What is a marketing funnel?
The idea of a marketing funnel has been around for over a century. Its goal is to make it easy to classify important points along the shopping journey, such as awareness, consideration, decision, and loyalty.
It is related to the customer journey and is sometimes referred to as the conversion funnel. However, the path to purchase today is much more complicated, and very few customer journeys will exactly mirror the funnel. Full-funnel marketing, for example, is a more comprehensive strategy that aims to reach customers at every stage of the buying process.
The design of the marketing funnel is in line with the idea that, in the early stages of a buyer’s shopping journey, marketers try to get as many leads as they can before nurturing those leads through each stage. As you move down the funnel, the audience gets smaller, and when you get to the bottom, you have customers who are most likely to buy and, ideally, stay with you for a long time.
What’s the purpose of marketing funnels?
The idea is still important, even though the customer journey may not be as straightforward as the marketing funnel’s simplified version. The digital marketing funnel takes into account the fact that customers enter, exit, and move around the funnel, and that their shopping is not restricted to a single store or geographic area. The digital path to purchase is anything but linear.
Brands should consider how they can reach customers at all points along the customer journey now that they can shop from anywhere and at any time. Consumers can now compare products online and conduct extensive research during the consideration phase of the digital marketing funnel instead of just in-store comparisons. Many brands have acclimated to this better approach to shopping and embraced this less-direct way to buy by associating with clients in true and important ways across the channel.
Lead generation and lead nurturing both rely on marketing funnels. Campaigns are used by brands to acquire new leads during the awareness and consideration phases. Campaigns are used by brands in the decision-making and loyalty phases to cultivate existing leads and eventually turn customers into brand advocates. Connecting the dots between the channels, strategies, and content that are attracting the most attention, conversations, and, ultimately, sales for their brand requires digital marketing and the marketing funnel.
The stages of the marketing funnel
There is no universally accepted model of the funnel; various explanations include customers going through three, four, five, or more steps in their shopping journey. We’ll frame a four-stage showcasing pipe beneath, including the phases of awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty.
Stage 1: Awareness.
Knowledge of a brand’s name, messaging, tone and style, values, and culture are all forms of brand awareness. Consumer research is the first step in building brand awareness, which entails attracting customers to a brand and assisting them in recognizing and remembering it. By utilizing relevant customer touch points along the path to purchase, the objective is to maintain the brand’s prominence.
Brands want to get in front of customers where they are to raise awareness. Digital advertising, audio ads, social media campaigns, content marketing, and other forms of media could all fall under this umbrella. Television, both linear and streaming, is one example. The goal at the end of the awareness phase is for your brand to remain top of mind for customers so that when the time comes for them to make a purchase, they think of you. This is because 84% of shoppers begin their online product searches on digital channels that are not owned by the brand.
Stage 2: Consideration.
Increasing the likelihood that customers will consider a specific brand and its products when shopping is the objective of consideration marketing. Customers’ problems, areas of interest, or questions should be addressed in marketing messages. Customers are trying to get to know a brand and figure out what sets it apart from other brands at this point. During the consideration phase, brands should educate and inform customers to help them comprehend how your product or service fulfills their needs.
Customer testimonials and case studies, webinars, and positive customer reviews are all good mid-funnel consideration marketing solutions. Through the Amazon DSP, Amazon Ads provides solutions for this stage, such as Sponsored Brands and video and display ads. When customers are actively looking at and researching products to buy, these ad products assist in creating touch points.
Stage 3: Conversion.
The conversion stage aims to get customers to buy a product or service because they think the brand they’ve chosen is the best answer to their problem or fulfills their needs. This step, also known as the “decision” or “purchase” phase, is a brand’s chance to invest in a strategy that will help them stand out in its market and set itself apart from competitors’ products. A well-detailed product page on the website and exceptional customer service are crucial during this phase to bolster customer confidence in their purchasing decisions.
Because you can frequently track which ad click led directly to a purchase, conversion can be a relatively simple stage of the funnel to measure. Nevertheless, it is essential to keep in mind that customer interactions in the previous two stages have a direct impact on conversion rates.
