The marketing funnel is a way to visualize and understand the full process of your clients’ journeys from before they even have a spark of a thought that they have a need up until they decide you are the right company to fulfill that need. A full-funnel marketing approach begins at the top of the funnel by driving mass impressions to achieve branding and name recognition. As you move down the funnel, it becomes narrower and the efforts of your marketing become more focused, targeting the most qualified audience with the highest propensity to convert.
Funnel stages can vary based on industry, marketing approach, etc. However, we at Genius Monkey define the funnel as having the following five stages:
Generate branding and awareness to tell your audience who you are and develop name recognition to new audiences in your market(s) who may not be familiar with your brand.
Get people to understand your brand and offering so that they can begin to think about why they need it. Tell a story that is both intriguing and relatable to your audience until they have to have it.
Help your prospects begin to contemplate why the product you are marketing is better than other similar offerings out there. Drive home your unique selling proposition.
Encourage action by creating urgency; whether it’s an online sale, landing page form completion, or other actions.
If a customer makes it through the purchase phase, they will most likely be happy to tell others about it. Be sure to create the best possible experience to your user so that they are willing to spread the word about you.
Filling Out the Marketing Funnel
In the digital marketing space most marketers focus on either just the top of the funnel, or the bottom of the funnel, with nothing in between. Why is there this lack of follow through? Early, traditional, out-dated digital marketing tactics were designed that way primarily because there were no other options. To illustrate what we mean, here are two scenarios that will help you understand.
Auto dealer A has put together a $20,000 a month strategy for Google paid search efforts, going after people searching Google for their dealership’s name, or that brand’s specific car models in the exact area around that dealer. But this is just the bottom funnel. Meaning, if they are already searching for your name, or car model, you should probably already have that business won, so why focus your entire marketing budget there? The real struggle and need is getting new buyers who aren”t familiar with their dealership or brand because they are doing nothing with the awareness phase to drive new business.
Auto Dealer B has put together a $20,000 a month strategy for social media and display ads on just Cargurus.com and Cars.com. This dealer is focusing on just the top of the funnel, driving awareness of their brand. But there is no followup or further brand interaction beyond that first display ad to really show the value of that dealer, or why the user should purchase through them. Nor are they able to engage with this audience outside of Cargurus.com and Cars.com.
In the above two examples lies the problem, and these are in no way unique to auto dealers. Generally, most marketers are doing just one, or possibly both, of those two things, but they’re usually separate entities, and they’re not doing much to push people from the awareness phase to the purchase phase. It has been our experience that those that excel and dominate in their market are the ones that employ a comprehensive strategy to engage with their audience and continue to encourage them through the funnel from top to bottom.
Helping Our Clients to Create Their Own Economy
At Genius Monkey, we have built a complete package platform which emcompassas many different offerings that are built specifically around the marketing/sales funnel. Between display, video, OTT/CTV, audio ads and more, we can strategically deploy different tactics in real time to push people through each phase of the funnel. We feel that the ability to create your own economy through hitting the whole sales funnel is something that is absolutely imperative in your marketing efforts. But what does creating your own economy mean? What does this look like?
Targeted Impressions for Brand Awareness
It starts with employing a tactic that generates brand awareness. This is best done by marketing methods that get a large number of targeted impressions at a low cost. For Genius Monkey, this is often done through the use of programmatic display campaigns. With this we are not just buying random ad space to get eyeballs on ads, but instead targeting these to people who we know will be interested in the company, product or offering. More importantly, with Genius Monkey, since we only charge on an engagement, if the user sees the ad and doesn’t click on it, you’re getting free branding, and thus greater brand recognition.
Once we have hit a given user enough times to achieve that brand awareness, we start shifting tactics with them by hitting them with different mediums across different devices. For example, we might start hitting that user with a Connected TV ad on Hulu or an audio ad while they are listening to their daily podcast on Spotify that tells them a little more about the offering and why they need it. This extra detail that we provide them (through richer media) gives the advertiser a better chance to explain the product or offering. Next, once we know that the user is now considering the product or service, we must help them see why your brand is better than others. Longer-form online video ads are a great medium to allow you to explain why you are better than the rest.
Retargeting the Engaged User
Lastly, we need that user to come back and actually complete the purchase or registration. For this we might suggest employing a display remarketing ad, in which we are only serving to users who have already engaged with an ad or the website earlier in the funnel, but this time with a unique offer or proposition highlighted in the ad, that drives urgency for them to move forward in the conversion process.
Another important factor to consider in the marketing funnel is how your digital marketing vendor is buying media. If they are only buying through one or two networks or DSPs, they lose many possible touch points and mediums that they could use to push these users through the funnel. Additionally, if they are charging on a cost-per-impression basis and at any point through this process a user loses some interest and stops clicking and or watching the ads then you are stuck paying for impressions that are no longer providing value. Whereas with a cost per engagement model, if they are no longer engaging, there is no harm no foul in continuing to serve them ads to get them re-interested, because there is no charge for those impressions they are not engaging with. Both of these structures provide you as the advertiser far greater exposure and brand awareness that leads to more conversions.
So, between our different media, we create our own economy by pushing someone (who has never heard of the brand) all the way from the awareness phase to the purchase phase, and making that purchase happen just by using a more comprehensive set of tactics. And, if said company did a good job throughout this process, creating a great experience for the users, guess who is going to come back and spread the word of that to their friends and family, ultimately advocating for you without needing to spend another dollar! This quickly becomes a beautiful snowball, bringing more people into the funnel, which you’re now capitalizing on by pushing them through with an effective marketing plan.
Why do we call this creating an economy?
I’m sure most everyone has heard the saying ‘I create my own luck.’ And it is a beautiful saying. It underlines the mentality that we are only victims of our circumstances if we allow ourselves to be. And we have the power to adapt and overcome by not accepting ‘back luck’, but rather putting in the hard work to create our own luck. And that is where the term ‘create your own economy’ was born out of. Anyone can be a marketer, but the true display of strength comes from an aggressive and comprehensive attack of the marketplace to move the market, to drive the market and create your own economy.