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Jan 07

Full-funnel marketing series: Awareness

Full-funnel marketing campaigns consist of several different stages with each stage demanding its own marketing tactics, activities, and goals to ensure it fuels conversions in the final stage.

When someone makes a purchase, it is never in a vacuum. There are very few cases of an offer being shown to a consumer and they accept within the same interaction. Before a sale is made there could be hundreds of touchpoints, activities, and interactions that take place before the consumer makes their decision.

Brand awareness goals in full-funnel marketing
If you’re looking to drive more conversions and sales, then it starts with brand awareness. It is very difficult to convert a customer if they don’t know what your brand is. The brand awareness stage is meant to cast a wide net and start the marketing process for as many people as possible.

The later stages of the marketing funnel have goals directly related to driving user action, through contacting a lead or making a sale. However, at the top of the funnel, goals are focused on first impressions with consumers and impacting their thought process as they move closer to making a purchase. It takes time to start a relationship and get to know each other, so consumers will look to other avenues such as social proof and consider competitors before moving further down the funnel. Data shows that 70 percent of U.S. consumers look for a “Known retailer” when searching for a product throughout their shopping journey, which is why effective brand awareness tactics are critical to lower-funnel impact.

Understanding your brand awareness audience
The brand awareness phase is focused on building the start of a meaningful relationship. One of the most important things for you to consider as a marketer is, do you know who you are talking to and the questions they want answered before they go on to make a decision? What problem does your customer need solved? Are they looking for a product or a service? What information are they missing before they can make a decision? Are they sophisticated and well-versed in your field? What kind of offer are they looking for? Help your customers answer these questions accurately by positioning yourself not only as a provider of goods and services but an educator and hub of discussion for the industry.

Tactics for brand awareness
Connected TV
Connected TV (CTV) is a powerful brand awareness tactic available to reach broad audiences through motion and sound. CTV inventory includes video ads that can be placed on any TV or device connected to the internet accessing video streaming content, providing unique placement beyond what is available via a traditional cable provider.

Connected TV offers campaigns with contextual alignment, detailed targeting, and live reporting on success. CTV is the next big step forward for digital marketing creating brand awareness campaigns with a broad reach. Digital advertising has taken center stage in the marketing landscape with its ability to target diverse and specific audiences through its unique ad inventory. Traditional television advertising has continued to be utilized for its broad reach and contextual intensity. CTV brings scaleable targeting without the need for third-party cookies.

The boom in popularity is not just a fad; this tactic brings the best of both worlds while adhering to the growing trend of streaming TV content. A recent survey by The Trade Desk showed that 27% of consumers in their sample are planning to cut their cable cords and look for free, low-cost streaming TV. That same survey revealed that 68% of all TV viewing comes from streaming services.

Display advertising
Through the use of real-time bidding (RTB), you can purchase inventory or ad placements on a variety of websites and apps on the open web. Ad networks act as an intermediary between advertisers, publishers, and consumers. When a reader loads a webpage, a relevant ad is loaded in a fraction of a second. These advertisements appear above, below, alongside, and even in the middle of web page content, and are found across every imaginable style and type of website.

The upsides of display advertising for the awareness stage is that the reach is nearly endless, allowing you to keep your campaigns evergreen and continue bringing new prospects into the fold. You can reach customers in every corner of the open web with contextual targeting — and reach them with CPMs lower than most types of targeted advertising. With display ads, you are able to target relevant customers, build positive brand perceptions, and have a presence within a variety of content.

Identifying success and optimizing your campaign
The value of your brand awareness campaign won’t be measured by your sales or by your ROI at this phase. The value of a brand awareness campaign can be measured by how many consumers continue down the marketing funnel and come closer to taking action over time.

When measuring the success of your full-funnel marketing campaign, there are two different kinds of conversions to consider, cumulative conversions and next step conversions. Cumulative conversions are the actions that occur in the later stages of the funnel, like making a sale, or booking a meeting with a sales rep. Next step conversions are the steps consumers take along the way between the stages of the funnel, which is more indicative of an awareness campaign’s success.

A next step conversion may include a variety of actions depending on your campaign’s goals. When next step conversion actions are set in the awareness stage they should be achievable actions a consumer would take to show that they are interested in learning more about your product or service. An event like signing up for your email newsletter or arriving on a unique landing page after clicking on an ad highlights the consumers who are ready to hear from you and engage with more relevant content.

Outside of results through conversion events with individuals, awareness campaigns also yield quantitative results to show the success of your campaign at a higher level. Changes in metrics such as search or site traffic, organic social media activity, or responses to an awareness survey, help you understand the effectiveness of your campaign and locate your most valuable audiences as they explore your brand on their own. By analyzing your results, you can begin to understand who are your best audiences, if they came from a first or third party data source, and where they converted to the next step in the funnel, whether it was after viewing a connected TV ad or after seeing an ad on their mobile device.

The awareness stage of a full-funnel marketing strategy is a critical starting point that supplies the rest of the funnel with valuable data and prospective leads to focus on. By exposing a wide audience to your brand with actionable goals within the awareness stage, the consideration and conversion stages of the funnel will have a variety of strong leads to continue pursuing. But if the awareness stage is left unattended, the number of cumulative conversions throughout the funnel will decrease dramatically as fewer and fewer people even make it to the final stages.

An intentionally crafted and monitored awareness campaign can enhance overall marketing success while improving measurement throughout the funnel, impacting the number of conversions at the bottom of the funnel, and generating a higher return on ad spend without increasing your ad budget.

Need more insight on how to create valuable interaction through your awareness campaigns? Watch our webinar focused on boosting your marketing ROI with a full-funnel strategy.

Katie Harker is Choozle’s Director of Media Strategy. An experienced media planner and buyer, solver of problems, and driver of results, Katie works closely with client’s media execution and emerging opportunities at Choozle. When she’s not at work, you can find her skiing, playing tennis or volleyball, and uncorking a bottle of wine.

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