads), a helpful qualifier for the average SaaS business’s longer sales cycle.

Custom strategies use SEO, paid search, and RevOps tactics to grow rankings and revenue for their expanding roster of customers. 

Services:

  • B2B paid search
  • Paid social
  • B2B SEO
  • Revenue attribution
  • Revenue operations

DMI Partners homepage

10. DMI Partners

DMI Partners takes an omnichannel approach with their clients, analyzing and optimizing every stage in the customer journey in tandem with custom affiliate marketing and SEO strategies. The agency has employees with an average six-year tenure and prides themselves on a responsive, accessible work ethic. 

They offer flexible pricing models to accommodate client preferences, making them a great option for new businesses and startups.

This marketing firm adds a down-to-earth feel to its highly professional marketing services. They demonstrate a dedication to their clients through endless positive reviews and case studies showing unique solutions to complicated client challenges. (For example, they created an entire website for a Philadelphia bakery in a single day.)

Services: 

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Influencer marketing strategy
  • Full-funnel growth marketing
  • Paid search
  • Paid social

adparlor homepage

11. AdParlor

Looking for a customized strategy without the commitment of a long-term contract? Young ecommerce and SaaS businesses will appreciate the flexibility of AdParlor. 

This performance marketing agency uses a three-pronged approach to grow clients’ brands — audits, data-driven growth plans, and optimization based on campaign performance. Their staff monitors your platform KPIs and campaigns 24/7 to leverage real-time data analysis for optimization decisions. 

The agency’s Agile Performance Marketing service is a low-commitment, flexible plan that bases services on clients’ business goals, like customer acquisition, sales, or clicks. A nice bonus? AdParlor’s access to parent company Fluent’s proprietary platform helps their clients reach new partnerships and acquisitions.

Services: 

  • Custom digital strategy
  • Media buying and execution
  • Full-funnel media planning
  • Creative services
  • Insights and analytics
  • Data acquisition solutions

moburst homepage

12. Moburst

Ready to catapult your brand’s authority? Moburst is a full-service digital marketing agency with proven experience flying brands to high-authority status.

Uber, Samsung, Pfizer, and Reddit are all VIP clients on their roster. Notably, they have influencer marketing experts who approach every campaign with targeted briefs to maximize performance. 

The firm offers a comprehensive dashboard where clients have a bird’s eye view of paid and organic trends and can digest actionable BI visualizations.

Services: 

  • Influencer marketing campaign strategy
  • BI and analytics
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • SEO 
  • Product consulting
  • Web development
orange car zooming by on a racetrack

Performance marketing is a data-driven and results-driven approach to any online marketing strategy. (Image: Unsplash)

How does performance marketing help your business? 

We’ve shared the highest-rated performance marketing agencies, but why exactly should you partner with one? 

You may have a solid affiliate network with dozens of publishers promoting your brand. You might even have an entire marketing team dedicated to translating thousands of data figures into strategic advice. 

But paying after results and collecting data doesn’t automatically mean your campaigns are bulletproof. 

Ask yourself:

  • How quickly do you respond to dips in revenue?
  • Which affiliates and campaigns bring you the most traffic and conversions? 
  • Which ones bring you the least
  • How are you engaging your highest-performing partners?
  • Which digital channels perform the best and worst?

Regularly managing and responding to insights like these requires time, energy, and perhaps most important: expertise. You might dedicate a marketing associate to the task, but is it worth the labor expense? And are they truly the most qualified person for the job? If so, great! If not? 

The performance marketing agencies shared in this article are equipped for the task.

The takeaway

Performance marketing is a data-driven and results-driven approach to any online marketing strategy. But without enough time, expertise, and energy, you won’t reap its traffic-fueled, revenue-generating benefits.  

The best performance marketing agencies help you make sense of endless data and pick the most valuable insights to propel your marketing goals. 

How do you pick the right one? Consider performance marketing agencies that: 

  • Use proprietary software to collect, record, and analyze digital marketing performance data in one place
  • Have proven expertise and success in your marketing channels and models of choice
  • Feel intuitive and easy to work with — high ratings and great reviews speak volumes
  • Provide flexible services to adapt to your niche, size, channels, and growth goals

Performance marketing will supercharge conversions, appeal to your audiences, and pump up rankings in no time. Ready to unleash your highest ROI yet? Let’s chat.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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