Paid Media Engine: How to Move More People Through the Funnel with Gavin Tanner


Gavin Tanner introduces a unique funnel approach utilizing a paid media engine. He outlines how to get started using a visual flowcharting tool and explains the benefits and drawbacks of this strategy.  


Gavin Tanner is a “full stack” marketer experienced in B2B lead gen (paid acquisition), marketing automation, and CRO. It’s all about full-funnel optimization. Tech stack: Marketo, Salesforce, all major ad platforms (Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), Outreach, Domo, Zapier, Brackets, Tableau, Google Analytics. 
He is also experienced in eCommerce sales utilizing/optimizing paid channels such as: SEM, Facebook, LinkedIn, Display (GDN), Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and AdRoll. 


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Billy Bateman 0:01   

All right, everyone. Welcome to the show today. I am your host, Billy Bateman. And this is digital conversations presented by ChatFunnels. Today my guest is the esteemed Gavin Tanner. How are you doing Gavin? 

Gavin Tanner 0:14   

Hello. Yeah, doing well. Thanks for having me. 

Billy Bateman 0:16   

Yeah, man excited to have you on. So, before we get into it, we’re going to talk about building the full funnel with the media, that the whole campaign and everything that goes into it, so then you’ve done but introduce us if people don’t know you, like, Who’s Gavin, what do you’re all about? Tell us a little bit about your journey to get where you are today. And then a little bit about Matillion. And what do you guys do? 

Gavin Tanner 0:42   

Yeah, sure. Yeah. So right now, I’m currently a senior demand manager at Matillion. But I, as far as marketing goes, kind of grew up in digital marketing in paid media. So, I started at a couple different ad agencies, and got my feet wet there and was lucky enough to have some really awesome mentors, both agencies and then from there, I went in house, to lucid, and the dimension over lucid, and then after lucid went to a company called drip, and then from drip came to Matillion.  

So, I’ve been in Matillion, now for about seven months. You know, Matillion, same kind of same gig as some of my other previous ones, I, I own all of our top of funnel lead gen, specifically on digital channels, I own a lot of our third-party relationships as well with some of our vendors. And then I’m really heavily involved to and how we continue to nurture those leads. And in Marketo, we use Marketo to keep pushing them down the funnel.  

So yeah, that’s a little bit about me. And then as far as Matillion goes, so Matillion is a cloud native, ETL software. We help businesses, extract their data from various sources, load it up into their cloud, whether that’s, you know, a snowflake or if they’re on redshift, and then transform that data. The product is probably not accurately named, we do ELT, so we can actually transform the data on the cloud platform, which is a little bit unique. So yeah, that’s a little about Matillion. Cool. 

Billy Bateman 2:30   

Cool. I love it, man. So, when we talked about doing a podcast, we wanted to talk about building a paid media engine that really likes moving people through the funnel. So, you know, let’s start just like high level, what’s important to think about when you’re building out a paid media engine or funnel? And then you know, what do you mean, when you told me this is kind of your term like paid media engine? Like, what does that mean to Gavin? 

A paid media engine focuses on the journey that customers are on from a digital perspective

Gavin Tanner 2:57   

Yeah, totally. Yeah. So yeah, I think I’ll start with the second one first, just kind of defining, like what I mean by paid media engine, because I think, whenever you’re whenever you’re looking at running paid media, specifically, you know, on digital, it can be easy to fall into the trap. And I know, I certainly fall into this, probably consistently of just kind of running these separate campaigns almost like blasting out campaigns, whether it’s eBooks, or demo, type ads, all for the sake of just trying to generate leads.  

Yeah, when I think about a paid media engine, I’m thinking of really something that it really thinks about more the journey that we’re taking these people on. So, I always kind of like giving an analogy, and this is certainly not a new analogy. But that marketing is very much like a relationship, right, you’re not going to walk up to someone on the street that you just met and ask them to marry you.

