The glory days of digital customer acquisition seem to be over.
Many brands, small and large, have had to rethink their full-funnel marketing strategies. They are now able to strike a better balance between direct response marketing and brand building. This means more marketing touchpoints like streaming video and out-of-home, as well as performance marketing tactics such social media and paid searches.
” At some point you saturate acquisition, and there’s only so many low-hanging fruits,” stated Mike Mikho (chief marketing officer at Laundry Service), a full-service agency. “The reason you go from acquisition to full-funnel is that you have gotten all of the low-hanging fruits you can. Now you need to expand your funnel to bring more people to your brand.
Recently, these tactics have been adopted by brands including Claire’s, Edible Arrangements, Shutterfly, which ramped up social media, among other channels, and Hydrow rowing, with more dollars toward mediums including out-of-home.
Tween retailer recently launched the brand’s “biggest, most integrated initiative to-date” with the Be the Most campaign. The media plan supports it with e-commerce, store experiences, OOH placements in New York City, Chicago and other cities.
The push from Claire’s, a 50-year-old brand is intended to bring in the Gen Z audience and their parents. The company is also looking at expanding into new areas, like gaming and the metaverse.
” We need to be there for our customers. Kristin Patrick, Claire’s chief market officer, stated that she keeps a close eye on all the new platforms where customers appear, regardless of whether it is TikTok or the virtual world. “Because [society has], moved so fast and are so in tune to culture, we must be there .”
The volatility of the pandemic forced advertisers to reduce their budgets, particularly discretionary spending. This resulted in more marketers investing in digital customer acquisition channels that are quick and easy. Lockdown measures and mask mandates prompted more people to shop online and spend more time online.
“What we saw holistically during Covid-19 was marketers shifting pretty heavily into performance media and especially within that paid search,” said Claire Russell, head of media at Fitzco ad agency, noting the appeal of it being high intent and little risk. “Everybody wanted to speak to the people who are currently in-market .”
It made sense at the beginning of the pandemic. However, if companies are looking to grow their brand over time, brand recognition and storytelling channels will be key. CTV and OTT are promising for performance marketers because they allow programmatic buys and can marry creative with targeting and measurement.
This is not to suggest that full-funnel advertising is an industry revolution. Some advertisers claim it’s just marketing 101.
To industry observers, it feels almost like a swinging pendulum. Marketers prioritised digital customer acquisition channels during the digital boom. The pendulum could swing in the opposite direction, with dollars moving to storytelling channels such as TV, according to David Song, CEO of Rosie Labs advertising agency.
“Full-funnel means you are literally in front of that consumer at