Your marketing strategy won’t be effective if you, as a marketer, won’t be able to visualize things concretely. Thus, it is important to have a framework that will give you better insights into the different marketing journey stages and customers.
Building a marketing funnel will help you visualize your strategies clearly and help you build an effective campaign. But what is a marketing funnel, and why should you care about this?
Let us establish a basic understanding of the marketing funnel and see how we could use this for our business.
So, what is the marketing funnel in digital marketing?
In simple terms, the marketing funnel is a structure businesses utilize to turn strangers into loyal customers. It is a visualization of the entire process of the customers’ journey from the onset of knowing the business to finally making a purchase.
The marketing funnel framework is based on the idea that the number of people a business attracts is larger than the percentage of those who will truly show interest and become leads, then, eventually, a customer.
Like a funnel, digital marketers cast a wide net to capture as many leads as possible and then nurture them in every stage of the journey through the purchasing decision.
Let us understand further the stages of the marketing funnel.
What does a marketing funnel look like, how does it work, and what are the steps of every journey?
There are numerous versions of the marketing funnels. The best way to visualize the entire process of the journey is by using the simple marketing funnel model that only consists of three stages: the Tofu, the Mofu, and the Bofu.
Let’s take a deeper look at the three basic stages of the marketing funnel by defining them one by one and understanding the touchpoints in every stage.
Let us walk through the marketing funnel.
Not sure if you have heard of the food made of condensed soy milk pressed together into solid white blocks. It is called Tofu. But we are not talking about that kind of Tofu, though.
Tofu (Top of Funnel) is the upper portion of the marketing funnel. It is basically the first stage and the wider portion of the funnel.
The top of the marketing funnel is all about brand visibility, making the targeted audience aware of your business. This is the stage where you showcase authority in your industry.
Brand awareness is the main focus of this stage. Prospects can be drawn into this stage through marketing campaigns. You can establish trust and thought leadership with events, trade shows, advertising, blog posts, infographics, and social media.
The main goal in this marketing stage is lead generation. Thus, information is collected to use in nurturing the leads down the funnel.
Mofu (Middle of Funnel) is where you position your company as the best provider of a product or service to suit the customer's needs. This stage may include targeted offers and content, such as podcasts, comparison charts, and webinars.
In the middle of the funnel, your job as a digital marketer is to provide enough value so that your website visitors are willing to learn more about your company so you could establish a relationship further with them.
Interest, consideration, and intent are the main focus in this stage of funnel marketing.
After the customers become aware of the brand, they move on to the interest stage to learn more about the company’s products or services. Marketers can nurture these prospects by sending out targeted emails.
The prospective customers can then be nurtured further by giving out free trials and product demos. This is the best part where marketers can make a strong disposition of why their company is the best choice.
The main goal in the middle of funnel marketing is to capture and nurture leads.
Bofu (Bottom of Funnel) is where you have already built enough trust with your prospective customers. This is the lower part of the funnel. You can view this as the pointed or the narrow portion of the funnel.
As a marketer, your job in this stage is to present your brand in a compelling way that attracts your prospects to take action, that it is the best solution to their problems.
The bottom of your funnel might look like a limited-time offer for your products or services. This is where you finally turn leads into real and loyal customers.
Evaluation and purchase are the main focus of this stage. You have to make sure prospects have enough information about the product beforehand, so they would have a strong urge to complete the transaction when it comes to a buying decision.
The main goal in this final stage is to turn leads into customers.
There has been an intense debate in the sales and marketing world on who really owns the funnel. Is it sales or marketing?
Typically, sales and marketing have different functions. Sales are more focused on generating revenues, while marketing is more focused on driving sales. However, these two go hand in hand together. Sales need a marketing strategy to get revenue. Marketing, on the other hand, is utilized to create more sales conversions.
As with the debate of which owns the funnel, well, they both could use the funnel strategy to generate revenue for the company.
The heaviest reason you should care about the marketing funnel is its importance in simplifying the customer journey. It makes the process easy to understand and visualize, allowing companies to map out each marketing campaign stage.
The marketing funnel is useful to almost any customer interaction, whether you’re looking for sales, generating traffic for your store, or collecting clicks as an affiliate marketer.
The marketing funnel is the best guide for companies when creating marketing campaigns and tracking the customers’ touchpoints at every stage. It is definitely a powerful way of walking the customer through brand awareness to establishing a connection to urging to complete the purchase.
With a thorough analysis, the marketing funnel lets you know what you have to do to influence customers at every stage. By evaluating your funnels starting from the top to the bottom, there’s a greater chance to drive bigger sales, more loyalty, and stronger brand awareness.
Understanding the marketing funnels deeply will help you build an effective marketing strategy for attracting the customers at the initial stage, influencing them to know your brand more, and convincing them to complete the purchase with you.