Player Engagement: A Full Funnel Advertising Approach in Gaming

August 3, 2023
4 mins

In today's highly competitive market, you need a foolproof strategy to capture and convert potential customers. 💪

The marketing funnel, also known as the sales funnel, outlines a customer's journey from awareness to conversion. This approach allows you to target customers at each stage – known as a “full-funnel” approach – so that they remain engaged with your brand.

There is still scepticism about gaming advertising's full-funnel capabilities. However, research shows that, in spite of only accounting for an average of 5% of advertising budgets, experienced advertisers have achieved tremendous success at every stage. 

In this article, we look at the potential of taking a full-funnel approach to game advertising. We also dig deeper into the misconceptions of advertisers and find out why it’s important to invest in gaming advertising. 

Power of Full Funnel Marketing in Gaming

As a marketer, it's crucial to engage with your audience throughout their journey with your brand, from initial awareness to eventual conversion. This process, often visualized as a funnel, is especially relevant in the dynamic world of gaming.

The marketing funnel consists of three key stages:

  1. Awareness Stage: The top of the funnel, where potential gamers first encounter your product. The aim here is to pique interest and introduce your game. The goal is to generate interest and make your target audience aware of the solution you offer. 
  2. Consideration Stage: This is the middle of the funnel, where customers actively weigh up the pros and cons of committing to a product or service. They compare it to competitors, read reviews, and assess its value in their lives. 
  3. Conversion Stage: This is the bottom of the funnel, where customers are incentivised with, for example, discounts and added benefits. This should encourage them to follow through on a clear call to action. 

Focusing solely on the top of the funnel can lead to initial interest but low conversion rates. A full-funnel approach, however, ensures you engage with potential gamers at every stage of their journey.

This strategy is particularly effective in game advertising. By engaging with gamers throughout their experience, you can foster a deeper connection and increase the likelihood of conversion.

At iion, we make it our priority to give your customers a full-funnel experience. Find out how we can transform your revenue with an effective ad strategy in the gaming industry. 

Why Brands and Advertisers Should Take a Full-Funnel Approach in Gaming

Consider the impact of your brand being part of a gamer's experience, like a climbable in-game banner ad in Fortnite or rewarded ads offering extra XP in Call of Duty.  

A recent consumer research report by Newzoo found that not only did 50% of gamers discover new brands while gaming, and 47% are more likely to support a brand they've encountered in-game.

Despite recognising the potential of gaming advertising, many marketers hesitate to fully invest due to misconceptions about its full-funnel capabilities.

In particular, there’s a big misconception about the full-funnel capabilities of game advertising. According to research by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), marketers believe that it doesn’t deliver on key objectives throughout the funnel.

However, the report dispels this misconception and explains that experienced advertisers are achieving success at every stage of the marketing funnel. 

The gaming advertising landscape offers immense opportunities. By delivering timely, relevant messages, brands can make a lasting impression on a highly engaged, yet largely untapped market segment.

By extending your gaming advertising to incorporate a full-funnel approach rather than a partial-funnel approach, you stand to gain the following benefits: 

  • Enhanced Player Engagements: By connecting with gamers throughout the gaming universe, generates long-term interest. Beyond a fleeting connection, it's about maintaining touchpoints, like when they watch their favourite streamer endorse your product.
  • Increased Conversion Rates: Familiarity breeds conversion. If gamers don't know your product, they won't convert. Similarly, if you vanish post-introduction, they'll forget your brand. A full-funnel approach builds strong relationships with gamers, priming them for conversion.
  • Unified Customer Journey: Gamers value authenticity. A full-funnel approach offers a cohesive, seamless experience, making your brand feel like part of their community, fostering trust, adoption, and long-term loyalty.

Understanding the power of a full-funnel approach in gaming advertising allows brands to intersect gamers at crucial points in their journey, fostering meaningful connections.

Level Up: Why You Should Add Game Advertising to Your Marketing Strategy 

How To Engage Players: The Game Marketing Funnel

One of the most effective ways to approach the game marketing funnel is to align it with the core gaming environments: In Game, Around the Game, and Away from the Game. Have a look at how you can incorporate this into your marketing strategy: 

1. Top of Funnel: In Game

In-game advertising is when a brand advertises to gamers while they’re playing a game. These ads are usually integrated into the game itself, and it doesn’t disrupt gameplay. 

For example, just before the release of a popular fantasy-adventure film, Pete’s Dragon,  Disney partnered with RapidFire to help promote the movie in games. They geo-targeted Portugal and the ads appeared as banners in several games. 

EMBED: Pete's Dragon (2016 Film) In-Game Advertising Campaign - by RapidFire 

This campaign created awareness about the upcoming film and planted the first seed that may have eventually sprouted into a conversion.

Top-of-funnel marketing relies on captivating and attention-grabbing creatives to effectively engage gamers and make a memorable impression. 

