A market funnel is a conceptualization of the process the customers take from the point they realize a need to the point where they buy. Marketers use this conceptual map to design marketing strategies targeting potential clients at different stages of the buying journey. The premise of this strategy is that funneling can help marketers come up with ways of influencing customers at any stage.
The classic funnel has four stages of awareness, interest, desire, and action. Awareness involves potential customers realizing that they have a need that can only be satisfied by buying a product or service. Interest entails the prospect exploring offerings from certain groups that have the potential to fulfill the deficiency.
Desire is the point where the potential customer identifies a particular product or service provider as the best placed to fulfill the need. Action is the point where the prospect decides to purchase or engage the services of the preferred seller. Some variations of the model include follow-ups and customer engagement after the purchase decision.
What Is A Marketing Funnel Strategy In Action?
Marketers can use funnels to drive sales, increase customer retention, and improve brand awareness. Different marketing strategies apply at each stage of the process. At the awareness stage, the focus is on content marketing strategies that get the attention of target audiences and whet their appetite for future brand engagements. At the consideration stage, marketers provide evidence to prove that their product is superior or of similar quality as that of competitors.
At the conversion stage, the aim is to simplify the purchase process and minimize the risks that may dissuade customers from buying. At the retention stage, marketers focus on making customers feel important and valued by the company through reward programs, regular social media and email interactions, and discounts.
But how do you create these funnels? The easiest way that I have found is to use software options like Clickfunnels, Kartra or Convertri. If you are unsure on what to get out of these three, we did some review and comparison articles below:
- Clickfunnels compared to Kartra
- Clickfunnels compared to Leadpages
- Convertri compared to Clickfunnels
- Kartra compared to Kajabi
- detailed review of Clickfunnels
- detailed review of Kartra
- detailed review of Convertri
Applying the Model
At the awareness stage, businesses can engage in strategies that boost brand visibility. Marketers can create search engine optimized content, seek endorsements from celebrities and influencers, and solicit for backlinks from authoritative websites and blogs. Potential clients will learn about the brand by engaging with the content. The aim is to generate interest and leads that can be funneled into the next stage.
In the second stage, the potential customer is actively searching for information about the product he or she needs. Most consumers turn to Google for content about the problem and solutions available on the market.
Prospects can discern promotional content and dismiss it in favor of objective information.
Buyers often focus on sites frequented by consumer communities such as Facebook groups and review sites. At this point, marketers can position themselves as industry experts with in-depth knowledge of all the nuances of the product. They can also create content that answers the questions potential consumers will be asking.
In the third stage, potential customers will be comparing alternatives and seeking insights from experts and people who have experience with different products. At this stage, the marketer can create content around product comparisons. The content can include pricing guides, links to YouTube channels testing similar products, and expert opinions. The focus should be on educational rather than promotional content.
At the purchase stage, customers have done sufficient research and are confident that they have selected the best option after considering all the constraints. The role of the marketer is to assure them that they have made the right decision. Marketers can create content around customer endorsements, case studies, and testimonials to convince new buyers that they are making the right choice.
After making the sale, marketers still have to follow up with the customer. The focus is on how the customer feels about the overall buying experience and level of satisfaction with the service. If customers love the process and the quality of the product, they are bound to become brand ambassadors who will actively promote the company. In contrast, dissatisfied customers are likely to sever the contract and give negative reviews. Marketers can manage the post-purchase process by engaging customers using mail and other forms of correspondence to solicit feedback.
The Value of Marketing Funnels
Funnels make it easy for marketers to follow customers at every stage of the buying process and design appropriate interventions. They empower marketers by giving them tools and guidelines on how to handle clients at each step of the journey. For instance, marketers can use promotional tactics to make positive reviews go viral. Similarly, they can use negative reviews to inform product or service improvements and as a way of engaging customers.