A marketing funnel refers to the journey that potential customers to find your brand and eventually purchase your product or service. The term marketing funnel is often used alongside terms like sales funnel and customer journey funnel. We have a shocking revelation for you: each of these funnels refers to the same basic steps since sales and marketing need to corporate and understand the same customer journey to ultimately close a deal.
Identifying the marketing funnel will allow you and your team to figure out ways to better attract and communicate with your customers. Marketing funnels apply to any industry, brand, or company type, and though they may diverge on finer points, they include the same basic stages:
Bear in mind that your customers may follow a less linear path, and that’s okay. Your customers might also follow a different customer journey depending on whether you're part of a B2C or B2B company, and you can customize your marketing funnel to that journey, as shown in the template below.
Before you work on refining your own funnel, first refresh your knowledge about what should be happening in each of these phases.
During this phase, your potential customers don’t yet know your brand exists, so your first task is to introduce them to it. Consider tactics that introduce potential customers to who you are as a brand, such as:
If you don’t make your brand accessible to potential customers in the awareness phase, they can’t progress any further into the funnel.
Once your customers are aware of your brand, you want to show them how it fits their needs. Your goal should be to build relationships with customers and introduce them to positioning. Try these strategies:
As customers move toward consideration, your job is to make their decision to buy your product or service an easy one. At this point, potential customers will compare your product or service with other brands, so you should demonstrate the ways you stand out. The right materials and incentives could be just enough to convince the prospect to commit to, rather than just consider, your product. This stage often involves:
If you do well in the consideration phase, commitment should follow naturally. Potential customers may need to justify their purchase to themselves, but if you’ve created an emotional connection with would-be customers, that justification will come easily.
During this phase, you should position your company to be readily available to handle any of the customer’s needs, whether they have questions or need purchasing help. Once a customer commits to your brand, you’ll have an easier time convincing them to make purchases in the future.
Potential customers become actual customers at the moment they decide to make a purchase, but your job doesn’t end there. Your marketing team will need to work to retain each customer’s loyalty with ongoing efforts, seeing them through the funnel multiple times as their needs change. You can send existing customers marketing materials such as:
Some companies have also considered that satisfied customers are likely to bring in new customers through word-of-mouth. Give existing customers an opportunity to pull new prospects into the consideration stage. You could ask them to leave a review, share pictures of them using the product, recommend a friend for some sort of reward, etc.