Go Full Funnel with Programmatic CTV & Native/Display Ads

In the forever changing world of digital marketing, it is important that we keep up with our consumers’ habits, interests, behaviors, and intentions. By utilizing a full funnel strategy, we are not only meeting the consumer where they are, but we are ultimately guiding them towards where they desire to be (a resolved need or pain point), and where we, as marketers, want them to be (purchasing our products or services).  

The Marketing Funnel

Stage 1: Awareness

 At the top of the funnel, the widest part, is awareness. At this stage, consumers are researching a need or pain point that they are experiencing but have not yet found a brand or product that can fulfill that. The main goal here is to create awareness towards a broad audience that makes the brand easily discoverable. 

 Stage 2: Consideration

 In the middle of the funnel, you have been noticed by the prospect and your brand is being considered. During this stage information is being sought and engagement begins to increase. The focus here is to provide relevant messaging that holds the consumers attention and separates your brand from the competition.  

 Stage 3: Conversion

The bottom of the funnel is conversion. At this time, you have taken your prospect through each phase of learning about your brand, and they are now ready to make a decision by filling out a form, completing a sale, downloading a template, etc. This is the end-goal for sales and marketing: a consumer is taking an action that 

Full Funnel Digital Marketing

 There are countless ways this funnel and associated marketing tactics can be customized to fit your brand’s needs and goals. We’re finding that one of the most efficient ways to achieve marketing at every stage of the funnel is by layering Programmatic CTV and Native/Display ads into your campaigns. Taking advantage of these tactics together ensures that you are reaching a new audience and supporting lead generation tactics to drive conversions. 

Programmatic CTV Plays a Unique Role

CTV pushes your brand towards an audience that is not watching TV in a traditional way, but is instead utilizing a streaming device like Xbox, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV that connects to a TV. CTV enables you to reach and discover vast audiences by making up more than 90% of online users. In the past 5 years, advertisers have increased spending in the programmatic space by $49 billion dollars. This is a desirable landscape to compete with other brands, while reaching your audience. Programmatic CTV contributed to ~50% of touchpoints along the path to conversion. Due to the reach and scale that CTV has to offer, it is one of the most effective ways to boost brand awareness (top of the funnel) and generate cost efficiencies amongst high-volume audiences.

Display + Native Ads Role

Image shows the difference between where native and display ads appear on websites.

Image sourced from WebFX

Display and Native ads contribute just as much to the path to conversion. While both are engaging ad formats, they do differ slightly:

  • Display Ads – drive the most efficient CPAs, are ideal for price and flexibility, offer the ability to do creative testing, and provide top of funnel prospecting + lower funnel retargeting, with an average CTR of .05%.
  • Native Ads – match the look, feel, and function of the website. This creative does not disturb the user’s experience and is exposing your brand in the audience’s trusted environment. Native ads average a CTR of .2%. Because Native is noninvasive to the user, the CTR is on average 300% higher than seen on Display ads.

In a case study compiled by Search Engine Watch, conversions peaked when Display was launched, and fell off after Display had ended. Conversion rates increased 52% while Display was running in tandem with lead-gen tactics. Not only did conversions increase, but reach (impressions) did as well, by 45%. 

At its Marketing Live event this year, Google shared the following statistic: “Advertisers who run Google Search and Google Display campaigns see 11% more Search ad conversions than similar advertisers running only Search ads.”

Clearly, Display ads offer dual functionality in the funnel: 

  1. Top of Funnel – prospecting display drives awareness and attracts new audiences 
  2. Bottom of Funnel – display retargeting generates conversions by reengaging with an audience that has shown interest but has not yet converted. 

Benefits of Utilizing Both CTV + Native/Display Campaigns

CTV and Native/Display ads are best used in conjunction to maximize campaign performance, efficiently spend budget, and make optimizations effectively. CTV and Display prospecting bring new top of funnel leads into the conversion funnel. By reaching users both where they are searching and watching, it not only creates extended audience reach that meets the user where they are, but also drives efficiencies among your KPI goals. With non-skippable videos and noninvasive display ads, users are exposed to your brand on desktop, tablet, mobile, and TV devices. For example, if a user is shown your brand’s ad while watching their favorite show on Hulu, they may not act right away. However, when that same user is scrolling or browsing on their phone or another device, your ads can continue to generate awareness and recognition outside of their watching habits.

As we follow the user through their journey in the funnel, we can utilize display retargeting to generate lower funnel conversions. Retargeting is not only proven to increase conversion rates up to 70%, but is one of the most efficient ways to make your brand’s dollars work for you. Display CPMs can be 1/10 of CTV CPMS, which means that money is reinvested into campaigns to extend reach and maximize efforts. For example, if a user is scrolling on a mobile device and clicks on the ad, but does not yet act on a site, they are grouped into a specific audience. That audience is then retargeted, with a specific message, that will then hopefully drive them to convert or act on the site. By utilizing a retargeting message, your brand is creating a customized experience for a user that has already been exposed to your brand earlier in their journey. This creates trust and credibility between the brand and the user.

By layering both CTV and Display/Native ads into your brands campaign, you can fuel the top of the funnel with the help of CTV and Prospecting Display by reaching a high volume of new users. You can then retain that audience by utilizing a bottom of the funnel tactic, Display Retargeting, to increase your brands conversion volume and drive quality sales and leads.

See the Numbers

Our partners at Wild Birds Unlimited are seeing the results from our strategic, layered approach to programmatic media. Check out the (award-nominated) case study of their winter holiday campaigns.


The consumer journey and digital behaviors are changing each and every day – to ensure you are keeping up with your competitors and staying in front of your desired audience, you must take advantage of getting in front of your audience at the right place and the right time. That is why we recommend layering CTV with Display/Native ads in your digital campaign strategy and execution.






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