RXBAR was already one of the fastest-growing nutrition bars on the market when it was acquired by Kellogg’s in 2017. Now, the brand needed a bold strategy to continue driving awareness of its snack brand while boosting both retail and online sales.
To achieve this, RXBAR in 2019 adopted a two-pronged approach to Facebook campaigns: one focused on driving conversions, while another focused on building brand awareness and ad recall. The RXBAR team built eye-catching mobile-first creative that featured consistent, upfront branding. The awareness ads highlighted the simplicity of ingredients found in their protein bars with equally simple messaging (“Simple Good”), and the direct response ads leveraged a carousel format to showcase the brand’s portfolio of products and flavors with a “Shop Now” call-to-action.
The approach paid off. By diversifying across the marketing funnel, RXBAR was able to increase both in-store sales and online sales by 3.3% and 22%, respectively.
RXBAR’s strategy reflects a broader shift in the retail industry driven by evolving consumer behavior. People are turning to e-commerce more than ever, with global e-commerce sales projected to top $7.5 trillion in 2025, up from $2.9 trillion in 20181—a shift dramatically accelerated by the pandemic. While this boom has benefited many performance advertisers, it has also introduced new challenges.
The surge in product choice and the introduction of new digital touchpoints—including those that combine different needs, like entertainment and shopping—have made it possible for people to flow through the purchase path more quickly. Today’s shoppers often take a dynamic journey and seem to move back and forth between discovery, consideration and purchase.
These shifts have spurred a rethinking of the marketing funnel. With the path-to-purchase evolving, the traditional concept of a marketing funnel divided into distinct stages no longer reflects consumer behavior.
Brands that belong to Meta’s Marketing Data & Analytics Council say that many leading marketers are adapting their strategies in response in the new report, Marketing for the Modern Customer Journey. For instance, some performance advertisers who have traditionally focused on the bottom of the funnel are increasingly turning their attention to brand building in the middle and top of the funnel as they embrace the idea that the different stages are interconnected rather than disconnected. By doing so, they are finding that simultaneously investing in multiple areas amplifies the power of their spend and drives stronger growth.
“We primarily service high-intent, low-funnel consumers,” said Kathryn Kennedy, former director of growth marketing at Wayfair and a Council member. “We recognize that to continue to maintain and accelerate our growth, we really need to build services for mid-funnel and upper-funnel customers.”
In fact, research from Mindshare and Gain Theory in the new report, The Synergistic Impact of Multi-Objective Buying, shows that all parts of the funnel on Meta technologies have a synergistic effect on one another. Part of the study, which used a marketing mix modeling (MMM) methodology across four verticals, examined how three different groups of campaigns can impact each other: brand campaigns with reach and awareness objectives, consideration campaigns with objectives like post engagement and video views, and performance campaigns with conversion-oriented objectives. The biggest benefits—as measured by incremental sales gained—were seen in a 22% synergistic effect between brand campaigns and consideration campaigns. This was followed by an 18% synergistic increase between brand campaigns and performance campaigns, and an 11% increase between consideration and performance objectives.
Incremental gains in effectiveness when running multiple buying objectives
The study also found that removing any objective category decreases return on ad spend, with the opportunity cost increasing with greater reach: ROAS decreased by 11 points when performance media was removed and 16 points when consideration and performance media were removed.
Change in ROAS when removing a category of objectives
Put simply, the research findings highlight that advertisers can boost sales by combining top-, mid-, and lower-funnel media, and that they can sacrifice campaign efficiency if they do not embrace a comprehensive strategy.
In order to leverage the synergistic benefits of investing across the funnel, marketers are stepping out of their comfort zones and embracing new approaches. That means organizationally, too. “In terms of our annual planning, we’ve brought brand and performance marketing budgets together so everything comes from one big pool of marketing investment,” said Council member Saleel Sathe, vice president of performance marketing at Walmart.
And some believe that the usual division between performance marketing and brand marketing only stands in the way of success. “For the way people buy products, these silos don’t make sense anymore,” said Council member As Atin Kulkarni, global head of marketing science at PepsiCo.
Written by Facebook