Skip to content
Get Started
Get Started
Upper-funnel activation will be a major focus for brands in 2022
January 11, 2022 at 1:35 PM3 min read

Upper-funnel Activation will be a Major Focus for Brands in 2022

In 2020, we witnessed firsthand the acceleration of eCommerce and the rise of digital advertising as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, advertisers started to understand the importance of activating the entire marketing funnel in the digital landscape, and while full-funnel activation remains relevant today, a larger emphasis will be placed on top-of-funnel strategy in 2022.

Digital display and video will continue growing as popular digital formats for driving brand awareness, with video trending to grow 22.3% in 20221. Advertising on social commerce platforms, which allows shopper activation at multiple touch points throughout the shopping journey in addition to data attribution, will maintain its popularity throughout 2022, especially as micro influencers gain more power.

Increased spend on sponsored content and high-impact brand placements in 2021 signifies a shift in advertising priorities

The importance of digital brand marketing is enhanced by the current state of the supply chain. Inventory limitations mean that performance marketing may yield less return as a standalone marketing strategy. Instead, brands should be engaging current and new customers through brand awareness campaigns to stay top of mind.

Through content articles, digital display ads, video, social media, and more, brands will need to get creative in how they capture and keep the attention of their shoppers. In a 2021 survey from Wyzowl, 84% of respondents said they’ve been compelled to buy a product or service after watching a video, showcasing just how influential this format can be2. Gaining traction in the digital ad space, spending on programmatic display ads is expected to grow by 16.3%, according to eMarketer3.

On Slickdeals, we’ve seen increased media spend from advertisers4 on both high-impact brand placements as well as sponsored content:

  • Spend on all sponsored content placements increased 56% YoY
  • Spend on high-impact brand placements increased 47% YoY
  • Spend on digital display ads increased 107% YoY

Maintaining upper-funnel branding, especially in an ecosystem of micro influencers, is crucial to reaping the full benefits of social commerce activation. By implementing media that catered to top-of-funnel marketing on Slickdeals, we saw notable returns for our advertising partners in 2021: 

  • A large computers & components brand realized  a 17% YoY increase in onsite traffic to its deals
  • A popular apparel & activewear brand increased their market share by 10.55% QoQ, while securing the second most shopped brand in the competitive set
  • A major skincare brand realized a 371% increase in sales YoY in addition to a 270% YoY increase in market share within the Health & Beauty category onsite (compared to their top 5 competitors)

Retail media networks will focus on upper-funnel ad offerings

Retail media networks gained momentum in 2021 and with the absence of third-party cookies upon us, these networks are expected to grow substantially in 2022. eMarketer predicts that digital retail media advertising will grow by 31.4% this year to $41.37 billion5.

Brands interested in valuable first-party data and meaningful consumer insights are partnering directly with retailers to bolster their online and in-store ad presence with the goal to  gain greater return on investment. In a 2021 report released by Merkle, 62% of US CPG brands surveyed stated gaining access to a retailer’s first-party data was a main motivation for working with a retail media network. The second biggest motivation was better understanding the shopper at the retailer (51%)6.

As more retail-owned and eCommerce-owned media networks pop up, refinement in upper-funnel ad offerings used to drive discovery and awareness will be a top priority for 2022

Full-funnel activation with Slickdeals Advertising 

While Slickdeals excels in the discovery phase, our diverse suite of advertising solutions supports full-funnel activation. From the creation and distribution of sponsored content to high-impact media placements, Slickdeals Advertising works closely with brands to activate high-intent shoppers, strategically use first-party data, and deliver meaningful consumer insights. Download our media kit to learn more.


1Magna Global, “Digital vs. Traditional Ad Spending and Growth Worldwide, 2020-2022,” Dec 6, 2021

2Wyzowl, “State of Video Marketing Survey 2021,” 2021

3eMarketer, Programmatic Digital Display Ad Spending, November 2021

4Slickdeals, Internal Performance Data, 2020-2021

 5eMarketer, “Retail media networks hit their stride in 2021,” Jan 3, 2022

6Merkle, “The Evolution of RetailMedia Networks” conducted by Ugam, Oct 11, 2021