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Lost in a sea of ad tech? Here’s how to pick your partners across the funnel

By Bernal Mazaira | Senior Paid Media Director



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September 14, 2023 | 7 min read

Thanks to a wealth of platforms and approaches, the digital advertising landscape can be a daunting quagmire. Here’s Artefact’s Bernal Mazaira to help us through the paid media funnel.

A small boat, at sea

Ad tech got your head spinning? Artefact's here to guide you through platforms and partners / Adam Azim via Unsplash

Choosing the right ad tech partner in the vast sea of digital advertising options can be overwhelming. That’s where the paid media funnel comes into play as your navigational guide. It's a four-stage roadmap that starts with grabbing attention, moves to cultivating interest, escalates to creating desire, and culminates in driving action or sales.

Budget considerations are also crucial. With smaller budgets, you’ll likely focus on key revenue drivers like Meta, Google Ads, and Amazon Ads. As your budget expands, your ad tech stack grows in complexity, opening doors for more innovative placements and a wider range of demand-side platforms (DSPs) like DV360, The Trade Desk, and Amazon DSP.

1. Attention: Casting a wide net

The goal here is simple: make your brand visible to a broad audience.

You can use programmatic display ads on platforms like DV360, The Trade Desk or Amazon DSP for precise targeting based on user interests and behavior. Social media giants like Facebook and Instagram offer unique ways to reach diverse groups. Video platforms like YouTube and TikTok excel in grabbing attention through visual storytelling.

Meanwhile, native advertising through Taboola or Outbrain seamlessly integrates your content into popular websites, and geotargeted ads via DV360 can capture attention in specific locations. Don’t overlook the power of audio advertising on platforms like Spotify and Amazon Music, especially given the rising popularity of podcasts.

In essence, the aim is to cast as wide a net as possible to attract potential customers. From precision targeting with programmatic ads to the unique engagement offered by social media and video platforms, you have plenty of options to make sure your brand stands out.

2. Interest: nurturing the curious

After grabbing attention, the focus shifts to maintaining interest. Retargeting via Meta Ads Manager and YouTube keeps you on the radar of previously engaged users. DV360 excels in targeting in-market audiences – those already considering products like yours. Interactive quizzes from Outgrow or Typeform offer dual benefits: engagement and audience insights. Affiliate marketing through ShareASale or CJ Affiliate expands your reach, while search engine marketing (SEM) via Google Ads captures high-intent users. For complex SEM needs, SA360 is your go-to.

The objective? Keep your brand top-of-mind and tap into already-interested communities and platforms.

3. Desire: making them want it

At this stage, you're not just keeping potential customers interested; you're making them crave what you offer. Amazon Sponsored Ads are your go-to for users already in a shopping mindset on Amazon. For a more personalized touch, Mailchimp or HubSpot can help you send tailored emails that offer exclusive deals or product recommendations.

DV360’s advanced retargeting features are perfect for reminding users about products they've shown interest in, keeping your offerings at the top of their minds. And when it comes to users actively looking to buy, Google Ads’ Shopping Ads are invaluable.

Your aim here is to make your product so irresistible that potential customers move from merely wanting it to feeling they absolutely need it.

4. Action: Closing the deal

When it comes to action, the goal is straightforward: convert interest into sales. Google Ads and Bing Ads are ideal for brand campaigns that target users on the brink of making a purchase. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive strategy, Performance Max campaigns through Google Ads and SA360 use machine learning to optimize your ads across platforms, ensuring you don’t miss out on any conversion opportunities.

And let’s not forget the importance of a smooth checkout process. Platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce offer features that minimize cart abandonment by making the final steps of the buying process as frictionless as possible.

Here, it’s about using highly targeted ads, optimizing the checkout experience, and leveraging machine learning to ensure you close the deal when the customer is ready to act.

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5. Measuring success: The foundation of growth

When starting small, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is great for event-based tracking, and Salesforce integrates with your marketing efforts for a unified view. Campaign Manager 360 (CM360) offers a holistic view of your ad performance across multiple channels, weighing impressions up to better measure your programmatic activity.

As you scale, you’ll need more robust solutions like GCP, Azure, or AWS for advanced analytics and data governance. For those looking to grow online with unified tracking solutions, Google’s Marketing Platform solutions like GA4 360, DV360, CM360, and SA360 are highly integrated between channels and easy to scale.

Picking the right ad tech partner is about aligning your specific goals with the capabilities of the platform. Whether you’re a small business focusing on key revenue-driving channels or a growing enterprise investing in advanced data governance, the right ad tech can make all the difference. Choose wisely, measure meticulously, and watch your business soar.

Marketing Ad Tech Digital Marketing

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