Transparent Growth Measurement (NPS)

Ad Campaign Strategies in Different Stages of Customer Funnel

Contributors: Amol Ghemud
Published: April 5, 2019

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Google Ads is a great platform from a sales perspective. You can get customers that are relevant to your business from anywhere in the whole world without having a physical presence there. Google sorts through a sea of users to show your ads to only those who may be potential buyers.

It is impossible to reach all the different types of target customers through one medium. Being a holistic marketing platform, Google provides a solid solution for this through different types of campaigns. A suitable campaign type can be selected on the basis of product or target customer.

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Ad Campaign Strategies

Messaging is the backbone of any marketing activity you need to send the right message to the right user in order to get his/her to visit your site to buy your product. This message is your ad and the medium through which you deliver this message is the type of campaign you choose.

Following are the campaigns that you can practice in Google Ads:

Search Campaigns

Ad Campaign Strategies
Search Campaigns

Image: Setting up search campaign

Just imagine you hear about a place and get curious about it. Your first impulse is to Google that term. “Just Google it” has become the answer to every unknown question it seems. So naturally faced with an unfulfilled need we go to Google to find a solution.

For example: googling best air conditioners under 30k.

This is where search ads come in whenever a user enters a search query he is directed towards the search engine result page. The top three and bottom four results on SERP are paid ads. The position of ads on SERP is considered on the basis of its ad rank.

Shopping Campaign

Ad Campaign Strategies
Search Campaigns

Image: Shopping campaign

If you are a retailer and have a lot of variety in the products that you offer then shopping campaign is for you. Shopping campaign works similarly to a search campaign with the addition of Google merchant center. GMC is the place where the real magic happens.

Shopping campaign may seem daunting to someone who only worked in creating search campaigns by doing deep keyword research. When you opt for shopping campaign, you have to fill a lot of details in Google merchant center about various facts and features of your products.

Product ID, product type, product category, product title, availability status, price and sale price are some of a long list of details that you have to provide. Unlike search campaigns, there is no need to create ads as shopping campaign ads are auto-generated based on the details you provide to Google merchant center.

Display campaign

Ad Campaign Strategies
Display campaign

Image: Display campaign

Whenever you visit a site have you ever noticed different ads that are placed throughout the page on the sides and sometimes in the middle of two paragraphs in the article. These ads are known as banner ads or display ads.

Banner ads often include a relevant eye-catching image with a message to attract customers. Sometimes these banners may not include any image whatsoever just text. The sites where these banners are shown are known as Google search partners a part of the large Google display network.

In search campaigns, Google uses the user query to show relevant ads. In the case of the display campaign, Google put the ads on sites that the potential leads will visit. For example, you will find ads for Gucci handbags on an article about the latest women fashion trends of 2019.

Youtube Campaign

Ad Campaign Strategies
Youtube Campaign

Image: Youtube campaign

Youtube campaigns is a whole different medium of advertising when compared to shopping and search campaigns. Youtube ads are primarily of two types one is a no skippable ad of 6 second and other is skippable ad after 5 seconds with longer duration.

Video has become the central focus for digital marketers because it is believed that a well placed and well-crafted video ads can create a very positive and long lasting image in the customer’s mind.

Youtube campaigns are more concerned with raising brand awareness as compared to sales. This also brings out the need for creative thinking the goal here is to create a long-lasting impact on viewers. Therefore being creative and different from the pack is imperative.

The Buyer funnel

Every user or buyer goes through a journey. This journey begins from stage one where buyer first realizes that there is a need or problem and ends at buyer finally purchasing a solution for that problem.

This journey is at the core of marketing and its various activities. This buyer journey is usually known as a buyer funnel. There are various models that interpret and explain this funnel or journey in their own way.

The funnel we shall use here is introduced by digital marketing guru Avinash Kaushik. This buyer funnel consists of there stages.

1. SEE


3. DO

Ad Campaign Strategies
The Buyer funnel

Image: Buyer funnel

If the buyer is in the first stage which is SEE then they are unaware of the need or problem and hence not aware that you are offering a solution and neither are searching for one. In the THINK stage buyer is aware of his need/problem and is actively searching and comparing different solutions. In the third and final stage of DO buyer is actively looking to purchase.

Now, whenever a new client comes for digital marketing they won’t be interested in the nuances of digital marketing. What they will be interested in is their KPIs let it be lead, Impression, etc. Clients are interested in ground results which can be computed in the real world in the form of an increase in sales/profit or increase in leads.

That’s why we shall start from the buyer stage which is closest to the end result or client’s  KPI which is the Do stage.


As mentioned before the do stage is the closest to the end result of the whole buyer funnel. This is because the buyer is ready to purchase. All you have to do that is to make sure that they purchase from you.

The buyer is in a condition where they know that there is a need/problem. They have done their respective research on the subject and are ready to purchase the best product/solution out there.

The goal here is to generate sales through directing do stage buyer towards own product/solution. In this segment target buyer would be the one with high purchase intent and they can be found through either search queries especially product searches or through browsing behavior like browsing different products on your site.

The people we are targeting in this section have already done their research and are ready to buy. Our goal is to make sure that they buy from us out of all other alternatives. But this may not be the easiest task.

