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What is a Marketing Funnel?

Building a thriving business demands dedication, effort, and in-depth understanding, spanning product, fundraising, and marketing. Analyzing customer responses offers valuable insights for growth, using the marketing funnel as a starting point.

Ownership, business-customer dynamics, industry variations, and lead generation potential are essential funnel components.

Now, delve into grasping the funnel, from awareness to conversion and customer experience.

What is the marketing funnel?

In brief, the marketing funnel aids businesses in comprehending the progression from leads to customers within their audience. It constitutes a fundamental aspect of a brand’s marketing approach, frequently employed by sales teams as well. This tool enables both divisions to engage broad audiences and subsequently focus on refining the target to the desired core group.

Marketing Funnel

Naturally, only a minority of marketing endeavors result in instant purchases, underscoring the funnel shape of the marketing process. It commences with a wide pool of individuals encountering a problem that aligns with the product’s solution, then tapers as customers conduct research, assess options, and ultimately select the most suitable product or business for their requirements.

Hence, if your business offers a product deemed essential and seeks customer purchases, integrating a marketing funnel into your strategy becomes a vital component. This funnel assists in grasping the means to secure those sales from the targeted audience.

 

The stages of the marketing funnel

 

The dynamic landscape of business ensures that a universal marketing approach is never applicable. However, the marketing funnel has exhibited remarkable consistency for more than a century. By comprehending and adhering to these six stages, you can develop a strategy tailored to your market niche that proves effective.

 

1. Awareness

 

The moment your brand is initially encountered by a customer, marking the inception of lead generation, is the point of discovery. This awareness typically results from a well-crafted marketing strategy and diverse campaigns tailored to attract the appropriate demographics for your product.

This stage holds significant significance, as potential customers swiftly determine their alignment with your brand. For certain instances, it’s an opportune juncture to secure customer contact details, social engagement, or other pertinent information facilitating ongoing communication, thereby ensuring your brand remains prominent in their thoughts.

 

2. Interest

After becoming acquainted with your brand, more engaged leads will demonstrate a proactive curiosity in your offerings. This marks the point where you can initiate rapport-building activities, such as dispatching pertinent marketing emails and curated branded content that resonates with the information you’ve already gathered about them.

3. Consideration

rewards

With your customer’s interest piqued by your offerings, they will embark on contemplating the various ways your product can cater to their requirements or resolve their concerns.

Trials, discounts, and other incentives are a good way to guide them towards your product or service over the competition.

 

4. Intent

While the intention to purchase is a positive step, it doesn’t guarantee a transaction. This moment is your business’s opportunity to truly capture the customer. If they’ve placed an item in their cart, completed a free trial, or engaged with your product directly but haven’t yet clicked ‘buy,’ their intent is evident.

Consider this as your cue to showcase your product as the superior choice. What sets it apart from competitors? How can you substantiate its status as the solution they need? This could involve sharing testimonials, employing automated follow-up emails, or delivering targeted content that guides them toward making the purchase.

5. Evaluation

While the intention to purchase is a positive step, it doesn’t guarantee a transaction. This moment is your business’s opportunity to truly capture the customer. If they’ve placed an item in their cart, completed a free trial, or engaged with your product directly but haven’t yet clicked ‘buy,’ their intent is evident.

Consider this as your cue to showcase your product as the superior choice. What sets it apart from competitors? How can you substantiate its status as the solution they need? This could involve sharing testimonials, employing automated follow-up emails, or delivering targeted content that guides them toward making the purchase.

6. Purchase

 

True to its name, when you’ve reached the purchase stage, your customer is sealed in.

From here, the responsibility shifts from the marketing team to the sales team, who manage ongoing transactions. Now, the cycle restarts as you endeavor to draw them back and cultivate their loyalty once more.

 

The marketing funnel from the customer’s perspective

 

To truly understand your customer’s journey through the funnel, many brands choose to ‘flip the funnel’ (i.e. experience it from their customer’s point of view) as they develop their strategy. But it’s not as simple as just flipping the existing six steps. A customer doesn’t consider themselves ‘a lead’, after all. Flip the funnel into the customer’s perspective with these four behaviors:

 

1. Repeat

 

Your existing customer is already familiar with your offerings and presumably holds a positive view. Hence, the subsequent objective is to motivate their return. It’s essential to contemplate the measures that will foster their next purchase, a process akin to the activities observed at the bottom of the funnel during lead generation.

 

2. Loyalty

subscriptions

Your current customer base is well-acquainted with your products or services and likely holds a favorable opinion. Now, the focus shifts towards encouraging their repeat business. It’s crucial to strategize how to cultivate their subsequent purchase, mirroring the actions typically seen at the lower end of the funnel during the lead generation process.

 

3. Referral

 

Following the establishment of their loyalty, the subsequent phase involves referrals. In this stage, a satisfied customer who already appreciates your offerings goes on to suggest your product or service to friends and potentially leaves favorable online reviews.

 

4. Advocacy

While only a limited number of customers transform into active brand advocates, their significance is substantial. Individuals ranging from compensated influencers to extremely devoted enthusiasts can fervently champion your brand. This might encompass compensated endorsements, promotional incentives, or product assessments exchanged for complimentary items.

customer loyalty

Leveraging existing customers as advocates for your brand proves highly potent in converting potential leads into sales. This strategy capitalizes on the inherent trust that arises when individuals who have enjoyed positive interactions with your brand and product vouch for it.

 

Keeping up conversions

 

The primary objective of your marketing funnel is to attain sales, followed by fostering repeat business. Given consumers’ heightened reliance on digital content, close collaboration between your sales and marketing teams is imperative. This collaboration should encompass the customer’s journey on your website, as well as extend to your social media and email marketing efforts.

With a robust grasp of your funnel dynamics and a shared commitment from both teams to harmoniously drive sales instead of vying against each other, the likelihood of crafting a successful and efficient funnel substantially increases.

 

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