Sequential marketing explained: A new approach for lead conversion

The best marketing ideas are also designed to work hand in glove with our natural tendencies as consumers. That’s exactly what sequential marketing campaigns are designed to do. As humans, we love narratives, patterns and puzzles. For as long as people have been entertaining each other, we’ve known the value of a good story — or a dramatic cliffhanger.
Sequential marketing takes advantage of this tendency by presenting a sequenced narrative of ads that can be viewed across a variety of devices. Today’s brands are using sequential marketing techniques to first convey their story or message before moving people through the sales funnel. It’s an approach that has proven remarkably effective, as studies have shown that sequenced ads of this sort are far more effective than non-sequenced ads.

The basics of sequential marketing

To help break down the process a little further, let’s take a closer look at how it all works.

Sequential marketing can be simply summed up as a series of ads served to prospective customers in sequential order across a range of devices, including laptops, mobile, and tablets. Typically, these ads will tell a story of some sort that’s designed to engage the reader or viewer and convince them to take the next step of their sales journey.

The data we have on sequential marketing underscores its efficacy. According to a recent study published by Facebook, people exposed to sequential marketing techniques are 87-percent more likely to visit a landing page than those who don’t see sequenced ads. Additionally, the value of sequencing rises the longer the sequences carry on; ads with three sequences, for example, performed better than two sequence ads, which in turn outperform conventional ads.

Facebook admits that some marketers may find this counterintuitive; in a world where the demands on our attention are legion, doesn’t it make more sense to quickly and forcefully present a prospect with a call to action?

As this research shows, the opposite is typically true. Humans are social animals — we love narratives and stories. When done properly, sequential marketing plays directly in to these tendencies and harnesses them for the benefit of the brand.

Sequential marketing in action

To further crystallize the concept of sequential marketing, let’s outline an example. A consumer is browsing a website on her smartphone searching for a new piece of jewelry. As she browses, she sees a video that tells the story of another woman — one who received the same piece of jewelry as a wedding gift.

Then, the next time the consumer logs in (perhaps this time on her laptop), she sees a new ad that picks up where the last ad left off. This time, she sees a woman wearing the same jewelry going through milestones in her life– raising children, attending graduations, etc. The sequential ads are designed to tell a compelling story about this woman that’s aimed specifically at a given buyer persona, based on data that’s been gathered and analyzed.

If this is executed skillfully and paired with smart attribution modeling and high-quality leads, the impact on sales is significant. The sequenced narrative resonates with the prospective customer, and she progresses through the sales journey with enthusiasm.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what sequential marketing is and does, head over to our site to learn more about how BIGEYE can assist your brand through sequential marketing.

Be sure to check back for our follow up post that explains the best practices for incorporating sequential marketing into your next campaign.