There are various factors that can divert the buyer from your product/solutions. Price, delivery time, product brand, brand quality are few to name. All of these qualities and much more are needed to be liked by the customer in order to succeed in generating sales.

Campaigns and their strategies for Do stage:

Search campaign:

Search campaigns are usually the first to launch due to their highly relevant targeting and good conversion rate. When it comes to search campaigns there are various techniques that can be used to generate sales.

Brand name search campaigns are done on the basis of your brand name. This campaign targets keywords related to your own brand name. This campaign is usually less costly as compared to others.

Competitive brand name search campaigns are to target keywords based around your competitors’ brand name. Price may be relatively high compared to brand name campaigns.

If you are an e-commerce site and you have hundreds of different brands with various trademarked products. Here you can use the keywords around the brands available on your site. For example – Both Amazon and Flipkart sell products from various brands, therefore, they also bid on different brand keywords.

The cost and competition for these keywords are high as many other sites with similar products are biding on the same keyword. These keywords may be hard to get but they also are huge conversion bringers.

Remarketing campaign type is common among all campaigns. This is because not everyone who comes to your site will purchase on the first go. This is why remarketing is important as they remind these potential buyers of your product.

Shopping Campaigns:

In a shopping campaign, the major traffic will come from brand name campaign or the product brand name campaign. Just like the search campaign shopping campaign is based on user search query. So whenever users search for your brand name and product or search either separately they can find relevant result under shopping listing.

Display Campaigns:

Display campaigns are usually only for remarketing purposes. Meaning target people who have already been on site. Banners can be used to introduce these people to special offers or new designs that can entice them to buy.


In this stage of buyer funnel, the user/buyer is in research mode. Simply put the buyer knows that there is a need or problem and he needs to get a solution for the problem. This is done through research done by the buyer. This stage can also be called the research phase of a buyer.

The goal of campaigns in this stage is to attract potential customer to your site or made a long lasting impression in their mind. So that when they do consider to purchase a product your brand name/product name pops up first in their mind.

This can be done by bringing them to your site to see your products or get them to sign up for email updates. There may be some sales in this campaign but they will very costly. Therefore the main focus of campaigns in this stage is to grab attention not sales.

Messaging in this stage is pretty simple when it comes to the search medium but for youtube and display medium its a whole different story. The reason for this that in search a person put in the search query related to your product. As in case of display and youtube, the ads appear in the middle of a video ad which may or may not is related to the product.

Campaigns and their strategies for Think stage:

Search Campaign:

Unbranded search campaign targets keywords that are best related to your product. For example:

Patanjali, in this case, may target keywords like 100% organic toothpaste. One drawback is that these type of keywords are bid on by a lot of competitors which can raise the cost to a much higher extent.

Your ad should be able to back up your claim. If your ad says that you are selling organic Indian toothpaste and someone clicks and get in site to find a foreign made chemical-laced toothpaste then obviously they won’t be any more interactions.

Display Campaign

Display campaigns are especially useful in this stage as the primary goal is to grab the user’s attention. With display campaigns, it’s possible to use banners to show attractive discounts and offers on-site from GDN.

The display is also beneficial in audience targeting section with different criteria like geography, topic, demographic, affinity, etc. Similar audience option which lets you target the audience similar to the remarketing audience you have.

Youtube Campaign

There are various types of ad format available in youtube. But the basic idea is to create something that makes an impact on customer and leave a positive impression. All this in a short duration in the middle of an unrelated video.

Youtube ads are one of the most difficult ad media because of one reason and that is creativity. Creativity required to interrupt someone who is already consuming his favorite content and then nudge them towards our own desired brand.


See stage is the first stage but it is also the most unpredictable and difficult to navigate. In this stage, people are not even sure if they want to purchase at all. The primary and only goal of this stage is to introduce your brand to the people that’s it.

Since this is the first stage the targeting has to be wide. As there is no set audience that one must find this is where the search begins. The only valid criteria can be location or demographic. The goal in this stage is not at all to sell our product/service but only to introduce them to the people.

Campaigns and their strategies for See stage:

Display Campaign:

CTR of banner ads is terrible. This is a known fact in the Google Ads community. So if they aren’t going to click and come to my site then why should I invest time and money in the display banner ads.

The goal here is to raise awareness about a company. What is you and your company are specifically known for? What unique advantages you have over other companies in the same field. To make your product/brand familiar in customer’s mind.

Video Campaign:

Just like everything, display ads are also losing traction and soon will be rendered obsolete. The space that display ads will leave will be covered by video ads. Video ads have been fast growing in popularity due to its engaging and relatable content.

Video ads with good content that can make a good impression on the audience and leave a lasting impact can do wonders for you in SEE stage.


To sell something to someone, you must first understand the journey of the person who is your target customer. This will give you insight into your target customer’s needs, wants and desires. Which will, in turn, help you in making your approach in such a manner that it fulfills customer desire.

The same is true for Google Ads. The medium may vary but the goal is the same which is sales. Therefore this new funnel of see, think and do is best for a digital-based market. The campaigns and their strategies will help in targeting the desired customer to gain conversions and achieve sales goal.

About the Author

amol ghemud
Optimizer in Chief

Amol has helped catalyse business growth with his strategic & data-driven methodologies. With a decade of experience in the field of marketing, he has donned multiple hats, from channel optimization, data analytics and creative brand positioning to growth engineering and sales.

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