Biggest Challenges And How To Overcome Them

Alex Macura is the founder and CMO of Your Digital Assembly. A full-funnel agency that supports online businesses with their digital growth.

I’ve been in growth marketing a long time—nearly my entire working career. I kind of stumbled into it, actually. I was all set as an up-and-coming digital marketer in one of Sweden’s biggest marketing agencies, and I ended up walking away. The siloed approach to marketing they practiced was just not what I was built for.

Fast forward a few decades, and through trial and error, I found my way to becoming a growth marketer in the B2B space. While growth marketing is not what this piece is about, per se, full-funnel marketing is a significant cog in the growth machine.

What Is Full-Funnel Marketing?

Just so that we’re on the same page, full-funnel marketing revolves around the customer’s entire purchasing journey. While business leadership might just focus on sales and turnover, B2B marketers need to handhold the customer through the various stages of their journey toward that sale. The steps include:

1. Awareness or top of funnel (TOFU).

2. Consideration or middle of funnel (MOFU).

3. Conversion or bottom of funnel (BOFU).

4. Retention or customer loyalty.

If you work in this industry, you likely know this, so what’s the problem? Is it ignorance? No. It is priorities. Usually, marketing gets told that the sales team needs more BOFU leads. So, what do we do? We create campaigns to get more email addresses and inquiries and to get the phone to ring.

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However, not every potential customer is at the BOFU stage. This approach to marketing cuts off three-quarters of our potential reach. There is a better way.

Why B2B Marketers Don’t Tend To Do Full-Funnel Well

Unfortunately, a full-funnel marketing strategy doesn’t just fall out of the sky. So, if you haven’t carefully crafted one, it is not likely you are doing a good job at full-funnel marketing.

As a B2B marketer who’s been in the trenches since who-flung-the-chunk, I can tell you that the primary source of confusion is that we don’t really know who we’re marketing to. Creating your ideal customer profile takes time and work. In a pressure cooker, performance marketing setting, nobody has time. However, without your marketing persona identified, campaigns will be generic, and either everyone will relate to your message (not likely), or you’ll reach no one with your marketing.

Another challenge I see often is that, in spite of all the graphs and monthly reports, we just don’t know what the difference is between true success and vanity metrics. B2B marketers need clarity on what to measure and how to report on it. Can we show how much of the marketing spend at each stage contributed to the customers’ final conversion? Multifunnel attribution in a full-funnel marketing strategy is often missing.

Finally, the most challenging aspect is when an organization says the customer journey is not multifunnel. The result is marketing departments work in silos with isolated KPIs instead of toward a North Star metric.

To get a full-funnel marketing strategy flowing, below are some practical steps that I find work to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

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Create An Ideal Customer And Buyer Profile

This might seem obvious, but if you don’t have an ideal customer and buyer profile firmly in view—especially in the B2B space—then your marketing remains ineffective to your target audience. Get this right first. Here’s how.

• Start at the beginning. If you work for a product or SaaS company, ask your CTO or founder who they built the product for. Usually, the first clue lies there.

• UPS versus USP. The unique selling proposition (USP) is usually front and center of our marketing, but I prefer to find out what the unique problem is that we solve (UPS).

• Price positioning. Identify why and how the business has priced itself against competitors. This will point you in the right direction.

• Engage with existing customers. Get to know your users better. Engage with them through phone calls, interviews, surveys, etc. Find out why they chose you, whether they would choose you again and what you can do better.

• Data. What does your data say about where your most engaged users come from, who are they, where they live and what habits they have?

From this, you will get a clearer picture of who your product and service are designed for, who can afford it, where they live, etc.

Quantify Success

B2B full-funnel marketing starts with the end goal of knowing what to measure; you need to essentially know what success looks like. Is it impressions, an ad click, a website visit, a read email, a like or comment, a completed form? Not all marketing is a conversion.

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• No guessing. To know what success should look like, do your research. What are competitors and others in the industry doing, and what does their version of success look like?

• KPIs and metrics. With success in mind, start mapping what your full funnel should look like. What is important to measure, and what doesn’t matter? Remember not to measure vanity metrics that make you feel successful but don’t contribute to the overall success of your company.

• Multitouch attribution. Next, an attribution model must be created to account for marketing budget allocation along every touchpoint of your funnel that leads to a conversion.

• Remove silos and egos. Get support from management, only do a few small changes at a time and share results quickly. You will also need to sell the idea internally to cross-functional teams that contribute to the funnel. Be sure to include this marketing approach when you onboard new staff, especially in a company with high staff turnover, so you don’t lose momentum.

Final Thoughts

Full-funnel marketing is not out of reach. Take the time to know your customer. Know their challenges, their approval processes and how your offering makes their lives easier. Clarify what metrics matter, then map out the touchpoints with the end goal as your North Star.

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