In a similar fashion, you shouldn’t walk up to someone digitally with your ads, and just pop up a demo request ad without ever having built the relationship and added value to that person. So, I think when I think about a paid media engine, I think about what is the journey we’re taking these people on from a digital perspective? And how do we actually prepare them? For us to pop the question, right, and to really get them on the phone and start talking to sales?  

So, you know, I think there’s, as far as the importance goes, that I mean, again, going back to the analogy, whenever we show that we’ve added value to somebody, and they see that value coming from us, it builds a lot of trust. Whenever they trust you as a brand and as a company, they’re more likely to dive deeper into what you do. I think that’s why it’s really important to think about this kind of full funnel approach to digital is that we are adding value upfront. And in a lot of ways, just not asking for anything in return.

Building that trust, and then eventually, as we keep going, it’ll kind of be mutual. And we’ll eventually be able to ask, ask for a little bit more from these prospects. Right. So that’s kind of what I mean by a paid media engine, you know, it’s really just that full funnel approach. 

Billy Bateman 5:16   

Okay. Okay. And then, you know, as you’re thinking about building this, you mentioned, like, don’t ask for anything in return, just give value up at the top, you know, what other things are important to think about when you’re, you’re starting to build this out? 

Keep your focus on the end goal

Gavin Tanner 5:32   

Yeah, totally. So, um, you know, I think it’s important to know, what is your end goal? Like, I guess, what is the final step that you want someone to take, depending on your business model, that’s going to be different probably for everybody. Some might be I want someone to end up signing up for a free trial of my product. Others it might be the end goal is for them to get a demo with sales.  

So, I think it’s important that you, you understand that and almost back your way, kind of backup from that and understand, okay, what are some things I can do what some things I can offer these people that that’s going to add value that will kind of lead them naturally to my final destination where I want to go? So, I think that’s really important to think about.  

And then you know, the other things kind of like, almost logistical, right? As far as I like, which channels should we be running this on? Is? Is it very much cross channel? Or does my audience live on a particular channel, whether that’s LinkedIn or Twitter, Reddit, wherever, right? Like, I think it’s important to know where it is kind of the main places, I’m going to be running this. And certainly, a lot of the time it should be cross channel. But it’s important to know, where does your audience lives. Where are we going to find people out? 

Billy Bateman 6:50   

No, I agree. Like, sometimes we’ll hire people on our marketing team. And they’re like, yeah, Facebook, and like, actually, our buyers we’ve tried, they’re not really hanging out on Facebook, at least look into by, by SAS software. So totally, um, you know, they’re on LinkedIn. So yeah, so what tools are right? I know, I know. Well, I mean, I used to actually work in real estate, and they’re not really on LinkedIn. But there Yeah, more and more there. But yeah, but yeah, commercial real estate and slow to adopt LinkedIn. Amazing. So, um, what tools are you using? As you prepare this? Like, what do you use to go in to do your research and then to, to execute? 

Lucid Chart is a visual tool to use when planning out your media engine strategy

Gavin Tanner 7:34   

Yeah, totally. Yeah. So, this is going to sound maybe a little bit silly. So, one of the first things and probably the most important tools I use in just planning this out, is I use Lucid Chart. Now I’m obviously biased. I used to work there. So, love the tool, but it’s really important that you visualize, what is this whole thing? What does this whole journey look like? Right? Because there’s a lot of different steps that can go into it. It’s important to know, okay, if somebody does this action, what should be the following step? Then if they don’t take the following step, where do I take them from there? Then if they do, where do I take them from here?  

So really, that’s, that’s one of the biggest things I use is building out the full the full flow, in a Lucid Chart diagram, just understanding, you know, where, where am I taking these people? Then, you know, certainly like then understanding your audience again, I, one thing I like to do is even just getting a feel for maybe the audience size. LinkedIn certainly is a place where I live a lot, right? 

