Programmatic marketing is not an end-all solution to all of your problems. Working as a programmatic trader directly in our demand-side platform every day, and now shifting to an account executive position, I’ve been able to see and interact with both the back-side and the front-side of our company. Through this, I’ve been able to see the different sides of the digital marketing world in general.
Most people won’t fully forget about their middle funnel, but could let it get a little dry when focusing too much on conversion, or too much on the planning and leading steps. Although conversion and final sale are sparkly and shiny since it’s a tangible fortune/outcome, you can’t get there without all the steps, and the strategy that needs to be put in to each step. This is just like our everyday lives… many of us become focused on the picture at large, forgetting about all the maintenance and farming that need to happen to make ends meet, or to reach our end goal.
Every company, brand, agency, or individual person’s mid-funnel is going to be completely different from the next. While some companies might have leads and prospects in their mid-funnel for weeks, others might have people in there for months to years. This also doesn’t mean that one’s strategies are better than another’s, but rather that their product or service requires different tactics and methods to reach conversion, some more extensive than others.
Think about the gym. You and I could be the same exact weight and height, with the same goal of looking like a specific fitness star by a certain date, following the guidelines that said fitness model follows. We can do the same workouts and attain the same diet, but does that mean we are both going to come out with the same body at the same time, also matching that of the fitness model’s body? The answer is no.
Maybe you require more food than me, so you’re losing weight faster by cutting the same amount of calories than I am. Maybe I have good genetics for a certain muscle group in my body, so I tone easier in those areas than you. You, I, and the said fitness star all have different needs, and won’t reach our goal simultaneously since, although we must all workout and all eat right, some of us are going to have to put more of a focus on specific parts that someone else doesn’t think twice about.
This is where programmatic meets the mid-funnel, and where the digital agency that a company picks to handle their digital marketing needs must be fully aware of the product/service that their client is selling. This is also where the agency needs to be able to express to the client which goals are tangible, and which are just simply not the outcome of a programmatic campaign. Educating takes place on both sides, and this is always how it should be.
Knowing the ins and outs of your client’s company will therefore help you to think in their shoes, making yourself a part of their team, realizing why they have the needs that they have rather than just knowing what those needs are. Telling your clients that the programmatic campaigns that you are running for them will lead straight to final conversion could be true in special cases, but most of time, it would be a lie.
There’s no point in ever lying to clients about these end goals that programmatic will lead to because the mid-funnel tactics that we are solving are just as important as the end revenue. Without the healthy diet and the workout routines, you’ll never hit that desired outcome.
Think of programmatic as a solution. Not being able to get people to convert starts with a lack of awareness, and therefore a lack of traffic and interaction on your site. It’s a necessity that programmatic traders, account managers, and account executives work together to solve the client’s problems by building and formulating the connecting strategy that they are missing.
Back to talking about the gym… if I’m having a tough time seeing results in my arm muscles, you are not going to suddenly start working extra hard on your biceps with me if yours are toned and ready for the beach already. This is just like programmatic campaigns. If I’m seeing that certain publishers are not performing well for one client, I’m not just going to start removing those pubs from other clients as well.
Since every client is unique, working in the middle funnel becomes an opportunity for account execs and traders to learn so much about each and every one of our clients, realizing the results beyond the click, and helping them to reach their end goal by adopting the mid-funnel strategies that they were missing.