Full-Funnel Marketing: What CMOs want from their Agency Partners

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Full-Funnel Marketing: What CMOs want from their Agency Partners

Today, marketers and CMO’s are looking at the digital marketing landscape and heavily investing more and more ad dollars to reach audiences. Expectations are high for getting the results, data, metrics, marketing analytics, traffic, engagement, conversions and ROI, and marketing managers and CMO’s are being held accountable. And we believe as their partner, we should be held to the same standards.

According to a 2017 CMO survey, big organizational capability gaps identified by marketing leaders are highest in customer development and engagement and marketing analytics.

Today’s marketers want a fully integrated approach that takes customers through the buying journey from awareness, to consideration, to engagement, to purchase, to loyalty. That’s what Full-Funnel Marketing is all about.

The Full-Funnel Approach

Full-Funnel Marketing is a holistic approach that not only reaches an audience at the top of the funnel, but continues to follow the customer all the way down the funnel to purchase, engaging and nurturing customers each step of the way. Using the data available, we are able to tailor messages delivered throughout the entire purchase decision.



At the top of the funnel, our goal is to generate favorable brand awareness and help customers understand your brand’s unique position in the market. Through advertising both in digital and traditional landscapes, as well as social media and public relations, we communicate what makes a product or service unique and why your customers should care.

In the lower end of the funnel, it’s all about educating, influencing and engaging customers with your brand. We nurture customers along the way, by giving them the information and resources they need to make an informed purchase decision, while providing marketers/clients a highly targeted prospect list that are ready to convert and make the purchase of your brand.

Finally, it’s up to us to convert these customers into loyal customers and brand ambassadors through retention, loyalty programs and follow-up communications. These are the customers who will write favorable reviews and become advocates for the brand.

Why is it important?

Consumers are heavily influenced in their purchase decision by online reviews, recommendations, social content, etc. They have access to more information about a product or service at their fingertips during each phase of the purchase decision.

It’s critical that marketers use the Full-Funnel Marketing approach and reach customers through multiple platforms both early on in the buying process, and at each stage thereafter. Investing in brand awareness marketing in the upper funnel will keep your brand in the minds of customers even when they aren’t actively considering a purchase.

In a digital age that sees potential customers researching products and brands long before making first contact, it’s no longer enough for marketers to simply focus on consumer awareness of brands and products available to them. Effective marketing in today’s world follows the right customer with the right messaging from awareness to consideration all the way down to purchase decision and thereafter. That’s the Full-Funnel Marketing approach.

Check out the video below and download a free copy of the Full Funnel Marketing Guide.

Market Targeting – Hit Your Bullseye

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Market Targeting – Hit Your Bullseye

This post is the second in a series on digital marketing for online higher education courses. To read last week’s lesson, ‘A Crash Course in Marketing Your Online Courses,’ click here.

Location Targeting

The key to program awareness is to target your ads in the areas where you have real chances to convert students. As an example, many schools striving to promote online courses find that ads targeting within a 50-mile radius of the school tend to be the “sweet spot” for marketing efficiency. And schools competing for students against well-established programs nearby often find marketing efforts outside of a 25-mile radius ineffective. So every situation is different but there is one constant – find your sweet spot.

Working from the inside out will help you determine this “sweet spot” and will ensure that your ads continuously stay relevant to the people seeing them. This also helps advertising messages to be perceived as more personal and relevant to those seeing them. While online courses allow students to receive an education from home, it is still important for students to feel like the university is their university.

Occupation Targeting

Another important factor in developing your digital marketing strategy is to tailor your messaging towards the professional landscape in the area. One of the likely reasons that a prospective student is interested in online education is the ability to remain close to their home and existing job.

That’s why it’s important to understand the industries and opportunities in the area that you’ve targeted. Where in the country will your online programs find the most interested candidates? For example, if your programs are in technology and research, consider targeting the “The Research Triangle” in North Carolina. Finding pockets around the country where you will find a large concentration of interested candidates will lead to greater success by making your marketing dollars more effective.

Time/Day Targeting

Universities can now target prospective students during the times of day days of week when they know someone is actively searching for programs. Through online browsing data, we know that students who are interested in going back to school are doing so towards the first and last part of the week and during their lunch hour and later at night. Messaging can be specifically tailored to those students who are unhappy in their careers or aspire to rise in their careers.

Interested in increasing the efficiency of your online course marketing efforts?

