Marketing Funnel: How it Works from Top to Bottom?
If you have been working as a Marketing Analyst, then you would have come across the term “Marketing Funnel”.
What are Marketing Funnels and why do they matter while making a marketing strategy?
Keep on reading to learn more about it in detail.
Marketing Funnel and its Benefits
Marketing Funnel is a useful tool that can help you to visualize the path your customers will take from first finding out about your brand and then converting.
Moreover, understanding marketing funnels provides a useful insight into why some consumers convert, and some don’t.
Keep on reading.
A Marketing Funnel is a visual representation of the steps your visitors will take while visiting your website.
Moreover, this is where they will find about your brand until they convert.
The most common type of marketing funnel is four steps: Attention, Intrest, Desire, and Action.
Attention A potential customer sees your ad, social media post, or hears about you from a friend.
Intrest Your Customers are of the view that you can solve the problem and want to learn more.
Desire After doing research, they will want to convert.
Action The prospect takes action, they will buy your item, schedule a demo, or take whatever action you want them to take.
Moreover, is action can vary and is based on customer and industry. Maybe you want them to make a purchase, sign up, or fill out the form.
When someone carries out the steps you want them to, it is Conversion. The visitors convert from browsing to take the action you want them to take.
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Example to understand Marketing Funnel
Let’s consider an example to understand the marketing funnel more clearly.
Think about the Amazon purchase funnel.
There are a number of steps involved a visitor has to take to go through before they can make a purchase.
These steps are:
- visiting Amazon.com
- viewing the product
- deciding to add a product or products to the cart
- completing the purchase
However, there are some additional steps or actions they might have to take in between each of these steps.
But they often do not matter in the marketing funnel unless they contribute to the final action.
For instance, while visiting Amazon’s Careers page, you do not need to count those steps as they are not necessary.
What Makes it Different?
You might be thinking why is this set of steps to conversion is called a Funnel?
The answer is simple.
This is because at the beginning of the process there are a lot of people who will take the first step.
However, as they continue to go along, and take the next steps, some of them either drop out and hence, the size of the people thins narrower.
Even further along the process, your sales team may also get involved to help close the deal.
Losing customers might not be so good in the favor of your brand.
But the truth is, not everyone in your funnel is going to convert.
The top of the funnel is where everyone goes in i.e. visiting your site or viewing a marketing campaign.
While only the most interested buyers will move even further down the funnel.
Therefore, when you hear people say “widen the Funnel” you now know what they are referring it.
Thus, it helps to widen the funnel.
Thus, you can say that the more people are in the funnel, the wider it is.
Different Types of Funnel
As you know that we are focusing on the Marketing Funnels, which often start with some sort of marketing campaign.
The point is that the first step in the marketing funnel is some kind of campaign you are creating to promote or introduce your brand.
Some of the other types of funnel you might hear about are:
- sales funnel
- email funnel
- video marketing funnel
- lead magnet funnel
- Homepage funnel
- webinar funnels
Regardless of different names, these all track the same thing, the steps a prospect takes to conversion.
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Benefits of Marketing Funnel
In some words, the marketing funnel is the customer journey and makes it easy for companies or brands to follow.
Moreover, these solutions may out each stage of the client’s decision process and plan the steps they want or intend to make.
It is important to note that a marketing funnel applies to almost any customer interaction.
Whether you are looking for online sales, generating traffic for your brick-and-mortar store, or collecting clicks as an affiliate, you need a marketing funnel.
Therefore, the funnel is a powerful way to bring visibility to every stage of connecting with your potential customer.
One of the biggest benefits of marketing funnels is their measurability.
When your funnel shows where you are losing customers, you can take steps to pivot your strategy.
For example, if you are losing customers before they even get to the second stage, you need to create a better brand awareness campaign.
Understanding the Components of Marketing Funnel
After understanding the basic concept of the marketing funnel, let’s learn about its different components. However, it is important to note there is no single version of the funnel, some have many ‘stages’ while others have few.
