Marketing funnels are a necessity if you have a great product or service.
But what are marketing funnels, exactly?
In short, ‘marketing funnel’ is a fancy word to move your future customers from awareness to interest, to consideration, and, of course, to a purchase and eventual re-purchase.
To do this, though, you must understand your customer. And to understand your customer, you must understand what they are interested in and why they are interested in your product.
The Golden Rule of Marketing Funnels
The golden rule is to make your marketing funnel on-brand. Being on-brand is the key to marketing success (you can learn more about the functions of a brand here).
The best sales and marketing funnels that have lasting effects with returning and referring customers are the ones that are made in accordance with the brand identity.
Marketing funnels are often simplified as follows:
This system is designed to attract and convert customers (or clients) to your business.
Did You Know?
According to Salesforce, a full 68% of companies have not identified or attempted to measure a sales funnel, and the same survey showed that a whopping 79% of marketing leads are never converted into sales.
Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
This may seem complicated to you, but it’s actually a lot more simple than it sounds. What you have to have in place is a clear position for your product.
When you have a clear position for your product, you can understand who to target in the first place – and with what messages.
What we ultimately want to see is people you are talking to converting into customers. This is called the ‘conversion ratio’.
Here’s an example: say you speak to 100 people and one person buys. This makes your conversion ratio 1%. Easy, right?
If you speak (in person) to 100 people and only sell one, well, that’s pretty bad. In the online world, however, where you have 100 people who see your ad (and some of these 100 people click on your ad, explore your website, etc.) and then one buys, that’s really good.
So as you can see, it all depends.
The AIDA Model
In this blog, I talk about the importance of the customer journey, and how the AIDA model is the easiest way to understand customer-centricity. You can learn more about the AIDA model below.
Depending on the context of your enterprise, awareness involves:
- Creating various forms of content (digital, traditional, verbal, audio, visual, etc.)
- Initiating PR projects and events
- Promoting through ads (digital or physical)
- Continuously networking
- Following up is key: gently nudge and nurture them into the next stage by educating them about how your product or service can meet their needs
- Let them find out and discover why they should choose you
- Create a nurture sequence that softly directs them into choosing you
- Give them a final reassurance to make the ‘buy’ decision and purchase
To learn more about the basics of marketing funnels, check out this informative article that can get you started on the right track.
As with the examples above. Your marketing funnel really all depends on the industry, your product, the type of marketing channels you use, etc. The key is to measure what you do.
As you are building your funnel, you should assign some metrics to each stage.
- Awareness: Number of visitors coming to the site
- Interest: Number of people signing up for the email list
- Consideration: Click-through-rate (CTR) for the email sequence
- Conversion: Number of people purchasing their products
Remember: learn at each step of the funnel.
So, what drives people from awareness to interest and consideration?
Hopefully not just a discount ‘carrot’!
Find out what pushes them over the line – and what makes them re-purchase (hint: it should be your great product and service!)
Here are some great tools to help you with this:
Google can help you and your business in ways you are probably not even aware of.
Google Analytics provides funnels as part of the free Google Analytics software. When you dig into it or have someone doing it for you, it pays in multiple.
The more you measure, the more you understand.
This will allow you to be more efficient and will also help you allocate your marketing money. Funnels are the key to this dynamic.
In a sales context, a lead “refers to contact with a potential customer, also known as a prospect.”
Criteria can vary. A lead is qualified after expressing interest, and can move from ‘bronze to gold’ (i.e. if the lead is moving through the steps from interest to consideration).
Here’s an example:
- Asking for a brochure for a new car via a website (bronze)
- Asking for a test-drive (silver)
- Asking for a quote AND expressing interest to purchase within the next three months: (gold)
How you communicate and ‘treat’ a lead depends on the above cycle. Most companies have segmentation models within which these ‘leads’ move up and down.
B2B vs B2C Marketing Funnels
There are differences between B2C vs. B2B marketing funnels. B2C decision making when it comes to purchasing is predominantly based on emotional and unconscious factors, whereas in B2B decision making, the rational and analytical factors are involved as well. However, this is not to say that the emotional and unconscious factors are less at play here compared to the B2C funnels.
According to Track Maven:
“Most B2C consumers navigate the funnel alone or with a small group of trusted advisors (usually friends and family), while B2B consumers typically have a larger, cross-departmental buying group. The average B2B buying group is 5.4 people.”
“B2C consumers may never directly interact with a company representative, especially on eCommerce websites, while B2B consumers typically interact with a sales representative in the lower end of the funnel.”
If you’re trying to learn more about how the marketing funnel can improve your business, my new program, The Brand Marketing Booster, will give you the insights you need to boost your marketing skills.
Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you on your path to creating and maintaining a successful business.