The CMO’s Guide To Full Funnel Digital Marketing

Everything You Need To Know About Managing An Inbound Funnel Online

We all know how a typical marketing funnel works and how important it is to define and track the different stages that consumers travel through on their way to conversion. You can’t build a great marketing strategy without one.

The importance of addressing the top, middle and bottom of this funnel separately and understanding what consumers need at each stage to keep them moving down the funnel is what drives your marketing messaging.

It’s exactly the same with full funnel digital marketing. When done right, this approach with digital will return far better results than simply running individual campaigns that interrupt your prospects.

Read this blog and learn:

  • Key full funnel digital marketing trends
  • The common mistakes marketing teams make and how to avoid them
  • How digital marketing can succeed at each stage of the funnel
  • Why full funnel digital marketing matters to your company

Does Full Funnel Digital Marketing Work?

The above statistics show that companies that invest in top and middle of funnel marketing tactics experience gains at the bottom of the funnel—from increased conversion rates to lower costs per result—as research shows that buyers favour companies that are prevalent throughout the customer journey.

So if the stats show that full funnel marketing drives positive results, why do so many marketers still struggle with it?

What Are The Common Mistakes Marketers Make?


Only running campaigns at the middle or bottom of the funnel with the aim of driving conversions will not set you up for success. Pushing a product straight away, when not everyone knows your brand and those that do may not be ready to convert, is a sure fire way to raise your cost per conversion.


Using the tired last click attribution model will distort the importance each of your campaigns play in delivering a conversion. Last click attribution favours channels that deliver traffic lower down the funnel, ignoring the top and middle of the funnel. This gives the impression that top of the funnel campaigns aren’t playing any role in driving conversions—which is likely very far from the truth.


Consumers use different digital channels, well, differently. Copying strategies from one to the other won’t deliver the same results, but this doesn’t mean one channel necessarily holds less value than another.

For example, trying to replicate AdWords campaigns to Facebook, or expecting similar results, won’t work. AdWords is a platform where consumers are actively searching for a product or solution and often already at the middle or bottom of the funnel. Facebook is different. Users aren’t actively searching for your product, you’re trying to grab their attention away from friends, family and news content—running a product advertisement in the same way you do to someone actively searching AdWords for your product or solution won’t work.


Measuring top of the funnel brand awareness campaigns using the same metrics that you use for bottom of the funnel conversion campaigns won’t work. Clicks or conversions won’t give you the information you need to decide whether your campaign was a success or not, and when compared with a conversion campaign it’ll look like an outright failure.

Use a metric like brand lift to understand how your top of the funnel campaigns are growing your brand awareness among your target audiences.

What’s The Solution?

Start your digital campaigns at the top of the funnel—to grow awareness and engagement—and then retarget these audiences further down the funnel. This will deliver better engagement with your campaigns and, as the stats show, result in cheaper conversions at the end.

In addition, recognize each stage in the funnel for what it is—a separate step in the customer’s journey to conversion—and treat is as such. When your team is running a campaign, ensure they understand what role it plays in the customer’s journey, where it fits in the funnel and what goal they are trying to achieve.

Then ensure the most appropriate metrics are being used to analyze success and proper consideration of attribution modelling—and how it affects conversion reporting by channel—is taken into account.

If you invest in that top of pipeline content, if you invest in these early stage relationships, you significantly subsidize the acquisition costs not only in the medium future but also well beyond that.
— Matt Heinz, Author, Blogger, Founder of Heinz Marketing

Why It Matters To Your Company

While the exact stages of the funnel and types of campaigns run at each step will vary depending on what product or service you offer, it’s easy to align the above funnel with your business model.

Implementing a full funnel digital strategy, understanding your customers’ journey to conversion and the channels that contribute to this, is vital to making digital work for your company and surviving in an age of relentless technological progress and continuously shifting consumer media consumption habits.

It will also give you an advantage over all those companies that say Facebook—a platform with 1.8 billion active users—“doesn’t work for us”.