Let’s understand the most common and relevant funnel stage, terms, and actions in the following section.
Keep on reading.
In this section, we will go through the funnel stage by stage so that you will have a full understanding of how it works.
For it, consider the diagram below:
Now, let’s discuss the stages:
Awareness is the uppermost stage of the Marketing Funnel.
Potential customers are drawn to this stage via marketing campaigns and consumer research and discovery.
Furthermore, you can also use search media mentions, webinars, direct mail, and more for this purpose.
Here, lead generation takes place, as your potential consumer collects information and then pulls the lead into a lead management system for nurturing further down the funnel.
After generating the leads, your potential customer will move on to the interest stage.
This is where they will learn more about your company or brand, its products, and any helpful research or information it provides.
Moreover, here is an opportunity for you to develop a relationship with people in its lead database and introduce its positioning.
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The next stage in the marketing funnel is a consideration.
At this stage, the leads change into marketing qualified leads and are potential or prospect customers.
Moreover, marketers in this stage can send prospect information about their products and offer through automated emails.
While also continuing to nurture them with targeted content, case studies, free trials, and much more.
In order to get to the intent stage, your prospects need to demonstrate that they are interested in buying your products or services.
Moreover, this can happen in a survey, after a product demo
Or when they place a product in a shopping cart on an e-commerce website.
This is an opportunity for marketers to make a strong case for why their product is the best choice for a buyer.
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In this stage of Evaluation, your buyers are making a final decision about whether or not to buy a product or service of your brand.
Often marketing and sales work together closely to nurture the decision-making process and convince the buyer that their product is the best choice.
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Finally!. Your customers are at the final stage f the marketing funnel.
This is the last stage where the prospect will make the decision to burn and turn them into a customer.
This is where sales take care of the purchase transaction.
A positive experience on the part of your buyer can lead to further referrals.
Moreover, these referrals help to fuel the top of the marketing funnel, and the process begins again.
Difference between the Marketing Funnel for B2C and B2B Brands
In order to help you better understand how the marketing funnel is different for B2C and B2B brands, hen a look at the following diagram.
This one outlines B2C and B2B consumer actions and conversions in each stage.
Key Differences between B2C and B2B Funnels
The key differences between the marketing funnel of B2B and B2C are as follows:
Most B2C consumers often navigate the funnel alone or with a small group of trusted advisors.
These trusted advisors are often friends and family.
While B2B consumers, typically have a larger-cross-departmental buyer group.
Moreover, the average B2B buyer group is 5.4 people.
It is important to note that B2C consumers may never directly interact with a company or brand representative, especially on e-commerce websites.
While on the other hand, B2B consumers often interact with sales representatives in the lower end of the funnel.
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Some experts are of the view that Marketing Funnel is no longer relevant.
This is because the buying process is no longer linear.
Moreover, leads tend to come into the marketing funnel at different stages.
In some cases, it happens because of the referrals and already knows what they want to buy from a company or brand.
Thus, they jump right in at the intent stage.
It might also happen as they already have pursued their own education and jump in at interest or consideration.
As the access to information is increasing due to technological advances, customers are increasingly doing their own research and depending on digital content to inform them about products or services.
According to CEB reports, B2B customers are transversing about 57% of the funnel on their own, even before encountering a sales rep.
On the other hand, one alternative to the marketing funnel is Consumer Decision Journey by McKinsey.
This employs a circular model to show how the buying process fuels itself and to highlight the pivots or touchpoints.
However, some experts doubt this approach,
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, brands may want to put the decision at the center of the journey, however, customers don’t.
Additionally, there is not a perfect model, thus, both the customer decision journey and the marketing funnel will continue to be used.
Therefore, they both are still relevant.
Marketing vs. Sales Funnel
One of the hot topics today happening in the market and sales world over who exactly owns the funnel.
One side is of the view that as consumers are becoming more dependant on digital content to inform their purchasing decisions, marketers are taking more responsibility for the funnel.
