Many advertisers view programmatic as primarily a conversion-driving, lower-funnel marketing activity. Certainly, in-depth reporting, a variety of measurement tools, and new attribution models make the medium highly effective for driving and tracking conversions. However, more and more advertisers today are on the hunt to partner with a programmatic platform that can effectively target consumers throughout all stages of their purchasing journey – especially in the initial, awareness phase.
Recently, a frozen food manufacturer was looking to do just that – build awareness around two brands of healthy frozen meals, including a newly launched product line. Their challenge was to target shoppers who were unfamiliar with their brands in order to bring them into the sales funnel. Additionally, they wanted to reach consumers who were already cognizant of their brands to promote the new product line and guide them from the awareness stage into the consideration stage.
They needed a programmatic advertising partner that could effectively reach their intended audience in the early stages of the purchasing journey and continue targeting them into the consideration stage. Ultimately, they chose Simpli.fi to take advantage of a comprehensive set of targeting tactics that allowed them to reach their unique market and serve the right ad to the right person at the ideal time.
Successfully targeting those who had never been to their website or may have never purchased frozen foods before would be a challenge. However, the use of Simpli.fi’s unstructured data would allow them to target users based on individual, relevant data elements and then optimize the campaign throughout its duration to maximize the highest performing features and prevent wasted impressions. Their goals were to maximize reach and impression delivery and to achieve a 0.1% CTR.
Simpli.fi and the advertiser developed a strategy to engage grocery consumers during the awareness and consideration stages of the marketing lifecycle. The campaign featured geo-fencing, search retargeting, category contextual targeting, and site retargeting to reach relevant shoppers who may not be familiar with the brands.
First, the team drew geo-fences around individual grocery stores in which the manufacturer’s products were sold to reach relevant grocery shoppers. Next, Simpli.fi created custom keyword and category lists to reach users who were searching for and reading about food- related items to bring them into the purchasing funnel. Additionally, the campaign featured site retargeting to reinforce the messaging and promote the new product line to users who already know the manufacturer’s brands and have visited their website. Like many upper-funnel programmatic advertisers, the frozen food company wanted to use their existing video assets to focus on branding, while also enjoying the added benefits of improved targeting and measurement compared to traditional TV advertising. Therefore, each targeting tactic supported a combination of display, video, and native ads to reach users across channels and mediums.
After campaign launch, Simpli.fi made midflight adjustments to improve performance and maximize reach. These included optimizing keywords to find users who were more likely to click on the ads, and setting up geo-specific campaigns to increase impression delivery in under-serving cities. Finally, the team ran A/B testing to determine which creative units were proving the most successful and shifted budget to the highest-performing ads.
Over the course of seven months, Simpli.fi tripled the initial campaign goal with a CTR of 0.3%. The advertiser reported positive lift in awareness and sales of the two brands as well as the new product line. In fact, the campaign has outperformed programmatic campaigns from other platforms and the company continues to shift budget to the Simpli.fi campaign from other upper-funnel marketing efforts.
The Key Takeaways
While traditional media maintains a stronghold on upper-funnel advertising activities, programmatic is uniquely positioned for branding and awareness campaign success. Here are some key benefits of upper-funnel programmatic:
Simpli.fi’s use of unstructured data allows for real-time optimizations to help make the necessary adjustments to ensure maximum campaign performance throughout the entire duration of the campaign.
Access to detailed reporting at the keyword and domain level reveals insights that can help guide other marketing efforts.
The capability to utilize existing video assets with CTV/OTT to reach a unique group of engaged consumers who are watching video across device types.
Interested in learning more about how upper-funnel programmatic can work for you? Reach out to us at email@example.com.