When I was first starting out in business, I had no idea what the marketing funnel was. I knew I needed to get more customers through the door and convert them into paying clients. It wasn’t until later that I realized how important it is to clearly understand the customer journey from awareness to purchase. Learn what is the marketing funnel and how it impacts your business.
A marketing funnel is a tool businesses use to map out this journey to better market their products or services. If you’re not using it effectively, you could be missing out on valuable leads and sales opportunities. Here is everything you need to know about marketing funnels.
What Is the Marketing Funnel?
What is the marketing funnel? Marketing Funnel is the process a customer goes through, from first hearing about you to making a purchase. This term is often used interchangeably with Sales Funnel and Customer Journey. The funnel is typically divided into stages: awareness stage, interest, consideration, and decision stage.
Each stage represents a different level of engagement with a product or service.
The sales and marketing funnels go hand in hand.
We’ve discovered something shocking: each funnel stage refers to the same general process, as marketing and sales need to understand the same customer’s journey to make a sale eventually.
The marketing funnel is a process companies use to identify and communicate with potential customers. By understanding the customer journey, businesses can figure out ways to better attract and convert leads into customers.
A funnel, or marketing pipeline, is a common tool used in sales. It can apply to any business and consists of the same general steps.
A marketing funnel is a process companies use to turn potential customers into actual ones. It starts with raising awareness of the product or service and continues through the interest stage, consideration, purchase, and retention.
Your customers may not follow a linear path to making a purchase, and that’s perfectly okay.
Your marketing process will vary based on whether you’re a business-to-business (B2B) or a business-to-consumer (B2C) business. As illustrated in the diagram below, you can tailor your marketing and sales processes to fit that cycle.
Before refining your sales funnel, you should familiarize yourself with what should happen in each phase.
How A Marketing Funnel works
A sales funnel narrows down your audience as they progress through the different sales process stages. At the top, you have a wide pool of potential customers just learning about your company. As they move through, you filter out the unqualified ones until you’re left with actual customers.
The three marketing funnel stages are top-of-the-funnel (TOFU), middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU), and bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU).
At the top of the funnel, potential customers are made aware of a problem they have and your company as a possible solution. This is done through marketing activities such as content marketing, search engine optimization, and social media.
In the middle of the funnel, potential customers learn more about your company and product. They compare you to other options and start to form an opinion. This is done through lead nurturing, webinars, and free trials.
At the bottom of the funnel, potential customers are ready to buy. They just need that final push to make a decision. This is done through demos, pricing pages, and case studies.
A sales funnel begins wide and shallow but narrows as potential customers are filtered out.
Top of the Funnel (ToFu) is about building trust and awareness. You’re not going to try to sell people anything yet.
What you want is for your potential customers to have a positive introduction to your brand and then be able to easily recognize your social media ads and blog posts as they move further down the funnel.
The marketing funnel identifies your buyers and guides them through the buying process. By providing your buyer with helpful resources, you can lead them to a decision until they finally purchase your product.
As buyers start researching your competitors and looking for other options, it’s important to explain why you’re the best. You can do this by highlighting the unique benefits of your product and emphasizing your key differentiators.
The buyer’s journey is a series of steps, narrowing down until the buyer decides on a specific product. At this point, they just need to be nudged into purchasing.
Bottom-of-the-funnel (BoFu) marketing is about making your buyers feel confident in their decision to purchase from you. You can do this by providing them with helpful information reinforcing why they chose your product. This will help them see the value in what they’ve bought and make them glad they chose your company.
Happy customers are loyal customers, and they’re also more likely to refer others to you.
A proper marketing strategy has specific campaigns for each sales funnel stage.
To reach your prospects, you need to target your marketing efforts based on their position in the sales funnel. This entails targeting your campaigns towards people who are just learning about you, those who are considering your product, and those who are ready to make their purchases.
The Significance of a Marketing Funnel
Marketing funnels are beneficial because they provide a clear path for companies to follow to engage and convert their target audience. By mapping out each stage of the customer journey, businesses can more easily create a plan of action that will lead to success. Additionally, marketing funnels can help businesses track their progress and identify areas where improvement is needed.
A sales funnel a framework for tracking the customer journey. Whether you’re selling online, driving foot traffic to your storefront, or getting clicks on your affiliate links, you need a sales to funnel.
The sales funnel an effective way to track every stage in your relationship with a customer.
Marketing Funnels allow you to measure where you lose customers and adjust your marketing strategy.
You need a better brand awareness campaign if you’re losing customers before they ever get to the second stage of your marketing funnel.