This is because they continue to nurture prospects through the purchasing process.
Consider the diagram below to see how marketing and sales ownership of the funnel is changing.
However, there are some experts who see the funnel as split vertically with both sales and marketing owning the full funnel.
Moreover, they are of the view that salespeople are increasingly becoming thought leaders to drive awareness by doing outbound outreach.
Therefore, in this situation, both marketing and sales work together to nurture leads and prospects from awareness to purchase.
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Marketing and Customer Experience: Flipping the Marketing Funnel
One of the increasingly common practices for marketing, sales, and customer services, and experience managers is to “flip the funnel”.
This creates a customer experience funnel.
Moreover, it helps to outline the process of turning customers into advocates or referrals.
In turn, it refuels the top of the marketing funnel by driving awareness and lead generation.
Consider the following diagram.
Additionally, if you have an external recommendation that is not connected to your brand or company can strongly influence prospects.
Therefore, you can work to develop certain communities to better support advocates, ask them to participate in case studies, or engage them around consumer-generated content on soil media.
You can also use Influencer Marketing for this purpose as well.
The ultimate goal for your brand or company is to increase the number and size of the purchases and drive more awareness and referrals to fuel the marketing funnel.
Understanding Customer Experience Funnel
Consider the following explanation for the Customer Experience Funnel.
Repeat After a customer makes a purchase, the next step for them is a repeat customer.
This means improving retention and nurturing customers to make more and bigger purchases than before.
Moreover, marketers continue bottom-of-the-funnel activities to encourage repeat actions by the consumer.
Loyalty At this stage, customers will develop a preference for your brand, begin to like the identity with it, and personalize products.
This is where engagement is the key and as marketers, you can help to nurture this personal connection to a brand through community development, engagement, and outreach.
Referral After a customer becomes loyal to your brand or company, they are more likely to provide business referrals and also recommend your products or services.
Advocacy The ultimate evolution for nurturing current customers is to turn them into advocates.
Evangelism is the form for writing product reviews, posting about products on social media, and more.
Moreover, this can help to drive more leads for your marketing funnel.
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Working of Google Analytics Marketing Funnel
Google Analytics offers funnels and you can easily use it to track the path prospects take before they convert.
In order to use it, you need to sing in.
Then head to admin > Goals > +New Goal > Choose a Goal to create a Google Analytics goal.
If you are just getting started with making funnels, Google Analytics is a great place to start.
Some of the things you will need to know while creating funnels in Google Analytics are:
- It is quite a Basic Funnel: If you do not want to dive deep into the data and optimize, you can go with this.
- You are unable to go Back and Retroactively View Data: Once you create the funnel, you will only be able to the funnel going forward as the data comes in.
Steps to USe Google Analytics for making Marketing Funnel
You will need to tie your goal to any funnel you create. After that choose the profile to which you want to add the sales funnel.
Then choose the Goals underneath the profile to add the sales funnel too.
Click create Goal and from here you will set the settings of the actual goal and sales to funnel.
In the next step fill in the goal and sales funnel details.
Fill out the destination, enter the URL of where you want the customer to end up or the last page in the sales funnel.
In case you want your customers to purchase the product, it would be Thank You or confirmation page or receipt page that your website will send them with payment information.
Next, you have to give Value.
Value assigns a value or monetary value to each conversion.
If you are selling a product that costs 7 dollars, then your value will be 7 dollars.
Then you will have the sales funnel and this is where you will set up navigation of the funnel.
At first, you want them to land on your home page, then navigate to a product, add that product to a cart, and go to the checkout.
You will enter the URL of each one of those pages into the screen/page form field.
Moreover, you can give them names on the left side, underneath the Name Column.
After completion, click create a goal and your sales funnel is set up.
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In this article, we have tried to cover every aspect of marketing funnels. To sum it all up, a funnel can help you trach steps that lead to a conversion.
Moreover, the funnel report shows you where potential customers are dropping off in the path to conversion, so you can optimize the conversion path and drive revenue.