Anyone that took a marketing class in college should remember the AIDA marketing pyramid. The purpose is to give someone a basic understanding of how to target your audience correctly and how a consumer’s general decision making process works when making a purchase.
Offline marketers have used the method above for decades to target their market. The basic concept of the AIDA Funnel makes sense to offline marketers, but some digital marketers do not believe the same approach is necessary.
Many people are now brainwashed that if the first click or impression doesn’t result in a direct action (i.e. conversion), it was not a wise investment. As mentioned in my previous blog, on Search Engine Journal, “Are You Looking at Paid Advertising the Right Way”, looking at your digital marketing investment this way will continue to shrink what’s in the bottom part of you marketing funnel and therefore leads/sales will diminish overtime.
Digital marketers have an advantage over offline marketers—digital marketers have more data, control, and can easily report on performance. The problem is many digital marketers expected to receive a positive ROI from their initial investment and are unable to think about the long-term investment and impact a full funnel marketing strategy will have on their business.
Below is an ideal funnel for digital marketing with tactics that help with each segment:
Investing in the top layers of the funnel allow you to reach a more extensive audience through branding and awareness campaigns, making them more likely to convert later down the road during the acquisition phase. Due to the fact that you are not getting as many immediate conversions in these steps it is important to have the correct tracking in place in order to properly manage and analyze these efforts. While it is difficult for some marketers to see the value of investing in this method, having correct tracking and an attribution model in place will allow you to attribute value to higher level actions.
Final thoughts: Not every company can afford to invest a lot of their marketing budget in digital tactics that help fill the top of the funnel. However; when considering your future marketing budget and all the avenues your company may use for customer acquisition (TV, radio, newspaper, tradeshows, etc.), really take time to consider allocating more budget that will connect you to prospects at the top of the digital funnel based on demographic and interest targeting online; this should be more measurable online rather than offline.
Joe Castro is the Director of Online Advertising at Fathom, a digital marketing & analytics agency. He has worked at Fathom since January 2008 with a concentration in search engine marketing (SEM) and display advertising. Joe’s worked with a variety of clients across various industries including education, healthcare, e-commerce, and hospitality.