Why focusing on the entire marketing funnel is key for long-term brand growth – Nielsen - Social Media Explorer
Why focusing on the entire marketing funnel is key for long-term brand growth – Nielsen
Why focusing on the entire marketing funnel is key for long-term brand growth – Nielsen

Brands of every size and industry saw their marketing budgets decrease after the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020. Many brands had to halt or reduce their brand awareness campaigns as a way to cut costs. The brands refocused their resources and bandwidth on engaging existing customers, rather than trying to win new ones.

 Because they inspire immediate action from consumers, lower-funnel tactics like these are attractive when markets are uncertain, and marketers want to be able to continue reporting results to leadership. That said, forgoing upper-funnel priorities (like brand awareness) on account of a delayed return on investment isn’t sustainable for long-term brand growth.

 Marketers have learned to recalibrate their tactics to not only address our new realities but also pave the way for future success. Balanced marketing strategies are essential to address growth. This means that upper-funnel branding efforts should be used in conjunction with lower- and mid-funnel activities.

Below are some ways brands can create a balanced marketing strategy.

Think about the journey of the customer from start to finish

A consumer can’t engage with a brand if they’ve never heard of it, which is why marketers must target new prospects through brand awareness initiatives to create a pipeline for future sales. The potential return on investment is higher for lower-funnel initiatives once these prospects have entered the pipeline. According to SME research, sales can increase by 1% if there is a 1 point improvement in brand metrics like awareness.

Believing that growth is their main focus, brands must keep in mind that customers who are already loyal and have enjoyed a positive experience should still return to the brand. To stay in the minds of consumers, even well-known brands will continue to use top-of-the-funnel strategies. Given the prevalence of choice and access to a product or service, staying in consumers’ minds can be the difference-maker when a sale is on the line.

Reach prospects by sending the right messages through the right channels to target them

For consumers to get to know your brand and drive sales, it is important that you present messaging that resonates. For inspiration, marketers should consider any major trends or news events and articulate how their products or services align with them, thereby underscoring the brand’s relevancy. Marketers can use their audience knowledge to create messaging that addresses their customers’ needs and shows them they value their brand. Individuals who have just heard about a brand might not be as responsive to calls for action than those who are already familiar with the brand. To grow their customer base, marketers must mix messaging.

Marketers need to think about the choices they make when choosing channels. SME examined the effectiveness of nine channels to drive short-term insurance sales. They found that many channels which were successful in driving brand awareness and consideration failed to do so in increasing brand awareness. It was surprising considering the amount of budget that went into this campaign. Considering how consumers will receive a brands’ messaging is just as important as the content of that messaging. If messaging is not tailored across platforms, it can lead to wasted money that could have been spent on more well-thought messaging.

Convince business leaders about the importance of higher-funnel initiatives

Leaders in business will be eager to see tangible results. But marketers need to educate their organization on the hidden sales potential of brand building. Leadership will feel rewarded for their perseverance in achieving sales goals if they can show evidence of brand-building success by measuring brand equity and long-term sales.

Although lower-funnel activities can be attractive to sales people, they are not effective at driving future sales. Over-prioritizing conversion-oriented marketing is likely to lead to a decrease in sales and a decline in brand growth. It is because lower-funnel marketing cannot support a brand. SME research has shown that while higher-funnel advertising is not as effective at generating immediate ROI, it can still drive short-term sales and foster a future pipeline. This is why higher-funnel activities should be given more prominence.

Marketing success is not measured solely by sales. Given that different activities work towards different goals and can be measured using shared metrics, it is possible to depress the combined impact of the two. The effectiveness of messages that are higher-funnel can be measured using metrics such awareness or consideration. However, conversions allow for the measurement of messages that are lower-funnel. Conversions are more than sales, though: they can be a consumer signing up for email newsletters, downloading a whitepaper, listening to a webinar—the list goes on. A measurement platform can be used to track action attribution so brands can monitor the results of brand building, awareness campaigns and pinpoint potential areas for improvement.

While quick wins from conversion-dominated marketing can feel satisfying at the time, it rarely leads to long-term brand growth. Marketing strategies must adapt to budget changes and the continuing pandemic. To keep the company on track and to grow it, marketers should create a marketing plan that balances every part of the funnel.

This article appeared first onToolbox Marketing.

SME Paid Under

About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

VIP Explorer’s Club