This is simply the process of trying to get people through your marketing funnels to a point where they buy something or engage with you. The aim may be to get to a sale or it may be to get an appointment or some other form of engagement, such as signing up for a trial or completing a survey. We might use Google Ads to attract visitors and then convert by getting them to submit their details to start a dialogue with us. Then we would ask them to complete a short questionnaire, then armed with some relevant information to prepare for a meeting, we can meet, then we send a quote, then they invest. So we have a number of stages and conversion points during the process. Along the way we could lose people because they are not ready to invest or are overawed by the amount of work they will need to do or the amount of the investment required to do a good job, or the amount of time they personally need to commit to produce the required content. Much like having a filter, this helps us get the clients for whom we can definitely deliver value. They get to know us and evaluate us and see how little risk is involved. We would have goals or objectives along the way to help potential clients make small commitments as we go, that lead to a final decision. As you progress through the funnel you can add value or show how you would add value.

The marketing funnel is a visualization for understanding the process of turning leads into customers, as understood from a marketing (and sales) perspective. The idea is that, like a funnel, marketers cast a broad net to capture as many leads as possible, and then slowly nurture prospective customers through the purchasing decision, narrowing down these candidates in each stage of the funnel.


Most leads are not instant customers: They go through a process of researching, comparing and evaluating before agreeing to spend their money. This process is commonly called the purchase funnel or the sales funnel (whichever you prefer). Understanding the steps your leads go through will help you market properly so that you can convert as many of them into customers as possible. Here is a brief overview of what the sales funnel is and how it varies for B2B and B2C companies.
At such a point, work on making the potential customer feel confident in their decision to buy your product. Let’s take the previous example of a fitness center. Here, develop a case study showing a customer’s success story including before-and-after pictures along with testimonials. This can be related to either weight-loss or gaining substantial muscle-mass—whatever’s appropriate based on the client.

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Advocacy: Turning your customers into advocates is the ultimate evolution for nurturing current customers. Evangelism in the form of writing product reviews, posting about products on social media, and more can help drive more new leads for your marketing funnel. Having an external recommendation not connected to a brand can strongly influence prospects. Marketers can work to develop their communities to better support advocates, ask them to participate in case studies, or engage them around consumer-generated content on social media.
If we were comparing this point in the customer journey to a real-life human relationship, it’d be the honeymoon stage and beyond. Your new customer is excited to have a tool to solve the problem they’ve been struggling with, but after that excitement dies down, they want to know they can rely on you to help them get the most out of their purchase. If you don’t provide the support they need, they’ll abandon you for a business that can.

Your goal: Here, your goal is to show leads exactly how you can solve their specific problem and help them decide which product best meets their needs. While the consideration portion of the funnel focuses on proving your authority and ability, this one focuses on solving their problem in detail.If your product is software, free trials and demos allow leads to try before they buy to ensure a solution is practical. If you’re a service-based business, this is where a one-on-one consultation can prove you’re capable of solving a client’s unique problem. If you have a physical product, this is where social proof like detailed testimonials and case studies will persuade leads to click the “buy” button.
I mentioned earlier that the sales funnel goes beyond the first purchase. You don’t want customers to buy once and then forget about you. You want them to buy again and become long-term customers who are loyal to your brand. You want them to recommend you to other people – both online and offline – who might also be interested in what you have to offer.
Several debates have been revolving around the applicability of marketing funnels today, where the fashion of purchasing is no longer linear. Prospective customers might not enter the marketing funnel in the first stage itself – they might join in on different levels of the funnel. This would hold true if they are suggested to buy a particular product from a particular brand and a particular site and hence might step into the funnel towards its ultimate stages. They might also conduct researches elsewhere and derive their conclusions on their own, without any help from the B2C’s intervention. Hence several alternatives to the marketing funnel are coming up, such as McKinsey’s circular model.

Most leads are not instant customers: They go through a process of researching, comparing and evaluating before agreeing to spend their money. This process is commonly called the purchase funnel or the sales funnel (whichever you prefer). Understanding the steps your leads go through will help you market properly so that you can convert as many of them into customers as possible. Here is a brief overview of what the sales funnel is and how it varies for B2B and B2C companies.


