How sunglasses brand Quay retooled its advertising to be less reliant on performance marketing following iOS changes

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Joining a building brand marketing trend, Sunglasses brand Quay has retooled its marketing strategy to be more “full funnel” rather than relying on performance marketing tactics. The shift followed iOS 14 (and Apple’s subsequent operating system updates) as the ability to track what was working and what wasn’t became that much harder. 

“After all the iOS changes, we’ve moved back to a full-funnel approach,” said Quay CEO Jodi Bricker. “I’ve been in retail for over 30 years, and while it hasn’t gone completely back to traditional advertising, the funnel is alive again. We’re still in performance marketing, but we’re exploring and testing across all the platforms.”

Prior to the iOS changes, Quay was spending the majority of its ad dollars on performance marketing tactics and influencer marketing. Now, since the brand has “reduced our spend within social advertising since the iOS changes” the company takes a “much more balanced” approach, said Bricker, as it has a mix of performance marketing, search, affiliate marketing and streaming ads as well as partnerships with buzzy young-skewing shows like Love Island.

“We’ll never walk away from anything completely,” said Bricker, of the company’s performance marketing efforts, adding that following the shift the company is “now much more balanced across top, middle and bottom tier funnel.” 

It’s unclear how Quay divides its ad budget now or prior to iOS changes as Bricker declined to share percentages or exact figures. According to Pathmatics ad tracking data, so far this year, Quay has spent $2.7 million on advertising; the company spent $4.7 million on advertising throughout 2021. Roughly 34% of Quay’s monthly ad budget is spent on Instagram, 17% on Facebook, 14% on Snapchat, 5% on TikTok, 20% on desktop video and 9% on out-of-home, per Pathmatics data. 

Aside from retooling advertising and marketing efforts to be more full funnel, the company has also pushed to broaden its retail footprint as part of an effort to drive broader brand awareness. The company will have 24 shops by the end of this year; Quay has focused on sunnier states in the U.S., per Bricker, with shops in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. The brand is also available in retailers like Nordstom, Dillards and Anthropology. 

“Over 80% of eyewear is purchased in a brick-and-mortar store,” said Bricker. “Not everyone knows how to assess their own face shape and what looks good on them. Having a really big presence where people can come in, feel the product and try it on [helps]. Having our stylists, our secret sauce, in our shops with incredible taste who know how to fit peoples’ faces and assess their style [helps us stand out].” 

The shift to a more full funnel approach now is becoming more common, according to performance marketing agency execs. 

“A lot of brands seem to be shifting to a more full funnel [approach] aka ‘We care about branding right now,’” explained Duane Brown, founder of performance marketing shop Take Some Risk. “With a deeper recession coming in 2023… the brands that do well and survive are those that build the brand and keep advertising. Brands who focus on branding in a recession coming out ahead of a recession when it is over,” he said.

“When others are fearful, be greedy and go all in.”

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