Marketing funnel is a term used to refer to a customer's journey with your business all the way from initial learning stage to purchase.
In practice, marketing funnel is used as a roadmap your business needs to take the customer through to maximize the chance of conversion and retention. It is directly related to customer experience.
Why is marketing funnel important?
Thorough examination of a lead's full path to becoming your customer highlights the key aspects they were ultimately swayed by. Knowing how your funnel allows you to make effective adjustments throughout all the stages that cater to your average customer. Therefore, knowing and tinkering on your marketing funnel is a viable avenue of increasing sales and brand loyalty.
Regardless of your marketing team's size, budget, or experience, implementing the marketing funnel framework will be handy for learning what aspects of your lead's journey to prioritize.
What goes into marketing funnel?
Marketing funnel can be generally segmented into 5 major chunks — awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, and advocacy. This model can be expanded to include extra steps, such as interest (between awareness and consideration), evaluation, and decision (both immediately precede conversion). This what each of the major steps entail:
- Awareness — the first stage, it's goal is to draw potential customers into the rest of the marketing funnel. Generally consists of audience research, content marketing, general marketing campaigns, as well as lead generation;
- Consideration — leads that reach this stage are considered marketing qualified. The goal of consideration stage is to keep nurturing the prospect via content related to the product/service, free trial, targeted offers, and more;
- Conversion — this is where your well-nurtured lead finally makes the purchase;
- Loyalty — this is where the customer develops a preference for your product specifically. Loyalty increases the chances your customers will weather more negative patches in your business' lifecycle and stay with you. To drive loyalty, you need to make an effort to show that you treat your consumers more than just transactions. Things like strong personal engagement, community development, loyalty programs, identifying with and relating to customer help establish loyalty;
- Advocacy — the narrowest part of a marketing funnel. This is where your long-loyal customer becomes a fan and spreads good word about you across mediums they have access to. They recommend you to their social media following, work colleagues, friends, and family. They leave positive reviews, and often chime in to respond to any negative experience others might've had with you.
Next article: Marketing Mix