Inevitably, when you’re launching a new product or brand, you’ll need to consider how to approach marketing and what channel will be most effective.
But beyond this first stage, your marketing funnel can and should grow and change with your business. So you need to be thinking about how to build a marketing funnel that is flexible, scalable, and able to adapt to changing market conditions.
The Three Pillars of Marketing Funnel
To begin with, you need to consider what is actually being sold and how a customer will progress through your funnel. This will help you determine the content you need to provide, the offer you should make, and the wording of your marketing messages. Your overarching goal should be to develop a process that will enable you to predictably reach your target audience, no matter what changes occur in the market.
The first stage of a customer’s journey through your marketing funnel will be interest, which is typically triggered by an online or offline marketing activity that is related to your product. For example, if you’re a real estate agency and you’ve been asked to list your house for sale, you may show your offering in a few different ways:
- On your social media channels
- As part of an email marketing campaign
- In a display ad on a big-name website like Google or Bing
- In a yellow page ad on a local phone book
- In a display ad on a specialized real estate website
- In a podcast interview with a prominent real estate agent
Each of these approaches may draw in and engage different groups of people. So, the key to your marketing funnel is to ensure that you’re not just appealing to one or two groups of customers, but you’re also engaging with the segment of the population that matters most to your business. You can also measure the success of your marketing efforts through tracking tools like Google Analytics and Hootsuite.
Next in your marketing funnel, you will want to consider your product. This is the thing you are marketing and, as the name would suggest, it will be the vehicle through which your customers engage with you. Generally, a product is some form of tangible item that can be purchased and exists in physical form. For example, if you’re a travel agent and you’re selling holiday packages to people in China, your product might be a luxury hotel room or a trip to the Beijing Opera.
To create effective luxury hotel rooms for sale in China, you’ll need to consider a number of factors. These include the size of your room, the location, the price, and whether you want a smoking or non-smoking room. You may also want to think about adding value through attractive amenities, a welcoming staff, or special deals for high-spend customers.
Whether you’ve decided on a luxury hotel room or you’re selling expensive apartments where a celebrity lives, your product has to have everything to do with what your customers are looking for. The easier you make it for them to find what they want, the more likely they are to stay engaged with you and your business. Your product should be easy to research, compare, and understand, even if you’re selling it to someone with no previous experience in buying a product like this.
The next stage of a customer’s journey through your marketing funnel will be consideration, which is typically followed by a decision to purchase. Your channel will be the means you use to get your product in front of a potential buyer. Channels can take many forms, from physical stores to blogs, and even online platforms like social media and email. So, it is essential to consider how your potential customers are going to progress through your marketing funnel and which channel is most effective to reach them.
Once you’ve established the type of person you’re trying to attract, you can begin to think about the platform you’ll use to get the word out. These are the types of devices your customers will use to access your content:
- Desktop computers
- Smart phones
- And, increasingly, the internet itself
- What’s more, some customers will only see your content on one of these platforms, while others may use a combination of devices to access and read your content. Remember: this is not a one-size-fits-all world!
Your choice of channel will depend on many factors, including your budget, your target audience, and how you plan to engage with them. When choosing a channel for marketing your product, you must consider which one will be most effective in getting your message across to your target audience. Once you’ve determined this, your choice of channel will be much easier to justify.
The last stage of a customer’s journey through your marketing funnel is often referred to as conversion or lead-to-deal and this is when a customer becomes a paying customer. This is typically followed by a series of further transactions and a longer commitment to your business. In most cases, this will result in a buying journey that lasts for several days or weeks and can be followed by an entirely new and separate set of products and services. So, it’s essential to consider how and when you’ll get customers to agree to a purchase. You’ll want to establish clear, measurable goals for your funnel at this stage and decide on what actions and incentives you’ll use to keep customers engaged in your business. What will your next step be? Will you send them a free sample of your product? Will you offer them a special discount? Will you bundle your product with others they have also purchased?
Once you’ve considered these factors, you’re well on your way to building an effective online marketing funnel. Remember to be consistent and to keep refining and reassessing your process as you go along. Above all, choose channels that you know will work for you and your product. And don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. After all, that’s how you came up with an idea for a new product in the first place!