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Marketing

What is a Marketing Funnel?

Joe Martin

Whether you’re looking to start a new business or grow your current one, you'll need to map out a customer journey. It can highlight the important stages of your brand experience for customers and help you understand where to focus your time and resources.

Running ads, social media, and posting promotional content can be useful marketing tools for attracting customers. But, it's important to pair these tools with proper insight into your customer group.

This is where a marketing funnel comes in. It guides you from the beginning of a potential customer’s journey with your business until the point that they become a loyal customer.

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What Is a Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel illustrates the customer journey as a series of shrinking segments. With each passing stage, your interested customer group shrinks in size and becomes more and more filtered, forming a funnel-like shape. By understanding the different stages of the marketing funnel, business owners and developers can figure out which strategies work and at what point.

Why Are Marketing Funnels Important?

A marketing funnel helps you decide whether you need to inform, engage, or use another strategy for your customer depending on how familiar they are with your product as well as their own needs.

For example, this funnel will give you a clear picture of when a customer may opt-out or what strategy will encourage a customer to move forward. Such information will help you understand what you need to work on and which strategies click with your buyers. At the same time, the way a customer behaves and moves through various steps will help you improve different features of your business, including your website and its landing page or even a helpline.

Your marketing funnel will involve a variety of different tactics from digital marketing, social media, content marketing, and more. Depending on your product or service, your marketing funnel may transition into a sales funnel to finish the journey.

You can also start noticing trends and behaviors about how your service is being purchased if you’re closely following the customer journey.

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The 6 Stages of a Marketing Funnel

1. Awareness

This is the stage of the marketing funnel where the range and volume of your customers is most broad. During the awareness stage, your goal is to attract potential customers and familiarize them with your business. To do this, you can create a blog post or use ads to increase brand recognition. By focusing on people's pain points and letting them know that your business understands those specific problems, you can take them to the next stage of the marketing funnel. The brand awareness stage is critical in attracting new customers.

2. Interest

A sizable portion of the initial consumer group is filtered out of the first marketing stage, leaving only those who show some level of interest in what your business has to offer. In this next stage, your marketing efforts can include engaging videos and influencer marketing to develop the interest of potential customers even more. These strategies will let the prospect understand how your products and services can solve their problems.

3. Consideration

The consideration stage is where you convince potential customers who have already shown interest in your service to take a chance with your business. You can offer discounts, free trials, or share details about product features. At this point in their buying journey, your customers are likely also looking at your competitors to compare services. If you want them to choose your business, your offer has to stand out. By using tools like Google Analytics and others, you can see where potential customers go on your website most often, or what intrigues them the most to help you identify ways to stand out among the competition.

4. Conversion

A prospective customer converts when they make a purchase or respond to your call-to-action. You should pay close attention to the conversion stage of your marketing funnel since this is closely tied to your business goals and profit-making. To make it easier for people to convert, you should create a smooth process for your customers to buy your products and services.

5. Loyalty

When you focus on delivering a positive customer experience, you encourage brand loyalty, and your customers are more likely to make repeat purchases. By sending email newsletters, delivering customer assistance, and offering special discounts, you can develop a strong customer relationship.

6. Advocacy

The final stage of the marketing funnel leads existing customers to recommend your services to their friends and family. Depending upon how much you invest in your customers at this level, they may even mention your brand on social media platforms and create content for it.

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How Do Marketing Funnels Benefit Small Businesses?

Since small businesses have a narrower customer base, you can benefit from using a specific and focused marketing funnel. By building this, your business avoids wasting funds and resources on expensive, unnecessary marketing strategies.

One way to do this, for instance, is to create buyer personas. Personas are customer profiles that help a business figure out the customers’ interests and behaviors. With these personas, your business can carry out strategies that resonate with customers. For example, a trendy stationery shop can create highly specific personas for their customers and market to local young professionals who show interest in writing, crafting, and visual arts. To attract these potential customers, the shop can use highly visual posters and engaging social media ads.

Once people have joined the marketing funnel and have begun moving through it, you can use email marketing to personalize messages and share the right information for their current buyer stage.

It's important to remember that a marketing funnel does more than visualize the path to a sale. Using a marketing funnel helps small businesses spot weak strategies quickly and learn which marketing areas need attention. It is a necessary series of steps that help you figure out where your customers are getting stuck and how you can rework your marketing to create a profitable flow of new customers and repeat purchases.

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Potential customers will interact with your business at different marketing funnel stages, and they will need relevant information that meets them where they are. When you personalize your approach according to your customers' needs, they are more likely to feel closer to your brand. A marketing funnel makes this easier since it lets you know where to put in the effort and where not to.

If you want to build your brand and reach your business goals, we can help you find the right marketing strategy.