What is a marketing funnel? How does understanding a marketing funnel help your marketing strategy? The ultimate goal of any marketing is to close leads and increase sales. A marketing funnel is the steps that consumers go through in their buyers’ journey.
If you understand how a marketing funnel works in relation to a customer's journey, you’ll be able to reach your target audience during each step in just the way that they need, build customer loyalty, and reach your business goals.
There are 7 steps included in a marketing funnel. The last two steps are not always included but they are incredibly important for customer retention and should be considered. The widest part of the funnel starts with brand awareness, consideration, intent, evaluation, purchase, loyalty, and advocacy.
The awareness stage, also known as the interest stage, is when a consumer shows interest in your brand. They could have followed you on social media or looked up your website, etc… Basically, they know your brand exists, what your products/services are, but still need some guidance to continue down the funnel.
The consideration stage is when the customer has considered purchasing some of your products or signing up for your services. Maybe they’ve signed up for an email subscription, or inquired about some of your products/services. A consumer in this stage is interested in your brand’s offerings.
During the “Intent” stage, consumers have shown an intent to purchase an offering from you. Likely, they’ve added some items to their cart but just haven’t purchased yet. Regardless, you know that they have a desire to purchase your products/services, but there is still something holding them back.
It’s important to try to understand what it is that is holding consumers back from purchasing from you in this stage. If they haven’t purchased from you before, they may not know enough about your brand to trust the product. Maybe the price is just a tad too high, causing them to stall their purchase. It’s your job to try and reach the consumers in this stage by providing answers to their questions.
In the evaluation stage of the funnel, potential customers are finalizing their thoughts about your brand and its offerings. They are deciding whether or not they need this item, are willing to pay your price for it, and are eliminating other brands with similar items. Marketers need to closely nurture potential customers who are in this stage, continuing to convince the buyer in respectful ways why their product is the best choice.
Your leads have made it to the purchase stage, which means they have followed through and purchased your product or service. You’ve reached your goal! Almost! While the ultimate goal of marketing was to convince the lead to make a purchase, it doesn’t stop there. This is what leads us to our next two stages: loyalty and advocacy.
Your goal is to increase customer loyalty. Whether or not a customer returns to your brand depends on how satisfying their first experience was. If they loved your product and the experience they had interacting with your brand, they are more likely to purchase from you again. If they had a negative experience, it’s going to take some intentional communication to earn their trust and loyalty back.
Another factor to consider is that consumers talk, especially through social media. If someone loves the experience they get with your brand, they’re going to talk about it with their friends. Loyal customers are the best marketing. When someone that consumers’ trust recommends a product/service, they already trust your brand more than if they came across it on their own.
This pre-set trust can help you close leads much more efficiently and cost-effectively.
The marketing funnel is a visualization that basically goes through the buyers’ journey from the marketers perspective, and provides suggestions of how marketers should be engaging with consumers at each step of the funnel. It’s a process that is an incredibly helpful guide when creating marketing and communication strategies for B2C brands.
While this is all helpful information, it can be incredibly confusing. We would absolutely love to help you reach your potential customers regardless of where they’re at in the buyers’ journey. Schedule a consultation with us here to get professional help creating the best marketing strategy for your brand!