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Do I Need the Marketing Funnel?

Itís common to hear about the importance of the marketing (or sales) funnel but what does it really mean? Most marketing agencies will convince you that you need to have several pieces of the ďfunnelĒ in place. Top of funnel (often brand or product awareness), middle of the funnel (usually a call to action of some sort) and bottom of the funnel (inquiry or purchase or in-store visit).

But, is it all necessary? I mean, it sounds great. However, Iíve seen countless agencies use these levels of the funnel simply to test what is effective and what is not effective for your ads. This can range from traditional advertising (newspaper, radio, etc) to digital (Facebook and Instagram ads, LinkedIN, YouTube and more).

At what cost? Yours of course.

Letís say Business A decides to deploy a funnel strategy. They spend the next 90 days running brand awareness ads. Then, they switch that to middle of the funnel in hopes someone calls or emails them. Lastly, they embark on an ambitious marketing campaign to get potential customers in the store. If we look at a range of 90 days per level of the funnel, you have now spent a tremendous amount of money on ads that might get people in your store (or use your service) in the next nine months.

I donít know about you but who on earth can spend four or five thousand dollars a month (or more) in hopes someone walks into your business in the next nine months. Thatís absolutely ridiculous and itís a tremendous waste of money. A marketing agency should know how to get people in your store much faster and for much less money. They either know it or they donít. Running A and B testing of ads, and multiple ad campaigns is a waste of time and resources. Especially with that time frame. Youíll also find most of your ads are underperforming or not performing at all. So, why are you paying for testing what works and what doesnít work?

Whatís more important is the first discovery meeting. What are you hoping to achieve with your marketing campaign? How much do you want to spend? And, how quickly do you want to see results. Those are the variables that need to be in place and your marketing agency should be accountable to those metrics! Otherwise, you are simply paying their staffing expenses without financial gain.

Speaking of discovery meeting, this is where you get to be the boss. Where you get to ask questions. A marketing agency should not be asking you what you want to achieve. You should be asking them, what are you going to be doing for me in the next 30, 60 or 90 days. If they donít have a great marketing plan to show you, with measurable goals and metrics, they are not the company you want to do business with.

Here are the fundamentals of what actually works:

  1. Know your product or service inside and out.
  2. Have a clear and tangible offer for consumers.
  3. Create great landing pages with a high conversion rate.
  4. Consistently monitor, revise and optimize your ads.

If you have those important items in place, with each and every marketing campaign (or set of ads), you donít need a fancy funnel to sell you on why you should spend your hard-earned dollars employing an outside agency to manage your brand. Itís your business, take control of it today!