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Jun 11|Toad&Co

Toad&Co Full-Funnel Paid Social

For years, Backbone’s digital media team has been employing sophisticated full-funnel paid social segmentation tactics in our work for Toad&Co, focusing on reaching customers with customized creative at each phase of the purchase journey. In Spring 2020, spurred by Toad&Co’s consumer research work with Compass and Nail, we took a fresh look at the purchase funnel organization in order to maximize consumer experience and achieve long-term sales results.

Our main question to investigate was: should the purchase funnel be built around the click or the purchase event? And how should we balance audience segmentation tactics with Facebook’s recommendations to broaden targeting pools?


Up until 2020, each phase of Toad&Co’s purchase funnel was defined based on click events, with low-funnel tactics oriented around how recently a user had arrived on the site.

Problem: Under this organization, a high-value repeat buyer who hadn’t visited the site in 30 days was given the same credit as someone who spent 3 seconds on the site 6 months ago — both defined as “lapsed.” Similarly, a user who just made a purchase and visited the site to check the status of their order could be served a remarketing ad. Was this worth re-evaluating?


Using Facebook’s sophisticated and dynamic audience tools, we designed a new targeting structure that would align better with Toad&Co’s brand goals.

The new framework was based on a user’s purchase orientation — hinging on research that past buyers are often the most fruitful group to build long-term revenue against. A site visit would no longer be the end-all, be-all of remarketing, as we now know that clicks are actually not as strongly correlated to purchase intent as we’d like to believe. Anyone who had not yet made a purchase became just one step away from a prospect, and all of Toad&Co’s impressive values, social efforts, and occasional promotions were shared to grow brand affiliation to past purchasers instead of lapsed visitors.

Designing a highly segmented approach to paid social might seem counter-intuitive given Facebook’s general recommendations to grow audience size wherever possible in order to increase data points for the algorithm. We found, however, that this re-organization actually resulted in a growth of our low-funnel audiences and better utilized the Facebook algorithm where it mattered most.

Prospecting and consideration ads
Retargeting and re-engagement ads

We launched Toad&Co’s spring season in February 2020 with this new campaign organization and saw quick improvements year over year across the funnel. Creative was more aligned with demonstrated intent at each stage of the funnel.

While COVID-19 certainly impacted March results, we’ve seen positive results in April and May that support the continuation of this strategy.

DOWN 13% YoY
UP 42% YoY
UP 58% YoY
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