Marketing Funnel For The Layman
Marketing Funnel as quoted by SocialSprout describes your customer’s journey from search intent to the buyer’s intent.
Marketing, at this age, can be a very difficult task, especially when you consider the frequency of change in trends, especially in the digital world.
The speed at which the world and all the people in it are evolving may be astonishing for some, but it makes the job of a marketer much more difficult.
This is where the old strategies become irrelevant and companies develop new, fast-paced strategies; most revolving around digital marketing, that can adapt to the change in the market.
Some companies also choose to continue with the traditional models and just add layers to it, as per their requirements.
We’re going to discuss one such marketing strategy here that has been developed over the years to adapt to the changing times. That being the marketing funnel.
Neil Patel, co-founder at Neil Patel Digital & Owner of Ubersuggest, says “A funnel is the set of steps a visitor needs to go through before they can reach the conversion”. (Read: https://neilpatel.com/blog/how-marketing-funnels-work/)
Many would argue that the funnel is a more sales-oriented strategy and they are not wrong. It does lead to sales in its final stage but requires a detailed marketing strategy to reach that point.
A marketing funnel is a process of generating leads and gradually converting them into customers. At every stage of the strategy, the prospect customer interacts with an aspect of the product and the company that slowly turns them into a buyer.
It’s said that a perfect marketing funnel wouldn’t be a funnel at all, but instead would be a cylinder. For that to happen, every strategy implemented at the top of the funnel needs to lead to a sale.
It may have been a lot easier to do so earlier, but in these modern times where you have all the information in the world available over the internet, converting a prospective customer is not an easy task.
Especially when you’re talking about digital marketing. So, let’s try to understand why that is not possible by learning how the marketing funnel works.
Different Stages of Marketing Funnel:
At this stage, the prospect customer interacts with the brand for the first time. They become aware of the brand and their products. This is where a brand can develop the initial level of trust and intrigue the prospect customer’s mind. Hence, a brand should always show a positive and reliable face in all their advertisements, events, trade shows, campaigns, social media fronts and any other form of interaction. Your advertising efforts at this stage determine how close you are to having a new customer.
Okay, they’re here now. You’ve peaked their interests enough to get them to learn more about you. How do you tackle this now? Here, you’d interact with the prospect customers through your social presence, your emails, newsletters, reviews, targeted content, engagement and also the positioning of the brand. Every aspect of the product is important here as you don’t know what would take the customer to the next stage. So, make sure that you, as a brand, have justified every aspect of the product and/or the services you provide. Once the customer can reason with your justification, you’d reach the next stage of interaction.
The company is very close to landing a new customer now. They are interested enough in a product to consider buying it. They want to take it to the next level. They’d try to get closer to the product, seek a free trial, subscribe to email campaigns, follow case studies and much more. They’d try to get as much information as possible about the product before investing in them. Here’s where justification of every aspect of the product also plays an important role. It’s important for the brand to understand how to price the product based on the quality, features, durability, reliability and every other aspect that the prospect customer may deem important. Compare it to other products that meet the same purpose and justify to them why your product is superior or a wiser choice and you’d guide them to the next stage.
It’s your time now, as a brand. You’re here. The prospect customer is ready to make the purchase. You’ve convinced them that your product is the best in this price range with everything it has to offer. The lead is happy to turn into a customer and invest in a product and/or service provided by you. But that’s not the end of line. Purchase and post-purchase interaction are also very important aspects of business. How you treat the new customer at this stage will determine if the customer comes back for more or not. Maintain a healthy relationship with the customer at this stage and their experience will reflect on how well your business does in the future. That takes us to the next stage, which is…
Here’s where maintaining a good relationship helps. Not only will the customer come back to purchase from you but will also add another dynamic to awareness and that is word-of-mouth. The strongest and the most reliable medium of advertising since ages, word-of-mouth is something that will never fail you. It’s basically free marketing at a personal level. Everywhere your product goes with a happy customer, you attract a new prospect towards your brand, turning this funnel into a cycle. A cycle of marketing that never stops giving. Every happy customer can attract at least 3 new prospect customers towards your brand and that only gives you more opportunities to grow as a business.
Ahrefs blog on Marketing Funnels For Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide why a Marketing Funnel is required and how it works for the company and the buyer’s journey.
Of course, as a brand, you’d need to add more layers of details in this funnel to allow a smoother transition of a prospective customer into a buyer. It all depends on how your organization is set up and the quality of the products and/or services.
Keep this transition in mind and move forward with your strategy to understand how your company can fit its process into this funnel.