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These are very simple topics with many complex solutions. Every year marketing guru’s shout that they have found THE new way. Most of these ‘new’ ways often put themselves in some sort of model and/or funnel. 

Marketing is already a wide and deep ocean, but many of these models make this beautiful ocean very murky. Since they create many questions: what model is the right one? How do I know if my campaign is a success? And many more questions.

In this blog, we will show you our vision. This is not ‘the’ only right way, but what we hope to achieve is to create some perspective. A perspective that may help you to get rid of uncertainties and initiate some creativity. Maybe with this new perspective, you can make your vision!

Well… Let’s start with the first controversial topic, what model should you use?

We are not here to sell a model to you, on the contrary, we are here to give you some insight. 

Firstly, almost every model out there is usable since they create some sort of grip and will structure your campaigns. This is important, without structure every marketing department will become a giant place of confusion! Secondly, most models will likely convert into a funnel. Funnels are great, as they create a great opportunity for creating goals. Most importantly, these goals create the very basis for growth.

But to create goals based on a funnel you don’t need a model. I know it sounds weird, and you might even ask yourself “Is this even possible?” Yes! In a way… We will explain in due time!

Most of these models carry the same message, this is probably already known to you. Nevertheless, we will still make a comparison between two models. Let’s start with the most used ones: ‘AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)’ and ‘ See, Think, Care, Do’. The first two stages of both models are used to create awareness. The only real difference between the two models is that AIDA has a desire phase – which is still the awareness phase – and the ‘See, Think, Care, Do’-model has as the last phase retention built-in. In addition, both models have a transaction phase.

These models when converted in a funnel more often than not create a false reality, since marketing is not like reading from left to right. Since marketing nowadays is way more dynamic, especially in the digital marketing ecosystem. With leads being able to switch stages, and need to be reactivated from time to time. 

Now let’s continue with the nuclear fission of the model and the funnel! What is left over? Well, the model will stay the same, whereas the funnel will become more abstract with fewer stages.

The stages left are:

  • Top stage
  • Middle stage
  • Bottom stage

But why should you separate the model from the funnel?

Our vision on models and funnels is that they are both separate entities. Since they excel when you separate them.

Models are perfect for creating blueprints of campaigns, as they allow you to categorize each step in the customer journey. We recommend the ‘See, think, do, care’- model since it contains customer retention. Which is an important factor within e-commerce. Within every step of the model, different campaign actions can be made.

You probably already know this, but for businesses that do not know this. Here are some examples (Disclaimer: in the examples, you will see one idea per step. This does not mean companies only do one thing per step. On the contrary most likely they have multiple smaller ad campaigns per step):

See: This is the awareness phase, so these could be added for anyone who might buy your products.
Think: Here you could retarget people who have clicked on the ads in the previous phase.

Do: Retarget the leads from the ‘think’ phase

Care: Send everyone an email that has bought something in the last 6 months.

The funnel excels in measurable growth. Within these three stages, you can categorize different KPIs. I know what you are thinking “why can’t I use the model to categorize these KPIs?”. well… Using a model to categorize these KPIs is too broad while creating a campaign in a funnel is too narrow. In the software development branch, they use the term: ‘Keep it simple stupid’ (KISS). Always keep things as simple as possible. But in the case of creating campaigns that level of depth is necessary.

Which KPIs to use and how to categorize them

What KPIs to use differs per business stage. For example, as a start-up, it is unlikely that you will need many soft metrics, like ‘thumb-stopping rate or ‘average pageviews’. Start-ups need some sort of baseline since they do not have any benchmarks. It takes time to build up a data library. Till then you should use a small pool of metrics to track the current health of the business. To give some examples metrics like reach, conversion rate, orders and return on investment. These will give you some insight. 

Once you have collected enough data you can slowly add extra metrics to the funnel. Let’s take a look at the different metrics you can use within each funnel stage.

Top of the funnel
On this level, there should mostly be KPIs related to awareness. Not yet clicks but mostly metrics that have something to do with views. Your reach so to say.

Middle of the funnel 

Here you should place the interaction KPIs. For example Clicks or CPC (Cost per click)

The bottom of the funnel

Lastly, here you should categorize the metrics that have something to do with conversions. For example downloads, purchases

The middle and the bottom of the funnel can also be used for retargeting and retention. Now we have shown you a small part of what we call the growth engine. 

The growth engine?!

Yeah, we are not done yet! you now have created the basic engine for marketing. But just like any other engine, it needs maintenance. 

Your marketing campaigns, funnel and business proposition combined is like a Formula 1 car. You want to be the best and have the best results! But you have to continue tweaking the car and the engine. Otherwise, your competitors will not only quickly best you. But also everything within the car will slowly degrade. 

Just like in Formula 1 they do this based on data. This is the same in marketing since the funnel will be our data overview. 

This way of thinking also shows itself in our way of judging if a campaign is a success or not.

When is a campaign a success?

As an agency, we will always be judged by monthly turnover and feasibility. We use metrics that are based on money as an overarching metric. We test a lot. Since data is worth more to us than short term revenue. Therefore, we often test smaller campaigns for specific metrics. 

Let’s get back to that Formula 1 analogy since this creates a clearer image. Imagine we have a Formula 1 car driving for the championship. We want to make this car as fast as possible, without switching a lot of parts. Since we will receive grid penalties when we do. This essentially happens with campaigns as well, if we change the main campaign too often the algorithm will have to relearn a lot and we will be set back. Therefore we have a lot of look-alike cars testing different parts back on our home track. And only use methods that have proven themselves in the field (data proven). 

Therefore, we judge our campaigns by one question: Did we learn anything from the campaign? If the question is yes, then we see it as an absolute success.

Now we have shown you a bit of our vision within these topics. Do with this knowledge what you want. As we said earlier our goal is to inform, inspire and change the way a marketeer thinks about marketing!

Did you know we write these blogs weekly? Yes, that’s right! Every week we share our knowledge and visions, for you! If you want to receive updates on when these blogs go live, you can subscribe to our newsletter or if you want to support us give us a follow on LinkedIn or Instagram! 

Till next time!

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