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Updated: Oct 1, 2022


As marketing's vox populi has spent an inordinate amount of time proclaiming the virtues of lower funnel targeting, they have become advertising's Alices, chasing the wrong rabbit and soon to be hearing cries of "off with their heads."

This is about getting sucked deeper and deeper into the belief that 1:1 targeting produces the highest incidence of success, but without considering the true cost. It's about spending more than 34% of your revenue with Amazon and another 30% with Google in spite of privacy challenges and the erosion of digital trust. Welcome to life in a world without cookies, or anyone to answer your call at Google HQ.

The result, among other things, is that brands that are disproportionately spending heavy into digital and facing unsustainable tariffs. While the pay-to-play efficiency is there, the brand's awareness and affinity is rendered unsustainable, and a brand without upper funnel balance is a brand more pervious to economic downturns and competitive incursion.

Lest a digital guru try to convince you that upper funnel marketing is inefficient, that speaking to 1000 people to influence 100 is not as effective as paying (exorbitantly higher CPMs) to reach those 100 directly, then consider the undeniable advantages of a 30 second linear TV spot, for instance. You reach the decision makers, plus secondary and tertiary influencers, and you tell a story in the medium designed for it on the largest screen in the home, whereas stories and search = oil and water. And at the end of the day, 90%+ of all those watching TV hold a phone their hands, ready to track you down and buy,

A funnel is not a straw. Nor is it an inverted funnel. It's a specific design to build great affinity that sells your product right away, but also comes with a long tail that pays brand dividends over time.

According to Harvard Business, in August 2021 and February 2022, marketers predicted that traditional advertising spending would increase by 1.4% and 2.9%, respectively. Ergo, you can be behind the curve or ahead of it, chasing the rabbit or smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

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