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5 Steps to Improving Your Full-Funnel Marketing Strategy

The rise of digital advertising has empowered marketing campaigns to be more measurable than ever. Growth continues to accelerate across data-driven targeting and attribution measurement.

Deploying marketing campaigns programmatically across channels and devices is allowing marketers to plan and execute full-funnel strategies more accurately and efficiently than ever before. Marketers are installing touchpoints across a user’s journey based on that consumer’s mindset, identified traits, recent behaviors, and more data points to facilitate unique, personalized experiences from one stage to the next. Programmatic campaigns are driving awareness and conversions more effectively, efficiently, and measurably by the day.

Outlined below are five areas of consideration that will lead you to stronger performing full-funnel marketing campaigns, with more trackable results to back it up.

1. Prepare for choice

Programmatic advertising provides the ability to leverage choice to maximize campaign performance. In marketing, as in life, success often stems from our ability to make calculated and thoughtful choices. Selecting what we want, how we want it when we want it makes a big difference in perspective and results. The best outcomes typically come to fruition through good choices that are built on the knowledge we have about situations and scenarios. Timing also impacts the campaign’s effect and bad information (or data) leads to misinformed choices. Acting too early or waiting too long to pull the trigger can also alter the aftermath of a campaign.

Effective, results-driven marketing in today’s environment is all about automating ad delivery choices based on data and insights. Executing efficient and impactful digital campaigns has never been more accessible. The rise of programmatic has provided advertisers the ability to deliver the right ads, to the right person, at the right time.

We can deliver ads across a multitude of channels and while utilizing various messages methodically to better understand which creative, call to action, and offer drives the strongest response from users. Plus, the order in which we deliver ads in sequence can drive response rates efficiencies.

Structuring campaigns to learn as much as possible positions marketers for performance growth and opportunities to evolve approaches for their next campaign. Developing campaigns with future choices in mind will continue to lead to learnings and improved results as the marketplace introduces new technologies and channels to drive efficiencies and conversions.

2. Know so you can target your audiences

Ask yourself what you know about your target audiences beyond age, gender, and location.
When and what was their last purchase from you?
What other brands do they engage with? What are their interests, hobbies, and behaviors?
What websites do they frequent online? What retail stores do they visit in person?

More questions about your audience lead to more answers.
More answers lead to more clarity around your audience segments, how you can effectively reach them, and ultimately nurture them down the sales funnel to a purchase.

Build your marketing, communications, and sales strategy journeys so you can learn more about your customers along the way. Build-in opportunities for them to share information with you so you can improve their customer experience. Prepare to maximize this valuable information by building an infrastructure where you can aggregate your 1st party data across sources in preparation to learn from it and leverage it in future campaigns.

Knowing more about our audience provides opportunities to reach them through new channels. Addressable advertising, or household level targeting, allows advertisers to send digital ads into specified homes. The granular measurability that comes with this specific technology is a game-changer. Strategies and messages will continue to become more personalized as the capabilities to target users 1:1 advance. More sophisticated data architecture and aggregation will be required, as well as abilities to automate and customize creative messaging developed to relate to that specific individual.

More opportunities to hyper-target your audiences will continue to emerge in the coming years. The requirement in the now is to build a bridge of communication between you and your audience so you can acquire more data points on them as a consumer. This data will be invaluable in the years to come as you will have the opportunity to deploy against it in a variety of ways.

audience chart
3. Video is a must

Screens, screens, screens. People cannot get enough of their screens. Smartphones, tablets, desktops, TVs. Programmatic campaigns enable you to reach your audience across all their devices via multiple tactics. Over the past several months, the consumption of digital content has accelerated, with much of that acceleration occurring in the form of video.

Digital video consumption will continue to grow as users’ time spent on their devices is projected to continue growing each year, especially on mobile devices. User consumption behavior across devices provides marketers with insights direction on where messaging needs to be positioned to reach potential consumers.

Connected TV (CTV), Over-the-Top (OTT), addressable video, pre-roll video, digital video, streaming video. No matter how you slice it, internet-connected device video consumption will continue to grow.

All digital video tactics provide the opportunity to bring your audience into your sales funnel and nurture them from awareness to decision. YouTube and other social media platforms provide very viable options to deploy your video assets. Building a plan now to develop video content over the next 12 months that you can utilize across paid, owned, and earned media in the coming year is crucial.

Our teams have been consistently building awareness and driving conversions across industries by deploying long-form to short-form video in sequence as we message a brand, their products, and their services. For example, a campaign might look something like this:

  • Build awareness with 30-second videos that share brand messaging.
  • Drive consideration with 15-second videos that highlight your company’s reasons to buy versus your competitors.
  • Achieve conversions with frequency building 6-second videos that promote offers and creates urgency for users to act now. We have experienced time and again that long form to short form video in sequential order nurtures users down sales funnels to perform online and offline actions.
time spent by device chart
4. Communicate across devices

Buying decisions are made across multiple devices in today’s world. Taking a mobile-first mindset and prioritizing the smartphone is crucial, but integrating cross-device campaigns provides opportunities for increased learnings and stronger response rates. Brands must ensure they are present in the moment when a buyer is ready to purchase, no matter the device.

Programmatic allows marketers to track frequency and touchpoints of a user across all their devices during a given campaign. Ensuring that your campaigns are being deployed across devices allows marketers the opportunity to communicate messaging and convert users no matter how they are surfing the web. Even more importantly, it provides an opportunity to understand the location, cadence, frequency, and sequence of messaging that drives your desired result! The ability to test audio, video, and experiential ad types across devices proves to be both valuable and effective. Experimentation with cross-device campaigns lead to rich learnings about how best to drive users down your sales and marketing funnel.

Digital marketing campaigns are a hybrid trial of science and art, so blurred that it’s near impossible to see where one ends and the other begins. Reach vs. frequency. Message vs. imagery. Size vs. movement. Desktop vs. mobile. It is so important that campaigns are built very much for learning to apply to future performance, while also being built to maximize current campaign performance and return. It is as important that learnings are applied within the context of the device exposing the message to the user and the subsequent action taken in your sales funnel.

timeline illustration
5. Achieve and maintain scale

Over ten million ads per second are delivered across the internet. This total will continue to grow. With more and more inventory being available in the future, it will be more important than ever to know what and how much to buy for a successful campaign. While digital campaigns can be hyper-targeted to reach your specified audience segments, it is crucial to build campaigns for scale to drive the strongest performance possible.

If a campaign is so targeted that you are not including new potential customers or your target audience does not contain enough volume to leverage machine learning for optimizations, campaign performance will suffer. The scale will breed opportunities for learnings but also increased the chance to find the right buyer in the right moment to drive action. Plus, as you scale up your campaigns, the time and energy it takes to maintain campaigns remain relatively flat. There are many execution efficiencies as you scale up a campaign after an initial strong performance. Lots of upsides as you achieve initial campaign success, then increase investment to replicate performance across a larger universe.

Think of a digital campaign scale in terms of sales. It is and always will be a numbers game. Not every prospect you target will become a lead. Not every lead you contact will result in a pitch. Not every pitch you do will convert into a sell. Digital campaigns must drive volume (aka opportunities) into your marketing funnel to provide the possibility of reaching a buyer who is ready and willing to engage.

Build scale by defining multiple target audiences to deploy against. Execute campaigns that reach previous/current customers and educate them on new products and services you offer. Your digital campaigns should also be geared to reach new audiences that have not done business with you before or may currently be doing business with one of your competitors. If you are not intentionally seeking ways to grow your audience with digital campaigns, you are missing a huge opportunity to feed your funnel for future sales growth.

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