What is A Marketing Funnel?
The process towards a purchase is called the marketing and sales funnel. The marketing funnel lets you know what your company needs to do to influence consumers at certain stages with varied analyses.
So a marketing funnel is a system that ensures the right solution at each step of the sales evolution. By effectively evaluating your funnels, you can quickly drive powerful marketing, more sales, more customer loyalty, and finally, stronger brand awareness.
A marketing funnel is a system designed to attract and convert customers to your business. A marketing Funnel is a funnel-shaped visualized form of the marketing activities that cover the conversion process of the target audience. The marketing funnel helps you attract consumers to convert them into paying customers with several steps.
Why is Marketing Funnel Necessary?
Your potential customer enters your physical stores or online shopping page. Nowadays, people’s attention ratio is meager in the face of many stimulants. Now the number of vendors in shopping malls and bazaars is too high, billboards and sales stands contain too much material. Websites and shopping stores, the number of competitors you are listed on the same page in the stores is vast. In this mess, it’s essential to be able to identify potential customers among those who visit your store or site.
You should not approach a customer who is considering buying your product but has not yet decided, and another potential customer who has just entered your store with the same strategy. On the other hand, you must have a plan to get customers who choose you to shop again. You must have a marketing system focused on building customer loyalty.
With Marketing Funnel, you aim to focus your potential customers on a single product and service. You can also create categories for visitors who enter your site, add to cart, fill out a form, do not fill out a form, visit a specific page, look at the contact page, and do not buy a product or service, and so on.
You are preparing an online sales page to provide a multi-stage merchandising experience or to categorize the customer gradually. You have to get people to focus on one product and service. Thus, you can see how many people are left at each stage, and the eyebrow person has switched to the next step. How many people have purchased your product, how many people have examined your products, you can make a detailed analysis. But in order to get people into this system, you have to offer something that will catch their attention at first glance.
How Marketing Funnels Work
In order to increase the number of people buying from a brand, we need to increase the number of people who are aware of that brand. After providing brand awareness to a large audience, we must catch up in the evaluation process and make our last move at the purchasing stage in order to convince that audience to buy.
The upper part of the Marketing Funnel covers brand awareness campaigns. The middle part is where the evaluation process campaigns and the lower part is where the purchasing process campaigns are held. The upper part is called the Upper Funnel, the middle part is called Middle Funnel, and the lower part is called Lower Funnel.
Where did the term Marketing Funnel come from, why is this process paired with a funnel shape? Suppose you poured water into a funnel. The water we pour from the top will accumulate in the wide upper part of the funnel because as the funnel narrows, all of the water you pour cannot reach the lower part at the same time. It flows slowly down through the funnel. If you put a glass under this funnel, the water will collect in that glass.
In this example, we match the water with the customer. Customers are like that. A large audience enters, recognizes, evaluates, purchases, and goes into a domain where you have products or services.
However, if you do work under the funnel, you can prevent your customers from flowing like water. By collecting them as a mass under the funnel, like a container in which water accumulates, you ensure brand loyalty.
The marketing funnel works as a unified whole. Certainly, each section needs to work properly for the marketing journey to be successful. The main purposes of the marketing funnel are also the stages of the funnel, that is, the stages that will take place in the marketing process, with the following headings.
a) Building Brand Awareness:
Before promoting a brand, product, or service, the brand should present itself to the target audience. A company entering the market must run a marketing campaign that will make a difference and highlight it in order to stand out from the competitors already known in the market.
Building brand awareness is a challenging process that requires time, capital, effort, and professional work. Because nobody wants and does not want to use the product and service of a company they do not know.
For example, you are a beverage producer and entered the market with a cola brand. When customers enter a market or restaurant, they will order Coca-cola or Pepsi because of their reputation; even these brands have become synonymous with the product itself.
Brands like Coca-cola and Pepsi are early examples of their product lines or iconic brands. Turning a new brand into an icon is a lengthy and challenging process. In any case, a new brand will have to struggle with competitors that are in the consumer memory, as in this example, in order to get a share from the market. For this, marketing strategies should be created in a mixture of techniques in marketing literature and current trends. The main target is to ensure that the brand has a place in the mind of the consumer.
Creating brand awareness, which is the first step of the marketing funnel phase, is the first and most important step for new companies entering the market or companies that want to introduce new services and products to the market.
It is recommended that the marketing activities be carried out to ensure brand awareness are carried out separately in classical and digital channels: traditional marketing tools such as magazine, newspaper, and television ads, events, sponsorships, and promotional coupons.
In digital marketing, advertisements on social media channels: For example, Facebook access and interaction advertisements, product-based visual and video sharing, Instagram post and story sharing, brand launches on trendy blog sites, e-catalog presentations, and advertisements can be given as examples.
b) Interest Phase
In the first stage, the promotion process of your company’s products and services, namely brand awareness, was involved. In the second stage of the Marketing Funnel marketing system, your company should show the difference between your competing products and your own products. You should explain the prominent features of your products to the target audience.
You should highlight the benefits of your products with advertising and promotional activities, highlight the advantages of your products with slogans and attract the attention of consumers. Colgate toothpaste use slogans to emphasize the benefit of toothpaste and the superiority of its products.
