Digital Essays 2023: The overlooked essentials

Brands need to create a positive experience for consumers at every stage of the journey, says EssenceMedicom Egypt’s Isis Naguib

While on a vacation with a friend at the beach, it was surprising to me that said friend decided to not go for a swim. She decided to go to the beach, but not participate in what one does at a beach, as she was not in the ‘mood’.

Being the person that I am, I started to correlate this to our media consumer.

Even in the right setting with the right product, can a consumer still decide they were not taking action just because they were not in the ‘mood’?  If yes, how do we get a consumer in the mood to close this purchase cycle?

The consumer journey is becoming more and more complex, with consumers needing up to eight touch-points before making a purchase decision. In this complex environment, how can brands establish a healthy funnel that leads to purchase and loyalty?

The answer is to get consumers in the mood to buy. It is understanding their habits and behaviours, starting with an emotional connection to build brand awareness, and then focusing on the value and usefulness of the product or service.

In other words, brands need to create a positive experience for consumers at every stage of the journey, from awareness to consideration all the way to purchase. They need to make consumers feel like they are buying something that is valuable and useful to them.

So as a brand, a high level of brand awareness does not automatically translate to consideration, trial or loyalty. Here comes the role of the mid funnel that is often overlooked and always mis-perceived as a marketing stage that’s not for all industries. 

In the current economy, consumers are more conscious about what they are buying, evaluating whether a product will serve their needs effectively, so mid-funnel becomes critical for consumers to explore and evaluate their purchase options. 

We tested this theory on businesses such as Etisalat Egypt and Adidas, discovering that in order to increase client demand, we must double their mid-funnel investment. The outcome? Incredibly, the uplift in the outlets where we tested was up to 16 times more sales than anticipated. 

Mid-funnel is not about the click objective or website traffic for retargeting along the campaign, it’s more of an ‘Ad on Demand’ approach that can be translated in a form of reach on a media plan – a quality, relevant reach that helps consumers make a decision and push them closer to a purchase outcome.

To simplify it, as a woman, I can be served a face cream ad of a product I already know, and I can be served another ad of the same product that makes me think this product is for me, how?

By understanding my trigger points and communicating to me what I need in that moment, I am more ‘in the mood to purchase’.

This could be via a non-branded website for skin care that helps me as a consumer to fix my skin problems, or through communication on an ecommerce platform reminding me to drink water in the hot weather, but including extra discount of said moisturising product if I purchased now.

In the current era of AI, personalising and customising the message to the consumer has never been easier and more accessible to advertisers.

Yet in my 10 years working with brands in media, I’ve largely seen marketers focus their efforts and budgets on upper funnel awareness or lower funnel conversion and lead generation, often missing the glue that links both phases and brings more than instant ROI – loyalty and returning customers. 

Mid funnel is often the overlooked essential in consumer journeys, yet it’s increasingly the most important role for brands to get right to super-charge ROI.

By Isis Naguib, Digital Director at EssenceMedicom Egypt