4 Things that Will Happen When You Focus on the Bottom of the Funnel First
Conventional marketing wisdom states that marketers should focus their efforts on the top of the sales funnel and nurture those leads throughout the buyer’s journey. In theory, this method helps to build brand awareness from the start, familiarizing the consumer with the company as they make their way through the sales funnel.
This method also requires you to spend a lot of time on a lot of people, when in reality only a percentage of that group will actually make a purchase—and those that do eventually buy might be months away from doing so. According to a HubSpot survey, only 7% of polled salespeople believed that the leads they got from marketing could be considered very high quality.
That’s not to say that the sales funnel is broken. However, these numbers do indicate that perhaps a marketer’s time is best spent working on the leads at the bottom of the funnel—that is, individuals who have demonstrated interest in making a purchase. These are people who have subscribed to your email list, downloaded content, engaged with your company on social media, and are interested in a trial, demo, or consultation. Here’s what happens when you focus on this group first.
1. Quick Wins
Considered purchase marketing is generally about playing the long game—demand generation and lead nurturing. But when you focus on that group of prospective customers at the bottom of the funnel, you’ll accomplish several goals, and accomplish them quickly.
Focusing on the bottom of the funnel improves your lead conversion numbers, which improves the morale and effectiveness of your marketing team. Since lead conversion is the most important goal of just under 70% of marketers, closing these qualified leads is a big win. Additionally, you’ll quickly bring in revenue for your business, and that boosts your marketing ROI almost immediately.
2. Better Data
When you start by converting leads at the bottom of the funnel, you’ll see exactly what led each individual customer to the point of purchase. You can then use that information to tweak the other parts of your sales funnel.
This makes the top of the funnel less of a guessing game, and it allows you to focus your resources on media that actually bring in quality leads. When you know exactly what works for paying customers, it’s that much easier to turn prospects into interested consumers and eventually turn those interested consumers into active customers.
You’ll also be able to show ROI on your marketing efforts across the funnel. Nearly 40% of marketers cite their inability to prove the ROI of their marketing as their biggest challenge. Conquer this challenge and get ahead of the competition.
3. Higher-Quality Leads
Thirty percent of salespeople believe it’s getting harder to close deals. With a bottom-first approach, your sales team will have more qualified leads to work. This is due to the efforts you spend analyzing the data that your bottom-of-the-funnel leads have amassed during the buyer’s journey, and then using that data to optimize your nurturing and marketing automation strategy.
Again, an efficient sales team helps to bolster your key performance metrics, including marketing ROI and lead conversion. Working with these qualified leads will also help salespeople increase their success rates and approach their jobs with renewed positivity and enthusiasm.
4. A More Optimized Funnel
When you apply the lessons learned from your BOFU leads to marketing efforts further up the funnel, the entire operation becomes more efficient and optimized. You’ll reduce your cost of customer acquisition and improve your ROI because you’ll know what tactics to spend time and money on, and what isn’t worth pursuing. You’ll help consumers resolve their pain points more quickly, which will inspire them to become evangelists for your company. These results are the best-case scenario for any considered purchase brand, and they can be yours if you focus on the bottom of the funnel first.
Written by Jason Bender
With 20 years of brand building and digital innovation for clients like Mars, P&G, Ford, and more, Jason brings deep CPG, automotive, healthcare, and tech marketing experience to Icon as Chief Experience Officer. He blends the skillsets of creative and strategist to guide the execution of Icon’s customer-facing work across teams. His honors include Cannes, CLIO, and Webbys. He has been published in iMedia Connection and Inc, and has presented at events like NewCo and HOW Design Conference.