Why you can’t afford to ignore mid-funnel activities
The desire for instant ROI from your marketing budget becomes even more pronounced during periods of economic uncertainty. Changes in consumer behavior and tighter budgets make the marketplace much harder to predict. Consequently, many marketers are deprioritizing investments in mid-funnel activities during recessions hoping for immediate gains vs. planning for long-term sustainable growth.
Marketers are focusing solely on the top and bottom of the funnel while ignoring mid-funnel activities. Our upcoming Growth Marketing Report indicates that only 17% of all respondents are prioritizing their middle funnel. Why is this a mistake? It’s a shortsighted approach that comes with a hefty price tag. Neglecting mid-funnel activities dissects the customer journey, jeopardizes long-term profitability, and negatively impacts new customer acquisition, customer retention, and overall lifetime value. Let’s unpack this in more detail.
Why does the mid-funnel matter?
The magic happens in the mid-funnel. While the top of the funnel might capture attention and create awareness, and the bottom converts and turns the leads you’ve generated into customers, the mid-funnel connects the dots and lands the sales.
The middle of the funnel is a pivotal stage where prospects transition from awareness to consideration to building preference and purchase intent. It’s where prospects weigh their options, compare choices and form opinions that can make or break their decision to choose your brand. In the mid-funnel, a brand has the opportunity to forge an emotional and lasting connection with its audience.
It’s also where you stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself from the competition. You show customers why they need your product or service when you deliver engaging content, personalized experiences, and exceptional customer service.
Despite all of this, some marketers still fail to recognize the importance of this phase and the opportunities it presents, and those who don’t see its significance risk losing potential prospects to competitors who do prioritize this stage.
Unlocking conversions through demand nurturing
In mid-funnel marketing, the key lies in crafting a strong communications strategy that resonates with your target audience. A communications strategy should encompass a carefully selected mix of paid, owned, and earned channels derived from a bespoke media strategy, accompanied by a robust set of supporting content and fit-for-purpose creative assets. Achieving this requires you to have a deep understanding of how potential buyers think, feel, and behave and which motivations and incentivization elicit certain responses.
Harvard Business Review found that a significant percentage, ranging from 40% to 60%, of potential sales were lost due to individuals expressing an intent to purchase but ultimately failing to take action. This underscores the need to create a clear brand edge, salience, and personally relevant experiences with consumers in the mid-funnel stage, as it significantly increases the likelihood of trial, initial purchase, repeat transactions, and higher customer lifetime value.
According to Forrester Research concerning B2B marketing, brands that effectively nurture leads through mid-funnel activities achieve 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost per lead. Mid-funnel activities play an important role in optimizing lead quality. By nurturing leads at this stage, brands can better qualify prospects and increase the likelihood of converting them into customers.
By investing in mid-funnel activities, brands can start to engage more deeply with consumers who are most likely to become customers and help develop brand affinity that can pay dividends over time.
Why skipping mid-funnel activities will impact your marketing effectiveness and ROI
Reduced brand affinity: Moving consumers from brand awareness to brand consideration requires keeping your brand top of mind and conveying a deeper sense of why a particular brand is the right fit for them. Creating a distinct and lasting impression on your target audience is almost next to impossible without investing in the mid-funnel.
Diminishes brand loyalty: Loyalty requires a strong emotional connection which is nurtured during the mid-funnel and eventually validated upon usage or consumption of a brand’s offering. Customers are less likely to engage (and re-engage) with a brand that doesn’t provide a unique and memorable experience during the mid-funnel.
Missed opportunities for upselling and cross-selling: Mid-funnel marketing activities are also important for driving upselling and cross-selling opportunities. When brands skip out on showcasing the entire array of their products or services, they miss out on the opportunity to inform customers about new offerings or new versions of products. And what does that lead to? Missed revenue opportunities and limited growth potential.
Weakens the customer journey: Without proper nurturing during the consideration stage, prospects may struggle to make informed decisions or feel uncertain about their options, which can lead to lost sales and a less satisfying customer experience.
Lack of valuable data and insights: Mid-funnel marketing activities often involve collecting data and gathering insights about customer behavior and needs. This information is invaluable for optimizing marketing strategies and personalizing the customer experience. Opting out of mid-funnel activities means missing out on valuable data that can drive informed decision-making and improve overall business performance.
Gain insights from DEPT’s growth strategists to discover how nurturing relationships in the mid-funnel stage can significantly increase repeat purchases and drive revenue growth.