The ROI of brand building

Rommil Santiago
3 min readAug 6, 2018


Photo by Ethan Hoover on Unsplash

In our data-driven and data-informed world, we are increasingly being asked to prove that everything we do is delivering value and return. Rightfully, businesses want to invest where it makes sense — where they can see strong ROIs. While this has mostly benefited lower-funnel activities, upper-funnel funnel activities such as brand building have had a harder time proving their worth.

You focus on what you can measure

At its core, marketing is about persuading people to take an action by presenting them the right message at the right time in the right context. In theory, this is straight-forward. In practice, it is challenging to figure out which of the countless combinations of messaging, timing, and location are worth investing in. While this has always been tricky, it has become exponentially more difficult in recent times due to the proliferation of the internet, smartphones and fragmented media. Take into account that no two people are truly alike and the number of permutations to consider becomes daunting. Oh, and did I mention that customers often make choices irrationally and based on emotion? Yeah.

It should be clear by now that despite what the marketing funnel would have you believe, customers’ journeys are anything but linear. Customers can go back up the funnel, enter at any point in the funnel (including at purchase) and stay at a stage for an incredibly long time. In fact, there are three things to keep in mind when working with a marketing funnel:

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Rommil Santiago

Collaborating across functions to tackle new initiatives, stand up new practices, and achieve lofty goals for the last 15 years.