So, I’ll go in and maybe build just an example campaign and just start plugging in different types of audiences. And just playing around with, okay, if I go after this job title, or like this skill set, or x, y, and z, how big is my audience size? Is that big enough? Is that too narrow? So, kind of just starting to tinker around with it a little bit to understand, you know, am I going wide enough to begin with to kind of bring this down full funnel? 

Billy Bateman 9:14   

Yeah, dude, I love that you start with lucid I love the product as well, we use it when we’re thinking about, really on our product side of things, okay, like somebody who signs up for a free trial. They need to do these things to be successful. You know, like, what’s the order operations and how do we bring them back if they’ve skipped a step? So, it’s a great way to just organize your thoughts and see it visually. 

Gavin Tanner 9:40   

So totally free plug free plug right there for lucid DJ. 

Billy Bateman 9:43   

I know we need to get lucid advertising on this thing.  

Gavin Tanner 9:46   

Absolutely. Absolutely. 

Billy Bateman 9:48   

Well, and it will edit this out and will take away their free advertising. Okay, so if you could give us an example like you said, you know, you outline this You know, obviously like with podcasts, we’re not going to watch you, you know, lucid but, but just walk us through your example of how you think about like, step one could be this and, and I don’t care if you’re driving towards a demo or a free trial, but what is that journey typically look like in your mind? 

Videos allow you to retarget people based on how much video they’ve watched

Gavin Tanner 10:18   

Yeah, totally. Yeah. So ideally, the way I like starting these out is with video at the very top. And a couple of reasons for that. So, the one thing I really love about having a video at the top is one we all know, it’s just incredibly consumable, right? It’s so easy to watch 15 20 30 seconds of the video. What’s really awesome, though, is most platforms now at least LinkedIn and, and YouTube, they allow you to retarget people based on how much of a video you’ve watched. So, on LinkedIn, if someone has watched 50%, or 75% of my video, I then can retarget those people with a very specific ad. 

So, if somebody has viewed 75%, or 100% of my video, I would probably push them to maybe it’s an E book that’s a little bit maybe mid funnel type eBook, that’s maybe talking a lot more in depth about whatever the video is about. But if someone only watched 25% 50%, I would push them to a much more top of funnel type of eBook. That’s way more thought leadership, right? So then from there, you can do a lot more retargeting.

So then if somebody downloads the eBook, then you’re going to keep moving them down the funnel, if they download, maybe you start serving up free trial ads, or demo Request Ads or case study ads. If they don’t download the eBook, maybe you will show it to them for 30 days. And then after that, you move to something a little bit higher up in the funnel, maybe they weren’t quite ready for whatever you were serving them. 

So, but what I like to think about too, whenever serving up video at the top is starting with a really a pretty broad audience, obviously, like you need to be targeted enough to where you’re not getting video views that are just a waste of your money. But you really want to keep that pretty large. And again, I’ll reference back to LinkedIn, you know, I’m talking over 500,000 people or more, so that you just have a very large amount of people and, and really the carrot there is if they view the video, you know, they’re at least somewhat interested in what you’re talking about. 

If they only give you 25%, they may not be quite there, maybe it’s worth serving them up. Like I said, maybe a top of funnel eBook, or even just an ungraded blog post, just to kind of warm them more, then you can retarget them anyone that touches that blog post with your eBook. So, a lot of this is based on almost creating your own, like your own audience pool, right? So, I think a lot of times, as marketers, we rely on our retargeting pool just based off of our website visits, and then just what can we do pure prospecting. But this is kind of a way to kind of create your own pool of audience and whenever you use video, you can get a really large audience for pretty cheap, and then you can kind of move from there. 

Billy Bateman 13:24   

Awesome, man. I like it, I’ll get so what have you seen are the benefits of taking this full funnel approach to your media? 

