If you’ve just started a new business or are struggling to get sales for your existing store, you may be missing a crucial step in the Customer Marketing Funnel!
All experienced marketers are able to make full use of the customer marketing funnel to craft a solid digital strategy to drive obscene amounts of sales.
It’s important to understand all of the maining driving factors that go through your prospects’ minds before trying to push for sales. This article will give you greater insight into the the Customer Marketing Funnel and show you how you can use it to generate more sales for your brand!
What Is The Customer Marketing Funnel?
The customer marketing funnel is simply a framework for which marketers use to classify the different stages that prospective customers fall under before and after the actual sale. Each stage is unique and often accompanied with differing strategies to engage customers. The marketing funnel also know as the customer decision journey or customer value funnel.
A strong understanding of the relationship and interactions between customers and your brand at different stages of the journey will go a long way in helping you to craft a complete marketing plan that works.
In fact your job as a digital marketer is in figuring out how to effectively move your customers through each phase of the marketing funnel n the quickest, most cost-effective way available to your business.
The Principle of Providing Value 👍
Some marketers assume that the word “funnel” simply means forcing people to complete the entire journey and reap the rewards. Well, it isn’t that simple. It’s called a funnel for a reason – because only a handful of people move on the next stage.
Thinking of customers as “sheep” to be hearded down the line is too simplistic, and quite frankly doesn’t work well. Great marketers all know that the key is thinking in terms of what your prospect wants (instead of what you want).
In order to move the customer to the next stage of the funnel, you need to provide them with real or perceived VALUE. If customers do not see any value in your business, then they will not be wiling to interact or transact with you, period.
A fierce obsession with simply promoting sales is unlikely to get you far in acquiring loyal customers for your business.
Stages of the Marketing Funnel
There are different variations of the marketing funnel that people may use to describe each one of the stages, some marketers have extra steps or completely different names for some of the steps.
The AIDA model is the most commonly used framework to describe the marketing funnel. It is an acronym that stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. In essence, this model describes the four stages that a prospect goes through before becoming a customer.
- Purpose: Creating awareness of your brand/product/service in the minds of your prospects
- Relationship Status: first contact
- Popular Channels: Social Media Advertising (PPC), Search Marketing (SEO + SEM), Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing
The very first step in the funnel is to first create a presence in the mind of your potential buyers. Customers can only come to you for a solution if they know that you exist, hence the importance of your brand reaching out to them. This is usually the first-touch point that your customer comes into contact with your brand so you want to make it count.
💡 First impressions are really important.
Your brand positioning and message counts a lot in the Awareness stage. Try to stand out from competitors and offer a fresh voice or perspective to capture the attention of viewers in whichever marketing channels you use!
- Purpose: To nurture the prospect’s interest in your products/solutions
- Relationship Status: early stage, customer still doesn’t know whether to trust you
- Popular Channels: Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing
The interest stage is all about introducing your solution to prospects and developing trust. An effective strategy is to understand what questions your prospects are asking and craft your marketing angles to address these conerns/problems directly.
What issues does your product solve? How can it make your prospects’ lives better? Is your product something that they need or are really passionate about?
If your customers can relate to your marketing angles, you can effectively nurture their interest in the product and move them closer to a purchase.
- Purpose: To remove all doubt from the prospect’s mind
- Relationship Status: prospect is willing to invest time in your business by giving their contact
At the Desire stage, your customer may be really interested in your product but still have some questions or concerns that are stopping them from whipping out their credit cards.
It is said that a sale only happens when the prospect is 100% convinced of the product. Your objective should be to address all concerns that prospects have and eliminate doubt from their minds. Prospects may be worried about several factors including price, quality, shipping timings and effectiveness of the product.
Some ways that marketers use to develop trust online are:
- Displaying strong social proof
- Showcasing customer reviews
- Money back guarantees
- Have a FAQ section where people can find more information
- Using chatbots or easy support chats to answer customer queries
- Offering discounts for remarketing audiences
It is extremely important that you know what kind of concerns are stopping your customers from purchasing! Try to have them answered on your website or landing page so that it removes all objections from them clicking the purchase button.
- Purpose: To change the relationship status by getting customers to convert into a customer
- Relationship Status: Prospect turns into a customer
- Popular Channels: Website/ Landing Page
The Action stage is the point where your prospects perform desired actions like making a purchase on your website. This is known as a conversion.
Conversions do not have to be just sales, it could also refer to other marketing goals like subscribing to your email list or filling up a lead form.
If your business has successfully addressed all concerns on the prospect’s mind, they are now ready to escalate their commitment or investment with your company. This is where your Call-To-Action (CTA) prompts should kick in.
Marketers use strategies like large prominent CTAs time-sensitive offers, personalized remarketing ads, or even very cheap front-end offers to acquire customers.
💡 Don’t be afraid to promote your products!
I’ve seen business that do a really great job engaging customers through content marketing and social media, but they don’t promote enough! Remember that your products will provide value to your customers as well so don’t be afraid to add more Call-To-Actions.
- Purpose: To monetize your back end products & services for profit
- Relationship Status: Repeat customers
- Popular Channels: Social media, Email marketing & automation
Now that you have successfully acquired the customer, the journey doesn’t end there! It’s time to get down to monetizing your backend. The fact that you were able to acquire a customer means that you were able to establish a level of trust with customers.
Think of how you can engage your customers even after the sales process. Effective use of social media channels and email marketing campaigns to engage customers can work wonders to increase your Lifetime Customer Value (LTCV).
Consider promoting upsells, cross-sells and other relevant offers that may be higher in value but also provide greater better service to them.
Don’t be too pushy with your marketing though. Nobody likes to receive spammy emails asking them to buy every other day. You can also provide helpful content and resources that will help them solve their problems in real life. Remember the principle of providing value!
How to Apply The Customer Marketing Funnel
Depending on the type of business, some businesses may have a longer customer decision journey whilst others may find it much shorter. For instance, an eCommerce business selling cheap stationary online will likely be able to reach the Action stage faster than a business selling high-end enterprise software.
Ultimately, understanding the customer marketing funnel will allow you to creaft a comprehensive digital strategy that engages your customers along mutiple channels. If employed effectively, you’ll be able to advance your prospects along each stage quickly.
Prior research and customer analysis of your target market (i.e demographics, psychographics, which platforms they frequent, etc) will go far to identifying their needs and how to reach out to them.