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What is full funnel?

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At JJ, we think full funnel marketing is an excellent way to attract customers, keep them interested and ultimately achieving plenty of sales.

You might expect us to say that, but we’re happy to practice what we preach and be firm advocates of the full funnel way of doing things. Not so long ago, we would have described ourselves as an integrated agency but in recent years, we began to deliver more value to our clients by joining up activity in line with their customers’ journeys.

It seems to be working pretty well, with more and more of our clients asking us “what is full funnel and how can it work for us?”

Here’s a rundown of some of the questions you might have about full funnel marketing and some answers that give you an insight into how it all works.

For the uninitiated, what’s full funnel marketing about?

It’s a response to the way people now buy products and services. Put simply, the research into those purchases happens online, where customers are self-educating, very often with no direct communication between the potential buyer and the brand that’s attempting to sell. In fact, 90% of the path to purchase is complete before the buyer contacts the brand.

In these circumstances, where your customers are inundated with information and advertising from your competitors, it’s much trickier to get your brand noticed. It’s not feasible to sit and wait for your customers to contact you. They probably won’t. So, you need to catch their attention in the most compelling and creative way. And once you’ve got it, be there with the right messages at the right times so that you guide them through their own decision-making process and drive them to make a purchase.

Good full funnel marketing activity can consist of various different tactics and channels, all of which need to be joined-up to create a strategy that’s tied to a brand’s wider business goals.

So what kind of brands can make use of full funnel marketing?

Any brand where a prospective customer has to make a considered purchasing decision. And we aren’t talking about impulse items such as chewing gum – we’re talking about high value purchases such as insurance, mortgages, cars, capital equipment … you get the idea! As long as there are potential customers thinking about and researching the product or service you sell, there’s a place for full funnel.

Inevitably, that means that full funnel is naturally more associated with B2B but it’s increasingly applied to B2C too. Each of our clients is different – and so are their customers’ needs. It means we’ll tailor our full-funnel approach according to their objectives, our specialisms and what will work best.

In reality, it also means that our activity can sometimes be standalone and/or focused on just one part of the funnel. But, even when this is the case, our full funnel approach still has a role to play. Working with our clients, we make sure we understand their wider commercial objectives and business strategy so that any activity we deliver is aligned to these goals.

Why would I want to work with a full funnel marketing agency? Isn’t it just another kind of integrated agency?

They represent different ways of working. A full funnel agency isn’t the same as an integrated agency, which is more of a “one-stop shop” for the delivery of various tactical bits and bats that aren’t necessarily linked. There’s a place for integrated agencies and we’re only too happy to say that we used to be one ourselves.

But times change, and we’ve evolved – so whereas integrated agencies are more about “doing,” these days full funnel agencies like JJ look to work in partnership with clients, adopting a much more strategic angle. Different skills, technology, insight, analysis and, of course, creativity contribute to that strategy in their own ways and bring a full funnel approach to life.

Be honest – isn’t full funnel just another marketing fad?

A slightly cynical view but a valid question which we’re happy to answer! These days, your prospective customers are not sitting and waiting to hear from you. Instead, they’re busy discovering things themselves, online. Today’s customers are ‘always on’ and as a result, your brand needs to be there too. With the average adult in the UK now spending a staggering 7 hours and 56 minutes consuming media every day, your customers are not only actively researching but are equally being fed content subconsciously.

The key is to be there when that’s happening and to reach those people at the right time and via the most appropriate channels. And yes, they need to notice you – but this isn’t all about in-your-face advertising.

Full funnel marketing is actually a pretty subtle process, where leads are carefully nurtured, converted into customers and perhaps even advocates for your brand. It’s an extremely effective approach that reflects buyer behaviour that’s been transformed by the digital era.

What kind of marketing activity fits into a full funnel approach, and what doesn’t?

All sorts of marketing activities can be adopted as part of a full funnel approach – it’s how they’re used and what role they play that counts. This largely depends on a brand’s end goals and its strategy for achieving them.

On a general level, content plays a crucial part in the full funnel process, as prospects are fed a carefully selected diet of articles, videos, case studies and more which move them through the funnel. But think of any marketing activity (SEO, events, direct mail, the list goes on …) and the chances are it can be adopted into a full funnel approach as long as it’s relevant to the overall objective and fits into that wider picture.

What if I’ve not got time to nurture people through funnels?

We believe that funnels work best when the product or service you are selling is not a purchase to be made lightly. If you’re selling high value, considered purchases and you’re not investing the time in nurturing your prospects through the funnel, you may end up with marketing that lacks value, or prospects that aren’t convinced to convert. It could be disjointed. And you’re more likely to be juggling lots of different activities that don’t necessarily align to your wider objectives and can’t be effectively measured.

If you’re simply looking for sales, there are of course a number of individual tactics that can be deployed in an effort to get the phones ringing, but you’ll be casting your net very widely, with lots of wastage.

By contrast, full funnel marketing will take a little more time but will be more than worth it thanks to a combination of co-ordinated activities that end up delivering more bang for your buck.

Is it easy to measure a full funnel marketing strategy?

In theory, yes, although it does depend to some extent on the data and systems that each client has access to. We’ll always work to measure full funnel activity and evidence results and know the importance of doing so. In fact, we’re so keen on ROI that we’ve put together a guide to help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing activity.

It all sounds impressive – but how do I go about persuading my CEO that he should spend money on full funnel marketing?

A full funnel marketing agency can deliver a variety of tactics pinned to an overall strategy that’s developed by working closely with a client. This comes through a combination of skills that are brought together under one roof – a combination of skills, which includes lots of different specialisms and which is often tricky (and expensive) to replicate in-house. At JJ, we act as an extension of your marketing team. You’ll get a barn full of experts and joined-up thinking that puts you at the cutting edge, makes you look good and delivers the value you’re looking for.

Want to know more? We’re poised to answer any questions you’ve got about full funnel marketing and the way we do it here at JJ.

Or, take a look at some of the full funnel strategies we have put into action for our clients.