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Oct 18, 2021

Originally published in Campaign UK.

Is your funnel top-heavy, bottom-heavy, or perfectly proportioned? This question has come to dominate budget discussions, almost more than raw value for money.

And there is a good reason for our funnel fixation. There has always been a balance between top-of-funnel brand building and bottom-of-funnel trading. However, the tech-driven delta between the two has widened dramatically over recent years. Nowadays, if you get the balance wrong you could be wasting millions (or worse, you may actively be damaging your brand). Get it right and you have successfully mastered the most complex and intermeshed media matrix that has ever confronted the marketing community.

The upside of this new complexity is the prospect of unprecedented levels of ROI for those marketers canny enough to avoid its various pitfalls. That’s because we live in a world that has long superseded Marshall McLuhan’s dictum of the medium being the message. Now, the medium isn’t simply the message, it can also be the sale.

This is what makes funnel optimisation so critical and so lucrative. People can see your ad, respond to it and transact from it all at the same time, on the same screen in the same controlled ecosystem. And this transactional element is by no means limited to digital or streamed services and products. With the right media mix, you can sell out of an analogue product from an analogue location in minutes without customers moving more than their index finger. Fashion houses have been harnessing this dynamic for years through pre-sales and fashion drops. And these are simply microcosms of the wider e-commerce system. The medium is becoming far more than the message. The medium is becoming the market.

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