In an ideal world, a marketer’s investment decisions would give equal consideration to short-term financial goals and the long-term health of their brands. But the current marketing environment is far from ideal. Ongoing economic pressures are causing marketers to make budget cuts that prioritize short-term, easily measurable tactics at the bottom of the funnel at the expense of upper-funnel strategies whose immediate impact and ROI are much less clear.
These choices are often based on an assumption that since the upper funnel will never deliver the type of return on ad spend (ROAS) that the lower funnel does, it is more difficult to defend those parts of the budget to the C-suite in times of economic uncertainty. Thus they become the proverbial low-hanging fruit. But what if marketers could bring a deeper level of measurement and accountability to the entire funnel while demonstrating the impact that upper-funnel investment has on lower-funnel spending?
That would be a game changer for the majority of marketers who view full-funnel media as critical to the growth of the business and long-term brand health, according to a DAC-commissioned survey of global marketers conducted by Forrester Research in September 2022.
Nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents said that improving full-funnel media investment was either a high priority or a critical priority over the next 12 months, citing several benefits (see Fig. 1). But of those, nearly three in four (73%) said it was very challenging or extremely challenging to execute such a strategy in the current environment.
So how can marketers close this gap and chart a new path in 2023? It starts with bringing a performance mindset to every aspect of a brand’s creative and media strategy.