A marketing funnel is a visualization for understanding the process of how a marketing campaign works. It helps you organize your leads and understand how your customers are driven to your products. Ideally, it should be called a marketing cylinder. If it were a cylinder, all of the consumers you reached would become customers of your company.
Unfortunately, it does not offer a hundred percent accuracy, and you will lose some potential buyers along the way. But that is not a bad thing. Taking into account that when you start your company, you will have to look for a specific audience interested in your products. You need to create a buyer's persona.
Part of the marketing funnel stages starts with a general lead and then works its way down the funnel to target the right consumers and, therefore, increase your income. In this article, you will find what the marketing funnel stages are and how to apply them to your company. Of course, not all companies are the same, so you may have to make a few adjustments to the examples for them to work with your business model.
Marketing Funnel Stages
First, we need to understand what the marketing funnel is. A marketing funnel is a fundamental tool in helping to guide buyers along their buying journey and toward becoming eventual customers. By understanding the psychology of how people buy, you will be better able to develop higher quality content that appeals to them at each stage. Let's five in into each of the steps. At the end of each stage's description, you will find a diagram that will help you understand this topic better.
The first stage of the marketing funnel is awareness. Potential customers are drawn to this stage through marketing campaigns, discovery, and mouth-to-mouth experiences. This stage is where you should make all your content. Take a look at the list below for some content examples on creating awareness.
Social media posts
These are just some examples of what to create to improve your brand awareness. And brand awareness is precisely the key. You will need to create a marketing campaign that will raise brand awareness for your company and therefore get to more customers locally or globally, depending on your reach.
Once the seed of awareness is planted, it is time to shine a little interest on your potential consumers. The interest stage is about getting your potential customers to know a little bit more about your company. You can show your potential buyers your company's values, its products, and any helpful information while they are researching your business. Here are some examples of content you can create to generate interest in consumers.
This process is also called nurturing. Marketers and virtual marketers have high expertise in nurturing consumers through all of the options above. Make sure that the content you are making is related to your brand and targeted specifically to the people who generated interest in your business.
Right in the middle of the funnel, we have the consideration stage. This is where consumers will compare your products to competitors and will review if the product you are selling adjusts to their budget. In the consideration stage, leads have been changed into qualified leads and evolved to prospective customers.
There is no clear example here to help you, but it is all about information. The more knowledgeable your team is about your product, the more doubts they can answer; ergo, the prospective buyer will start considering buying your product. A few ideas are targetting content, case studies, success stories, and free trials.
Starting the lower half of the marketing funnel, we have the intent stage. To get to this phase, prospects must demonstrate a substantial interest in buying the product. you can know this by the following examples:
After a free trial or demo
Word of mouth
Product placed in the shopping cart
The intent stage is pretty simple. It is based on the customer's response to your marketing campaigns. By using media, such as advertisements and a FAQ page, your marketing team will convince the potential buyer to purchase your product and take the final two steps of the buyer's journey.
Just before the last step of the marketing funnel stages, we have the evaluation stage. The evaluation game is where the potential customer has all the information he needs to make a smart purchase. As said in the phases above, providing this information is your marketing's team responsibility. They must convince the customer that your product is the best in the market and that your company is the smart choice.
Unfortunately, this stage is a little bit out of our hands. The evaluation stage is purely based on the customers' final decision about the business you are providing. The best tip here is to stand above the competition with better prices, better deals, or fantastic customer support to resolve any doubts.
Finally, the last of the marketing funnel stages is making the purchase. This stage is where your potential consumers will become customers. But this is not the end. You must now nurture your customer to spend more money in your company. Here are several ways you can convince your client to return for more.
Offer a loyalty program
Offer deals like three for two or buy one get one
Other Marketing models
Recent studies have shown that the marketing funnel works for almost every company, but this process is not one hundred percent accurate due to technology and marketing advancements. This problem happens because the leads are entering the funnel in different stages. Sometimes the customer is referred and already knows what they want to buy from your company, so they jump to the intent stage.
Technology also plays an important part. Most research for B2B companies is done over the internet. Information access has never been simpler. Consumers are dependant on web pages, such as review pages, to make an informed decision on what to buy.
Below, you can find a different marketing funnel model, which is called McKinsey's Consumer Decision Journey. It uses a circular model to show the buyer's journey.
The Marketing Funnel
Whether you decide that the marketing funnel is the option for you or would like to try another model, understanding the customer's journey is essential to generate growth for your company. In particular, marketing funnel stages can help you increase your leads, nurture them and convince them that your product is number one in the market.
You will need to combine other qualitative and quantitative insights to build the perfect funnel. And, the more you understand your company's marketing funnel, the more conversions you will have and the higher income you will generate.