Why you need full funnel marketing vision
Does your business have funnel vision? If not, you should!
Believe it or not, roughly 67% of B2B marketers state not meeting or didn’t know if they were meeting the demands of the sales pipeline [source: B2B Magazine]. Sound a bit scary? That’s because it is.
Every marketer wants to be generating leads for sales, that’s a given. However, placing too much emphasis on bottom of the funnel tactics just isn’t cutting it obviously. I’m not denying that bottom of the funnel is highly effective because it is. I’m just saying that there is an even better and more strategic approach to your funnel.
Full Funnel Marketing
Are you fishing in the great blue sea or just keeping your head above water in the shallow, murky red ocean for a dwindling pool of prospects? Think about it, seriously.
In a recent report by Brian Solis, Altimeter Group’s disruptive technologies brain, full funnel marketing suites will be a key disruptive technology in 2015 and 2016 that will change “how brands think and work.”
I read Brian’s content a lot to help me stay sharp and abreast of what lies directly ahead and what’s coming at us really quickly. And to talk about it I really need to chunck it out in bite sized pieces to make sense of it all. And the chunk for this post is Full Funnel Marketing because it’s upon us and Brands just aren’t getting it yet.
The bottom of the funnel may be too late
The buyer is in control folks! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the buyer journey has changed forever so let’s get over it and embrace it. Forrester Research last year stated that the buyers’ journey is a far as 90% completed before they’ll ever pick up the phone to call you. And if you do get to them in the bottom of the funnel where you usually fish, you could be too late. Think about it, when you are 90% through your own path to purchase, do you already have a shortlist? Ya, of course you do. So why would your buyers be any different?
Full Funnel Marketing will get your brand and your products front and center at the beginning, middle and bottom of the funnel.
Well one of the things that struck me was that as we move forward the future of search lies outside Google as well. In Brian’s 25 disruptive technology trends for 2015-2016, he cites that more than 88% of consumers are now influenced by other consumers. Customers are also starting searches in places such as YouTube, Pinterest and also directly in Apps.
It’s no wonder that Google is betting on YouTube and Apps right now. Why do I know this? Because we’re a Google Alliance Global Partner and Google has actually told us as much. In fact, tomorrow morning 100 executives will converge on the Google Toronto campus for a digital breakfast we’re co-hosting and these facts will also be shared there. That and something called micro-moments in consumer demand, but that’s a whole other post.
What then does a full funnel approach look like
If you start with the basics, just split your funnel into three simple steps and automate it. It’ll be quasi-impossible to do without it:
- Step 1 = Reach
- Step 2 = Nurture
- Step 3 = Acquire
What to do in Step 1
This is obviously the very top of your funnel. Your job here is to increase brand and product awareness and shape the perception of your business with content marketing, display advertising, social media, content syndication, blogs et al. Here’s where engagement begins.
What to do in Step 2
Once you’ve identified your marketing qualified leads, your nurturing efforts begin. You can use content marketing and display advertising here as well, but with a different message. And don’t discount email marketing, it’s still a really powerful tool as long as it’s done well.
This is the step when you decide if a marketing qualified lead is a sales ready lead. And if they are, move to Step 3 as quickly as possible with your Sales Team.
What to do in Step 3
Well, you have Sales close the deal. But that’s only the beginning. Because once acquired, you now have to service that client or customer with an outstanding CX. Ah yes, you will need to define what that looks like for your business, because it’s also becoming more important than ever before. It’s harder to acquire customers and it’s harder to keep them.