Doctor Digital, what is a marketing funnel and where do I buy one?
Doctor Digital Says
A marketing funnel is less of a thing that you might use in your kitchen or garage, and more of a metaphor - like the four hour work week or four hour body (which none of us has ever been able to achieve, thanks a bunch Tim Ferriss). Think about the shape of a funnel - wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. Lots of volume goes in the top and by the time it gets to the bottom, it is narrowed down to fit neatly into whatever you are funneling into, in this case, hopefully, a flow of transactions in your business. The funnel shape refers to the reality of how many touchpoints are needed to convert into sales or whatever it is that is your goal with the funnel.
The marketing funnel is broken down into different segments as illustrated above. These are known by various names, but a common breakdown is AIDA: Awareness - getting the customer to know you exist and can solve a problem they either know or don't know they have that needs solving; Interest - getting you curious about your problem being solved and what options exist; Desire - hooking you into having to take action and finally Action - the part where the previous thoughts turn to transaction and the funnel is complete.
For each one of these segments, there are different ways you can engage your audience depending on who they are and what you do. If you were a consultant for example in the awareness segment you might host a free webinar and run a campaign to get people to attend it so you could bring awareness to what you do and give value simultaneously giving your brand a sticky boost. If you were a product-based business you might do some demo videos on Instagram of how your product solves a problem and get more followers for when you run the latter parts of your funnel campaign.
A funnel creates a scaffold for you to deepen relations with your prospective and current clients and connects the dots for the narrative of your business on the customer journey with you. It is a strategic marketing action that also allows you to measure and consider the impacts of what you are doing segment by segment and pivot your campaigns if they aren't gaining the traction you need.
Like so much of marketing, it is in the measurement as much as it is in the slick campaigns, if you aren't gaining traction, it doesn't matter how cool your influencer is or how viral your videos are. A funnel allows you to gain a better understanding of the needs and motivations of your customer as they move through each part of the process. Speaking of metrics, understanding what to measure in your funnel at each stage is also important: think about things like your sales funnel conversion rate, exits from each stage, content engagement, and of course conversion to sales.
A marketing funnel is a considered and strategic way to approach your customer journey end-to-end. But it isn't a slap together in an afternoon set and forget exercise. Like your business strategy and digital strategy, your funnel is something that is for the life of your business and campaigns and needs to be monitored, measured, tweaked, and longitudinally analysed against performance so you know exactly how effective your hard work connecting with customers is. To dive deep into how you can set up your own marketing funnel and understand each of the market segmentations, check out our funnel factsheet.
Need help with your marketing funnel? We got you - book a session with one of our Digital Coaches and get your funnel flowing with customers and revenue.