Stage 4: Loyalty.
By offering a high-quality product or service and making the purchasing process as simple as possible, brands can increase customer loyalty. Brands can maintain their prominence among consumers after purchase by following up with them and cultivating connections with them.
A customer’s likelihood of becoming a repeat customer can be influenced by positive interactions both during and after the purchase stage. Brands may discover that many customers only make one purchase before moving on without a strategy for building customer loyalty. Some marketers also refer to this phase as the “engagement” stage because, on average, it costs a brand five times as much to acquire a new customer than it does to maintain an existing one. Engaging customers who have invested in your brand’s products or services is essential to fostering loyalty.
When it comes to fostering customer loyalty to a brand, engaging marketing strategies like email nurture campaigns, social media activations, and loyalty programs can have a significant impact. At the end of this stage, you want to have satisfied, devoted customers who will become brand advocates and long-term customers.
What distinguishes the marketing funnel from the sales funnel?
The terms “sales funnel” and “marketing funnel” are sometimes used interchangeably; Actually, some people combine them into a single term: the sales funnel for marketing. They are, in fact, two pieces of a larger whole. A company or organization’s marketing and sales departments each have their objectives, which their respective funnels support. While the sales function is focused on increasing products or services sold, both initially and repeatedly, the marketing function is tasked with creating and managing a brand, creating awareness, and driving sales-qualified leads. Teams can stay in sync and create an optimal customer experience by using one to inform the other.
How to use a full-funnel marketing strategy to engage audiences The marketing funnel is a useful structure. However, the terms “customer journey” and “funnel” are not interchangeable. In today’s world, customer journeys rarely proceed in a straight line from awareness to consideration to purchase. Customers can appear to skip stages altogether or enter the funnel at any stage. To put it another way, while the funnel can be a useful framework for ensuring that you are reaching customers along all possible routes to purchase, very few customer journeys will exactly follow the funnel.
A full-funnel marketing strategy takes into account the various ways that potential customers can interact with your brand, even though you may not be able to predict the steps that customers take before purchasing your product. You can use this to identify engagement opportunities and reach customers wherever they are.
Measurement of a full-funnel marketing
Without measurement and analysis, it is impossible to determine a brand’s full-funnel marketing strategy’s effectiveness.
There are three ways to measure and get the most out of your full-funnel strategy:
1. Learn how channels interact with one another.
A full-pipe approach could incorporate publicizing across many channels to arrive at clients at any phase of the pipe. To accurately measure the effect that each channel has on a brand’s key performance indicators (KPIs), it is essential to establish early benchmarks for success. Success metrics are included for each phase of the funnel.
Top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) metrics are used by advertisers to increase consumer brand awareness by measuring:
Unique reach completion rate,
Click-through rate (CTR),
Middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) metrics assist in indicating when customers are more likely to make a purchase.
These standards evaluate:
Detail page views,
Branded search index
These are the marketing metrics that measure the purchase end of the funnel and calculate:
Return on advertising investment (ROAS),
Advertising cost of sales (ACOS),
Customer acquisition cost (CAC),
Orders or units sold
By comparing benchmarks for TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU, advertisers can optimize their spending at all funnel stages.
With Amazon Attribution, brands can see how non-Amazon media and marketing channels are contributing to Amazon sales, which can be used to optimize cross-channel ads. This is one way to improve channel performance.
2. Send messages that are specific to the various stages of the shopping process.
By utilizing an ad server, businesses can guarantee that they are displaying advertisements that are pertinent to their target audience and that they are communicating with them in a manner that is appropriate for their stage of the shopping process. A brand could, for instance, set up a rule with an ad server to display a different call to action (CTA) or image to people who have previously seen its product than to people who haven’t. Brands can connect with customers at any stage of the buying process.
3. Compare your spending to that of your peers.
Brands can use a variety of tools to see how their advertising spend compares to that of their peers in the same product category. Marketers can use this knowledge to determine whether they are over or under-indexing sales, branded search, and other metrics.