You may remember the “old school” term sales funnel. Now full-funnel marketing has landed as a result of dramatic changes in customer behaviour moving to the internet during and post the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, more than 60% of consumers have tried a new shopping behaviour as a result of stores closing, economic pressures, or changing priorities, one-third of whom experimented with a different brand of product.
I think we can all agree this is a dramatic shift in the way consumers need to be reached moving forward. Additionally, another “new age” shift is the fact customers are seeking a brand’s purpose as a primary reason for buying. It is no longer just about price point!
In essence, traditional brand building, driven by TV ads and other broad-reach vehicles is being replaced with performance marketing, or the data-driven measure of online activity.
This new wave of on-line consumer behaviour provides marketers with the added responsibility to identify a greater understanding of what customers want and why, not only to capture new acquisitions, but to guarantee the loyalty of existing clients is maintained.
The full-funnel marketing concept has been around for years
This marketing funnel illustrates a way to visualise the process of turning leads into potential customers. Wherever consumers are at in the different stages of their buyer’s journey leading them to the product or service with the intention of buying.
This journey is the new “buzz word” called a marketing funnel and it starts with a wide audience and narrows down to an audience who has are likely to result in converting to a sale because customers require different approaches at every stage of the funnel, incorporating tailored messaging.
How does this consumer journey work? It encompasses an evolution, from the introduction of your brand to the development of a long-term relationship. It may seem simple – your business sells an offering and the consumer buys it – however, there’s much more going on behind the scenes.
There are an endless amount of ways consumers can be introduced to your business, including paid search, SEO, social media, referrals, etc. However now more than ever, consumers are seeking more meaningful experiences when interacting with your brand.
Full-funnel marketing starts wide and tapers off as prospects move through the marketing process, from brand awareness to purchase and brand loyalty.
The marketing funnel stages vary based on industry and marketing approach:
Awareness – generate awareness and education to influence consideration amongst new audiences who may not be familiar with your brand implementing tactics such as online display, pre-roll video and content marketing. End game – impressions and reach.
Consideration – enticing people to think about your brand over your competition using tactics such as paid search, email marketing and social advertising to reinforce brand visibility and discoverability as potential consumers are searching for your brands product or services. This middle funnel stage is considered the “deal-breaker”, where a customer is choosing between specific solutions and their alternatives. End game – clicks to website and click-through rates.
Conversion – Every business’s favourite word. The ultimate goal you want consumers to take when they visit your content is to convert by encouraging action whether it’s an online sale, landing page form completion, or another call to action. Executing tactics incorporating retargeting (site, click, search and video retargeting for example) reinforcing and encouraging a call to action. End game – total conversions, cost per conversion and return on investment.
It’s imperative when targeting distinct stages to recognise customers acquire different objectives and therefore varying metrics are required to measure successful outcomes.
This process may seem linear, however it’s actually a full circle. Once a round of monitored full-funnel marketing is completed it is critical to invest time to analyse and measure the impact, evaluate the customer experience prior to launching your next marketing effort.
Once launched full-funnel performance also needs to be measured incorporating brand awareness and total visitor traffic, including KPIs measuring incremental value, such as extra traffic coming from A/B testing or additional revenue driven by brand campaigns.
Connecting the dots between your marketing strategy and lead generation
One of the most significant benefits of a marketing funnel is its measurability. Funnels assist to increase your website’s conversion rate. The funnel demonstrates where you’re losing customers to assist pivot your strategy. As an example, if you are losing customers before they reach the second stage of your funnel, you need a better brand awareness campaign.
According to Najib Al Chamaa, Co-owner at Kaizek and digital marketing expert,
“You can lead a horse to a river, but you can’t make it drink. You can invest all the money you want into Digital Marketing, however if all they’re being lead to is a cookie cutter, half-baked site you’ve spent a few hundred on through Fiverr, you better believe your prospects won’t drink your pitch Kool-Aid!
Every audience, every niche will come to you with a story. These stories have patterns and these patterns is what you ought to exploit and leverage through your funnel and ultimately through your site. This is accomplished through what we like to call Purposeful Design.
A marriage of design and intent to best evoke the means to cultivate a conversion. As Kaizek often say: we don’t just build websites that look good, we design websites that work. An outlook one is to adopt if one seeks any chance of success in the digital domain.”
When somebody visits your website they usually do not know who you are or what you do. To guide these visitors to what to do next you need to propose a call to action enabling them to opt into your market offering on a deeper level.
Research demonstrates more than 96.7% of people will leave your website or app without purchasing anything. To capture these new visitors introduce a quality call to action to guide them through the various stages of the buying process by building and fostering relationships and provide solutions ensuring they remain within your funnel.
“If you are catering your digital marketing efforts to everyone, you are catering them to no-one. A full-funnel digital marketing effort forces you to think about and understand the demographic you seek to sell your products and services.
To detail the context, frustrations, goals, dreams, budget and every last nuance of your supposed archetype and ultimately tailor bespoke digital marketing efforts specific to them. From customer awareness, to consideration and conversion, you are saying the things they want to hear, illustrating what they want to see, enticing them to feel the way they want to feel; you are making it obvious, you are voiding their option paralysis and guaranteeing their decision is obvious.”
Demonstrate how your product can solve their problem (or provide a solution) and why it can solve it more effectively than other companies. Precise solutions to their problems make them believe in your potential of catering to their needs resulting in customer retention and repeat business.
In order to enhance the brand experience, your business should be available on different platforms and have a good online presence. A consistent brand across channels will increase visibility and attract more customers. An effective marketing funnel generates visibility to every stage of your marketing strategy.
Ultimately, the aim is for your website potential clients to make a purchase or sign up for an email newsletter or fill out your website contact form. When a visitor takes action this results in a tracked conversion. In simple words, the visitor converts from browsing to taking the desired action you are seeking. From this juncture you gain significant leverage to move them to the end-game acquisition.
An effective way to communicate with potential customers is through email and offering something of value to gain their email address by building retention and advocacy, by following customers’ thought processes and emotions for example offering:
- eBooks / Guides
- Reports / Infographics
- Quizzes / Surveys
- Calculators / Tools
- Case Studies
- White papers / Thought Leadership Articles
The good news is your full-funnel marketing efforts can be calculated ensuring your investment isn’t aimless and in fact, potential results qualified prior to taking action. It is focussed on outcomes rather than activities which may or may not ensue results.
Coraggio’s, CEO, Richard Skarzynski cites,
“A common misconception is focussing on one touch point within the consumer marketing funnel. With numerous available brand offerings, implementing the full-funnel strategy is necessary to remain competitive and leverage your market offering. The key is to retain existing consumers whilst luring new consumers to your brand.”
Full-funnel marketing eliminates the scattergun approach and facilitates a proven framework to morph a potential customer into a transactional client. A strong full-funnel marketing strategy will nurture leads, convert clients, build a loyal brand following and influence customers decision making process towards a conversion.
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