Do you remember when marketing used to be a fairly simple process? The marketing department would find new leads and then pass them off to the sales department. The sales department would then qualify the leads and some would turn into new sales. Well the time has come for marketers to move to an account-first, full-journey model to get the most out of account-based marketing (ABM).
The customer journey looks very different in 2022. 82% of B2B buyers are spending a lot of time researching and evaluating products and services before buying. And most of this happens digitally without ever contacting your company.
These days, most buyers will qualify themselves as potential customers. So it’s important to extend your nurture stages beyond just trying to find a new lead. Given the fact that buying committees are over 6 people (and growing) it’s not just a lead-first approach anymore. This is why marketers are focusing on account-first strategies to accelerate accounts through the funnel.
What is Full-Funnel Marketing?
Full-funnel marketing is a strategy where messaging is tailored based on a specific stage of the customer journey. The funnel reference is a way of visualizing leads converting into customers. The further down the funnel, the more targeted and relevant messaging becomes to best-fit accounts.
Why You Need a Full-Funnel Marketing Approach
Full-funnel is not a new concept to seasoned marketers. But focusing on just the top of the funnel can cause you to miss out on new opportunities. Which is why at RollWorks, we like to take a “Double Funnel” approach.
By using a lead generation strategy alongside account-based marketing, you can engage both your big and small prospects with the appropriate marketing approach. Using a demand-gen funnel you can get a high volume of leads.
Meanwhile, by using an accoutn-based marketing strategy, you can make sure your outbound efforts are bringing in the big accounts that are harder to get to. You can read more about the Double Funnel approach here.
And taking a full-funnel marketing approach allows you to create personalized messaging for your leads at each stage including the bottom of the funnel. Here are three reasons you need a full-funnel marketing strategy:
1. You meet the buyer where they’re at
Consumers now have access to an enormous amount of information online. A study found that 92% of buyers that visit your website for the first time are not ready to make a purchase.
You never know where someone will be on the customer journey when they visit your website. A full-funnel approach means that you can meet each buyer where they are at and continue to move them through the funnel.
2. You build trust with the buyer
People want to buy from companies they trust. A marketing funnel allows you to build trust by providing valuable information to buyers. Things like emails, blog posts, and case studies show buyers that you understand and can help them solve their problems.
3. Marketing is data-driven
Only about 3% of the people that visit your website will ever turn into customers. And without a marketing funnel, you have no way of identifying who that 3% is.
You also have no way of knowing why the other 97% won’t buy from you. Or at what point in the funnel they are dropping off. This leads to a lot of guessing which is a pretty poor business strategy.
Full-funnel marketing gives you data that you can analyze and use to continue to optimize your approach.
What are the stages of the marketing funnel?
Stage 1: Awareness
Top of the funnel (TOFU) content is intended to educate. At this stage, make the assumption that customers are both unaware of your company and the solution you provide. Key signals of this stage look like site visits and content downloads.
Stage 2: Consideration
Meet your customers at the middle of the funnel (MOFU) to build trust. Build a relationship with customers at this stage with case studies that show them why they should invest in your solution for opportunity generation and meetings with sales.
Stage 3: Conversion
After researching all their options, the customer is now ready to make a decision at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU). Close opportunities with high value offers and BOFU downloads. Remember, the key metric here is a closed sale!
Stage 4: Loyalty/Retention
Once a customer, always a customer. This nontraditional newer stage makes a point to delight customers regularly via engagement. This can look like new product releases and special promotions all aimed for expansion and increase in total contract value (TCV).
How to Nurture Each Stage of the Funnel
There are several stages in the marketing funnel and each stage should answer a different question for the buyer. Let’s look at the three stages of the marketing funnel and how to nurture the customer journey at each point.
This is the top of the funnel and the point when a customer first becomes aware of your company. This usually happens because they are trying to solve some sort of problem.
The best b2b lead generation tools to use at this stage are:
- Social media ads
- Email marketing
- General blog posts addressing the buyer’s problem
- Videos, like a product demo
You can learn more about what type of social media ads to use in our on-demand webinar, which covers 4 types of ads that are good to get started with.
When customers reach the point of consideration, this is usually when they begin to research their options to see what else is out there.
The amount of time they spend on research will largely depend on how expensive the investment is. It also depends on how many decision-makers are involved in the process.
The best tools to use at this stage are:
- Retargeting ads
- Email marketing
- Educational blog posts
- Webinars where you can share helpful information and pitch your product at the end
- Whitepapers or e-books
For an example of a Consideration stage e-book, you can look through The D.I.Y. Account Journey Template.
3. Bottom of the funnel
The buyer is aware of their problem, they have researched their options, and now they’re ready to make a decision.
Best tools to use at this stage are:
- Blog posts that compare your product with competing products
- Case studies
- Customer stories
- Email marketing
- Special offers
As the buyer journey becomes more nuanced, it’s more important than ever for companies to nurture each stage of the marketing funnel. Full-funnel digital marketing uses a combination of social media, content marketing, and email marketing to deliver your message to your target market.
Building a full-funnel marketing strategy is the best way to stand out to your target market and gain a competitive advantage in your industry. However, research from Hubspot found that 68 percent of B2B sales organizations have not yet identified their funnel.
There is not a one-size fits all way to measure account-based marketing success. Marketers need to move to a full account journey map not just to measure ABM, but to take action on insights. That’s why we created The D.Y.I. Account Journey Template, part advice, part template on Measuring ABM through Account Journeys.