Before making a buying decision, customers usually go through some stages, referred to as a funnel in the marketing world. Customers do not just wake up and decide to buy a particular product or service. They have to think about it for some time. It is during this ‘thinking’ that they will unconsciously be going through stages or a funnel that will lead them to make a purchase.
A marketing funnel is basically a strategy that marketers use to track the journey of a prospective customer from being a stranger to being a client.
Stages of the Marketing Funnel Strategy:
A typical marketing funnel strategy has five stages:
- a) Awareness
- b) Consideration
- c) Conversion
- d) Loyalty
- e) Advocacy
Initially, a potential lead knows nothing about the existence of your product or service. The first goal of your marketing funnel should, therefore, be to make the customer aware of your products. The first impression matters, which makes this stage the most important.
The manner in which you try to make a total stranger aware of your brand is crucial to determining whether they will go through the funnel to the point of making a purchase. It is essential that you give the stranger the impression that you are an authority in your industry and ready to provide them with exactly what they need. This is where you build a foundation of trust and loyalty that will lead to a long-term relationship.
Focus on educating the potential customer by giving helpful information about your product and how it can change their lives rather than going straight to selling your product.
Getting the word out about your product in this digital era is quite easy. There are so many tools you can use to the extent that you may be spoiled for choice. These include social media, email marketing, blog content, advertising and word of mouth.
If the awareness bit goes successfully, the customer might consider buying your product or service. This does not mean that they are ready to make a purchase, but instead willing to learn more about your company and what it has to offer.
Do not rush in trying to get them to buy yet. Preferably, you can work on providing them with targeted content that will be able to answer all their questions regarding your products. Prove to the potential customer that you have a solution to their problem and are ready to deliver.
The point is to build a deeper relationship with your customer. Get to know them better, their needs and how you plan on satisfying those specific needs.
If you do it the right way, the customer’s interest in your product will be further ignited, and they will be on their way to purchasing in no time.
Now it is time to make the customer take out their credit cards. If you do a good job of convincing the customer why your product or service is exceptional, they will no doubt come to this stage. This is where you now actively talk about your product and why you believe it is something they cannot get from your competition.
Show them the benefits of your products and not merely the features. Convince them that what you have is precisely the thing they need to solve their problems and go ahead to prove it.
After making that first purchase, your relationship with the customer should not be terminated. You now work on building loyalty. Loyalty means that the customer will be more willing to purchase your subsequent products without you having to go through the entire sales funnel all over again.
Loyalty helps to retain the customer and build a long-term relationship. You do this by delighting them with helpful information, offers, discounts and promotions that will give them no reason to walk away.
Loyalty leads to advocacy. This means that the customer will be more than ready to recommend your product to other people. In this case, they stop being just customers and become marketing tools. They will themselves come back to use your products or services again and again and probably bring some new leads.
People that get recommendations from your current customers will be ready to purchase and won’t have to go through the stages of the marketing funnel.
That is basically what a marketing funnel strategy is all about: Identifying a total stranger who might be interested in your products and leading them to make a purchasing decision using the necessary marketing tools and expertise.