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SPEAKER Q&A Look Fabulous Forever is building trust through full funnel marketing

Image © Look Fabulous Forever

Ahead of her presentation at the DigitalX conference this May, Janis Thomas, managing director, Look Fabulous Forever, explains why taking customers on a journey and building an understanding of the brand is critical in 2024.

Janis Thomas, managing director, Look Fabulous Forever

Q: Firstly, tell us about Look Fabulous Forever?
We are a direct to consumer beauty brand for older women, specifically for women post menopause. Essentially our founder, Tricia Cusden, started the brand in 2013 when she was 65 because she was really frustrated that there weren’t the right make-up and skincare products designed for her. 

Mainstream beauty brands and retailers really weren’t focusing on her demographic. So she worked out how to formulate these products, how to manufacture them and how to distribute them. 

Q: You’re speaking this May about full funnel marketing. What does that actually look like in 2024? Why is it especially important this year?
I’ve been a passionate advocate for full funnel for a long time, because I think ultimately that’s how you grow a business successfully. You are always thinking about converting customers and that’s things like performance marketing and conversion rate optimisation – which are really important. But at the same time, you need to be creating a pool of people who understand your goal, brand and your proposition. Otherwise those customers don’t exist to convert. 

This is something that I’ve been really banging the drum on for quite a long time. Even when things have been very performance marketing focused, suddenly you have this swing round and everyone’s saying: “Oh, it’s all about brand”. 

In 2024, it’s about that balance. We have this changing environment where cookies are going away, last click attribution is hopefully dying off. 

Google Analytics 4 has really made us rethink how we look at metrics and a lot of those vanity metrics that we were relying on. Do they actually move the needle on things that we really care about? Overall revenue, overall profitability, new customer acquisition. The change in metrics is part of it. 

Then you’ve got a huge change in the media landscape. Particularly with Google’s helpful content algorithm updates – not just SEO optimised. It is a different strategy which leans into full funnel, because you want to tell the story of your brand and provide engaging and helpful content, which is of its very nature across the funnel. 

Then there is generative AI and the ability for brands to create content much more easily. Actually creating the right content for your customer, at the stage of their journey, helps you really cut through. Also the paid media landscape of Meta’s Advantage Plus Shopping is very much a broader and more general kind of teaching the algorithm. 

There are all these changes, which all lean into an approach that takes a more holistic view of the customer journey. 

Q: These changes – generative AI,  smarter algorithms, – these advancements in technology are they changing what marketing is, what it does?
Marketing jobs are going to look dramatically different, not just in the distant future, but in the next year or so. 

That poor designer who had to re-version 50 million ads to different sizes and different languages – those very repetitive tasks are pretty much going away.

We’re much more focused on what is going into these models. What are our objectives? What data do we have? What does the data tell us? 

If you’re not putting the right things into the models, then you’re not going to get the right output. Even using something like ChatGPT,  you’ve got to have the right prompt. There’s this big focus on what goes in and what questions we should be asking. 

On the other side, there’s also what comes out of these models and having the experience and the understanding of the customer to know when something is right or wrong. And what’s wrong about it. That’s the kind of thing that these models aren’t able to do. We need very smart people who understand the customer, and bring that emotional layer to it. 

It’s a really exciting time because we get to do the really interesting stuff.

Q: Coming back to that emotional connection with the customer, and customer retention. That emotion plays into it keeping your existing customers – how important has that been as we continue through a cost of living crisis and face a recession?
This is where full funnel really comes into its own. Instead of this very transactional; bottom of the funnel; trying to get people through the website –  you’re taking them on a journey and  talking about the brand and explaining what you do.

As a result, you build trust and understanding, then those customers are more likely to come back and make a second purchase with you. 

For example: you’re looking for a red dress, you see something that catches your eye. Half of the time, you’re not even sure what website you even bought it from. That’s very different from a brand that’s taken you through a relationship and explains what the brand stands for and provides useful, helpful content. 

Full funnel and the whole concept of acquisition for retention makes retention easier. We very much take that full funnel approach and it means that on average more than half of our customers come back and make a second purchase from us. In fact, if we can get them past that second purchase point, they go on to make at least seven purchases with us.

While we may take longer to build a relationship, rather than focus on getting them over the line quickly, we then get much more valuable, loyal customers long term as a result. 

Registration for Janis Thomas’ presentation – Why Full Funnel Marketing Matters in 2024 – is open now. For more information about DigitalX, held on 14 May 2024 at 133 Houndsditch visit here

DigitalX is part of RetailX Event’s Spring Festival, the full agenda will be released in the coming weeks.

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