Consider the last time a customer interacted with your brand? Did they attend an in-store launch event? Was it a pop-up in a major city? Chances are, it wasn’t a big-budget activation, instead your customer probably stopped scrolling, saw a product ad on Instagram, and landed on your website. While the digital consumer journey is sprawling and complicated, a large part of your customer’s touchpoints are through product ads.
Even if the main objective for performance campaigns is to drive traffic and ultimately conversions, marketers also need to assess the design from the brand lens, too. With so many ads in the market space, your brand might be the only point of differentiation between you and your competitors.
While we won’t go into all the ways the pandemic impacted digital shopping behavior, it’s worth noting that having more online brands gives shoppers endless options, which doesn’t spell good news for brand loyalty. In many everyday categories, the deciding factor in the moment of purchase is brand salience. In other words, is your brand top-of-mind when the shopper is about to type in their credit card details or reaches for the product in the supermarket? According to McKinsey’s 2020 study The Great Consumer Shift, 36% of US consumers have tried a different or new brand and 79% intend to continue switching the brands. Your brand plays a role in either securing or losing the finicky customer of today.
The performance benefits of lower-funnel branding
Upper-funnel activities start the relationship with the consumer so brands invest time and money in making the creative assets stand out. Take the branding you are running across digital awareness campaigns and extend the look-feel to your lower-funnel campaigns to ensure a consistent brand experience from start to finish. Not nearly enough brands are doing this today, so your branded product creatives will become a competitive asset against competitors running images pulled raw from a product feed.
If the 2010s were the Wild West of programmatic, media optimization, and the rise of growth marketing on social media, the 2020s are proverbially taking us back to The Madison Avenue. Well, kind of. With privacy changes limiting how granular you can get with targeting (looking at you, Apple), creative becomes an increasingly critical lever to capturing attention. And as we know, attention converts into dollars. According to a 2021 Forbes study, consistent branding across the funnel can increase revenue by 23%.
Here are some common use cases to driving performance with lower-funnel branding:
- Personalization: create unique templates that match customer interests and behavior. If a shopper signals interest in dresses for wedding guests, for instance, a fashion retailer could then serve them a dynamic product ad with specific messaging and designs that relate to that use case.
- Evergreen campaigns: e-commerce brands running always-on customer acquisition can enhance their product catalogs to promote branded ads without having to create each visual one by one.
- Retargeting: Create specific templates to retarget your website or mobile app shoppers to remind them of items they viewed but didn’t buy.
- Creative testing: Find your winning design and storytelling approaches that match your performance KPIs by scaling creative testing with the help of automation.
Real success stories from brands using Celtra
While the studies show that branding and creativity positively impacts sales, we have really seen that promise come to life through companies using Creative Automation for Dynamic Product Ads, take a look:
- A leading consumer electronics brand drove 7x higher ROAS with enriched Dynamic Product Ads during one of their busiest sales seasons.
- A beloved apparel brand added campaign branding and design elements to their catalog to drive 47% higher ROAS while lowering cost-per-click by 52%.
- A cult streetwear company supercharged their performance creative variety with multiple messaging approaches and produced over 100,000 variants in less than two weeks.
Interested in getting started? Read more about our DPA solution and get in touch. We are also publishing performance-focused interviews on the Brand-Side podcast so listen and follow for insights on performance branding.