How to Build the Ultimate Marketing Funnel for Beginners?
Marketers and salespeople disagree over who owns the marketing funnel – from if it is still relevant to today’s consumer buying processes to whether it is still relevant.
Here, we’ll explain what you need to know about the marketing funnel and dive into recent changes and increasing challenges for marketers. It will compare the B2C and B2B uses of the funnel, dispel the hype surrounding the marketing vs. sales debate, suggest ways to generate more leads by flipping the funnel and examine nonlinear approaches to the funnel.
What is the marketing funnel?
It is a visual representation of the process of turning leads into customers, from the marketing (and sales) perspective. Typical marketing funnels involve casting a wide net to capture as many leads as possible, nurturing prospective customers during each stage of the decision-making process, and narrowing down these candidates as they proceed through each stage.
This marketing funnel would be ideally shaped like a cylinder, and all of your leads would convert customers. Although it isn’t a reality for most businesses, a marketer’s job is to convert as many prospects into customers as possible to make the funnel more cylinder-shaped.
It’s important to recognize that there isn’t a single agreed-upon version of the funnel; some have multiple stages while others have a few, with different names and actions taken by businesses and consumers in each stage. In the diagram below, we’ve done our best to pull out the most common and appropriate funnel stages, terms, and actions, so this information is helpful to as many marketers as possible.
Marketing funnel stages and conversions
As I take you through each stage of the funnel, you’ll have a full understanding of how it works.
Awareness: The awareness stage is the last stage of the marketing funnel. During this phase, prospective customers are drawn in through marketing campaigns and consumer research and discovery. A brand’s trust and understanding of leadership are established by events, ads, trade shows, content (blog posts, infographics, etc. ), webinars, direct mail, viral campaigns, social media, search engine optimization, media mentions, etc. All of these activities help to generate leads, which are then collected in a lead management system for nurturing further along the funnel.
Interest: Leads move to the interest stage once they have been generated and are informed about the company, its products, and any helpful information and research provided by the company. Here is an opportunity for brands to form a relationship with the people in their head database and introduce their positioning. Through email marketing, content targeted to different industries and brands, classes, newsletters, and other methods, marketers can nurture leads.
Consideration: At this point, leads have been converted into marketing qualified leads and are considered prospective customers. Through automated email marketing campaigns, marketers can provide prospects with more information about products and offers while nurturing them with targeted content, case studies, and free trials.
Intent: Prospects must demonstrate that they are interested in buying a brand’s product before they will reach the intent stage. An eCommerce website will place a product in the shopping cart if it has been added to a survey, buy modafinil from india after a demo of the product, or in a survey. Marketing professionals have the opportunity to turn this into a strong argument for why their product is the right choice for a buyer.
Evaluation: In the evaluation stage, clients make a final determination about whether or not to buy a brand’s product or services. In marketing and sales, marketing and sales collaborate to help buyers make purchasing decisions and convince them that their brand’s products are the best.
Purchase: You’re here! This is the last stage in the marketing funnel, where a prospect has decided to buy and turns into a customer. The sales department handles the purchase transaction here. The client positive experience can result in referrals, which help fuel the top of the marketing funnel, and the method begins again.
Do B2C and B2B marketing funnels differ?
Take a look at the modified diagram below to understand how the marketing funnel for B2C and B2B brands differs. It outlines B2C and B2B consumer actions and conversions in every stage of the funnel.
B2B and B2C marketing funnels differ in the following ways:
- In most B2C scenarios, a single consumer or just a small group of trusted advisors (usually friends and family) navigates the funnel, whereas in most B2B scenarios, multiple decision-makers are involved in the decision-making process. 5.4 people make up the average B2B buying group.
- Most B2C consumers are never directly contacted by a company representative, especially on eCommerce websites, while B2B consumers are typically contacted by a sales representative when they are at the bottom of the funnel.
The marketing funnel no longer makes sense, say some experts, since the buying process has become nonlinear.
Different stages of lead generation bring different leads into the funnel. Sometimes this happens because someone is referred to a brand and already knows they are interested in its product, so they jump in right away. The same can also occur if they have pursued their education and jump in based on interest or consideration.
As access to information has increased due to technological advances (meaning, the rise of the internet), customers are increasingly doing their research and depending on digital content to inform them about products. The CEB reports that 57% of B2B customers go through the funnel on their own before encountering a salesperson.
Marketing vs. Sales: Owning the funnel
The marketing and sales worlds are having a heated debate over who exactly owns the funnel.
According to one side, consumers become more reliant on digital content to inform their buying decisions, and marketers become more responsible for the funnel as they nurture prospects through the buying process. Please take a look at the diagram below for an explanation of how ownership of the funnel has changed over time.
On the other hand, some see the funnel as having a vertical split, with both sales and marketing taking control of the whole funnel. In their view, salespeople are increasingly becoming thought leaders in order to drive awareness through outbound outreach. During this process, sales and marketing work together to nurture leads and prospects from awareness to purchase.