Matching Your Advertising Goals to the Sales Funnel

Not all goals are created equally. In many sports, the ultimate goal of the game is to win by earning points, whether that’s from hitting a home run, sinking a three-pointer or scoring a touchdown. However, we also track other stats during games like batting average, assists or tackles, which could be considered secondary goals. If players are doing well in their individual stats, they will be better able to help their team win the game. In advertising, like sports, there’s an ultimate goal, which is usually a sale. If it’s a branding campaign, it might be increased awareness. However, there are other metrics we track, too, like increased site visits, eCPA, or increased foot traffic, to name a few. Depending on where in the funnel you are trying to reach customers, you might focus on a sales goal, or secondary or proxy goals. Let’s dive into which goals best match the different parts of the sales funnel. Upper funnel goals usually focus on awareness since you’re attracting customers who might not be aware of your product or might be casually browsing. At this stage of the game, your goal could be increased website traffic or visits to your homepage. You might even want to consider creating your own Key Performance Indicator (eKPI), such as a ratio of visits to your homepage versus visits to a product page. Media channels to help drive awareness include advanced TV or online video. Cross-device display can also factor into upper funnel goals, by using broader targeting tactics like site targeting or demographic targeting. Lower funnel goals could be sales, or for items not purchased online, they could be activities or actions, which you can tie to an eCPA goal. Typically, you are reaching customers who already know who you are and have visited your website before, so you’re looking to get customers on repeat visits, or customers visiting pages that show a deeper level of interest, like a contact us page, or an hours and directions page. Or perhaps you have an online form for customers to fill out. Search is an excellent channel to reach lower funnel customers since they are actively seeking out information, but display tactics like site retargeting, look-alike targeting, or CRM targeting can also be a great way to drive activities. Some advertisers choose to run multiple campaigns at a time, one to focus on the upper funnel and attract a new audience, and another to focus on that new audience and continue to push them through the funnel. Whichever part of the funnel you are focusing on, make sure that your goals and media tactics line up with what you’re trying to achieve.