In an increasingly competitive landscape, brands must do what they can to come out top or, at the very least, survive. However, many brands still don’t look to the brand funnel to assist with organic growth. For those of you not familiar with the process, this article will run through the functions of the brand funnel and how its insights can be used to succeed.
What is an AI-driven Brand Funnel?
The basic brand funnel describes the different stages in the relationship between the customers’ relationship with a brand. While brand funnels can vary slightly, the stages usually are as follows:
Awareness: how many people have heard of the brand
Consideration: how many of those who are aware of the brand would consider using them
Preference: how many people would choose the brand over the competition
Usage: how many people are currently using the brand and to what extent
Advocacy: how many people would recommend the brand
Brands grow by attracting customers to the top of the funnel (awareness) and then nurturing them through until they are eventually loyal customers. The brand funnel can help brands maintain a robust funnel, and pinpoint any areas which are restricting growth.
An AI-powered brand funnel operates in more or less the same way, with the inclusion of one very important element: accurate data.
The sole purpose of using a brand funnel is to gain insights that will help strategize your marketing plan and make better marketing decisions. When there is everything to win, brands need to make sure they are basing decisions on fact. AI-powered brand funnels use advanced algorithms to produce low margins of error, deep audience segmentation so decisions can be made for niche audiences and better quality insights that are more closely aligned to real-world changes.
How to Organically Grow Using a Brand Funnel
Before you dive into making marketing decisions based on your brand funnel, you need to do some groundwork. First, you need to establish a set of benchmark brands to compare yourself to. Most likely these brands will be your direct competitors but they can also be brands that you admire.
The second action you need to take is to ascribe a monetary value to each group of customers at the different stages of the funnel. This exercise can help you pinpoint monetary opportunities and help you determine a priority of which area to work on first.
What Different Funnel Sizes Mean – and How to Change Them
Digging deep will always bring the best insights but it’s already very easy to get an idea of your brand’s health by looking at the shape of your brand funnel.
If your brand funnel is skinny from top to bottom, unfortunately, you are not at a point where your brand is making much of an impact on your audience. While it may be enticing to already push for sales and loyalty, to get a better-shaped brand funnel and fuel organic growth, you need to start at the top of the funnel with brand awareness campaigns.
Increasing brand awareness doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Utilizing content marketing is a great first step to building your brand. In fact, 53% of marketers said that content marketing is the most effective SEO tactic. Some of the biggest brands (Hubspot, Asana) all started this way.
Funnels that begin wide and quickly narrow means the brand has attracted awareness, and even custom, but are not able to retain customers. That means you have leaks in your process somewhere. Unfortunately, a solution can not be composed in a few sentences, and a brand deep dive is required. Still, there are a few areas you can look into: are you depending on vouchers to make sales? Is your customer service lacking?
If you have a fat, robust brand funnel, you are in luck! But that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Always keep an eye on your funnel for any changes. Plus, use it to pinpoint where you are successful so your winning strategy can be replicated in other markets.
However, analyzing the shape of your brand funnel is not enough to fuel organic growth. Let’s take a look at the different measures you can take to push consumers from one stage of the funnel to the next.
Moving Customers Along the Funnel and Increasing ROI
Awareness to Consideration
There are two major errors most brands are making when failing to move consumers from the awareness stage to consideration. One is that they are not reaching the right audience for their brand. While it may be tempting to grab customers from as many demographics as possible, catch-all marketing will not help you grow your brand. Go back to basics and make sure you are targeting the right audience – and that you have a target audience at all!
It also might be the case that you are using the wrong messaging in your marketing. Remember, if you want your target audience to connect with your brand and for them to consider you at all, you have to foster an emotional connection. Look back on previous campaigns. Is this something that is lacking?
Consideration to Preference
The emotional connection mentioned in the previous point also plays a huge role in shifting consumers from a consideration to a preference mentality. If you don’t meet their needs and others do, you are immediately out of the game. Take a look at your direct competitors and see what they are doing right (with brand tracking software it is possible to also create a brand funnel for your competitors). Try to replicate some of their successes but be wary not to copy everything they do; not enough differentiation between you and the competition is another reason consumers might not choose your brand over another.
Preference to Usage
There is usually one main reason why consumers neglect to choose your product/service: they don’t see the value it can provide them. Ask yourself: what value does my brand provide that others don’t? Does it have a USP? You would be surprised how many brands operate without a solid USP. Once you’ve determined that USP, make sure it stands big and bold on all your marketing materials. You can give the value of your brand an extra boost by providing customer testimonials.
Usage to Advocacy
Nurturing one-time purchasers into loyal customers is the holiday grail of the brand funnel and organic growth. A significant leakage will occur between these two stages if your brand provides a poor customer experience.
One of the most crucial losses can also be the easiest to fix. Work with your customer support team to understand the struggles they are facing: is it communication? Poor processes? Uncaring employees? Help them make necessary changes. It can be as simple as installing a chatbot with automated answers, creating a substantial FAQ section, or creating draft emails for quicker response time.
An AI-driven brand funnel provides some of the most beneficial insights for a company but it is too often overlooked. It is the best way to fully understand your overall brand health and the areas which are sabotaging organic growth. Do you have big targets to hit this year? Then get on that brand funnel today!