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Marketing Funnel Analysis
The first step in creating content for online marketing is understanding the various stages or ‘funnels’ that customers are likely to go through, starting with attractors, followed by decision-makers and then converting the latter into buyers. These stages represent the various channels (i.e. sites or apps) along which you may promote your product or service.
Let’s take a look at how these stages work in practice.
The attractor is essentially the person, family or department in a company that attracts new customers or users. This might be the product manager, the CEO, a marketing director, a sales rep, or whosoever the ‘hero’ in your organization is responsible for attracting new customers. For example, the CEO of an e-commerce company might be the attractor.
The role of the attractor is to identify the various platforms (i.e. social media channels or websites) that your target audience uses to consume content. Once you know which platforms they’re on, you can determine which ones to focus your attention on.
The Decision Maker
The decision maker is someone who must make a choice, give a commitment or move from the undecided state. Depending on the context, a marketing manager, sales manager, product manager, or the CEO might be a decision maker.
As the name would suggest, the role of the decision maker is to decide which online marketing channel to focus your efforts on. Perhaps the most common type of decision maker is the individual purchaser or customer. For example, if you’re selling shoes, the decision maker in the process might be a person who is interested in shoes.
The key task of the decision maker is to evaluate the different options (i.e. marketing channels) and choose one that is most suitable for the organization (i.e. identifies with the highest efficiency).
The conveyor is responsible for transferring information to other people or stages in the process. In the online marketing context, the conveyor would be someone like a content marketer, web strategist or SEO specialist who specializes in transferring information to potential customers.
A content strategist, for example, might be responsible for creating the initial copy for your website, social media posts or ads. The content strategist might also be responsible for taking that original content and implementing it into various online marketing channels (i.e. blogs, websites, and social media platforms).
SEO specialists might work with you to conduct keyword research, and analyze the competition’s websites in order to determine the marketing channels that you should be focusing on.
The buyer is the person, company or department responsible for actually making the purchase. In the context of online marketing, this is often a person who visits a retail website and makes a purchase, or a person who clicks on an ad and makes a purchase. Depending on how you want to sell your product or service, you may need to focus on one or both of these groups.
As the last stage in the funnel, the buyer represents your target audience – the people who are going to purchase your product or service.
Beyond Online Marketing
In addition to the marketing stages described above, you should also consider other areas of online influence that might be applicable to your organization. These include but are not limited to – sales, commerce, and community.
Depending on your role, you might be responsible for generating leads for the sales department. Perhaps you’re already doing this, and just need someone to help you analyze the data. The same goes for marketing and commerce. You might be responsible for managing online reviews, or helping to drive sales via affiliate marketing. You might also be working with the community to get the word out about a local event or fundraiser. These are just some of the areas that you might be able to take initiative in.
To summarize, the marketing funnel describes the various stages or ‘funnels’ that customers go through from first contact with your brand, to eventually making a purchase. These stages or ‘funnels’ represent the various online channels (i.e. sites or apps) along which you may promote your product or service.
Getting to that point, however, takes a considerable amount of effort. In order to make the most out of your online marketing dollars, you need a plan – a strategy designed to bring in new customers and retain the ones you already have.