Reach Customers Throughout the Entire Purchase Cycle
Advertisers and marketers have used the purchase funnel model to build their sales programs and campaigns since its inception more than a century ago. The classic version has undergone much updating the past couple decades to incorporate technology-driven changes in purchasing behavior (e.g., ecommerce)and how we consume information and entertainment (e.g., online through multiple screens vs. newspapers, print and TV.)But through it all, the fundamental sales funnel phases have remained constant.
The typical customer initially becomes aware of a brand or product at the top of the funnel. Once they see and/or hear about it a again and again, she becomes familiar with it—until some trigger (a need, a circumstance-changing event, a piece of news or information, a cultural shift—even an advertisement) gives rise to her intent to purchase.
Then there are several other phases through the funnel: consideration, the purchase and finally, loyalty, which includes both repurchase and advocacy.
The Customer Decision Journey
However, as David Cort and team at McKinsey found in their research of 20,000 consumers over five verticals and several countries, the sheer abundance of media (advertising, marketing) and products in all phases of the buying process has altered our concept of the funnel.
They coined the “customer decision journey” to describe a more circular process that buyers go through in the latter part of the traditional process. In this loop, there are two additional phases where brands can influence customers:
- Active evaluation and
- Post-purchase experience.
The active evaluation phase includes the social, review and reputation resources customers consult online today. The post-purchase experience includes not only the experience with the product or service, but also information that may either reinforce their choice or conflict with it.
Online video advertising is the one medium that works in all phases—and acts as a trigger—to drive sales and loyalty.
How Video Advertising Rocks the Full Funnel
Online video ads have the benefits of creating awareness, generating customer demand and driving conversions depending in which phase of the funnel customers view them. Compelling TV-like sight, sound and motion—combined with interactive response capabilities—allow viewers to watch and/or engage, whichever is appropriate for their current point in the journey:
- As an awareness mechanism, video advertising works like TV in both the initial consideration and post-purchase phases, creating and extending awareness, validating purchase decisions and driving referrals, reviews and repurchases through targeted remarketing.
- As a hybrid awareness-demand mechanism, video advertising creates awareness during the evaluation phase and prompts engagement to discover more about a brand or product.
- And as a demand mechanism, video advertising provides a clear path to purchase through interactive offers, deals and click through calls-to-action.
- Video advertising can also act as a trigger for consideration or loyalty by presenting new offers and deals that move customers to action.
The Importance of Personalized Ads and Campaigns
Video ads and campaigns that are personalized for target audiences create more awareness and recall, as well as response rates that are up to 200% greater than for non-personalized ads.
Brand awareness matters: brands in the initial-consideration set can be up to three times more likely to be purchased eventually than brands that aren't in it.
Video ads can be dynamically personalized with local store information, content that appeals to specific demographics and resonates with viewers lifestyles, interests, time of day they are watching, the current weather, etc.
The corresponding video ad campaigns can be targeted to run in hyper-local markets for the specific audience personas on any and every screen, during specific times of day or week—then optimized for the most relevant exposure.
This personal and local resonance boosts customer consideration, evaluation, purchase and loyalty—preference throughout all phases of the funnel.
Best Practices for Full Funnel Impact
- Personalize and localize—Imagine that every video ad you see is created just for you, on the device you’re watching at the time you’re watching it. Advertisers boost relevance and response running personalized video ads at the local level—and soon, at the individual level.
- Advanced audience segmentation—Technology now enables micro-targeting of audience segments for video ad campaigns so that advertisers can gain insights about which micro-segments respond to creative messages and how to optimize creative and budget allocations for best results.
- Always be fresh—Technology also enables affordable ongoing testing of ad variations so that advertisers can continuously refresh their creative messages, deals, offers and calls to action to improve response, performance and cost-efficiency.
- YouTube First—Running TrueView skipable ads on YouTube adds a layer of self-selection to the new audience-targeting paradigm that advertisers now have at their disposal. The transparent tracking and reporting data available from Google campaigns can clearly inform other ad strategies.