How To Recover From Conversion Fixation

It’s becoming all too commonplace: A brand that’s been prioritizing performance media reaches a peak and begins to decline in leads and sales. Usually, it’s not because the company is making the wrong pitches or buying the wrong media. It’s simply burning out a shrinking universe of known buyers.

This is how conversion fixation undermines the growth marketing mandates are supposed to serve. It’s easy to fall into the trap because we can measure immediate media tactics, and business leaders are impatient for proof that marketing investment is paying off. The approaches that promote long-term brand success don’t yield such instant gratification.

The answer is a full-funnel approach. We can get back to it by making some straightforward adjustments. 

Broaden your base. To expand your sales, you need to expand your market by targeting potential customers at every stage of the buying journey, from awareness to consideration to purchase. If someone’s first exposure is a click-to-buy or impulse purchase, treat them like a fresh prospect so you give them the consideration-oriented communications that can make them a brand buyer. Rather than ads for more products, for example, you can send them users’ stories and ideas that invite a brand consciousness. 



Balance the budget. Start by allocating 60% to top-, 30% to middle-, and 10% to lower-funnel activities. You need the most resources for a critical mass of memorability with a new, less familiar audience. Only a portion of that universe will form a base for consideration, while a portion of those consumers are open to purchase. That’s a healthy pipeline. 

Reset expectations. Anchor the program in an overall goal, such as increasing awareness among an intended target group by 10% or increasing category share by 5% on a major retailer site. Establish benchmarks for each funnel stage, and coach senior leadership on realistic timetables for progress in each. They’ll stop asking for conversion metrics on brand ads and emails. 

Track brand health. Set aside a budget for regularly scheduled brand health studies to track progress over time. Turn the results into conversations with senior leaders on specific adjustments that can speed the path to results. In providing proof, you’ll unlock resources for expansion while cementing trust with your agency partners. 

Successful marketing isn’t a one-legged stool. By reestablishing a full-funnel approach, you can restore a brand trajectory to the business. Then you can build a stronger brand, generate more leads and sales, and improve customer lifetime value: the three legs of growth.

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