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The marketing funnel is a great tool that helps visualizing the customer journey or the path that prospects take as they become more familiar with your company and products, from awareness to purchase to (hopefully) the advocacy stage. It allows marketeers to map out the marketing campaigns that need to be considered in a more structural approach. Keep in mind that this is a general version of the marketing funnel and that you might need to adapt it somewhat to fit the business you are in. Let the marketing begin!
Rather than initially send your prospect a huge case study once you’ve peaked their interest, perhaps it might be better to send them a single page containing a bullet point list of the results you’ve achieved for others. Yes, it might just take 30 seconds to digest, but it gives them what they want to know (not what you want them to know) and if they like what they read then they can start to evaluate you.
A complex marketing funnel is made up of several different low-value steps. An example of a complex marketing funnel would be if you run an ad that takes users through to a landing page where they are asked to complete a specific action. After a visitor completes that specific action they will be taken to a success page where there’s another chance to get them to make a purchase or complete a second action. A complex funnel is not ideal because there are a lot of places for people to fall off, reducing the chances of getting them to convert.
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The final and optimal stage to reach with customers is the Advocacy stage. Advocacy happens when your customers become something more than just customers: they become fans. Fans are usually so excited about something that they tell their friends and family all about it, they share positive reviews on social media, and they might even try to convince others to become fans as well. In other words, they are now helping you creating awareness just like at the beginning of this marketing funnel. When customers decide to become your own brand’s ambassadors, you know you are doing something right!
If you’re searching for further clarification on it, you’re not alone. In theory, the marketing funnel is straightforward: It’s the representation of your buyers’ journey from prospect to customer, combined with the tools and processes you use to gracefully guide them through. But in practice, constructing a marketing funnel is far more confusing. What do the building blocks of a successful one look like? What processes ensure the maximum number of leads become customers that stay loyal to your brand?
If we were comparing this point in the customer journey to a real-life human relationship, it’d be the honeymoon stage and beyond. Your new customer is excited to have a tool to solve the problem they’ve been struggling with, but after that excitement dies down, they want to know they can rely on you to help them get the most out of their purchase. If you don’t provide the support they need, they’ll abandon you for a business that can.
For example, that funnel may consist of freely available content published on a website aimed at the overall pain point a potential customer has. That content then includes a call-to-action to sign up for email for more information. That email list includes a lead nurturing campaign that answers key questions as customers have them, ultimately leading customers to talk to sales reps to answer their most specific and complex questions.
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Marketers should tap every opportunity to develop a relationship with the buyer at this stage. This is often done through monitoring reviews of the products, testimonials from previous customers, inbound marketing, having a great graphic interface to draw attention, delivering more information to the customer, etc. This is a crucial stage of the marketing funnel as it is chiefly at this stage that the prospective buyer would want to remain in or leave the funnel.
Once the customers’ interest in your company has grown, they might be willing to consider purchasing your products or serivces as well. In order to establish that, you first have to help them realising that your product is meeting a need or desire that they might have. Furthermore, you have to explain that YOUR product is the best option for meeting that need. This stage is therefore all about positioning and showing off your unique selling points (USPs): what extra value do you have to offer to customers compared to competitors? People usually consider only 3-5 different brands before purchasing one, so you want to make sure your brand is among those. Persuasion skills and a good sales team can be very helpful during this stage.
UThis is a Lead Generation system that takes people who are possibly unaware of their problem and you lead them through to becoming aware of the problem. Then displaying the solution to that problem, educating them on how the solution works and encouraging them to take action on your offer by making contact by telephone or email or making a purchase through a sales page or visiting their physical shop or event.
Mary Wroblewski came of age as a reporter and editor in some of Chicago's scrappiest newsrooms but softened up long enough to write nine children's books as well as one nonfiction tome. She has a master's degree in communications and teaches college-level courses at a Chicago area college. You'll see her work in a wide variety of publications, especially those in the business, education, health care and nutrition genres.