Debunking Full-Funnel Myths that Send Marketing Strategies Off Course

February 22, 2021

Alex Rynne, Christopher Penn, Kathleen Booth

We often talk about how the buyers’ journey has grown more complex over the past decade and how the old three-stage funnel model is obsolete. While it’s true that buyers have more channels and more options now, let’s be honest: Was the funnel ever an accurate representation of the buyers’ journey?

Did buyers in the ‘50s, ‘80s or ‘90s really go through three simple stages before a purchase, in order, with no regression or sidetracking?

Or did we just not have the data to see all the twists and turns? 

With more data in hand, it’s time for marketers to take on some of the persistent myths that go along with the old-school funnel. 

We want to help marketers make sense of the data and use it for more effective, more relevant marketing that’s valuable and useful to their intended audiences. We’re digging into the problem in the latest installment of Live with Marketers, our award-winning talk show for and by marketers.

Full Funnel Myths Debunked: Live with Marketers @ Home on Thursday, February 25th at 11:00 AM PT.

You can register here to attend, but first, a sneak peek at some of the key questions and topics that are top-of-mind for today’s marketers. 

Debunking Pervasive Myths About the B2B Marketing Funnel

The longer we continue adhering to misconceptions and false beliefs, the more they can set back our strategies. And here’s the thing: it’s very easy to be led astray. Plenty of marketing myths have been recycled and regurgitated so many times that they’re generally accepted as true. 

When held under a bit of scrutiny, though, do these widely-held notions hold up? For example:

Social media is only for upper-funnel activities and brand-building.

Don’t be so certain. Business decision makers are increasingly turning to sources like LinkedIn for information and guidance in their purchase journeys, and these channels have a real ability to influence outcomes. A study by IDC found that 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchase decisions, including 84% C-level/VP executives.

The underlying mechanics of B2C and B2B marketing are drastically different.

They are different, to be sure, but it isn’t night-and-day. Business buyers are people, and they’re driven by the same emotional, human motivations as anyone else. While the messaging and tactics might differ when it comes to business-oriented marketing, at the end of the day, we’re all trying to earn attention, spark productive interactions, and compel action.

Lead generation is far more important than brand awareness.

It can be natural to adopt this philosophy when marketers are under pressure to deliver clear business results, since lead generation ties more directly to revenue. But in reality, one tactic cannot be successful without the other, so it’s a fallacy to suggest lead gen is more important. Strong brand-building facilitates effective lead generation

Reach is the most valuable campaign metric.

For a billboard, maybe. For targeted digital marketing campaigns, measurement strategies should account for who’s seeing the content and which actions it’s driving, as opposed to simply indexing on reach and impressions. Vanity metrics like these can be misleading indicators, leading to wasted spend.

Those last two debunked myths above naturally beg the question: Can brand awareness really be measured? How so, if not by the reach and visibility of our campaigns? 

Understanding the deeper impact and revenue implications of brand campaigns is among the many crucial topics we’ll dive into on Live with Marketers. We’ll also explore the right balance between paid and organic, the true characteristics of authentic and effective thought leadership, the lifespan of customer nurturing (hint: it shouldn’t end after the point of sale), and more

Bring the Funnel into Full Focus

For this episode, we tapped two leading experts in smarter, more data-driven marketing. First, Kathleen Booth, VP of Marketing at clean.io and host of the Inbound Success Podcast. TopRank Marketing named Kathleen one of the 50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers in 2019, and she’s always generous with expert advice from her long career in marketing and consulting.

We’re also thrilled to welcome Christopher Penn to the show. Christopher is the Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at TrustInsights.ai and he’s spoken at marketing conferences around the world. Simply put, he eats, breathes and sleeps data — and puncturing anecdotal “wisdom” with actual research is a long-time hobby of his.  

Chris and Kathleen will take on a wide variety of marketing assumptions that may just be holdovers from a simpler time. 

We can’t wait to see how Chris and Kathleen bring their own brand of marketing mythbusting to the next Live with Marketers @ Home. 

Register now and don’t miss the live show!

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