What are the Stages of the Marketing Funnel?
Depending on your own interpretation, the marketing funnel can be anywhere between three and six stages. This funnel can mimic the sales process, but it can also be viewed by search marketers as a lead generation funnel as well.
Sales Process and the Marketing Funnel
During the awareness stage of the marketing funnel, marketers are attempting to capture as many impressions as possible. Think of this as “the importance of a first impression”. Whether you are posting a blog or creating a highly valuable solutions page, marketers must be aware of the importance of user experience and its effect on impressions when promoting their brand.
Advertisements, blog posts, and social media posts are only a select few examples of content that are utilized in the awareness stage of the marketing funnel. High-quality awareness campaigns can result in lead generation; however, the importance of this stage is the ability to generate further interest in the brand, product, or service.
Interest and Consideration
Once a user becomes aware of your product, brand, or service, a sense of interest is generated. This portion of the sales process is where they will dig deeper into who you are, what your company does, and learns more about the product or service.
Once the customer generates interest and has done their research, they will begin considering your product or service as a viable option. The customer is well aware of your product; however, they may decide to leave your website and begin other products or services as well.
The potential customer may begin reading reviews online, asking a friend for recommendations, or searching Google for other options. Here, they may weigh a variety of factors against each other:
- Quality of Reviews
- Types of Customers
- Industries Served
- Quality of Products
If they are more impressed with your product or service, they will most likely come back to your site and review their previous intention to potentially buy.
At this stage, the customer has weighed all options and has come to a clear conclusion that your product or service fits the need or fixes the problem that they may have. However, there may be a few things that hold the customer back, and that revolves around the experience that the customer has when checking out or filling out the form.
The content on the site and the user’s experience during this stage needs to be streamlined and easy, but it also needs to create a sense of confidence that the customer is making the correct decision.
For example, showcasing quotes from previous customers or a case study showing the success that another customer had can create this confidence that pushes them through the buying cycle. It’s important to create an experience that is both memorable and trustworthy.
Once this confidence is instilled in the customer, they are much more likely to go through the process of purchasing.
Once the purchase has been completed, how a company interacts with the customer can define whether or not they will become a loyal customer and an advocate. Taking a thoughtful and inviting approach to make them feel a part of the family can go a long way.
The more post-purchase support that you provide can help go a long way; however, the best way to generate loyalty is to create a great product or service.