That was an interesting article. I was looking on your page of scheduled webinars, and what about offering a webinar on segmenting your list? It seems that to use the marketing funnel idea you need to segment subscribers, so you’re not sending new subscribers something that should go to your “Advocates”. I’d love to see a webinar that really goes over how to use the funnel & segmenting together. Thanks.
In fact, more than 80 percent of people look for recommendations before purchasing a product, according to research by Business 2 Community. And Nielsen reports that 84% of people trust the recommendations of friends and family over marketing campaigns. That makes personal referrals the highest ranked source for trustworthiness when it comes to making a purchase.  

If you’re searching for further clarification on it, you’re not alone. In theory, the marketing funnel is straightforward: It’s the representation of your buyers’ journey from prospect to customer, combined with the tools and processes you use to gracefully guide them through. But in practice, constructing a marketing funnel is far more confusing. What do the building blocks of a successful one look like? What processes ensure the maximum number of leads become customers that stay loyal to your brand?

Facebook is particularly good at capturing these leads, thanks to its targeting options. You can narrow down on users based on their demographic info, interests, online behaviour and previous purchases. AdWords also has a role to play here, letting you target lower-intent searches like “how often should I audit my website?” and getting these users involved with your brand.

To do this, go back to your list of interactions, which are all assigned to the most relevant stage of the buying process. What you need now is a system capable of detecting these interactions and then assigning them to segmentation lists. This will allow you to target users on each list with campaigns relevant to their place along the buying journey.

In the loyalty stage, customers start to develop a preference for your brand or company. They do not make repeat purchases anymore because you remind them of it, but because they genuinely like your product. Customer loyalty is therefore far more favorable than repeat purchasing. Loyalty means customers are hanging in there even when there may be some problems or negative rumours about your company. In order to create loyalty, your customers need to see the relationship between you and them as more than just a transactional relationship: connecting with your customers on a personal level is therefore crucial. Strong engagement, personalization, loyalty programs, community development, social identity and the sharing of values can help with that.
Alright, at this point in the funnel you’re going to be working with fewer leads than you started with. But that’s ok! Because those that are still with you are a higher quality lead, and are more interested in what you have to offer. They’ve also taken some form of action or micro-commitment and are a lot more open to what you have to offer next. It’s at this stage that you want to begin the follow-up process and really bring the value. Continue to nurture your leads by providing more valuable and helpful information but at the same time, don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. If you’ve done a good job at guiding them along their journey up until this point the next logical step should be your core offer, product, or service. When your “warm” lead buys and exchanges their money for your product or service they become “hot”.
The Marketing Funnel starts off with the Awareness stage (sometimes called Attention). The goal of this stage is to gain presence and to introduce your brand to potential customers: they need to know that you exist. You could either actively reach potential customers through marketing campaigns or help them discover you more easily with their own (online) search. Awareness can be created through advertising, trade shows, direct mail, social media campaigns et cetera. In order for customers to more easily find you online, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA) are advised.
There are many different versions of the Marketing Funnel. I tried to only use very distinctive phases of the customer journey without becoming too specific, in order for this funnel to be applicable for a multitude of industries and businesses. The reason why the Marketing Funnel is a funnel is because the wideness of the funnel at every stage represents the amount of people belonging to it. Since you are likely to loose some potential customers along the way, the funnel gets narrower towards the bottom. Finally it is important to mention that the colours chosen for this marketing funnel are deliberate. In the beginning, your relationship with potential customers are rather ‘cold’ and are therefore coloured blue. Once you get to know your customers, you want to ‘heat’ things up a bit and make your relationship stronger until you reach the advocacy stage (orange). Let’s go through each stage one by one.

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Intent: To get to the intent stage, prospects must demonstrate that they are interested in buying a brand’s product. This can happen in a survey, after a product demo, or when a product is placed in the shopping cart on an ecommerce website. This is an opportunity for marketers to make a strong case for why their product is the best choice for a buyer.

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