The expanded full funnel model seeks to replace the traditional “spray and pray” marketing activities and unify marketing and sales as one cohesive force.
However, the basic tenets of brand building and generating awareness are still vital, and will serve as full funnel optimizers. In the digital age, the efforts and activities of brand building that were once the specialty of large, dominant brands have become a necessity for all brands in all markets. Easy access to data, digital tools, and affordable advertising platforms has made the playing field far more competitive. Sales organizations big and small, across all industries have come to accept that an aggressive outbound sales approach has become increasingly less effective. To survive, these organizations realize they must take a more polished and strategic approach, working in tandem with marketing to ensure that buyer confidence is high, well before the first interaction with a sales representative.
At the top of the funnel, your audience’s defenses are at their highest. A strong brand serves to alleviate their concerns. It provides familiarity and an expectation of a certain level of quality.
Acquisition is the hardest part of the sales process. You have little data to go by. Your messaging is at its broadest, with no specific insights about the customer to rely on. You’ll get that information later in the form of clicks, calls, shares, surveys, downloads, purchases, and numerous other data sources. So, at the top of the funnel, you will need to try a wide variety of activities to capture audience attention.
Once acquired, that information is analyzed to extract insights that guide messaging and interactions going forward. Along with influential branding and personalized marketing communications, sources of social proof (e.g. testimonials, reviews, accreditations) strengthen the consideration process in the middle of the funnel. These “reasons to believe” in your brand value proposition are essential elements to driving buyer preference at this stage.
Beyond the buyers, brand building has corollary benefits as well. Strong brands affect more than just customers. They attract employees and vendors as well. Employer review sites mean every company now has a highly visible ‘employer brand’ that needs to be managed. Not only do companies with reputations for being good places to work attract higher quality talent, but customers prefer shopping from brands that are known to have happy employees.
Strong brands also provide a degree of leverage with vendors. When Corning bids on a contract to make glass screens for iPhones, it’s not just for the revenue the sale will generate. It’s because supplying parts to a premier product gives them a touch of Apple’s brand magic.
Want to see examples of what steps you can take and what buyer emotions to engage? Utilize our full funnel marketing tool.