Marketing Funnels explained

Whether you’re a B2B, B2C or B2G business, a marketing funnel can help organise, simplify and monetise your marketing.

It’s function is to simplify and organise the process of turning unknown audiences into loyal, paying customers – and keep a handle on your marketing investments at every step of the way.

Types of funnels

A marketing funnel should be designed to fit the unique characteristics and behaviour of your specified target market; as well as the commercial objectives of your company.

However, there is a popular, generic structure that can be applied to most situations and that is the the generic ‘AIDA’ digital marketing sales funnel. It’s something that’s been around for many years.

The AIDA digital marketing funnel explained

So what is the AIDA marketing funnel?

Let’s look at each of its stages in turn:

  • Awareness phase

The top of the funnel represents your target market. The tactics you choose for this stage of the funnel are designed to generate maximum awareness of what you do.

What are the good tactics and tools for building awareness in the minds of your target audience?

PR, sponsorship and advertising are designed to reach mass audiences. Publicity activities can also draw attention to your brand.

  • Interest phase

Having heard about you, your brand, your product or your service from your awareness tactics, a proportion of your target market may be interested in find out more.

You therefore want to make sure you are doing whatever you can to direct people to your store or your website where they can find out what they want to know.

Direct marketing is a good tactic for this – but there are many other ways of stimulating interest in a manner that points your target market in the direction you want them to go.

These particular people may turn to your website or conduct some research to find out if what you do is relevant or desirable to them.

  • Decision phase

So your campaigning so far has driven people to your door. What now?

With people now engaged with who you are and what you do, you want to make sure you have everything in place to help them make up their minds that they should be doing business with you.

Engaging website content, informative brochures, well written copy, a rapid response from your sales team or an engaging video can all play a big part in holding onto your prospect’s focus – and encouraging them stay with you to the next stage.

If you own a physical store or business premises, then a friendly welcome, a well-designed space and knowledgeable staff will help potential customers come to a decision about you so you don’t miss out on an opportunity.

  • Action phase

Having got the customer this far into their buyer journey, you won’t want to them now.

However, customers or prospects may need some extra encouragement to commit to making a purchase, booking an appointment – or even downloading a brochure.

Clear call to actions, price incentives, a closing sales line and a seamless UX could all contribute to optimising outcomes and contributing to the profitability or growth you’re looking for.

How to design a marketing sales funnel

Although the AIDA model provides us with a fantastically logical framework, marketing funnels are often over simplified of seen as an automated, passive income machine.

In fact, for a marketing funnel to work well, it needs to be based on sound marketing insight knowledge – strategic as well as tactical. It also needs constant maintenance and optimisation.

When designing a marketing funnel, it’s fundamental that you have sufficient understanding of your ideal customers’ psychology and behaviour. After all, the first funnels were designed without a marketing automation platform or digital media channel in sight so it’s important not to forsake customer insight in favour of tools and technology.

You’re unlikely to be able to fix an ineffective marketing funnel by throwing more technology at it.

Contact the funnel engineers.

If you need some expert help when it comes to designing, engineering and maintaining your marketing funnel, then get in touch with us today.