Part One: The 4A Funnel for Marketing Online

Part One: The 4A Funnel for Marketing Online

Metro Atlanta has more than its fair share of highway traffic. My personal commute to the office is currently 65 miles one way; some days I spend two hours in the car going and coming, and other days its five, all of which depends on how bad I-285 is going around the city.

Understanding The Online Marketing Funnel | BlueprintMy windshield time is spent mixed between Sports Talk radio and phone calls. The one glaring fact from all of the hours I have spent on the Perimeter is how little recollection I have of any billboards on that stretch of road.

For Atlanta locals like me, we’ve all seen the 411-HELP or Superior Plumbing billboards due to saturation more than anything else; even so, I cannot remember one specific interchange where I have seen any one specific billboard.

Online Marketing is Stronger than Billboard Marketing

Businesses of all shapes and sizes are still leveraging billboard marketing with substantial budgets and soft calls-to-action. How many of the people passing by these billboards are having the same friction that I am? I am aware that these businesses exist but I am not drawn to take any other action.

Online marketing empowers businesses to raise the awareness about their products or services while targeting exactly which travelers will see the content and then enables them to take action with a simple click of a mouse. No scrambling to write down a phone number or an exit number is involved; besides, how many drivers are texting or talking when passing billboards anyways?

1A of the 4A Funnel for Marketing Online is Awareness

By using online marketing to raise awareness for your business, you immediately create a trackable relationship with a lead. Whether they came through I-Eighty-Facebook or I-Sixty-Google, online marketing informs you of the why behind their interest (i.e. they were a social lead or a search lead) and provides the structured information you need to properly follow up.

Once the relationship has been initiated, improving your audience IQ will educate you on what follow up actions you could potentially take specific to where the relationships came from and the demographic or socio-graphic information you now have on the lead.

Some examples of follow ups are:

  • Retargeting via the Google Display network
  • Re-marketing using a platform like InfusionSoft if the click resulted in an email capture
  • Directly replying to a Facebook message or comment with a blog article to provide more information

Awareness is The Top of the Funnel in Online Marketing

Regardless of the type of the follow up option you choose, the important concept to keep in mind is the active pursuit of moving the lead from Awareness and into Attraction–the second level of the 4A funnel.

Making your marketing sticky will help to naturally move leads from one level of the funnel to the next. Don’t get alarmed though if your the gap between the number of leads in the Awareness tier is quite larger than the ones that move through Attraction.

The largest percentage of your leads are going to come through the top of the funnel so you will have your smallest close rate here.

The next article in this series will continue to expand on the Attraction tier of the 4A Funnel; until then, start modeling what online freeways you need to be positioning your digital billboards on and act.

By: Trey Sheneman
  • Jeff Cline

    Great analogy Trey! I remember one billboard I used to pass by every day – it was beautiful, but the text was so small it was completely unreadable. One of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is not only it’s ability to bring awareness to your product, service and brand, but also the flexibility to collect quantifiable response data and rapidly adjust strategy.

  • Aaron Ward

    Digital marketing allows for precision targeting to find your audience and what they respond to. You may create a billboard that doesn’t convert and then months later you will have to double dip and try again. Digital marketing allows for a better use of your time and effort and saves on printing costs. Great analogy Trey.

  • Jeremy Campbell

    “Making your marketing sticky will help to naturally move leads from one level of the funnel to the next.” It’s amazing how many SMBs don’t ever consider the buying funnel and the different marketing channels that target each section. All marketing is certainly not created equal, but it can be difficult to get business owners to understand that expectations should be different for each phase.

  • I can’t tell you the number of times in my experience as a marketing professional I have been told about the number of customer impressions that will result from a billboard or print advertising campaign. 99.9% of the time, there is no way to verify whether a billboard or print ad led to an actual inquiry or sale. Online marketing, however, offers businesses measurable results and generates verifiable leads from people who are actually interested in your product.

  • Emily Fogarty

    It is one thing to make someone aware of your business, but if it isn’t done in a way that you can track, did you really make them aware? Or did you serve them a flashy distraction from the bumper-to-bumper traffic they are in? To “make your marketing sticky” is a great way to look at it. You want your approach to be something that catches their eye (makes it stick), which billboard marketing can do quite well, with a catchy slogan or punchy image. However, you also need a way to successfully see where the leads come from in order to create the way in which they will travel to the next level of the funnel. Great points Trey!

  • Samantha Torres

    I am right there with ya that billboards don’t really stick with me even though I drive on the highway all week long. Building awareness so that consumers think of you when they need your particular product or service is certainly the way to get started on building your business. Can’t wait to see the rest of the series!

  • Adam Baxter

    Great look into just how much more effective online marketing is. Targeting the right people is a huge leap in marketing that is a win win for both the business and the consumer. Great first part, trey!

  • Soletia Owens

    Billboards aren’t that effective as they once were. Everyone is mobile and now wants things only a finger click away, so for companies who aren’t there are losing out. Great article!