When Goals Are Aggressive: Paid vs. Organic Marketing?


Jeanna BarrettFounder & Chief Marketing Expert for First Page

Friday, February 24, 2023

How should you choose between paid vs. organic marketing to achieve aggressive goals for your business?

Article 6 Minutes
When Goals Are Aggressive: Paid vs. Organic Marketing?

Setting the right marketing goals is the first step toward marketing success and aggressive growth. The competition is fierce. It’s not easy to stand out from the crowd anymore. It’s estimated that by 2040, 95% of all retail sales will take place online. You must set aggressive goals and promote an aggressive marketing mindset to stay ahead of the competition. Aggressive goals call for an aggressive marketing approach that delivers results quickly.

The big question is: What’s the best marketing approach to achieve aggressive goals? Should you go with organic marketing or paid marketing for aggressive growth in 2023 and beyond?

Let’s dig deep and find out…

What is paid marketing?

Paid marketing (also known as inorganic marketing) is any form of paid advertising where you pay for the traffic and clicks. You use ad networks like Google, Facebook and Bing to show ads to your target audience. These ad networks charge you on the number of clicks or impressions.

Pay per click (PPC) is the most popular type of paid marketing, where advertisers pay when their ad gets clicked. Businesses prefer paid marketing because it delivers instant results. A survey reported that 68% of marketers said that paid marketing is extremely important to their overall marketing strategy.

Benefits of paid marketing

Here are the major benefits of paid marketing that make it an ideal choice for businesses of all sizes:

  • Paid marketing delivers instant results in the form of traffic, clicks, conversions, and revenue. The moment your ad goes live, you start receiving traffic.
  • It offers granular targeting with a massive reach that isn’t available with other types of digital marketing. It is estimated that Google Display ads reach up to 90% of internet users. The leading ad networks like Google and Facebook have tons of data about their users, which advertisers can leverage to improve targeting and reach.
  • Multiple campaign types to choose from for a diverse range of channels. Google Ads, for example, lets you run search ads, display ads, remarketing campaigns, shopping ads, and others. This gives you access to a wide range of audiences based on your preferences.
  • Advanced tracking helps you measure performance at the ad level for paid marketing. You can credit the right ad for conversion/sale with paid marketing
  • You can run an ad campaign for as low as $5. There is something for everyone with paid marketing.

What is organic marketing?

Organic marketing is the opposite of paid marketing, where you generate traffic naturally from search engines and other organic channels. It mainly focuses on content marketing and SEO. It involves writing and publishing content that ranks for target keywords in search engines and then drives traffic. Once you publish content, you invest in SEO to improve its ranking.

Research shows that 76% of all web traffic comes from search engines. This makes organic marketing a must-have in today’s world for online businesses.

Benefits of organic marketing

Organic marketing benefits include:

  • Organic marketing is sustainable and grows over time. The older your content gets, the higher it ranks. One study found that it takes an average of 2+ years to reach Google’s first page. Around 60% of pages that rank on Google’s first page are at least three years old. This makes organic marketing exponential and sustainable.
  • You get permanent free traffic from search engines for an unlimited duration. There is no other marketing source that sends high-quality and targeted traffic free of cost for years.
  • Organic marketing generates highly targeted traffic. You get visitors from search engines who are looking for a solution to their problem. This inbound marketing is more effective than other forms of marketing as it is non-intrusive. Your audience finds and connects with your business without any obstruction from your end. This makes organic marketing extremely effective and targeted.
  • It’s great at building authority and thought leadership. As you publish quality content across multiple formats for years, you become an authority in your industry. This makes your business credible and trustworthy.
  • Organic marketing is cost-effective, especially in the long run. It requires a high initial investment, but then there is no recurring cost. Publish content once and it doesn’t cost you a penny once it sits live on your blog and continues to attract targeted traffic. This lowers CAC significantly as you get customers at potentially zero cost organically.

Paid vs. organic marketing for aggressive goals

Let’s see how paid marketing compares with organic marketing when you have to achieve aggressive goals:

  1. Quick result: Paid marketing initiates instant results in the form of traffic, conversions, sales and revenue. This makes paid marketing a perfect choice to meet your aggressive goals. Organic marketing, on the other hand, needs a few good years to deliver results.
  2. Recurring budget: When you want to generate decent traffic with paid marketing, you need a high budget. It requires a recurring budget to meet your revenue goals. Organic marketing doesn’t require a recurring inflow of cash to keep it rolling. You invest once, and then there is no need for additional cash inflow.
  3. Sustainability: Paid marketing isn’t sustainable for aggressive goals. This is because it works as long as you are investing money in ad campaigns. The moment you stop your PPC campaigns, traffic, conversions, sales, and revenue plunge to zero. Organic marketing is highly sustainable. Even if you stop investing money in organic traffic after a few years, your existing content will continue to generate sales and revenue.
  4. Targeting: Paid marketing is extremely sophisticated and highly targeted. You can target the exact type of people at a granular level. This makes it ideal for achieving aggressive goals as your message reaches the right people at the right time. Organic marketing lacks this precise targeting and doesn’t offer you the opportunity to tailor your message for different market segments at such a minute level
  5. Attribution: Paid marketing lets you attribute conversions to the right ad and marketing channel. This helps in identifying marketing channels that perform better. This makes it easier to achieve aggressive goals by quickly switching to the right ad types and campaigns for better performance. Organic marketing lacks this attribution.

Which is best for aggressive goals?

Paid marketing is best for aggressive goals, but it isn’t enough.

It will help you achieve aggressive goals quickly with high accuracy, but it lacks sustainability. Paid marketing works best for short-term aggressive goals. It should be coupled with organic marketing so that when you stop investing in paid marketing, sales and revenue don’t dip.

Based on my 17 years of experience with hundreds of businesses, paid marketing and organic marketing work hand in hand and deliver the best results in the short and long term. PPC delivers results in the short term when organic marketing doesn’t move the needle. And once you start seeing results with organic marketing, you can pause PPC campaigns and switch completely to inbound marketing.

So ideally, you should use paid and organic marketing together for aggressive goals and sustainable growth.

Jeanna Barrett

Founder & Chief Marketing Expert for First Page


Jeanna is the Founder & Chief Marketing Expert for First Page, an award-winning, fully distributed growth marketing agency. Jeanna has a combined 17 years of inbound marketing experience at venture-backed startups, digital agencies, and Fortune 500 companies, with an expert focus on business and tech. She’s been named ‘Top 40 Under 40’ of brand marketers and ‘Best in the West’ for financial technology marketing. In 2016, Jeanna left the U.S. to lay roots and build her business in Belize, and in 2021 First Page was named #43 in the fastest-growing private companies of Inc. 5,000 Regionals: California.


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