What is a marketing funnel and how does building a marketing funnel lead to sales? In part one of our blog series on how to build a marketing funnel, let’s break down the concept and start from the why.
Essentially, a marketing funnel is your map to meeting consumers on the road to becoming customers of your business. Marketing funnels take into consideration everything about the customer journey, from the time they learn about your business to the moment they purchase one of your products or services and beyond.
Since marketing funnels are all about your prospects, building out a comprehensive funnel for your business helps you get to know their preferences, their behaviors and what’s important to them. By analyzing what you learn about them, you get a sense of what your company must do to influence prospects at certain stages of your marketing funnel. And if you evaluate your funnel function effectively, you can drive greater sales, more customer loyalty and stronger brand awareness along the buyer’s journey.
The Reasoning Behind the Funnel Visualization
Marketers love to visualize marketing functions to see the bigger picture of them in the marketing universe. In one snap, you get the picture of how your marketing roadmap works by thinking of it as a funnel. Funnels start wide and end with a pin point, which is what most marketing funnels aim for.
When someone visits your website, for example, you want them to act on an impulse, whether it’s making a purchase, filling out a form, signing up for your webinar or something else. Once the visitor does what you want them to do, marketers call that a conversion – often the pinpoint of the funnel.
It’s why a funnel is such an appropriate visual for developing a comprehensive roadmap to conversions. Marketers start far and wide to capture as many leads as possible, then nurture leads into potential customers through the purchasing decision process using steps that gradually focus on taking them to the conversion stage.
Full Funnel Action
Marketing funnels are built in stages and are meant to work as an entire conversion process for your prospects. Each stage works in concert with every other stage for a successful result. In general, marketing funnel stages look like this:
- Awareness: making audiences more receptive to future interaction with branded content strategies that resonate with them.
- Consideration: helping audiences make favorable comparisons of your company with competitors using brand advocate and social influence.
- Conversion: reducing the risk to audiences of making a poor buying decision with a simple, direct purchasing process.
- Loyalty: nurturing and maintaining audiences with a program that features regular discounts, consistent email interactions, special social media events and the like.
- Advocacy: Inviting receptive and loyal audiences to continue to support your company with future marketing funnels.
Benefits of Marketing Funnels
A marketing funnel applies to almost any consumer interaction and simplifies the buyer’s journey. It’s easier for companies to understand how a prospect makes a buying decision and strategize ways to persuade more conversions, stronger customer loyalty and more favorable brand awareness through every step of the process.
The biggest benefit of marketing funnels is the ability to measure results. Your funnel can show you what’s working to entice leads as well as where you’re losing customers, which quickly helps you pivot your strategy.
Improve Your Sales Leads in 2021
If you’re wondering if marketing funnels are still relevant to today’s consumer buying process, check out part two of our three-part series 20 Tips for Improving Your Marketing Funnel (and Generating More Sales Leads). We’ll discuss actionable tips you can include in your plan for 2021, including how a funnel can be flipped to create more leads.