Full-funnel performance is not just a differentiator, it is vital for your future growth

Full-funnel performance

In the early days of digital marketing, performance marketing reigned supreme. It offered a
promising avenue for marketers to launch highly targeted campaigns at a fraction of the costs incurred via traditional marketing channels.

Armed with unprecedented access to data, marketers became fixated on metrics. Why should they invest in long-term brand marketing campaigns when their objectives could be achieved without them?

However, times have changed. Today, organisations can no longer rely so heavily on linear performance marketing strategies.

Rising privacy: The rise in privacy movements (most famously Apple’s ATT update) and subsequent platform updates have made it increasingly difficult for marketers to rely on linear, performance-centric marketing strategies. Critically, signal loss and restricted access to user data have hampered the effectiveness of once-efficient performance channels.

Dwindling performance: Not only that, but performance channels have also become more expensive, less effective, and much harder to measure, reducing the effectiveness of overt direct response (DR) strategies.

Changing consumer preferences: In addition, consumer preferences have evolved, with the Gen Z cohort in particular gravitating towards those brands that prioritise community and authenticity.

These shifts have left traditional performance marketing with a problem.

Marketers are under a lot of pressure to deliver quick returns from their ads, leading them to retreat into “performance think”.

However, this ultimately results in an over-investment in performance-heavy tactics that no longer deliver results.

Winning with a full-funnel performance strategy

To thrive in this new era, marketers must pivot towards a holistic approach that combines brand building with performance marketing – a strategy known as full-funnel performance.

Nest tests have consistently demonstrated the effectiveness of blending brand awareness efforts with performance marketing across platforms such as Meta, TikTok, and YouTube.

By allocating budget for brand objectives, marketers can increase incremental reach and gain exposure to new prospects at a lower cost, thereby decreasing acquisition costs and improving return on advertising spend.

When should full-funnel performance marketing be deployed?

Full-funnel marketing isn’t right for brands at every stage of their growth.

Brands still in the early stages of scaling their direct response efforts may find greater value in focusing on testing and conversion objectives. Further, it’s also important to nail down the creative first, ensuring it is heavily branded and geared towards improving awareness.

Ecommerce brands should also avoid focusing on brand awareness campaigns during periods of higher seasonal demand – during these times, budget should be focused on driving revenue.

However, if you are a retailer that has found their reach has plateaued, seeking to reach new audiences or to expand into new markets, it can be a highly effective strategy for increasing top-of-mind awareness and outmanoeuvring competitors.

How can the success of funnel-funnel performance be measured?

Measurement is essential to assessing the effectiveness of full-funnel performance. Here, there are three key methods which can be used:

  • Brand-lift studies (BLS)/Multi Cell Conversion-lift studies (CLS): This is the most accurate measurement tool as it’s experiment driven, delivering tangible insights in relation to any uplift in awareness and conversions.
  • A/B testing: While still useful, it provides a less robust read on how brand influences platform performance. As it doesn’t prove incrementality or brand lift, it measures correlation but not causation. 
  • Measurement tools: e.g. Fospha or Measured.com.

When testing and measuring full-funnel performance, it’s important to understand that the impact of top-of-funnel activities on direct response metrics are not instant. This is completely natural and expected. 

While there may be an initial increase in customer acquisition costs (CACs), this will be followed by gradual performance improvements that will enable you to hit your targets and scale long term. 

Unlock real results and brand potential

Embracing a full-funnel approach that integrates brand building with performance tactics is essential for sustained success in today’s dynamic marketing landscape.

Nest data from BFCM weekend 2023 shows that those ecommerce companies which leveraged brand saw a 35% ROAS uplift between October and November, while those that didn’t were limited to a 2% rise in ROAS. 

Further, in aggregating the results of several brand lift tests, we found that running brand activity alongside performance:

  • Increased ROAS by 104%.  
  • Increased incremental reach by 47%. 
  • Increased sales by 62%. 
  • Increased conversions by 64%. 
  • Reduced CPM by 55%. 
  • Led to a 2x increase in overall users within the period of the test.

These results show that full-funnel performance can unlock real, incremental growth for ecommerce brands.  

Creating new demand is critical. The brands that recognise this necessitates a shift in strategy will be the ones to cut through the rise and yield significant results in the long run. 

Want to know how full-funnel performance can improve your brand’s performance – and get you back into growth? Contact us here.

Related thinking

Stay up to date

Sign up to be the first to receive new resources.

Sign up