Before we get into the weeds of the conversion funnel, let’s get the easy part out of the way: defining what it is. “Conversion funnel” is a term used in e-commerce to describe the journey a consumer takes beginning with an Internet advertisement or search, navigating to an e-commerce website, and finally converting to a sale.
When we talk about branding and the conversion funnel in relation to performance objectives (statistics, purchases, and/or any other action that we expect from the user on our website), it often happens that, even though we are clear on the brand strategy, we retreat into the daily demands of the job, and we forget to balance the time to carry out both the ideal plan and the execution of the day-to-day details.
It is exactly on this point, trying to balance strategy and execution, that knowledge of the brand and understanding of the conversion funnel play key roles in our strategy and planning. Being able to execute both in perfect sync will make the difference in meeting overall performance objectives.
When brands start planning their online strategies, they often tend to make the mistake of focusing the entire budget on concrete user actions, rather than balancing the budget between communicating relevant brand content and getting the desired user actions. We see this either because of budget restrictions or because of an unrealistic expectation of what digital can accomplish. The power of digital segmentation, however, allows us to leverage any relevant user interest and intent, and convert that into concrete action, more so than in traditional advertising and media planning
This ability to segment the audiences is key for any brand performance strategy, where it is not only about generating reach and impressions, but also about how a simple message has the potential of reaching the right users at the right time, resulting in transactions, without focusing only on the end of the funnel.
This is how we come to our second point. What are the benefits of defining the scope, objectives and traceability of the results within the context of the conversion funnel? Let's look at a familiar situation for those who work in media planning. A brand that has a high sales goal wants to focus all of its budget on conversion, leaving aside the brand. Is this a bad idea? The truth is, it is not about good or bad. In fact, there are brands that, because of budget restrictions, must work only on the final part of the funnel. But by using different performance strategies, we can focus both on immediate results and brand awareness goals, exceeding the expectations of the brands.
It is then a question of defining which results I want, and what am I going to measure at each stage of the funnel to determine if my strategy is working or not. Here is where effective branding becomes a fundamental part of the conversion funnel. Our performance strategy will determine the number of people we must impact. Based on this number, we quantify the results we need to achieve, with variables such as CPC, CTR and Conversion Rate. The funnel structure will allow us to know if we are on course as measured by the CPC, CTR, and Conversion Rate, and determine what we must optimize to achieve the set goals.
Picking up the question of whether it is right or wrong to exclusively focus on the last phase of the funnel, I will reiterate that it is not about being right or wrong, but about analyzing what results I hope to achieve, and what kind of brand positioning I must have to positively impact the audience.
What we have learned with this exercise is that, although the results vary by client, we have seen that including branding in the funnel increases the overall number of conversions by more than 30%
I invite you try this method and experiment with performance strategies by including ideal brand positioning. I understand that budgets can be an obstacle, but I firmly believe that this only makes us more creative, and creativity is an important skill in this business.