Marketing involves a series of activities designed to move goods and services from concept to consumer. Yet, very few organizations really consider the various stages a customer goes through before the decision to buy happens. These activities are known as the marketing funnel, and each stage of the funnel requires a different, yet coordinated, approach.
The first step to a well-developed marketing funnel is defining the stages of the funnel, then building content to influence each stage, and moving your customer through each phase until they eventually purchase or leave the funnel. The stages of a defined marketing funnel are:
- Awareness (Or Lead Generation) – This stage is the act of making your potential consumer aware of your product or service. Brand awareness helps consumers begin to know the value a company brings, problems it solves and offerings it brings to the marketplace. Content regularly used in this phase are social advertising, traditional advertising, networking, sponsorships, press releases, website optimizations, and business development outreach.
- Interest – During this phase, a prospective customer begins to show curiosity about a product or service as they begin to make movement to learn more about the organization and offerings. Content strategies most readily used during this phase are lead capture forms that offer something in exchange for an email address. For example, white papers, case studies, videos, sample chapters from a book or checklists can all be excellent offerings that excite a consumer enough to provide an email. Note: Do not just then blast your prospect with emails. Continue to move through the marketing funnel with thought and purpose based on the persona of the buyer.
- Consideration – This phase is when a consumer reaches out to others (friends, other brands, co-workers, etc.) to compare offerings for best value and receive social proof that their choice to buy is a good one. Content choices here include testimonials, reviews, social media postings, brand value comparison sheets and samples (if applicable). Basically, during this phase, consumers are looking to build trust with a brand to feel good and secure with their purchase.
- Intent – This phase of the marketing funnel can also be a portion of your sales process. The consumer begins to express desire towards really purchasing your product or service. Content requests usually include estimates, proposals, benefit/feature offerings, and guarantees. You may even want to add more testimonials during this phase.
- Buy – This is the last phase of the marketing funnel for bringing in new consumers to your business. During this phase, a prospective customer may negotiate price, add-ons, time to delivery and other aspects of finalizing a deal, depending on its complexity and price point. Content used during this phase may be as simple as asking for the deal, presenting a contract or exchanging money for the product/service.
Now, most who use a good marketing funnel will stop once the consumer buys or not. This might be one of the largest mistakes in today’s business world. Even though someone has purchased once, does not mean they will continue to buy and/or tell their friends. Instead, continue to market to your existing customers and to the even to the ones who have said no. Content that is used during this final step in retaining customers include the request for testimonials or reviews, welcome kits, thank you gifts, additional coupons, and complimentary product offerings.
Need more assistance in developing your marketing funnel? Plumb Marketing offers a free one-hour marketing discovery session where we discuss how to craft this essential component to your marketing strategy. Contact us today to get started and begin to create more lead generation and conversion of new clients