Eye-catching visuals, compelling storytelling, and interactive elements can be used to stand out in the gaming environment.

If done correctly, in-game ads will capture the attention of gamers during their immersive experiences and nudge them towards an authentic connection with your brand. 

If you’re looking for a partner to help you create effective in-game campaigns, reach out to iion. We have extensive experience in this industry and we can advise you on the best way to introduce yourself to the gaming community.  

2. Middle of Funnel: Away from the Game

Once you’ve made the initial connection with gamers, you can keep their attention by showing up away from the game. This is when gamers engage with gaming-related content while they’re not actively playing games. 

Your brand could, for example, partner with a game influencer or streamer to promote your brand to gamers who are still in an accessible space, such as Twitch or YouTube

In 2017, when Rocket League, a popular football game with flying cars, had become widely acclaimed among streamers, PepsiCo decided to get in on the action. 

Pepsi sponsored an off-season eSports tournament, where they promoted their iced tea products using the slogan “Take the risk, drink the Brisk”. 

This advertising helps nurture potential customers who have already shown interest in the brand or product. Gamers can see first-hand how fellow players respond to drinking Brisk, giving them more information to evaluate the product. In essence, the tournament hosts were delivering a live review of Brisk.  

3. Bottom of Funnel: Around the Game

Finally, once your target audience has been exposed to the product and offered more information about it, it’s time to make your sale. 

One of the best places to do this is around the game, which is when gamers are still engaged with their chosen games, but not actively playing. Ads in this environment are shown on loading screens and menus as players navigate around their in-game worlds. 

The fashion giant, Gucci, decided to create a two-week fashion installation, known as Gucci Garden, inside Roblox in 2021. Alongside this, they also made a unique range of in-game clothing that was sold in the Roblox marketplace. 

Just like Gucci’s real-life brand, they made these items extremely exclusive by only allowing a limited number of each item sold. 

Source: Roblox

If players had seen billboards of Gucci in-game and watched a streamer boast about their new Gucci jacket away from the game, then this was their chance to finally acquire Gucci themselves. 

This is often the stage of the funnel where discounts and exclusive deals are offered to help push gamers to purchase. To get the best results, it’s important to have a clear call to action so that gamers know where they can navigate to get your product or service. 

Beyond the Funnel: Build Loyalty and Encourage Advocacy

Gamig audiences are  known to be loyal to brands that make a genuine connection with them, which means that you may have earned a lifelong customer. 

The key to winning a gamer's support lies in your brand's authenticity. Show them your commitment to their community, and they'll become long-term champions of your brand.

On top of this, you can keep nurturing your relationship with them by, for example, providing excellent post-purchase support and exclusive loyalty programmes. This is known as going “beyond the funnel” and it’s the glue that keeps gamers and brands together for life. 

This can be done in any of the gaming environments. For example, Gucci decided to take the connection they made with gamers to the next level. 

After its Roblox success, Gucci became the first luxury brand to purchase digital real estate in the Sandbox Metaverse – a virtual gaming world built on blockchain technology. 

Here, gamers can visit Gucci Vault Land, where they can collect exclusive items and explore a new Gucci-themed world. Get a glimpse of the action here:

This has extended their gaming customers’ engagement with their brand and anchored them in the gaming world for generations to come. 


If you want to stay relevant in the next decade, you need to future-proof your marketing strategy by including gaming advertising. 🚀

This shouldn’t be approached tentatively. Instead, you should consider a full-funnel approach to ensure proper engagement with your brand. In return, you will get better product engagements, increased conversion rates, and a holistic customer journey. 

The best way to get started is by applying the game marketing funnel, which allows you to connect with players during each stage of the funnel – in game 📌, around the game 📌, and away from the game 📌. 

With decades of experience in this field, iion is here to help you build authentic relationships with gamers who are ready to meet your brand. Get in touch to find out how you can broaden your brand’s reach. 


1. Why is full-funnel marketing important? 

Full-funnel marketing ensures comprehensive coverage of the customer journey, from initial awareness to final conversion, maximizing the chances of converting potential customers.

By addressing each stage of the funnel, marketers can provide a cohesive and seamless experience, nurture relationships, and optimize marketing efforts for long-term success.

2. What does the top of the funnel mean? 

This is the initial stage of the marketing process, where efforts are focused on generating awareness and attracting a wide audience to your brand. During this stage of the marketing funnel, potential customers are simply introduced to a brand. 

3. What is bottom-of-the-funnel marketing?

This refers to the stage in the marketing process where potential customers are converted into actual buyers. Here, potential customers are encouraged – with the help of discounts and special offers – to buy a product or service. 

4. What is middle-of-the-funnel marketing?

This is the stage in the marketing process where a brand offers potential customers more information about their product or service. This allows them to weigh up the value of committing to a product or service. It often involves reading reviews or learning more about what’s being offered. 

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