Most marketers have heard of what a marketing funnel is. One can quickly tell you the three critical stages of the path: awareness, consideration, and conversion.
But I reckon some marketers might confuse a marketing funnel with a customer journey.
While a marketing funnel is linear, a customer journey is dynamic. In today's fragmented media world, every customer journey can be unique.
"This month is just about awareness. The next months can enter into the consideration and conversion stage." If a marketer thinks that he/she can communicate with customers step by step as they plan, he/she is going to be disappointed.
When seeing your ads, most customers don't care or have no idea about the upper or lower marketing funnel. They will enter at any stage of your marketing funnel or even skip some steps.
If your campaign is transactional and you are lucky enough, your customers might go straight to visit your e-commerce site to purchase after seeing your conversion ad with a discount code.
On the other hand, you might have increased your chance to convert a customer by a consideration ad that provides some good reasons for a purchase.
An awareness ad that can create a positive image for your brand will also expand your potential customer base. In return, even with a similar conversion rate at the lower funnel, you will end up converting more customers.
As a customer journey is dynamic, you need to adopt a full-funnel marketing approach.
When planning a campaign, a marketer needs to develop creative assets to serve all marketing funnel's stages. As every customer journey is unique, marketers might even need to switch on the advertising engine at all stages of the marketing funnel at the same time.
As an ex-traditional creative director and now a digital marketing specialist, I still believe that a big idea is critical for an advertising campaign. However, a big idea shouldn't be a top-down approach but a top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top integration.
At Hungry Digital, we adopt this full-funnel marketing mindset in most of our campaign developments. The creative content of the lower funnel is never an afterthought or simply an adaptation of the upper funnel's creatives. Each creative should be solid enough to stand alone to serve different marketing objectives.
We also emphasise the value of creative optimisation. If needed, we will work with our media agency partners seamlessly to improve the performance of our creatives at any stage of the marketing funnel.
Full-funnel marketing is not just a campaign-based strategy; it is a shift of mindset to ensure your marketing effort optimises both brand building and business growth.
This article is contributed by Rudi Leung, director and founder of Hungry Digital.