There are many tips and tricks we’ve learned from helping several major universities succeed with their digital marketing campaigns. If you need better results from your online course advertising campaigns, give us a call. We are happy to share our knowledge. Contact Dan Diveley @ 314-727-5850 and let’s get talking!

Next lesson: Ease your budget tension – focus on student retention

Ease your budget tension – focus on student retention

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Ease your budget tension – focus on student retention

This post is the third in a series on digital marketing for online higher education courses. To read last week’s lesson, ‘Market Targeting – Hit Your Bullseye,’ click here.    

It’s among the most well-known business anecdotes – it costs more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one. And the same idea can be applied to the recruitment and enrollment of your students. To get the most out of your marketing efforts and the best for your students, focus on enrolling and retaining the right students for what your university offers.

Effective marketing gets the right message, on the right media channel, targeting the right people at the right time. That’s why it’s important to understand the relationship between cost per enrollment and cost per retained student. Effective marketing in the world of online education reaches and resonates with the students in your target area who have the motivation and resources to complete their education in its entirety.

Messaging needs to be urgent to the student and aspirational. With digital, we can test multiple messages to learn which one attracts the most valuable student. We can also shift our focus from high-performing programs at any point to concentrate on programs that need more students.

Digital marketing for universities is efficient, effective and agile as a perfect fit for online and offline courses as well as grad, undergrad and certificate programs.

Need help with inspirational advertising?

Learn more about increasing the efficiency of your online course offerings and how Geile/Leon can help. Give us a call to talk about digital marketing solutions for your institution. Maybe we can run a digital audit for you so you can see how you compare to other schools in your consideration set. Contact Dan Diveley @ 314-727-5850.


The Human Element – Is My Job In Danger?

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

The Human Element – Is My Job In Danger?

This post is a reflection on the article, Google is funding the creation of software that writes local news stories via TechCrunch.

When I made the decision long ago to attend the University of Missouri School of Journalism, it was with the dream of becoming the next legendarily enthusiastic SportsCenter anchor. Growing up, I spent countless hours watching ESPN’s flagship show and reading article after article about my local sports teams. I wrote opinion columns and sports articles for my high school newspaper. I “announced” our games of touch football on the weekends, practicing for the day that I would step onto campus and take the sports broadcasting industry by storm. In other words, journalism has always been close to my heart.

Of course, college went as college is supposed to – my ideals were challenged, my perspectives were changed and most importantly, as my talents and passions became more clear, my goals and future were tossed completely up into the air. I realized how much I needed to be creative in my day-to-day life; and how little interest I had in covering high school football for the first twenty years after graduating.

Above all, what I realized is that while I do and always will love journalism, what I truly love – and why I felt pulled towards journalism in the first place – is telling and creating stories. And that’s why I became a copywriter. I get to be creative for a living. I get to put myself in others’ shoes and connect with their stories. I get to create brand stories. But if newspaper journalists – who write stories – are now threatened with job loss to automation, how soon will copywriters like myself – who write stories – face the same threat?

Don’t go firing up those resumes and looking for new jobs just yet. In the optimistic eyes of this copywriter, the answer is probably never. And the reason is that great stories like the ones copywriters and many journalists tell are great precisely because they were written by a human. Great stories are made great by the way they make us empathize with each other and feel connected to the people around us.

Sure, artificial intelligence can tell stories about numbers and facts. It can write about how a baseball team had four consecutive hits and won the game in a dramatic 9th inning. But it can’t write about how your muscles were sore the next day from being so tense during the inning. Or how it felt to hug the total stranger next to you during the celebration. Or how watching a team overcome so much adversity inspired and reinvigorated you to pursue your dreams in the face of whatever obstacles were in your way. That’s the stuff that makes a story great. That’s the stuff that’s human.

To a computer, the improbable win is just an improbable win, and the clothing brand is just a clothing brand. But to a human, the improbable win is a triumphant reminder to never give up, and the clothing brand is an outlet through which we express our unique personality and perspective.

As long as brands want advertising that means something, my job is safe. Because advertising that means something takes the facts and turns them into a great story which resonates with those who hear it. What makes great advertising is something that artificial intelligence will simply never have – the human element.

So no, my job telling stories is not in danger. And neither are the jobs of journalists who are paid to do more than report the facts by connecting the facts to our human experience. Copywriters are humans connecting humans with ideas and products that humans invented. And that’s a job that computers could never do.

Now account folks, on the other hand…

Just kidding.