Marketing Funnel Techniques
When building your marketing plan, consider these tips for optimizing your marketing funnel.
Leverage marketing automation
The benefits of marketing automation include generating more qualified sales opportunities, tracking customer engagement, and nurturing prospective customers.
Marketing automation software allows your marketing department to automate repetitive tasks and make data-driven decisions based on the information it collects.
Consider integrating your CRM system with marketing software if you want to generate even more sales. This will provide you with up-to-date customer information and allow you to personalize the customer experience.
Use Lead-scoring system
Once you’ve gathered your lead information, you’ll want to determine which of them are most likely going to convert to customers. This way, you can focus your sales and marketing efforts on the ones who are more likely to buy.
This is where it’s important to have a system in place for prioritizing your leads too. This is called “lead-scoring” and involves assigning a value to your leads to determine their priority.
Prospects are given a numeric rating based on how much revenue they could generate.
A variety of factors should be considered when determining a lead score.
Demographic factors are important to consider when marketing to individuals as they can give insights into things like age, gender, income, occupation, etc. This information can be used to segment your target market and create more targeted marketing campaigns.
Demographic factors are important to consider when trying to market to individuals because they give your company a better idea of the type of person they’re selling to. Relevant characteristics include title, role, purchasing authority, years of experience, type of email address used, social network participation and influence, affiliations, and career interests. By considering all of these factors, you can create a more targeted marketing campaign that is more likely to be successful.
Company’s specific factors
These qualities are important to an organization’s decision-makers. You’ll want to keep these in mind if you’re marketing to businesses.
Some features you may want to look for are:
The company’s size in terms of employees and revenue, as well as its industry and financial viability, are all important factors to consider. The company’s location is also a key factor to consider, as it can impact things like the cost of living and the availability of talent.
The actions a lead takes can increase or decrease their score. Some actions that increase a contact’s score are if they visit a website multiple times, open emails, and subscribe to a company’s blog.
Lead scores can be negatively impacted by certain behaviors, such as not opening your emails, not visiting your site, or leaving negative comments on your social media.
Create a fine mix of content
Different kinds of customers will be interested in different kinds of information. If you only provide short-form articles, you may miss potential customers who would rather read long-form pieces like ebooks and whitepapers.
To reach the widest possible audience, you need to publish various types of content that will appeal to different types of people. People who prefer to watch videos or read text will ignore the same type of content that is presented in a different format.
When writing your content, it’s important to remember not to focus too much on selling your product. If your readers aren’t interested in what you’re writing about, they aren’t going to read or share it. Focus on providing useful, informative content that will engage your target customers.
Your content marketing strategy should be focused on engaging and informing your prospects, not selling them. However, including call-to-action (CTA) links at key moments in the content can effectively move a prospect through the sales funnel. If the content is relevant, they will appreciate the information and be more likely to trust your viewpoint. Once they’re comfortable with you, they will be more receptive when you include your CTA.
Once a prospect has become familiar with you and trusts your viewpoint, they will be more receptive when you ask them to take a specific action.
Align Marketing and Sales to Avoid Mistakes
The handoff of strong leads from marketing to sales is a critical moment that can often be mishandled. To avoid misalignments, team leaders must host strategy sessions together. This way, everyone will be on the same page regarding what a qualified lead looks like.
For example, the marketing department might believe that a lead is qualified, but sales teams might not agree.
Constant communication between the sales and marketing teams is key to preventing miscommunications.
The teams should work together to define a qualified marketing or sales lead. By working together, they can monitor prospect behavior and pass off leads to each other when the time is right.
Regular communication between sales and marketing departments will help prevent any confusion or misunderstanding.
Understand how your prospects move through the funnel
By mapping the customer journey, marketing and sales teams can better understand where each lead is in the sales funnel. This allows them to work together more effectively and ensures that each part of the sales process is as effective as possible.
The impact of sales and marketing is amplified when both teams work in tandem at every stage of the sales funnel.
The customer journey mapping is all about finding the right balance between the ideal customer and real-world outcomes. By observing how customers interact with your material, you can gain a clearer picture of who exactly is your best prospect.
Don’t be afraid to ask your existing customers and leads to give you feedback. They often know what they want and can give you valuable insight into how your sales funnel can be improved.
So, what is the marketing funnel? A marketing funnel is a tool businesses use to map the customer journey. If you’re not using the marketing funnel effectively, you could be missing out on valuable leads and sales opportunities. It’s important to clearly understand the customer journey from awareness to purchase so you can market your products or services more effectively.