What is the marketing funnel?
If you’ve spent any time learning about marketing, you’ve probably came across the term ‘marketing funnel’. But what exactly is a marketing funnel?
To put it simple, a marketing funnel describes your customer’s journey with you.
From the initial stage when someone learns about your business (TOF), to the point of conversion, the marketing funnel maps out each stage of the customer’s interaction with a business and brings visibility to every stage of connecting with a customer.
Marketing funnels simplify the customer journey and make it easier for companies to follow. The funnel helps marketing teams plan and measure efforts to attract, engage, and convert prospects through content and other marketing materials, like landing pages and ads. The greatest benefit of using marketing funnels is that it allows you to see where a business is losing their customers – whether that is at the top, middle, or bottom of the funnel – and how they can pivot their strategies to generate more sales.
What is the Top of Funnel? (TOF)
The top of the funnel refers to the first stage of the buyer’s journey. It is the part of the process where businesses will generate awareness and make new prospects aware of their products and services to generate leads that will hopefully, eventually, become customers.
This is a first impression – you need to sell yourself well enough so that the viewer becomes interested in your product or service and might even consider engaging with your business. Consumers move down the funnel from the top to the middle of the funnel at the point of engagement or interaction with the business.
Middle of the funnel (MOF)
At this point of the funnel, leads have already been generated and are ‘warm’. This is where the prospect is considering taking action and having intent to buy. They may have liked or commented on a post, or even followed the businesses social media page.
This is a crucial stage where a business needs to evaluate why the individual has not initiated checkout. The business needs to pinpoint what the problem is and provide a solution that will shift individuals from MOF to BOF. A business may provide customer testimonials or add a Q&A option to their site to answer any questions that people may have that is preventing them from checking out.
What happens at the Bottom of the Funnel? (BOF)
The ideal result for any business is to have all prospects reach the bottom of the funnel, this is where they are considered ‘hot’. People at this level may have added items to their cart, initiated checkout, perhaps even inputted their payment details – but they did not actually complete the purchase.
To tip prospects at the bottom of the funnel to complete their purchase, a business may resort to using email marketing by sending prospects a discount code via email to sway them to buy the product or service that they may have been showing interest in.
When we look at Facebook advertising or any paid advertising, we still rely heavily on this funnel approach. Ideally, we want customers to see the post, click on it, visit the landing page and purchase the product or service from the website. Knowing and understanding your customers will help make the transition from TOF to BOF a lot smoother and quicker.