28th Apr, 2021
Marcom, , Designation
- Know what is full-funnel marketing and how does it work as a core part of the customer outreach strategy?
- Discover best practices to drive scale and revenue.
Marketers and leaders have given a new life to the term full-funnel marketing. Over the past year, many big and small organizations have gone back to the basics in order to spur demand and sales. Many have planned and implemented massive funnel campaigns. Many customer outreach experts are predicting its increased role in business strategy.
But what is full-funnel marketing, and how do does it work?
Let us take a closer look at full-funnel marketing, its relevance in 2021, and how to implement it.
What is full-funnel marketing?
The ‘funnel’ in marketing terminology is a customer outreach strategy to understand each step of the customer journey, right from when they first come across a business or brand until they become a customer. The concept is visually represented as a funnel with a wide entry and keeps narrowing with each successive step. Most experts agree that there are three primary stages of the funnel:
Awareness: The first step that attracts new customers based on their interest, challenge, or unique preferences. The focus of this stage is to generate awareness among audiences who aren’t aware of the brand.
Consideration: Once their attention has been captured, the next step is to place the brand as a viable option over competing products and services by highlighting the USPs. The objective is to communicate the strengths and benefits of purchasing the product or service.
Conversion: This is the final nudge given to convert potential customers into active ones. Usually, they happen in the form of direct CTAs, or call-to-actions and lead to interactions with the organization’s core processes directly.
Newer models add other stages, like ‘desire’ between consideration and conversation, arguing that a specific set of practices and tactics are needed to make products and services desirable to the user base. Similarly, others add another stage towards the end, ‘retention,’ and insist that once a lead has converted, sustained effort to retain them as loyal customers is critical.
Relevance of full-funnel marketing in 2021
The concept of full-funnel marketing has been the bedrock of customer outreach marketing efforts and campaigns for a long time. However, its importance was re-established during the Covid-19 pandemic that forced a large part of the population to live, shop, consume, and behave differently. Well-established sales and marketing processes that helped organizations maintain a steady pipeline were disrupted, and changing customer priorities meant that they were more willing to try new products.
Amidst these changes, enterprises all over the world realized that they need to rework their funnel marketing strategies as per changing customer preferences and trends. Plus, the many benefits of full-funnel marketing, like reaching a wider audience, improving business, boosting customer acquisition and retention, and enhancing brand awareness, make it lucrative for enterprises.
Finally, full-funnel marketing can be contextualized, implemented, and measured using a variety of easily-available tools. This makes it more accessible to businesses of all sizes and shapes and offers a higher degree of flexibility.
Many small, medium and industry-leading tech companies offer dedicated platforms, tools, and resources to engage customers. Today’s digital landscape also gives businesses the ability to devise a multi-channel, non-linear, and evolving strategy that is based on real-time insights and data. In a world where information is available and flows freely, full-funnel marketing can help identify the right audience and cultivate a user base of hyper-interested customers.
Read this blog: Why 2021 will be the year of building customer relationships?
How to set up a full-funnel marketing strategy?
One of the most attractive features of the full-funnel marketing strategy is that once the basic framework is in place, it can be scaled quickly. Although there are no set rules to go about it, planning and executing a full-funnel customer outreach framework involves the following step in some or other capacity:
Understanding how the funnel works and setting goals
While the funnel is a universally-applicable strategy, its implementation will vary across industries and organizations. Thus, the first step should be to clearly define the top, middle, and bottom (consequent to the three stages) of the funnel and understand how customers move along them.
Setting goals for each step, alongside the overall framework, is also equally important. This part involves answering questions like how new audiences would discover the brand and the milestones of the journey. It also involves identifying touchpoints that can be used for engagement, how the journey can be shortened, and how can leaks be plugged along the way? The end goal is to improve the traction into the funnel by nurturing the right set of customers and leads based on a holistically integrated network of industry segments, geography, and profiles.
Selecting the right tools for each step
Identifying the right channels and tools that will be deployed at each step is essential for the entire model to function. First, finalize the type of funnel that will be applicable at each stage (like lead magnet funnel, social media marketing funnel, SEO funnel, email funnel, or webinar funnel. etc.) and then choose the exact tool that will be used.
