Embracing The Simplicity Of the Funnel

By: Ronald C. Pruett, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Mercury Media

I’ve read a few missives lately about the sales funnel.  At Mercury Media, we can drive customers to and through that funnel in a predictable, profitable manner.  In fact, I really like the image of the funnel because it’s easily understood and impediments to success can be quickly identified and fixed. For DR companies that are heavily operational, and many are, the funnel works wonders.

Many other companies are now attempting to use it too.  For example, Pepsi, long a master of driving customers to the top of its sales funnel through TV ads, is taking a different approach for this year’s Super Bowl.  Instead of spending $20 million of creative and media placement for the game, it is spending $20 million for a pre-Super Bowl campaign that captures customers at the bottom of the sales funnel.  It will do this by asking existing customers to suggest ways to “refresh” their communities through social media networks.


Now, I’m not suggesting that Pepsi could drive it’s kind of product through a direct response campaign as we know it.  But, I am suggesting that a lot of different companies could learn from the notion of driving customers to the most powerful force of their brand and sales magnet through effective TV messages, capture that data from customer prospects, and then convert them in the process.   The CPG category needs a complex model and a lot of money to do this.  Most verticals don’t.  Most businesses can capture this entire branding and selling process through direct response advertising.

What Pepsi likes about online advertising is the data that it generates.  In fact, my sources tell me that it can generate six million customer data records in a single promotion.  Direct response can work in a more efficient fashion.  It generates data on potential customers for a specific product, shows your company what works about the product and its media placement, and then turns them into paying customers in the process.  And it’s not just a TV based process.  Most sources put the percentage of online brand spend at five percent of total budget.  But for brands that embrace direct response, 30 percent of the budget is online.  Direct response represents the complete process – the closed loop – that CPG brands would die for.

Ronald C. Pruett, Jr. is Chief Executive Officer of Mercury Media.  Prior to joining Mercury Media, Pruett was the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Polymedica/Liberty Medical, the largest publicly traded diabetic supply company and one of the largest multichannel direct response marketers in the country. The company was sold to Medco Health Solutions.  Pruett has extensive experience in the creation, acquisition, and management of direct to consumer marketing companies in the US and abroad.

Contact him at rpruett@mercurymedia.com

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2 Responses to “Embracing The Simplicity Of the Funnel”

  1. page flip Says:

    Not sure I fully understand the original article but it was definitely an interesting read.

  2. Carli Niemiel Says:

    This is a great blog. I have just started with affiliate marketing and am after all the information that i can get! I will be checking back soon. I have just opened a clickbank account and will report back to you guys on whether its easy to do any online job!Any advice is appreciated.

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