February 13, 2023

The Funnel of Love

Love starts with interest and consideration, and blossoms into commitment. Mid-funnel marketing works in a similar way; learn how your brand's advertising can foster deeper connections with consumers and turn casual interest into lifetime loyalty.

Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson
Vice President, Account Planning, VDX.tv
The Funnel of Love

What do mid-funnel marketing and love have in common? More than you might think!

At first, the analogy between one of the cornerstones of capitalism and the most powerful human emotion can feel a bit cold. But the transition from courtship to commitment in both cases requires a similar approach. 

Just like love, mid-funnel marketing can sometimes be difficult to define. It's usually mentioned as some combination of “interest”, which is the stage where a consumer identifies a need in their lives, and “consideration”, where that consumer starts to think about which brands can satisfy those needs. 

If you’ve ever heard someone utter the phrase “you complete me”, you can draw parallels between how people find fulfillment in relationships to how brands connect consumer needs to fulfillment through products and services. The answer lies in that all-important courtship phase, when interest and consideration blossom into commitment. 

So how can marketers ensure that consumers don’t get that wandering eye and start drifting toward other brands during the courtship phase? By reminding consumers how they arrived at that point in the first place, and offering them a glimpse into their ideal future together. To accomplish this, mid-funnel advertising should combine elements of both upper funnel lifestyle content, and lower funnel purchase and loyalty incentives to serve as a bridge between awareness and conversion. Or to leverage our analogy, between the first date and a committed relationship. 

Chances are, your first date in any relationship started with shared interest, mutual attraction, a friend or family recommendation, or some combination of the three. So why do marketers tend to relegate those tactics to the awareness phase of the marketing funnel? Leveraging those powerful initial connections throughout the purchase cycle serves as reinforcement of that initial attraction, and maintains a prospects interest as they progress toward the more practical consideration phase of comparing options. 

For example, if a potential customer shows initial interest in your content marketing, it only makes sense to reincorporate similar or complementary content into mid-funnel tactics, perhaps in a sequential manner. Using the automotive vertical as an example, if your potential customer landed on a model page via a 3rd party automotive site, pulling an expert review from that same site and embedding it into a video creative unit reinforces their initial interest while offering helpful context for their potential new vehicle purchase.

Mid-funnel marketing strategies also benefit from showing the benefits that existing customers enjoy, including loyalty rewards, exclusive offers, and owner perks that aren’t available to prospects that don’t fully commit. Allowing them to imagine themselves as a valued customer simulates a mutually beneficial relationship, one that grows and becomes stronger and more loyal over time. 

Relationships between people and brands follow a similar arc. Affinity generally evolves into interest, but the biggest gap exists between consideration and commitment. Another brand or suitor can swoop in during the courtship phase and steal the object of your desire at any moment. Reminding that person or prospect of how the sparks started to fly and offering a peek into a mutually beneficial future together is a sure way to strengthen the middle and let love in! 

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