Marketing Funnels - Tracking the Customer Journey
What Are Marketing Funnels?
The marketing funnel is a tool designed to help marketers visualise the buyer journey. The buyer journey entails the path that prospective customers take as they are first introduced to your company, become more familiar with the business, and hopefully eventuate in a sale of your product or service. The customer journey also involves the customer actions after a sale has been made.
What are Conversions?
Many aspiring businesses want people to visit their websites and take certain actions that ultimately lead to a sale. Customer actions such as signing up to online newsletters and engaging with unique content are referred to as conversions. These activities represent beneficial behaviour you want your customers undertaking. In a nutshell every time a customer fulfills an action the business wants, this is referred to as a conversion.
How Do Marketing Funnels Work?
In essence a marketing funnel is a way of analysing and then breaking down the stages a customer undertakes throughout their journey of purchasing a product or service. This journey encompasses five key stages: awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, and advocacy. In the beginning during the “awareness” stage (potential customers first learn about your business) and during the final step the “purchase” stage (these individuals are ready to buy your product or service).
Why Do The Stages To Conversion Use A “Funnel”?
Essentially at the beginning of the process, there are more people who will take the first step. As these individuals move through the funnel, they increasingly drop out, and as a result the size of the participants narrows. Prospects within the marketing funnel can drop out for a number of reasons these include: pricing preferences, competitor bias, and unfamiliarity with your brand.
Why Develop A Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel allows a marketer to identify the useful strategies and techniques they can use to generate leads which can then later convert into sales. Initially you want to create awareness of your business, such as by ranking high in online search results, developing your social platforms or running mainstream advertising campaigns. Once potential customers are aware of your business they can then start to progress through the funnel with the introduction of tailored marketing messages and offers that may be relevant to them.
For example, during the Interest stage, content marketing, social media and newsletters can be used to target prospective customers. As individuals progress through the Marketing Funnel the marketing communications should be more personalised. For example if prospective customers are now evaluating your product or service a marketer can now employ the use of online videos, and ebooks to help prospects understand your product or services better.
Real world vs. E-commerce Marketing Funnel
Funnels not only occur in the online domain but also in real life scenarios. Although the experience for the consumer is quite different the steps they take within the funnel are the same. It is important a business understand the process customers take in each scenario in order to identify marketing strategies that can be implemented to decrease the number of customers leaving the funnel.
Why Should Your Business Optimise its Marketing Funnel?
It has become increasingly important for businesses to understand the customer purchasing journey. Through the use of a marketing funnel a company can map the customer journey and evaluate the effectiveness of specific marketing measures. In the process of trying different marketing strategies an organisation can optimise its marketing communications and therefore more effectively engage with customers. This effort will then translate into more customers progressing through the marketing funnel and therefore increasing sales of the business products or services.
If you think you need help developing or mapping our your marketing funnel, contact us for more info!