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Creative Throughout the Funnel

Did you know that 70% of a campaign’s performance is a direct result of the creative execution itself? If you didn’t, then you should read on to learn more about the different creative approaches you can take to ensure you are maximising the impact that creative has through the different stages of the conversion funnel.

Marketing funnel - awareness


At the first stage in the funnel, you want to be driving brand awareness and creating that buzz around your product or service. This requires a mixture of storytelling, education and a dash of entertainment. This could appear in the form of lifestyle imagery that shows how your product would be used and what effect it could have on your user, maybe supported by video that grabs attention through humour or high-quality production. If budgets allow, why not take this a step further and create an interactive game or quiz that engages the user in something fun but also memorable. 


Let’s take a smartwatch as our example product; the creative here could show a video of the different daily tasks someone does and how it can adapt to those different needs. Being on time for their business meetings by syncing their calendar, going food shopping after work and being prompted what is on their list and finally leaving the stresses of the day behind by going for a run and tracking their distance covered. This could also have a humorous twist to it that would keep a user watching from start to finish. 


This could appear as a pre-roll unit on YouTube to maximise reach. Our persona John, sees this ad while browsing videos on YouTube on his desktop, but doesn’t click through.

Marketing funnel - interest


The second stage in the funnel would show a creative that is slightly more informative, with in-situ product imagery showing how it would look or work in its intended environment. This would help potential customers visualise owning the product and really start to persuade them to learn more about the benefits and why they need it in their lives.


This time the smartwatch could be displayed in a 360 image gallery that users could swipe to see different views and learn about some of the cool features available. This would lead to an increase in interaction rate and help users remember the product. By increasing their interest we begin to push them further down the funnel from a general state of awareness to actually considering to purchase.


At this stage the ad could appear as a mobile web interstitial with an image gallery that is full of interactive elements for the user to explore. John is browsing on his mobile and engages with the ad for some time.

Marketing funnel - consideration


The third stage is again going to be highlighting the benefits and features of the product but in a more persuasive and direct way. This could be displayed through ‘how-to’ videos or user reviews which would help to sell the product to the user as they will probably be considering other brands at this stage as well.


Here you could display a video showing the user what they can do with the watch, any tips or other cool features. Or even get famous bloggers/vloggers to review the product and share their thoughts through social posts and help promote to others in that same consideration stage. 


John is now at home on his tablet and is served a billboard size ad unit featuring video on his favourite gadget site. He watches to the end and clicks through to learn more.

Marketing funnel - purchase


The purchase stage will rely on targeting users that have already expressed an interest in the product. The messaging will be very direct-response with ‘buy now’ and ‘shop now’ calls to action. Imagery will be just of the product and very clear without complex graphics or jazzy backgrounds, with the focus on copy and persuading the user to purchase.


Here we could show the smartwatch in crisp studio lighting so that the user immediately recognises it and pair it with an attention-grabbing headline. As well as listing a single selfish benefit as to why they need to own it and a clear ‘buy now’ call to action.  


Using dynamic creative we could remarket to users with a high level of personalisation, showing them the exact spec and model of the product that they’ve previously viewed on site. This would be through a combination of mobile and desktop ad units. John sees the ad on his mobile again which reinforces his decision to buy the watch, so he can now track his running miles and remember to buy those avocados on offer.

Marketing funnel - loyalty


The last stage in the funnel is to remarket to users with a creative to get them to purchase again. This usually involves direct messaging and calls to action, with product imagery and branding that the user will recognise. Offers or discounts are also usually promoted at this stage to reward existing customers for their loyalty and persuade them to purchase again or cross sell in related products or other services like insurance. 


In our smartwatch example, this could mean leading the creative with a brand image or showing the product they have purchased to draw their attention, followed by direct messaging and giving them a discount offer for watch accessories, or how about a referral code whereby they and a friend can benefit from a discount if they get someone else to make a purchase. A month later John sees an ad with a discount code for loyal customers when buying a second watch. He purchases again, this time for his partner. Now they both can’t stop competing for the most steps walked each week!


Again, we’d use dynamic creative here to remarket to users who’ve purchased before. This would be across display and social.  


To know what creative idea to use at each funnel stage you have to enter the mind of your persona and think about where, when and what they will want to see in an ad as they go through the different stages to conversion. This will help you plan out your campaign strategy and choose the right formats, ultimately giving you that great performance!