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Understanding the Marketing Funnel and Why It Matters for Your Marketing Efforts

Posted on June 13, 2017   |   

We frequently reference the coveted “Marketing Funnel” in our discussions with existing and prospective clients. Why? Because it is a critical tool in understanding your audience’s buying processes and how they get to a purchasing decision. Since marketing compliments the sales process, we find many business owners and marketing managers benefit from learning how their communication efforts can inform their target audience’s buying behaviors.

Furthermore, it’s hard to align or evaluate your marketing expectations with real-world results if you don’t understand the customer experience from beginning to end.

Below are a few notes on each stage of the funnel and why they matter to your marketing and communication efforts going forward.

Awareness/Discovery

In this stage, people know you exist and what you do. It also speaks to audiences who recognize they have a problem they’re looking to solve. Generally, this stage is expensive to invest in and offers little return but it is necessary to create an audience for the rest of the funnel. After all, people can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist!

Consideration

This stages houses a smaller audience because those that were “aware and not a good fit” are weeded out and your are left with the people who do have a need and now need to decide between you and your competitors. It’s important to note, you will lose quite a few people in this stage of the funnel because of the abundance of options available to buyers—and that’s okay. You only want truly interested people ready to invest in this stage.

Conversion/Purchase

This stage welcomes an even smaller audience group who are now convinced your product/service is the one for them and they are buying! This is where you gain your customers.

Advocacy

Your pool of interested buyers are now primed to be brand advocates for your product/service. As such, these people will spread the good news about your product/service. But the Marketing Funnel doesn’t stop there. To continue to grow your customer base, don’t neglect to stay in touch after they pay you. Continue to nurture them so when they are in need of another product/service or know someone else who can benefit from your business, you’re brand name will be a part of their referral conversation. Now that’s winning.

Reference this high-level graphic below, which illustrates the typical journey a customer experiences from awareness to purchase to advocacy. However, there are many marketing funnels out there including this one and this one. The principal and purpose is the same.

marketing funnel

To see how the  marketing funnel plays out in your digital media efforts, read our blog on Marketing Misconceptions or give us a call to learn how you can start integrating it into existing opportunities.