Do you know what one of the biggest problems in brand marketing is? Everybody is guessing. That's right. Despite consumer firms spending trillions of dollars every year on marketing, they don't really know what impact they are having on growth and in which areas.
A brand funnel fuelled by a brand tracking software can provide strong marketing direction rather than decisions based on gut feeling. This article will run through exactly what a brand funnel is, as well as how it can help fuel growth at various stages of your business.
What is a brand funnel?
A brand funnel shows how strong a relationship between customers and a brand is at different stages of the customer journey. While it is possible to build a brand funnel that is best suited to your company, most brand funnels include the following segments:
- awareness: how many people have heard of the brand
- consideration: how many of those who are aware of the brand would consider using the brand
- preference: how many people would choose the brand over the competition
- usage: how many people are currently using the brand and to what extent
- advocacy: how many people would recommend the brand
The idea is that brands begin by running brand awareness campaigns to attract their target audience to their product/service, and then nurture them until they reach the status of loyal customer. The shape of the brand funnel makes it easy to pinpoint any areas which are restricting growth.
What you can learn from a brand funnel
One of the best things about a brand funnel is that you can easily assess the health of your brand by looking simply at the shape of your funnel.
A skinny brand funnel indicates the worst health. This shape means that your marketing plan is not really resonating with your audience. It's time to start with the basics and begin promoting your brand with awareness campaigns. If you don't have much budget available, don't worry. Utilising content marketing is a great first step to building your brand. In fact, 53% of marketers said that content marketing is the most effective SEO tactic.
A funnel that has a narrow end means that you are mostly attracting one-time customers. Ask yourself why this is happening: are you depending on vouchers to make sales? Is your customer service lacking? Are customers satisfied with your product/service? Fixing this leak may mean looking beyond what is happening in the marketing department.
The best performing brands have a big, fat brand funnel. Well done! But that doesn't mean the work stops there. With increasing competition and fickle consumers, things can change in the blink of an eye. Make sure you continue to monitor your brand funnel and make sure you're proactive instead of reactive.
How to move customers from point A to B
Awareness to consideration
Moving consumers from the awareness stage to consideration requires significant work defining your target audience. While, as a young company, it can be difficult to fight the urge to jump right in, not targeting the right audience for your brand will keep you stuck in the awareness stage. Why? Quite simply if your marketing campaigns are aimed at the wrong people, they will be ignored. This is something you cannot afford to let happen, especially as consumer mind space becomes oversaturated with adverts from 1,000s of different brands.
The same is true if you're using the wrong messaging when marketing to your target audience. This is especially true for personalised marketing approaches and verticals such as ecommerce email marketing. To really get people to sit up and pay attention, you have to foster an emotional connection. Is this something you feel you are doing? If you are struggling with how to do this, take a look at the Lego “Rebuild the World” campaign.
Consideration to preference
Emotional connection is key to shifting consumers from a consideration to a preference mentality. In your campaigns, you also need to clearly present the value of your product/service. How else will consumers know why they should choose your brand over another? While it can sometimes be beneficial to replicate what is working for your competitor, you need to apply this tactic with caution. It will work out better for you to show how you differ from the competition than why you are exactly like them.
Preference to usage
This is where you convince your target audience to give your brand a go. If you are a B2B company, then you will share this burden with the sales team who should be in contact with potential clients at this point. B2C companies will achieve this shuffle along the brand funnel by focusing on product marketing. No matter your industry, using case studies will work wonders here.
Case studies are great as building brand trust. Fellow consumers can do a better job selling your product/service than you can yourself. They also increase your credibility by showing that there are already consumers out there who are loyal to your brand.
Usage to advocacy
Did you know that U.S. companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service? This could very easily be the reason why the end of your brand funnel isn't as robust as the top. The good news is that this loss can be easy to fix.
Take the time to sit with your customer support team and use some of the best team management channels to understand their pain points. Could it be that they are unable to effectively communicate with customers? Maybe their processes are outdated? Or, sadly, could it be that employees are not engaged enough with your company to give 100% to their role? Once you have answers, you can make the necessary changes that will get your funnel flowing smoothly from top to bottom.
Brand marketing doesn't need to be about guesswork. These days there are many ways in which you can get reliable information that facilitate better marketing decisions. A brand funnel is one of these ways. Set up and monitor a brand funnel today to fuel growth and hit those targets.
Copyright 2020. Article made possible by site supporter Joy Corkery. Joy is Content Marketing Lead at Latana. She has over seven year's marketing experience, helping brands grow by sharing tech and marketing insights.