11 Apr Digital Marketing Funnel: Understanding its Stages and Importance for Your Singaporean Business
What Is Digital Marketing Funnel?
You might have come across terms like TOF, MOF, and BOF, but what do they mean? Simply, they mean the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel. Still, it does not say much. It is a framework that marketers use to map out the consumer journey. This is crucial because, at different stages of the consumer journey, the consumer is in a different mindset.
For example, our client, CapitaLand Investment, is going through a rebranding. The Singapore market is not familiar with this and because of this lack of familiarity, users will not express intent through specific channels. By mapping our client’s goal – rebranding – to the funnel, we can recommend a strategy and the appropriate channels to achieve this goal.
Another client of ours, Scrap Car, are looking for conversions. For their target market, they fall under BOF. This is because their target market is actively searching for a service to scrap their used car, and the target market is aware of such a service. The service/product is known, and there is little need to educate the market of our client’s business.
In short, the digital marketing funnel is a framework to understand our client’s consumer journey. By aligning the client’s goal with the consumer journey, we can identify the right channels to advertise on and craft the messaging specific to the consumer’s need. It would be hard-pressed to persuade a prospect unaware of REITS to make a purchase right there and then. It would be easier to persuade a consumer to scrap his or her car since the consumer has already decided to scrap the car.
How Does Digital Marketing Fit In?
There are three main stages of the Digital Marketing Funnel – Awareness, Interest & Desire and Action stages.
Various digital marketing efforts fall into each of these categories:
The awareness category is TOF (Top of Funnel) and is considered the most attention-grabbing stage, this is where you normally want to drive all traffic and increase visibility in your campaigns. By utilising economies of scale, Digital Marketers go all out in this stage, optimising on the larger platforms while capturing the bulk of the target audience.
Examples of awareness (TOF) digital marketing efforts include:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- SEM (Paid Search Engine Advertising)
- SMM (Social Media Marketing awareness campaigns)
- Content Marketing (Blog posts, Guest Articles and Infographics)
Interest & Desire:
The interest & desire category is MOF (Middle of Funnel). A potential user in the MOF category has limited interest in the subject of the marketing campaign but is not ready to convert yet. Digital Marketers in MOF provide incentives like in-depth white papers or retargeting in exchange for an email or contact information that might lead to conversions in the future.
Examples of interest & desire (MOF) digital marketing efforts include:
- Lead magnets
- Email Marketing
- Retargeting for PPC
The conversion category is BOF (Bottom of Funnel), this can refer to users who are significantly interested in the product or service but decided not to convert at the last minute. Digital Marketers target (or remarket) users in BOF who are ready to transact and/or convert to leads.
Examples of conversion (BOF) digital marketing efforts include:
- Remarketing for PPC
- Abandoned cart and/or discount coupons in Email Marketing
- Landing Pages highly optimised for conversion
How Does MediaPlus Digital Help Our Clients?
Whenever a client comes to MediaPlus Digital for our services, it is on us as the agency to understand the client’s goal(s). By understanding the specific needs of a client, we can recommend the relevant channels to advertise on. For CapitaLand Investment, we recommended an impression-based search campaign and a programmatic campaign. The impression-based search campaign targets non-brand keywords with high search volume. The programmatic campaign, it targets users based on contextual keywords and 3rd party user data. Programmatic is crucial in this scenario because we want to achieve a given volume of impressions with a fixed frequency to increase brand recall.
On the other spectrum, Scrap Car’s consumers fall under BOF. Here, we recommended a conversion-based search campaign where we target high-intent keywords. In Google Ads, our assumption turned out to be true. With the high-intent keywords, we were converting prospects at a 13% conversion rate with a day-to-conversion cycle of fewer than 24 hours.
Which Category of The Digital Marketing Funnel Does SEO Fall Into?
It is no different when it comes to SEO. It all begins with the goal at hand. By identifying the client’s goal, we will recommend a set of keywords for the client’s approval. It all circles back to the client’s goal and how it translates to keywords. This is because keywords, and by extension, search queries, are an expression of a user’s intent. If the goal is conversions, we will recommend a set of high-intent keywords. If the goal is educating the user on the service offered, we will recommend long-tail question keywords and directing traffic to a blog or FAQ page. By using SEO to optimise our client’s website, we improve their potential customers’ journey through updated content, relevancy and technical user-friendliness throughout the site.
However, SEO is just one channel to find customers. Often, even if the goal is conversions, we will recommend other channels like SMA and SEM. They have complementary effects and give us a wider reach.
Search Engine Marketing or Social Media Marketing – Is It Bottom of the Funnel (BOF)?
Absolutely, yes! It all depends on the conversion goal, the creatives, and the strategy behind it. There are plenty of options in Facebook Ads be it for leads or sales. Though, there is one caveat. You are charged by impression, so it is important to ensure that the creatives are persuasive. Therefore, clickthrough rate (CTR) is a key measure of how we measure creative performance, and we always test our creatives.
Once again, we circle back to the marketing funnel. Some channels by nature will be TOF like OOH advertising. But for most digital channels – driven by machine learning and tracking – it can be TOF, MOF, and BOF, all depends on the strategy at hand.
Let’s Not Ignore Email Marketing
If you are in the business of repeat purchases, do not ignore email marketing. It is always cheaper to nurture an existing customer than to acquire a new customer, and in the digital age, it is much easier to build your database. If you are using an e-commerce platform, it is good practice to collect your customers’ information even though you are not running an email campaign. This way, when you want to launch your email campaign, you do not need to retrospectively build your database. More often, the building of the database is done automatically. The only manual work you should deploy is if you offer multiple services/products; by grouping your email lists, you can ensure your future email marketing campaigns are specific to the user group.
No One Size Fits All
The marketing framework is simply a framework to understand where the consumer sits in the buying funnel. Based on the client’s goal, it is important to come up with the right strategy, identify the target consumer persona, and recommend the appropriate channels to drive business growth. We are MediaPlus Digital, a performance-based agency with a steadfast focus on numbers. A data-driven agency where our campaigns are tracked and measured against clients’ KPIs.