Marketing Strategies

Time to Fix Your Buying Funnel #4: The “Where is It?” Funnel

Brands can’t succeed in today’s business climate without capitalizing on every opportunity for growth. We need to deploy integrated approaches that impact the full funnel – influencing impact at every step of the customer journey. But what happens if your prospects and customers get lost on the way to conversion? What if they stop progressing toward purchase?

What if your buying funnel is broken at one or more stages?

Get Rakuten Advertising’s complete guide to optimizing performance through full-funnel affiliate marketing. Learn the most common broken funnel types and how to leverage new partnerships to address the bottlenecks in your customer journey.

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Rakuten Advertising empowers affiliate leaders to optimize performance across the buyer journey. This is the final post of a blog series exploring four common “broken funnel” scenarios, offering solutions to enhance customer flow from initial awareness to purchase. Today’s focus is the “where is it?” funnel, where brands are failing to generate quality awareness and consideration. We also offer a complimentary downloadable guide that covers the most common buyer journey challenges and the strategies and partners that can fix them.

The Where Is It? Funnel

The “where is it?” funnel represents a customer journey flow that doesn’t scale. The middle and bottom stages of the marketing effort may do a great job motivating preference and purchase from the small number of people who make it to these stages. But too few prospects are brought in at the top.

The “where is it?” funnel is most common for new brands that invest solely in bottom-of-funnel activity. They may convert many or most consumers who consider them. However, not enough people are aware of the brand or why it is worth considering, so the brand is overlooked. Building awareness efficiently is about identifying and reaching the right audience – when they are open to receiving information.

How to Grow a “Where is It?” Funnel

Many new clients switch to Rakuten Advertising because we offer outstanding solutions to address bottle necks at every funnel stage. Further, our network of fully vetted partners gives clients access to every partner class needed to address any customer journey bottlenecks. Here are some partner types that can help solve your scale problems if you are suffering from a Where is it? funnel.

  • LARGE TRADITIONAL AFFILIATE PARTNERS: Start with proven high-reach partner types like cashback and coupons. The largest of these sites attract as much or more traffic as many of the most popular editorial content publishers. By securing prominent placement on these sites with attractive offers and tenancies, you can drive strong awareness at far lower risk than with CPM media. If your product has more “niche” appeal, look for traditional affiliates likely to appeal to a broad cross-section of prospective buyers. Top email partners can also reach large audiences and capture a substantial share of voice among those who need your product. Examples to consider include Klarna, Paypal/Honey, Cartera, and Afterpay.
  • BROAD REACH LIFESTYLE PUBLISHERS: These content sites often attract large followings. By choosing the right partners, you can focus on those whose interests and behaviors suggest they might be interested in your product. Some may also offer flat-fee or hybrid placements that attract larger audiences than product reviews or individual lifestyle articles. Additionally, some content publishers give you an outstanding opportunity to reach new segments and lifestyles, which can grow your prospect pool. Partner options include WhoWhatWear, ThePointsGuy, Editorialist, and Buzzfeed.
  • INFLUENCERS: Influencers can also be important in growing a buying funnel and helping drive outstanding brand credibility. In addition to mega-influencers that attract audiences in the millions, many micro-influencers with smaller audiences specialize in reaching and persuading specific audience segments that may be relevant to your offering. Potential partners in this area include YouTube, Triller, and Shoplooks.
  • BRAND-TO-BRAND PARTNERS: If you can form partnerships with large brands that share your target or lifestyle profile, you can quickly boost awareness and scale. Examples include Purseblog, SheMedia, NerdWallet, CNET, Babylist, and Cameo.

Closing Thoughts: Make the Most of Every Partnership

Every seasoned affiliate marker knows that simply signing up a partner doesn’t mean you’ll be successful with them. Brands must find ways to have partner relationships that drive partner attention and interest, have a strong appeal to consumers, and ensure that the partners make enough money to warrant ongoing support. The linchpins are communication, responsiveness, and empathy.

Assume positive intent. Explain your goals. Warn them about major changes or decisions that could significantly affect performance. Give them time to make changes in how they support your program. Take their suggestions seriously. Help them get credit for every action they deserve.

And seriously, pay them on time!

At Rakuten Advertising, we help many great brands “fix their funnels” so they grow bigger faster. Ready to fix yours?  Reach out for a no-obligation consultation. And if you’re a publisher who can help brands move consumers through the funnel at this or any other stage, why not apply to join the Rakuten Advertising network! With thousands of great brand merchants, Rakuten Advertising can be a great growth channel for your business.

Thanks for reading this series. If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, you can find them. here:

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Rakuten Advertising

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