Every goal needs a planning from start to end, same applies to the marketing and sales. Marketing funnel is just like an effective top to bottom planning of buyer’s journey to achieve better results.
For the success of any marketing plan, marketers need to define few stages from beginning to finish and this is where a marketing funnel comes into the play. Marketing funnel is a representation of customer’s journey from awareness of a product to the purchase of it.
In this article, we’ll explain you about what marketing funnel is, how it works for sales and marketing and what are the stages of it. Let’s start with what you need to know about marketing funnel.
Marketing funnel is a visualization of customer’s journey starts from awareness of a product, getting leads and turning them into final conversion. Basically, it’s a process of understanding how leads can be turned into a customer and what required for successful conversion.
It is called a funnel because of a wide-ranging entry point to capture as many leads as possible but then it narrows down as the possibility of sales steadily decreases in each stage. With the many leads received in front, few people lose their interest and opt-out, few people choose other alternatives and only few become the customers at the end.
In the ideal condition, every lead would be turn out into the customer and this funnel would actually be a marketing cylinder but it’s not practical for all the times. As a marketer, it’s our job to do all possible work for turning maximum leads into the customer.
There are many stages in a customer’s journey from start to end but a marketing funnel works on the three core concepts:
Marketing, SEO and advertising of your product generates awareness and increase the reach to the more customers. This makes prospective customers leave their information in some form and this process is called as lead generation.
Now after getting information of prospective customer, its turn for marketers to nurture the lead by moving customer’s attention in buying the product and making them consider your product over others. This can be done in many ways like email marketing, PR, affiliate partnering etc.
This is the final result which we achieve at the end of the funnel. From generating leads to nurturing them, sales are the result of great marketing efforts and buyer’s journey.
A marketing funnel generally made up of six stages and these are the stages of a customer’s journey. Every version of marketing funnel should start with awareness because we can’t begin until consumers get to know about our brand or product. So let’s go through all stages one by one for a better understanding of this funnel strategy:
Topmost stage of a marketing funnel called as awareness. In this stage, marketers need to focus on captivating maximum possible potential leads through product marketing and other customer awareness campaigns.
This involves making consumers aware of the brand and products by using active tactics for marketing and advertising to make good public relations.
To build a trust and thought leadership among people, marketers can use various approaches like hosting events, trade shows, content marketing (blog posts, infographics, etc.), social media marketing, webinars, email marketing, organic search, media mentions, and many more.
This stage of awareness is followed by generating some leads as customer’s information is collected in some sort and pulled into a lead management system to nurture it in next stages of funnel.
Once leads are generated, this stage is to inform them more about your products and brand to generate more interest in it. At this stage, consumers learn more about the company and its products with the other helpful information and research content provided by the marketers.
Customers can get any information about your brand & products using online research or offline through word of mouth. The more positive information they got about you, they will become more interested.
Here brands have an opportunity to develop more positive relationship with the customers they have in their database.
Marketers should use every possible approach to nurture leads, they can use inbound marketing providing reviews & testimonials from previous customers, sending more information to the customer, emailing targeted content around industries and brands, newsletters, etc.
Interest stage is followed by the consideration stage where the leads are now changed into marketing qualified leads and you can call them as prospective customers. Marketers need to give more attention as prospective customer is now considering buying products.
Marketers should connect with prospects to discuss more information about the product and offer them free trials & basic services. This stage includes sending targeted emails, newsletters, phone marketing, and other direct interaction strategies. Use automated email campaigns to send them free trial mails, discounts and other offers.
The intent stage comes when a prospective customer does any activity which demonstrates that they are interested in buying the product. This includes requesting a product demo, activating a free trial, any purchase related queries, adding product in the shopping cart for e-commerce businesses, etc.
This is the indication for marketers to start with various remarketing strategies and show the prospect why your product is best choice in the market and why they should go for it.
Evaluation stage is the final stage where customer decides to buy the product or not. In this stage, customer evaluate the product using trials or demo, they also evaluate the price and offer provided by the brand, you need to assist them by providing required training and best offers.
In this stage, marketing and sales both work together to nurture the decision-making process of buyer and convince them to go for the purchase decision.
Finally, the last and most awaited stage of this marketing funnel has come. In this stage, prospect made their final decision to purchase the product or service and turns into a customer. After that, sales do the work for purchase transaction etc.
This is the result of marketer’s effort throughout the process. And a positive experience of the buyer also does the referral work and provide more leads for the top of the funnel.
Marketing funnel is a process designed to help understand how marketing works in a flow and how can we improve our strategies for better sales. All stages from top to bottom explain the procedure of getting a lead, nurturing it throughout the end and turning prospect into customer.
With the regular changes in industry trends, prospective customers might join in from different stage of funnel instead of the top, but our ultimate goal remains the same that is turning leads into new customers.
Tell us what you think about this article. Let us know what we missed and what is your approach to a marketing funnel. Comment your thoughts below.