Look to the top of the funnel, marketers– long-term brand value awaits

There’s a gentle yet critical shift in the digital advertising world that is beginning to make some serious waves. Any idea what we’re talking about? Well you’re about to find out: digital ad spend is shifting up the marketing funnel from performance towards branding, and marketers are beginning to reap the long-term rewards of splashing the cash on awareness, as well as consideration and conversion.

Want to know more? Well then pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable and let’s take a look at why you should be diverting money further up the funnel.

The story so far: performance top of the pile

For quite some time performance marketing has been the darling of the digital ad industry, right? The ability to use data to target consumers in the lower reaches of the marketing funnel with short campaigns for quick conversions has historically proved a recipe for success - a smash-and-grab tactic that’s paid dividends for the last handful of years. The problem is, as Bob famously sings, the times they are a-changin’, and in a post-pandemic world advertisers are looking for fresh, meaningful ways to engage with consumers and spread their brand message. The result is an industry-wide trend of spending moving towards the top of the funnel, and the benefits that come from long-term brand building.

Brand lift: the comeback king

So, we’ve seen that the industry has historically been over-reliant on performance marketing, and the result is long-term brand goals have been ignored. The result? A destabilised marketing funnel, heavily weighted towards short-term conversions.

The pandemic exacerbated this problem. With physical shops closed, marketers have compensated by pointing their budgets towards quick wins and pulling the trigger to increase conversions. The slow death of the cookie also means that marketers can no longer rely on data to target their audiences, and we’re seeing a (very welcome) return to what has always worked best in the business of seeking attention: fantastic advertising creative.

Advertisers are now looking to the top of the funnel to address these issues and go after sustainable brand growth, and the beauty of it is that this benefits the whole funnel. After all, it’s unlikely consumers will be excited by a product launch if they’ve never heard of your company. You need to engage your customers early in the funnel with content that aligns with their experiences and beliefs to build positive brand association. This means that by the time they reach the conversion end of the funnel, they will be primed to back your brand.

High impact: boosting brand success

These days, consumers are a winning combination of savvy and demanding. Research has found that 52% of people have come to expect personalised ad offers, and as many as 43% are actively using ad blockers, so getting your brand message across has its challenges. The good news is, high impact and rich media ads offer very nice returns when it comes to brand lift. Snapchat indicates that the use of high impact ads on its platform boosts brand awareness by 2.1x, and Google reports that 65% of video ads on YouTube see an average brand awareness lift of 17%.


Here at Adnami, we provide fantastic high impact ad formats that act as a canvas on which you can tell your brand stories in emotive colours, images, copy and video. And the best thing is, they really work! But don’t take our word for it: research shows that creative execution contributes to 56% of sales generated from digital advertising. High impact ads also gain (on average) 10x more attention than traditional formats such as banner ads. Let’s take a quick look at some of the best high impact formats out there for brand-building:

Skin: These large, colourful formats grab the attention with their sheer size. Here, Smarties has used bright colours, clever animation and a video to draw the eye. Notice there is no hard-sell, or lower funnel activation, but instead a sustainability brand message. Skin - Adnami Preview.


Desktop midscroll: Audi’s ad interrupts your reading rhythm and grabs your attention with a gorgeous creative that draws your focus from the restrained landscape toward the car and model. The long nature of the format means it takes some time to scroll past, encouraging more ‘eyes-on’ time. Adnami Preview - Desktop Midscroll.


Video expander: We all know about the power video holds over our attention, and this format turns it up to ten with its ability to engage our focus and deliver its message. The pop-out player instantly engages us, and the countdown timer lets us know the video is about to play, so if we’re not interested it's easy to simply scroll past. Adnami Preview - VideoExpander.


Summary: the magic ratio is 60/40

Well, that’s it from us. The truth is that these days the line between performance marketing and brand building is blurring hard, and it’s blurring fast. But finding a balance between long-term brand building and short-term campaigns to drive sales is what full-funnel activity is all about.

Just remember: weighing your spend towards brand over performance (60/40) will give you the best chance of engendering long-term growth as a company. And don’t forget, if you need a hand getting started with high impact advertising, and learning how it can help build your brand, just give us a shout by filling out this form here.