What is a marketing funnel?

A marketing funnel illustrated through an ice cream cone

With the exception of impulse buyers, most customers aren’t typically ready to buy straight away. 

Instead, they go through a path to purchase journey that includes research and evaluation, before even committing to an enquiry.

Thanks to the sheer amount of information that’s readily available, today’s buyer is more informed than ever. 

When you don’t understand your audience, a disconnect can be created, between your business and your prospective customers.

In this article, we explain the basics of a marketing funnel and how it becomes a useful tool when used in the context of the buyer journey and creating engaging content.

What is a marketing funnel?

A marketing or sales funnel as it’s alternatively known, describes the different stages a customer goes through leading up to a purchase.

Typically, a marketing funnel will be split into three core sections attract, engage and delight.

(To make our funnel that bit more delicious, we’ve illustrated our funnel as an ice cream cone – just in time for national ice cream day!)

As a customer moves down your marketing funnel they develop a different awareness of your brand, your product and solutions to their purchasing decisions. 

A customer will have different questions and often different mindsets at all three stages of the funnel, which is why it is important to create a strategy of tailored content on the right channels.

What are the benefits of a marketing funnel?

Marketing funnels help to simplify the customer journey and can apply to almost every customer interaction. 

The funnel is a powerful way to bring visibility to customer touch points.

The main benefit to a marketing funnel is its measurability. 

A marketing funnel will indicate where you’re currently losing customers, and help you change your strategy accordingly.

Marketing channels for each stage of the funnel

Building a successful content strategy starts by identifying the right channels, to reach your audience. 

Marketing channels for attracting customers

The majority of new prospects will start their buyer journey in the attract stage. 

This is at the top of the funnel, where they know little to nothing about you but realize they have a problem that you could help solve. 

At this point, they are looking for easy-to-digest, informational content, that helps direct them towards a solution.

Just like the cherry and sprinkles on our content cone, the informational content you create needs to entice the readers. 

The marketing channels used in your attract stage may include;

  • Blogging 
  • Search Engine marketing
  • Social media marketing 

Marketing channels for engaging with customers 

When a prospect moves into the middle of the funnel, it means that you have captured their attention. 

They understand their problem needs to be solved and are looking to discover the right solution.

The content in the middle of the funnel needs to nurture the relationship and build trust between the lead and your brand. 

It can also help to identify which customers may not be the right fit for your business, which can save you time further down the line.

The marketing channels used in your engagement stage may include;

  • Email Marketing
  • Retargeting/Remarketing
  • Social Media

Whilst engaging with people in the middle of your funnel, you need to also consider those at the bottom. 

Although these prospects are closer to making a final decision, they’re still not quite over the line yet. 

A well-timed offer or the right piece of content at this stage can make a dramatic difference to your conversion success rate. 

Marketing channels for delighting customers 

Creating a long-lasting relationship, that goes beyond a sale, can lead to a higher customer lifetime value.

This is why marketing shouldn’t stop when a prospect converts into a customer.

At this stage, you’re looking to go above and beyond customer expectations to provide a positive experience.

The marketing channels used in your delight stage may include;

  • Email Marketing
  • Remarketing campaigns
  • Loyalty Programs

Creating a marketing funnel that’s right for you

No two businesses are alike which is why your marketing funnel needs to be designed around your business and your customers.

Therefore, you must understand the buyer’s journey, identify their pains, problems and influencing factors, to create content that helps them on their journey along the decision-making process.

Once you understand your buyer personas and what channels will work best for your business, you can start creating tailored content that converts!

Marketing Agency in Essex, that delivers results.

Having a great strategy in place to attract, engage and delight is the foundation of a successful marketing campaign.

If you’re looking to increase brand awareness and generate a consistent stream of leads and sales, then speak to a member of our marketing team today to find out how we can put together a marketing strategy that delivers.

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