“Colgate Total Daily Repair”
“Cleans more than just teeth. Fights germs for 12 hours”.
“A healthier mouth day in, day out.”
With such motto’s and slogans, it is aimed to increase the interest of the target audience in dental health and care. The slogans also emphasize the superior aspects of the product, creating a perception in the target audience of why this brand should be preferred. It should not be forgotten that the interest stage of the marketing tunnel tab is of great importance in terms of attracting consumer and manipulating ideas.
c) Consideration Phase
Until this stage, companies have promoted their brand and informed the target audience about the benefits and plus features of their products or services. Consumers now know your brand and have an idea about your products and services. At this stage, as the first step before the decision-making phase, consumers compare your products with competitors. There are many factors in bench-marking, such as price, quality, benefit, and popularity.
d) Conversion – Decision Phase
This is the last stage of a marketing funnel. Finally, consumers take the desired action. So they convert into a customer. Finally, the prospect has now turned into a customer when they make the actual purchase.
Marketing Funnel vs Marketing Flywheel
In the marketing funnel model, all the force was applied to attract prospects and convert them. While in the flywheel system, more force is applied to delight those customers by making their purchases more satisfying and repeating them.
In the marketing funnel model, all energy is built on attracting potential customers and turning them into loyal customers. In the Flywheel system, a system is set up to ensure that customers are satisfied with the purchasing process and thus exhibit repeat purchases. The Flywheel system uses all its strength to improve customer satisfaction.
It is an important part of the Flywheel model to use the sales development principles by taking the suggestions of the users to improve product and service sales. The flywheel concept was designed as a standalone methodology created against the traditional funnel. The funnel model has its flaws, but it’s still working, there’s a reason why it’s so prevalent taught to marketing specialists.
Marketing Strategies for Stages of the Funnel
In this section, marketing funnel strategies are examined under three headings. It is clear that strategies related to digital marketing are becoming prominent day by day.
1) Lead Generation Strategies (Awareness Stage)
The main target in this strategy is the number of sales. So we’re talking about marketing funnel strategies developed to maximize sales.
a) Influencer Marketing: Working with popular influencers to reach a large number of customers and promote your brand to consumers is one of today’s successful trends.
b) Organic SEO: This strategy is a process that will affect not only digital sales, but also physical sales of your brand, and increase the awareness and availability of your brand in digital media. Its technical and effective strategy at this stage of the funnel is to optimize your website content for keywords to improve your organic search rankings.
c) Advertising: Advertising ensures that both classical advertising channels and digital ads are used effectively, and the brand can reach the target audience. Today, advertisements on digital channels stand out compared to conventional broadcast tools.
2) Interest and Desire Strategies
Content Marketing and Reviews are the most effective strategies for the interest and desire stages of the marketing funnel. Both strategies are preferred for targeting middle-of-the-funnel buyers.
3) Lead Conversion Strategies
These are strategies designed to enable potential customers to make their purchasing decision. At this stage, the tactics listed below can be used.
a) Conversion rate optimization (CRO): These strategies focus on enabling people to take the desired action.
Messages such as “buy now” or “try it now” are delivered to customers of websites or online stores to trigger the customer’s buying impulse.
b) Demos and Trials: Providing a free trial or live demo products are good chances to try the product or services. Users are more willing to buy products that they have the opportunity to try. This aids the decision-making process, in the case of new kind of products or software and tools.
c) Discounts and Promotions: Temporary discounts or temporary promotions create a sense of urgency about buying the products. This type of campaign helps speed up the selling process.
Difference Between Marketing and Sales Funnel
Sales funnel refers to the process focused on shooting that companies guide customers in the product purchasing process. A sales funnel is the marketing term that includes several steps to a sales funnel, usually known as the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel, although these steps may change depending on each company’s sales plan.
The main difference between the marketing funnel and the sales funnel is that the marketing funnel is efforts to realize the sale while the sales funnel is all about sales. By combining the company’s approach to marketing and sales funnels, The companies allow the ability to optimize their complete marketing & sales strategies. Understanding the sales funnel can help you find the holes in the funnel. So you need to analyze and find important points at each step to optimize it.
A large part of the sales funnel refers to potential customers who may need your company’s product or service, but you have not communicated with them. At the bottom of the funnel, there are people who have purchased your product or service and are already your customers.
To summarize briefly, the four main parts of the marketing funnel are listed from top to bottom as follows: Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, Loyalty.
The order in the sales funnel is as follows: Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action.
These steps can be more for both the marketing funnel and the sales funnel. Basically, the wide upper part of the funnel is defined as marketing, and the narrow lower part is defined as sales.
The Difference Between B2B and B2C Marketing Funnels
Marketing funnels often change, depending on your customer base.
Your customer base may be companies or consumers. Therefore, retail and corporate sales practices will be different from each other.
B2C customers often navigate the funnel alone or with small groups as family or friends. B2C clients may never interact directly with a company representative. This group is in contact with retail stores or online shopping sites, that is, stores where the brand’s products are sold.
B2B customers are more formal, more product-based focused groups. B2B customers have more detailed information about product groups; their persuasion processes are different from B2C customers. B2B consumers interact directly with a sales representative of seller companies in the lower stages of the marketing funnel.