The idea of a collapsed marketing funnel is nothing new; the digital age of retail and e-commerce has flipped consumer journeys on their head, often changing the entire customer cycle while shortening and accelerating conversions. With 80% of the developed global population online, it’s important for brands who are operating with a split funnel strategy to update their approach. Brands are guaranteed to hit consumers at multiple touchpoints with a given message whether they realize it or not. While marketers can all agree that a full-funnel focus is key to creating a cohesive customer journey, we also recognize several potential roadblocks to this strategy shift. This division can happen internally at brands between branding and performance, or agency side, when the agency is not running full-funnel and is segmented to one channel or area of the funnel. With that in mind, consider the following when crafting your 2019 brand strategy to bridge gaps across the funnel. Reach the Right People Reach the right people by tapping into first-party data; consider this your “quick win” tactic. CRM data is the easiest way to pinpoint who your core customers are and develop highly qualified lookalike audiences for prospecting. Lookalikes are built off known attributes of consumers in your original list like demographic, geographic, or behavioral characteristics, making them highly likely to become customers themselves. Lookalikes have often been looked at as traditionally mid-funnel, but can drive success in top of funnel branding placements, driving strong engagement and fueling performance tactics. With the Right Message Create brand moments that prompt action. Once you’ve reached the right people, it’s important that your brand is breaking through the clutter to reach these people in the right way. One way to do this is by leveraging high-impact ad units on social platforms to create a brand moment that prompts action. For example, Facebook is always coming out with new ways to spark audience interest like Instant Experiences (formerly known as Canvas units) that allow customers to interact with a branding message in the moment, without redirecting them to the brand site immediately. Trying to send top-funnel audiences straight to site can often risk losing the consumer, particularly if page load times are a concern. Instant Experiences also act as a hybrid between top and mid-funnel, integrating shoppable, video, and interactive features. In the Right Place Contextual messaging is key. Ad experiences can and should be customized in the programmatic space to reach the right people, with the right message, in the right place. Like paid social, programmatic media buying allows advertisers to reach lookalike audiences, however contextual targeting is key to connecting with users with messaging tailored to where they are when they’re online. For example, maybe your brand’s audience contains a lot of parents, and your creative contains messaging or imagery tailored to parents as well. Use contextual targeting to align with parenting sites or communities where they spend time online to increase reach and engagement.

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