The State of Funnel Performance Marketing

As marketing gets more data-driven, the gap between customers and advertisers finally gets narrowed. Modern marketers understand their customers like never before thanks to the use of programmatic technologies. And the more insight they get, the more they realize that customers at different stages of the buying cycle should be treated differently. As a result, the full-funnel marketing perspective gets adopted more and more often. It allows advertisers map the customer journey, identify tactics that work best in each exact case, and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly.

The full-funnel marketing approach suggests that there are three main blocks all marketing campaigns can be broken down into – upper-funnel campaigns, middle-funnel campaigns, and lower-funnel campaigns.

Upper-funnel campaigns

Upper-funnel campaignsare campaignsaimed atincreasing brand awarenessand prospecting for new customers. A marketer’s task at this stage is to drive more traffic to the website and generate new leads. According to AdRoll report, marketers spend 36% of their budgets on upper-funnel campaigns.

Top channels: paid social media (54% of respondents think so), organic social media (35%), programmatic advertising (32%), etc.

Strategies that work best: email marketing, blogs, SEO, paid ads, etc. – in other words, anything that helps a prospective customer find you and get interested in your products.

Metrics that matter: impression volume, website traffic, unique visitors, average time on site (according to Bizible).

Middle-funnel campaigns

Middle funnel campaigns imply converting prospects into actual customers. This is the most important part of the funnel, so it’s no wonder that business owners are ready to spend more than a half of their budgets just to see the sale happening (according to AdRoll). At this stage, customers already know who you are and what you do, but they want to research more, compare prices, and maybe look for some better deals. The more information you give them, the more likely they will choose you over your competitor.

Top channels: email, organic social media, programmatic advertising.

Strategies that work best: in-depth white papers and e-books; videos, webinars, sales letters, retargeting.

Metrics that matter: email open rate, click-through rate,lead volume, etc.

Lower-funnel Campaigns

Lower-funnel campaignsare supposed to retain those clients you’ve successfully convertedand drive customer loyalty. If a marketing team manages to create a positive first impression with quality products and professional customer service, a satisfied client will come back with a bunch of friends and will become a brand advocate.

Top channels: email, organic social media, PR, field marketing.

Strategies that work best: it is important to remember about your loyal customers, send them useful content, ask for feedback, and offer discounts.

Metrics that matter: CPO, CPA, win rate, pipeline velocity.

Unfortunately, many marketers and business owners underestimate the importance of driving existing loyalty, dedicating only 12% of their budgets to lower-funnel campaigns. Hopefully, this will change in the nearest future, when we realize that marketing shouldn’t end at the top of the funnel. Retaining existing customers is as important as generating new leads, since, as we know, word of mouth marketing is still the most effective.

Another popular mistake marketers make is ignoring attribution. Very often marketers measure ROI only when working on lead generation or customer conversion. However, in order to fully understand whether your efforts pay off, it is important to measure ROI at each stage of the funnel, including the bottom.

So, full-funnel marketing is an approach that offers many new opportunities for marketers and business owners. In order to build a successful campaign, one needs to approach every customer differently depending on the stage of the buying cycle he/she is at. At the same time, it is crucial to take the full funnel into account, not limiting your efforts to top-funnel or middle-funnel campaigns only.

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