Brand building attracts customers and builds a strong funnel

Uncovering new prospects and gaining their attention is mainly the responsibility of Marketing teams. Brand building efforts to increase awareness and fill the top-of-funnel are key to maintaining a healthy sales pipeline quarter-over-quarter. Despite the importance, there are headwinds.

  • Prospects and customers inundated with digital messaging
  • Tight budgets with pressure to demonstrate ROI on every marketing dollar spent
  • Business focus placed on the current quarter and closing deals
  • Internal sentimentality around the product and “what we’ve always done”
brand building

But doing less up top ultimately decreases the number of prospects to nurture and convert as time goes on. So, we’re throwing the caution flag! If your marketing resources are not caring for the entire funnel, your team will be under perpetual strain, your brand will weaken and ultimately the business will decline.

The answer is simple. Balance. Work in a way to continually attract and engage the next customer. It doesn’t have to be complex. Start with a few simple imperatives. Embed them in your operating model

  1. Always mix it up. Commit to changing a certain percentage (consider the 80/20 rule) of activities and investments your team makes each year.

    Not all marketing activities perform equally. Be intentional about continuous improvement and let go of some of the things you do. It’s easy to keep doing things just because your team can do them with ease. And it’s hard to stop doing things we believe others have come to rely on. But let the data do the talking. Assess your investments relative to one another and make it a point to cultivate new prospects by doing different things.

    Wondering where to begin if you just want to start small? Be in different places. Go to different tradeshows and industry events. Join different industry forums and social groups. This approach also encourages creativity and fosters growth in your team.

  2. Level up your messaging. Determine if at least half of what you’re producing and promoting speaking to customer challenges and demonstrating who you are. If not, change it up. Here are a few tips:

    Be creative with top-of-funnel content. Aim to demonstrate both knowledge and expertise as well as what it is like to work with you. It’s our inclination to invest in highly produced or multimedia product content. But attracting new customers is when you need to spend extra attention on making sure you turn heads. Consider creating content that is unexpected in your industry but still represents your organization’s personality.

    Paid campaigns are not just for products. Promote your top-of-funnel content.

  3. Show up. It’s this simple. 30 years ago, people used the Yellow Pages to find businesses. They couldn’t find you if your place of business wasn’t listed. Now, being findable digitally is key. Your website is your storefront and the single most significant illustration of your brand.

    Audit your operating processes to ensure:

    a. your site is SEO optimized
    b. you’re creating findable content that appeals to natural language searches
    c. all your digital content brings people to your sites
    d. you’re promoting your brand on and off your website
  1. Measure up. Don’t lose sight of measuring and reporting. Tell your stakeholders the story of your investment, approach, and measures throughout the funnel. Your metrics are key to illustrating Marketing impact and bringing customer insights to your colleagues. Metrics also help you select and defend the changes in your approaches year-over-year.

If you put these pieces in place, you’ll be on the path to build and sustain your sales funnel beyond the current quarter. Doing and demonstrating these things will help create an understanding that awareness-building is not a detractor to deal closing. It is a requisite to cultivating the next deals. And nurturing your top-of-funnel awareness efforts doesn’t necessarily require massive advertising campaigns. That can come when you demonstrate how Marketing has introduced more new prospective customers to your store and grown your database. So, let’s go – mix it up, level up, show up and measure up!