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theScore & The Mid-Funnel Platform

On September 26th Kevin Crosson, Senior Account Executive of theScore Inc. attended our Calgary Marketing Association Panel and Power Hour. Kevin put some of his thoughts around data driven marketing into words and generously shared them with us. We are now pleased to share them with you!

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Recently, I had the pleasure of attending my first CMA event on the topic of Data Driven Marketing. The panel was very insightful with a strong mix of brand marketers and vendors. I believe it was Morgan Melnyk, who is the Marketing Manager for MNP, who said, “when working with data, it’s important to remember the WHY”.

At theScore, we have seen an increase in brands asking this very question when it comes to targeted advertising. Over the last number of years so much data has become available to utilize for targeting that many brands have glossed over the why. With the ability to pursue low-funnel prospects with retargeting and behavioral targeting, some brands have neglected their full funnel approach.

In a recent Digiday article by Kayleigh Barber, she writes:

“Attribution has become more and more important to marketers, as they face increasing pressure to justify their investments. However, with Nielsen supplying television companies with standardized audience data, TV essentially has a monopoly on attribution via top of the funnel awareness. Similarly, Facebook and Google have a tight hold on last-click attribution, thanks to their own analytic tools. So for publishers trying to complete on these levels, Kostelic said, they are at a disadvantage because the data to track what makes a product move up in the consideration stage is nearly impossible to understand.”

As marketers challenge themselves to move away from immediate gratification offered by lower funnel tactics, we are seeing an uptick in mid-funnel activity. With ongoing scrutiny of cookies and targeting, brands are returning to the techniques that helped a product move up in the consideration stage. Firefox is leading the charge on the removal of third party cookies with Safari and Chrome right behind them.

One brand we work with in the CPG industry is utilizing special offers to entice users and track conversions across platforms. This has been increasingly popular among mid-funnel platforms lately, especially podcasts.

Combine this trend from the leading browsers with the wide sweeping General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation, there is a wind of change in the air. Europe led the charge on the implementation of GDPR in May 2018. Since then, there has been some confusion around the implications and consequences around this legislation.

Due to these recent trends, we have seen brands adjust the way they hope to reach their target audience. By refocusing their efforts on creative, contextual placements, and utilizing their own first party data marketers have been able to adjust to the changing climate and find success utilizing transparency, control, and impact.

Here are a few steps you can take to improve your mid-funnel marketing activities:

  1. Utilize high impact creative. Creative has an opportunity to tell a story and move a product in the consideration stage. At theScore we have seen success leveraging team sponsorships for creative: “Official Bank of the Toronto Raptors, And Their Fan” or special offers: “Score Free Medium Fries when the Raptors Score 12 3’s”.
  2. Content alignment and brand safety. Not all impressions are equal. Aligning content with affinity your audience has in a brand safe environment is a great opportunity to gain traction. A great example of this is a recent promotion by Under Armour. By dominating key moments and areas for high impact awareness such as Launch Page and Masthead Takeovers as well as Steph Curry section ownership.
  3. Neither first touch or last touch attribution models are able to tell the full story. Attribution models are a powerful optimization metric but remember to trust overall business results and all of the various touch points that lead to conversions.

 

Kevin Crosson, Senior Account Executive, theScore