Marketing campaigns can be based on tools and resources from the same service provider (like Google) as well. As per the chosen type and tool, the objective will be building awareness, increasing interest, or nudging to take action.
Optimizing the content strategy
Content forms a fundamental component of the full-funnel marketing framework. The entire content strategy needs to be in synergy with the goals of the campaign, and different formats and types of content must be used at each step. Generally, blogging, SEO, and social media are used to attract audiences, followed by email, retargeting, and outreach to educate them, and finally, personalized, value-driven offers, and direct contact to convert them into a customer.
Different formats like blogs, social media posts, white papers, e-books, tool kits, webinars, user guides, reviews, comparison, case studies are some commonly used content formats across the entire process.
Unifying marketing and sales efforts
Synchronization between the efforts of the marketing functions is vital for the successful delivery of full-funnel customer outreach results. A lack of synergy between the two leads to staggered and disjointed customer experiences, which may result in a higher drop-off or leakage.
Through practices like lead scoring, joint training, clear hand-offs, and the use of common marketing collaterals, the user experience can be made consistently engaging. This collaboration needs to go beyond sharing the same workplace and be based on sharing the same set of values, practices, culture, and processes. A unified set of goals and practices will also enable the sales team to connect faster with the leads and prospect, thus, boosting conversion rates.
Planning to connect sales and marketing functions? Know what all it takes?
Tracking the right metrics
Zeroing in on the right set of key performance indicators (KPIs) is the final piece of the puzzle. More often than not, organizations struggle to measure the right set of metrics and tend to focus on singular and isolated numbers. However, each step must have reliable and accurate data-gathering mechanisms in place.
These include, but are not limited to; sales funnel conversions, entry sources, customer’s time in each stage, exits or leakages, engagement in different forms of content, and close rate. Most tools used to implement full-funnel strategies come equipped with advanced data collection and analysis features.
Full-funnel marketing: Best practices and pro tips
Spend time and effort in nurturing leads: Don’t oversell or over-promote the product or service from the get-go. Instead, spend time nurturing leads and leading them to a place of decision.
Build authority by offering value: Generate high-value webinars, videos, podcasts, whitepapers, and reports that provide unique insights and content and give it away for free to audiences. Offering industry thought leadership content that initiates conversations will establish authority, trust, and goodwill.
Remain culturally relevant: When expanding to new markets or geographies, be sure to orient all content and marketing as per the local culture and norms. Consult local experts and leaders for guidance and support.
Personalization is vital: Be it in the form of a customized email greeting, or a phone call from a sales representative, personalizing the content goes a long way in engaging and nurturing leads.
Focus on pipeline building: When expanding the scope of your marketing efforts, focus on building a healthy pipeline of prospects. Set milestones for each step along the way to ensure sustained progress and movement throughout the pipeline, thus, avoiding the focus singularly at one customer stage.
Have a unique brand identity: The efforts towards generating awareness will give handsome returns if the brand has a unique and easily identifiable visual and audio identity in the market.
Optimization for all devices: Ensure that all the content is viewable and readable across a variety of commonly-used devices. Broken content or links are one of the biggest reasons for customer drop-offs and leakages.
Consistency is key: Funnel marketing isn’t a short-term project with a clear starting and ending point and fixed timeline. It is a continuous and ever-evolving process that requires consistent effort, resources, and attention.
Continuous feedback and upgrades: Like all processes, activities in the funnel marketing framework must be regularly reviewed and appraised for improvement. Continuous engagement and feedback will help in improving the messaging by taking into account the pain-points and challenges from a variety of stakeholders.
Keep experimenting: Finally, make the most of the uniquely flexible and non-linear structure of funnel marketing to apply creativity and innovation. Don’t be afraid to experiment and think outrageously.
In this blog, we briefly explained what full-funnel marketing and its basics. It is the practice of full-funnel marketing can help businesses tide through disruptions by helping gain new customers and reach a wider audience. Although it uses familiar tools, full-funnel marketing tactics are successful and effective in a variety of situations and regions. By taking their customers through the three stages, businesses inculcate strong loyalty and advocacy in their customers.
Digital provides the shortest path to productize customer outreach framework. Contact Denave experts get your full-funnel strategy kickstarted