Flipping the Funnel: A Digital-First Approach to Marketing

Flipping the Funnel: A Digital-First Approach to Marketing

Historically, the world of marketing has focused on exposing brands to the largest audience possible. That said, reaching more people doesn’t necessarily yield more engagement with your brand. Today, marketers are finding that they can now cast a shorter net and still reach a more engaged niche of their target audience.

By flipping the traditional marketing funnel on its head—known as a “flipped marketing funnel”—some brands are taking a digital-first approach to marketing that attracts users who are most likely to engage.

Under this more traditional marketing funnel model (shown above), much of your budget is actually wasted by trying to earn the attention of people who’d never be interested in your message anyway. Plus, you can’t effectively build individual, tailored relationships when targeting a mass audience.

With a vast suite of digital tools now available to marketers—from data-driven intelligence and marketing automation, to real-time content optimization—the traditional marketing funnel has quickly become outdated. Instead of distributing generic content, you can tailor your messages to be hyper-targeted by understanding your audiences on a deeper level that transcends demographics.

The flipped marketing funnel approach can help you create a digital-first strategy that achieves more meaningful brand engagement and greater budget efficiency. On a basic level, the process includes the following four stages:

  1. Identify – research and attract users who are most likely to engage
  2. Expand – build relationships with the people your efforts attracted
  3. Engage – some users will make a purchase or engage with your brand
  4. Advocate – satisfied users influence their own networks, further expanding your brand’s reach

This model creates an opportunity to attract users who are most likely to engage with your brand. Then, you can target resources toward building deeper relationships with them by providing useful content and/or experiences.

Your target audience will, in turn, become advocates for your brand and share your content with their own networks—helping you reach mass audiences on a deeper, more meaningful level.

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About The Author

As a content marketer, copywriter and brand strategist who operates in both the clouds and the dirt, Katie Casciato leverages the art of storytelling to develop and execute strategic marketing campaigns that generate tangible results for our B2B, professional services, corporate and non-profit clients. Her background includes content creation, digital marketing, PR, content marketing and media relations.