How digital ad platforms are competing for full-funnel marketing

Digital advertising platforms are constantly evolving to offer brands more ways to reach and engage with potential customers. One of the latest trends is the focus on full-funnel marketing, which aims to target consumers at every stage of their purchase journey, from awareness to conversion.

What is full-funnel marketing and why is it important?

Full-funnel marketing is a strategy that uses different types of ads and content to address the needs and interests of consumers at different stages of the funnel. The funnel is a model that describes how consumers move from being unaware of a brand or product, to becoming interested, considering, and finally purchasing it.

How digital ad platforms are competing for full-funnel marketing
How digital ad platforms are competing for full-funnel marketing

Full-funnel marketing is important because it helps brands build relationships with consumers throughout the shopping journey, and not just at the point of sale. By providing relevant and engaging experiences at each stage, brands can increase awareness, consideration, loyalty, and retention. Full-funnel marketing also helps brands measure the effectiveness of their campaigns across different channels and platforms, and optimize their return on ad spend (ROAS).

How are digital ad platforms ramping up their full-funnel ad strategies?

According to a recent Nielsen meta-analysis of CPG campaigns, full-funnel strategies see up to 45% higher ROI and 7% increases in offline sales compared to marketing campaigns across a single purchase stage. This has motivated digital ad platforms to develop and launch new ad units and tools that cater to different parts of the funnel.

For example, Amazon, which started with pay-per-click search ads and banner ads that targeted consumers who were ready to buy, is now expanding its ad offerings to reach consumers who are not actively shopping. The e-commerce giant is bringing ads to Prime Video, its streaming service that has over 200 million subscribers worldwide. Amazon is also running streaming TV ads on Freevee, a free video platform that offers live and on-demand content. These ads are designed to increase brand awareness and desirability among upper-funnel audiences.

Google, on the other hand, which launched with Google AdWords, a search-based ad platform that targeted consumers who were looking for information or solutions, is now enhancing its ad products to drive conversions and loyalty among lower-funnel audiences. Google has introduced new features such as customer match, which allows brands to upload their own customer data and target them with personalized ads across Google properties. Google has also launched performance max campaigns, which use machine learning to optimize bids and placements across Google’s inventory, including YouTube, Gmail, Discover, and Display Network.

Other digital ad platforms, such as Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook, are also competing for full-funnel marketing dollars by offering new ad formats and tools that appeal to different consumer segments and behaviors. For instance, Pinterest has integrated with Amazon to allow users to shop directly from pins without leaving the app. Snapchat has launched dynamic ads that automatically create and update product catalogs based on real-time inventory data. TikTok has partnered with Shopify to enable merchants to create and run shoppable video ads on the viral video app. Facebook has rolled out shops, which let users browse and buy products from their favorite brands within the social network.

What are the benefits and challenges of full-funnel marketing for brands?

Full-funnel marketing offers many benefits for brands that want to reach and influence consumers at every touchpoint of their shopping journey. Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased brand awareness and recall: By exposing consumers to different types of ads and content across multiple channels and platforms, brands can increase their visibility and recognition among potential customers.
  • Improved brand perception and preference: By delivering relevant and engaging experiences that match the needs and interests of consumers at different stages of the funnel, brands can improve their image and reputation among target audiences.
  • Enhanced customer loyalty and retention: By providing consistent and personalized interactions that foster trust and satisfaction among existing customers, brands can increase their repeat purchases and referrals.

However, full-funnel marketing also poses some challenges for brands that need to plan and execute effective campaigns across different digital ad platforms. Some of the challenges include:

  • Data integration and attribution: Brands need to collect and analyze data from various sources and platforms to understand how their campaigns are performing across the funnel. They also need to attribute conversions and sales to the right channels and platforms that influenced them.
  • Creative optimization and testing: Brands need to create and test different types of ads and content that suit the formats and features of each platform. They also need to optimize their creative assets based on the feedback and behavior of their target audiences.
  • Budget allocation and management: Brands need to allocate and manage their budgets across different platforms based on their goals and ROAS. They also need to adjust their spending based on the performance and competition of each platform.

Full-funnel marketing is a powerful strategy that can help brands connect with consumers at every stage of their purchase journey. However, it requires careful planning, execution, measurement, and optimization across different digital ad platforms. Brands that can master full-funnel marketing can gain a competitive edge in the digital advertising landscape.

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