You build trust slowly over time

Gavin Tanner 13:32   

Yeah, totally. Yeah. So, I mean, first and foremost, I think at the very end of it all, I think you’re going to end up seeing cheaper CPL’s, it takes a little bit longer, because you’re taking the time to really build that relationship and warm people up. But if you can, if you can be patient with it, I think you’re going to see higher click through rates, and even more importantly, lower CPM’s higher quality leads that are coming through because, you know, on the one hand, you could maybe just go and blast out an E book, just cold to an audience, and you’re going to get downloads, and, you know, maybe your CPL is decent, but that’s the first touch they’ve ever had with you.  

Where if you go the other route, and you really warm this audience up, by the time they’re downloading that eBook, not only should that eBook, download, be at a lower CPL, but that people now had two or three touches with your brand. And so, the lead quality will also or at least should, if you’re if you’re doing it, and your messaging is right, it should increase. So that’s one of the biggest benefits I see with this is that, you know, again, it does take time, because you got to you got to be patient with building the audience. And you got to put a little bit of trust in that we’re spending this money up front, but we’re building a really high-quality audience that we can then retarget but yeah, CPL is lower and higher quality leads on the back end. 

Billy Bateman 14:55   

So, you know, in theory, all of this sounds amazing. We all know Yeah, like, come up with the idea of plan. All sounds great to the devils in the details of execution. So, what have you found to be the challenges to making something like this work? 

Challenges to making it work

Gavin Tanner 15:13   

Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So, in mentioning just one of them, I mean, it does take time. So, you have to be patient with letting this bake. And I guess a challenge along with that is, we as marketers, we have goals we have to hit, right. Like we all have Emanuelle numbers and opportunity and qualified pipeline that we have to go hit. And so, I think that can be a challenge.  

And I think, you know, getting buy off from management to say, hey, maybe let’s just test this small segment, going more of a full funnel approach, it might take a little bit longer to see longer lasting results, but I think they’re going to be there. So, I think that is a challenge. The other thing too, is it is it is more work, it’s more effort. It’s pretty easy to spin up a campaign on LinkedIn and just start blasting eBooks. And again, I mentioned the beginning. I’m certainly guilty of that. I think we all are, right, we need leads in the door. That’s just kind of the way we operate.  

But yeah, I think having the patience and putting in the extra work to really think about what is this journey? Like? Like, if I’m in a buyer situation? What do I want to see online? And what do I like? How do I want this experience to go? So, does it take a lot more thought and effort in that regard? So, time, patience, and then you got to get buy off from management to be able to run something like this. But yeah, those are some of the challenges that I’ve seen. 

Billy Bateman 16:45   

Okay, man. So, for anyone listening to this, and they’re thinking like, hey, I want to give it a shot. What is your one piece of advice for them to get started as they get started? 

Advice for getting started

Gavin Tanner 16:57   

Yeah, so my one piece of advice is it’s Don’t be a perfectionist with it. Just build something and get it going as best you can, and then iterate on top of that. I know I’ve definitely fallen guilty of that, too, of trying to make it so perfect that you end up getting nothing off the ground. And so, it’s important to just get something concrete, keep it really simple at first, maybe it’s just like a three step. Very simple approach. But then build off of that you can make it a lot more complicated once you kind of have your foundation so that would be my advice. 

Billy Bateman 17:36   

I love it, man. I agree with you. 100% on anything like my grandpa, he used to say to us he’s like, I’m not much for looks, but I’m held for production. And you just got to get something done first. Make it better. Yeah, absolutely. If people want to get in touch with you, Gavin and learn more about this continue the conversation or learn about the Chilean. What’s the best way for them to get in touch with you? 

Gavin Tanner 18:05   

He has hit me up on LinkedIn. messaged me connect with me on LinkedIn and yeah, let’s chat. I’m always down to chat. 

Billy Bateman 18:13   

Okay, man, dude, this has been awesome. And we’ll chat later. 

Gavin Tanner 18:17   

Awesome. Sounds good. Thanks, Billy. Thanks.