How The Marketing Funnel Functions From Top To Bottom

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Converting members of the general public into customers who benefit from their products and services has long troubled businesses. Those who get it correctly succeed, and those who struggle to grow their customer base eventually fizzle out. The marketing funnel is a graphical representation of the customer acquisition process. Originally the AIDA system (attention, interest, desire, action), the marketing sales funnel has been expanded to better map the modern consumer’s decision-making process. Here’s how the marketing funnel works from top to bottom:

Why Is It A Funnel?

Think about fishermen using fishing nets to catch their dinner. They start by throwing a wide net and slowly but surely pull it closer and closer until the hole is small and a few fish have been caught inside. The marketing funnel is thus named because it tapers in – from a large first portion where leads are being trawled regardless of how qualified they are, to a small final section where only a few of these unqualified leads will convert into paying customers. So, at every level of the marketing funnel, the number of leads diminishes.

The 3 Stages Of The Marketing Funnel:

– Lead Generation

The first section of a marketing funnel is the AWARENESS portion, where leads are first identified and brought into the funnel. This is often achieved using marketing tools such as blog articles and other content, events, tradeshows, webinars, direct mails, social media, etc. The goal of the marketing funnel is to capture the attention of the lead or to make them aware of the brand as well as what it has to offer.

– Lead Nurture

The next two sections of the funnel are INTEREST and CONSIDERATION, and they both fall under the banner of lead nurturing. This is where leads that don’t fall off at the AWARENESS stage start to build an interest in the brand and products and begin considering a partnership with the business. Common tools used to move leads further along the funnel include product brochures, specials, case studies, free trials, and the like.

– Conversion

The last part of the funnel, and also the smallest, is the conversion phase. This part is comprised of the EVALUATION and PURCHASE stages. Here, leads have been qualified to the point where they are already sold on the product or service – they are just figuring out how they are going to procure it. At this stage, there is little the marketing team can do to aid the transaction. Once the lead is ready, they will transfer resources in exchange for the product or services, and the sale is complete.

The marketing funnel is – without a doubt – a fundamental marketing concept; one of many all professional marketers should be made aware of.

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