The biggest mistake in marketing is focusing on activities, not outcomes.
As marketers we seem to be disproportionately drawn to talking about the next big thing. When it comes to creating strategies we tend to focus on one part of the sales and marketing funnel, such as more brand awareness, increased organic traffic or lifting a conversion rate of a website. We then wash our hands of the rest of the funnel, because it’s someone else’s job.
Yet, the end goal of marketing is to maximize profit, based on life time value.
To achieve this we need to take ownership and measure the full sales and marketing funnel. This gives us the data to find where the most profitable customers are coming from providing the insights to dial-up each stage of that funnel. If it’s a digital campaign this could be increasing:
Impression share > click through rate > conversion rate > sales conversion rate > upselling and advocacy.
When you are increasing each step of this funnel – where the most profitable customers are coming from – the volumes compound giving exponential returns.
While we cannot control the sales team’s performance, we can influence it by supporting them with collateral, email sequences and remarketing campaigns – the same goes for upselling as well.
It might seem simple, but very few organisations have systems and processes in place to be continuously increasing enquiries, sales conversion rate and upselling. Even if they do, they are not connected and sharing data to help identify the most profitable customers.
This is more of a holistic approach, it requires sales and marketing alignment. What’s interesting is we just don't hear many people talking about it. All you see on the blogosphere is ‘voice search this’, ‘block chain that’, ‘AR and VR’. While those are cool activities to discuss, and they may be profitable in the future, as the founder of a performance agency our clients are giving us money every month, and expect a particular return on an investment and profit.
Playing around with VR or looking at how block chain might come in is a bit of side work we can do, but it shouldn't be our main focus of discussion.
For a lot of marketers it is, however, and I think quite often finance people hate marketeers, because we spend money, we talk about all the cool things and there’s a lack of transparency and disconnect with the profit at the end of the funnel.
The added value of Full Funnel optimisation is to actually bring the CFO's the FD's on board, allowing us to be transparent on which campaigns deliver more to the bottom line. This empowers the CMO to make a business case for more marketing spend.
Ultimately, marketing in the 21st century is a spreadsheet exercise. By taking ownership and measuring the whole sales and marketing funnel we can gain insights that will empower us as marketers to create profit driven campaigns and support the sales team.
Marcus Hemsley is co-founder & creative director at Fountain Partnership