Not only must value be properly sequenced throughout the funnel, but cost must be as well. In that deeper stage in the funnel, SolarWinds didn’t only provide the properly sequenced value (trial versions) it also communicated properly sequenced cost (an online price quote engine). You must determine when to introduce the price in the funnel you’ve created, but also non-monetary elements of cost too.
Now, why do I call them ‘marketing funnels’ and not just ‘sales funnels’ like 90% of the rest of the internet? (That was an entirely made-up statistic by the way.) Because sales funnels focus on a sale, marketing funnels cover not only the sale, but general connecting, and after you make the sale. Marketing funnels help you think of your entire customer journey, not just getting money out of them.
Another way to think about the time dimension is to consider if you’re connecting prospects with the right information at the right time, for example, if you are using case studies, are they just sitting there on your website, or would it perhaps be better to send a couple of case studies that can be digested in under 5 minutes out to new prospects automatically three weeks or so after they first expressed interest in you?
There are many different versions of the Marketing Funnel. I tried to only use very distinctive phases of the customer journey without becoming too specific, in order for this funnel to be applicable for a multitude of industries and businesses. The reason why the Marketing Funnel is a funnel is because the wideness of the funnel at every stage represents the amount of people belonging to it. Since you are likely to loose some potential customers along the way, the funnel gets narrower towards the bottom. Finally it is important to mention that the colours chosen for this marketing funnel are deliberate. In the beginning, your relationship with potential customers are rather ‘cold’ and are therefore coloured blue. Once you get to know your customers, you want to ‘heat’ things up a bit and make your relationship stronger until you reach the advocacy stage (orange). Let’s go through each stage one by one.
Awareness: Awareness is the uppermost stage of the marketing funnel. Potential customers are drawn into this stage through marketing campaigns and consumer research and discovery. Trust and thought leadership is established with events, advertising, trade shows, content (blog posts, infographics, etc.), webinars, direct mail, viral campaigns, social media, search, media mentions, and more. Here, lead generation takes place, as information is collected and leads are pulled into a lead management system for nurturing further down the funnel.