Upper Funnel Marketing

23 May 2023
23 May 2023
3 min read

With the impending shift of ‘Cookiegeddon’, it’s crucial to revisit our marketing strategies and gauge their efficacy. In the realm of advertising, we’re particularly focusing on how to cater to clients' needs and quantify the overall effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

Marketing Strategies

A commonly used metaphor for marketing strategy is a ‘funnel’ divided into three sections: the upper, middle, and lower tiers. As you move from the top to the bottom of the funnel, evaluating the cost-effectiveness of media spends becomes progressively difficult.

The ‘upper’ part of the marketing funnel is where you drive awareness and brand recognition. This could involve traditional mediums like TV, radio, billboards, or modern online platforms, engaging in content marketing, using social media for engagement and promotion, or employing public relations to generate interest in the brand or product. The goal here is to establish a positive connection between the brand and the potential customer, stimulating curiosity and interest.

The ‘middle’ of the marketing funnel entails educating potential customers about the brand or product. This can involve sharing in-depth information about a product or service, demonstrating its workings, or showcasing customer testimonials or reviews. Techniques such as email marketing or retargeting ads can be highly effective in nurturing leads and guiding them towards a purchase.

Finally, the ‘lower’ part of the marketing funnel focuses on driving conversions and making sales. This might involve product demonstrations, promotional offers or discounts, or creating a sense of urgency through limited-time offers. It is here that conversion optimization techniques and analytics tools come into play, helping to measure the success of these tactics and providing insights for improvements. The end goal is to transform leads into paying customers, thereby generating revenue.

A good example of these differences is comparing an Apple ad, which only presents an Apple logo at the end (creating brand recognition), with an Instagram ad for a boots store, where the effectiveness can be directly measured by daily sales.

Reviving Statistical Analysis: Mixed Media Model & Geo-testing

With the inability to track every interaction through cookies, we must revert to the statistical analysis methods of yore. A popular technique is the mixed media model (MMM), which uses regression to correlate engagement metrics like spend, impressions, etc., with a target metric such as sales. By contrasting these variables, we can discern their impact and examine their efficacy over specific periods.

Additionally, we can employ test and learn scenarios using geographical data. This involves running ad campaigns in chosen markets with control and test sets for a duration of six months to assess the value of upper funnel marketing.


As ‘Cookiegeddon’ is on the horizon, it is imperative for marketers to reassess how they determine the effectiveness of their upper funnel marketing strategies. Although quantifying the impact of top-of-funnel tactics like brand recognition ads may be challenging, statistical analysis methods like the mixed media model can offer significant insights. Coupled with geo-testing, these methods provide valuable data about the worth of upper funnel marketing. As we continue to adapt to changes in cookie tracking, exploring alternative methods to measure marketing effectiveness becomes paramount to ensure we’re using our media spends efficiently.

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