Delivering performance to brand campaigns is as tough of a task as it sounds.
Although being a marketer doesn’t usually come across as the hardest of jobs, delivering high performance for brands really does require a lot of insights and strategy.
A common mistake among media buyers is clinging tightly to one strategy without modifying it. All in the spirit of “if it works, then let’s not touch it“. This does not necessarily rule out positive performance, but at all times translates to some potential being wasted.
This means two things:
– sacrificing a portion of advertising budgets and allowing it to waste.
– missing out on potential earnings somewhere else.
This guides us to a question: Why limit one’s possibilities when the scope (and performance) could be much wider?
What is a Full-Funnel Marketing Strategy?
Full-funnel marketing is a strategy that covers all stages of the customer journey, from awareness to loyalty. It aims to provide a consistent and positive experience for potential and existing customers across different channels and touchpoints, without limiting to just one.
It’s a package that tackles multiple issues at once by helping businesses increase their brand awareness, generate more leads, convert more sales, and retain more customers. However, it needs to be constantly optimized and taken care of to maximize performance.
As HubSpot suggests, 91% of marketers are “somewhat confident” or “very confident” that they are investing in programs that influence revenue. And although this may translate to actual revenue driven by their companies, it does not mean that it unlocks the full potential of a brand.
Full-funnel marketing is not a one-time project, but an ongoing process that requires constant evaluation and improvement. By adopting a full-funnel approach, you can create a more effective and efficient marketing strategy that drives growth and value for your business.
Full-funnel Strategy vs. Linear Marketing Channels
Many marketers make the error of not diversifying their communication channels enough to cover multiple stages of their customer’s buying journey. It creates a sense of stability, yes, but it’s really just closing oneself in a safe bubble.
So, instead of being the growth driver, marketers freeze their budgets, making a brand compete for user’s attention in just one placement.
Smaller businesses often treat advertising budgets without a proper dose of flexibility. Instead of incrementing expenditure to increase the returns, many advertisers ignore the possibilities of expanding outreach.
It’s like being stuck with social media adverts only when it’s possible to find your potential customers in a plethora of new touchpoints. All this with simultaneous optimization of customer acquisition cost. It does not diminish the performance of your already-employed marketing strategy, but rather poses a question “Why not have more of these well-performing channels”.
It is important to understand that your existing strategy could be easily integrated into a full-funnel one, as it already covers one of the segments/steps of the tangled modern consumer journey.
Why a Full-funnel approach is essential in 2023
It has only been recently that the performance marketing industry fully understood the real power of creating one, comprehensive strategy to attract different customers in different placements and touchpoints.
The representatives of brands and agencies that we speak to during global industry events, shows, and conferences often have the same observations about blockers and pain points for their already-explored marketing channels. And in many cases, it’s the inability to scale and grow after reaching the limits of the well-known lead generation strategy. It applies to all marketers with all needs – whether you want to generate awareness, tackle the lower funnel tactics, or communicate to loyal customers.
Our answer to these kinds of concerns is very a question: “Did you try to tackle multiple channels, or are you sticking with what you already know?”
The same applies to businesses that do not rely on paid advertising to boost their performance. Although for many businesses organic reach is effective, and it could be elevated with proper search engine optimization and content marketing, it is not the only way to follow. Paid advertising opens completely new doors for all brands, no matter their marketing tactics.
Benefits of using a full-funnel marketing approach
- A consistent customer experience in different platforms and touchpoints
- omnichannel visibility, channel diversification, and appearance in new placements
- the potential to reach completely new audiences
- long-term impact by targeting all users interested in your brand without limiting to lower funnel tactics only
- safe placements for your brands to be displayed at
- optimizing marketing budgets by allocating resources in the most effective channels at each stage of the modern sales and marketing funnel
- mapping your ideal customer’s journey by analysis of performance at different stages of the shopping journey
- incremental sales and conversions coming from new acquisition channels
- shortening the consideration stage of the buying process by capturing the user’s attention before your competitors do it
The New Consumer Journey: The Messy Middle
A major reason for this kind of new approach being successful is the fact that modern shoppers have completely shifted their online behaviors. As we encounter an increasing number of online touchpoints, we also pay less focus to them.
So the tricky part about modern consumers is finding the optimal placements for your brands to become visible.
The path from idea to purchase used to be linear, with an almost straight line drawn from inspiration to finalizing the desire. Nowadays the consideration phase is much, much longer, including a research phase where shoppers visit multiple online placements in search of reviews, recommendations, comparisons, and discounts.
Ultimately, this creates a very intricate web of placements where your brand could be visible. As a marketer, you only need to find a way to access these and choose the ones that match your business (or rather, are most convincing for your unique audiences).
Exact predictions of how your consumers behave are impossible. What you can do instead, is find the channels that drive the most valuable customers to your brand, understand why it is so, and use this knowledge to strengthen your position in the market by increasing sales and revenues.
Customer Journey Mapping
The concept of “messy middle” perfectly describes the attempts to map a general consumer journey. Google’s Alistair Rennie, and Jonny Protheroe brilliantly described the entire idea about it back in 2020:
“We know that what happens between trigger and purchase decision-making is not linear. We know there is a complicated web of touchpoints that differs from person to person. What is less clear, however, is how shoppers process all of the information and choices they discover along the way.”
The messy middle is a system of triggers and touchpoints, without two cases ideally matching each other. Harnessing it gives marketers the power to scale up their performance by being open to matching all their consumers’ online needs.
Which brings us back to a full-funnel marketing strategizing.
How else should we call focusing your marketing efforts that will cover the entire funnel?
Commerce Media in Full-funnel Marketing Campaigns
Now that we have established why exactly going full-funnel is the optimal strategy, no matter your target audience, it’s time to see into opportunities to use the full potential of online marketing opportunities.
It’s time to introduce a (not so) new term: commerce media. If you are familiar with it already, you may sense where this argument is headed. If not, then we advise you to read our dedicated content about it.
In short, commerce media is an ecosystem of multiple online placements, enabling advertisers of all kinds to display their messaging programmatically along the entire purchase journey of potential customers.
Essentially commerce media covers every touchpoint between idea and purchase, becoming the answer to creating a fully comprehensive full-funnel marketing strategy. Due to being based on one, uniform payment system (in Zeropark – CPC in most cases), and offering standardized metrics, it unifies KPIs in your brand campaigns.
Thus, commerce media ecosystems become a way for marketers to navigate discrepancies and differences between channels employed in outreach. On top of this, allows you to scale your reach during high season(for example during Black Friday) according to the available supply of audiences.
Adjusting advertising to match the modern sales funnel is indeed challenging, but thanks to online programmatic solutions, it’s becoming more and more accessible for brand managers, advertisers, media buyers, and others.
The well-thought full-funnel strategy is really a go-to way to navigate the future, essentially covering every need that a brand may have in terms of advertising. With a proper application of commerce media solutions, it should tick all the boxes for your business, no matter the niche and target audience.