Getting Found by Customers: The Marketing Funnel Explained

Attracting people to your brand and walking them through learning about your product is what the marketing funnel is about.

Getting Found by Customers: The Marketing Funnel Explained

No matter what industry you operate in, your business can benefit from a marketing strategy that focuses on something known as the “marketing funnel.” Simply put, the marketing funnel is a tool that helps you visualize the process that the “typical” consumer takes as they move towards making a sale. This begins with a lead simply being made aware of your brand and continues ideally through the final purchase of your company’s goods or services.

By having a solid understanding of the various stages of the marketing funnel and how you can nurture leads at each stage, you can increase your conversions and grow your business. And of course, when you need help developing and implementing strategies that will help you at each step of the funnel, a professional marketing team is your best bet!

illistration of the marketing funnel
illistration of the marketing funnel

Why the Marketing Funnel Matters

While not every single customer or potential customer will move through the marketing funnel in the exact same way, using this model is a useful way to envision the various stages that many of your customers and leads will work through before they buy your product or service. By understanding each stage of the marketing funnel and what it entails, you can be empowered to more effectively market to your potential customers at each stage of the process.
The marketing funnel model can also be a useful tool for conversion optimization; by analyzing the success of your marketing campaigns at each stage of the funnel, you can identify what’s working to move leads along to the next step and what might need some refining.

Even if you end up working with a dedicated marketing team for this purpose, understanding the basics of the marketing funnel will benefit your business now and down the road.

A depiction of the six stages of the marketing funnel

The Stages of the Marketing Funnel

While a quick online search will yield many variations of the marketing funnel, the classic funnel consists of six stages. 

grand opening limited time only sign
1

Awareness

This is where your top-level lead generation takes place. Before a customer can become interested in your brand or make a purchase, they need to know you exist. In fact, they may not even be aware that that your products and services exist. Generally, at this stage, people have a need they want to meet, a problem they want to solve, or an interest they want to pursue.
Simply making people aware of your brand is one of the most challenging aspects of marketing your business, but some common marketing strategies to generate leads include:
grand opening limited time only sign
A piece of an email marketing content example
A piece of an email marketing content example
2

Interest

Once you’ve overcome the hurdle of getting your target customer to know your company exists, the next stage of the funnel is the interest stage; during this time, the leads you’ve generated in the awareness stage should be learning more about your company and what it has to offer. It is important to think of this stage as an opportunity to nurture those leads and hopefully move them even farther along the funnel. Nurturing is so important in this regard because studies have shown that about 96% of visitors to a company’s website are not actually ready to buy anything yet.
As you can probably imagine, marketing content at this stage tends to be a little more personalized and targeted. Some examples of lead-nurturing strategies that you may want to consider here include:
Free trial content
3

Consideration

Moving leads into the next stage of the funnel is a big deal because they’re now more likely to become customers. This is an excellent opportunity for your business to provide your prospective customers with some very specific and tailored information that will help them make their buying decision. However, it is important during this stage not to be pushy or overly salesy—which can be a difficult line for many business owners to tread.

Some marketing strategies you may want to explore at this stage are:
Free trial content
vintage lady with an image of a website.
vintage lady with an image of a website.
4

Intent

Getting leads to the intent stage of the marketing funnel means that they’re showing a serious intent to purchase your product or service. At this point, the lead has explicitly expressed interest in your brand by putting items into an online shopping cart, taking a survey, or subscribing to a product demonstration.

However, it’s important to realize that prospective buyers at this stage may also be interested in similar products/services from competing companies. The intent stage, then, is an important time for you and your marketing team to convince the lead that your brand’s products or services are the best out there.

Free template and how-to guide illustration
5

Evaluation

By the evaluation stage, your leads are making their last-minute considerations as to whether or not they’re going to purchase from you. For B2B or high dollar products and services, your sales team will be fully engaged by this stage to personally provide answers to any questions and concerns your leads may have. For consumer or low dollar products, your marketing needs to answer the questions and concerns that are critical to the sale. Your marketing and sales need to demonstrate to them (without being to pushy) that your brand is hands-down the best choice.
Free template and how-to guide illustration
online purchase concept with a store on a phone.
online purchase concept with a store on a phone.
6

Purchase

The purchase marks the final stage of the sales funnel and indicates a successful conversion from lead to paying customer. An enjoyable purchasing experience may even lead your customer to refer your business to friends and family, which can result in new leads making their way through the funnel once again!

Awareness and Interest: Your Key to Getting Found By Customers

Now that you have a better understanding of how the marketing funnel works as a whole, you may be wondering how you can use the marketing funnel’s principles to get discovered by potential customers. This is where the awareness and interest stages of the funnel really come into play. These lead-generation stages are where you’ll (hopefully) be coming into contact with the largest number of prospective customers, so your marketing at these stages should be relatively broad and encompassing.

Increasing Awareness of Your Brand

So, how do you get people to even become aware of your brand in the first place? This is an increasingly difficult task for businesses across all industries as competition runs high. Digital marketing strategies are synergistic and build momentum when used together. For example, improving the website increases the likelihood of purchases from the traffic that you’re buying via ads. A website visitor might follow a link to your social media page to consider if they connect with your brand before buying.

Audience research should make up a substantial portion of this stage, as your marketing will only be effective if you know who your target audience is. This stage is also an opportunity for your brand to establish itself as a trusted and reputable source of information within your industry, so publishing unique and authoritative blog/social media content can go a long way here. Viral campaigns and even direct mail can also be effective here, though your marketing team will be able to best advise which strategies will be best suited to your brand and audience.

Building Interest in Your Brand

Another important marketing-funnel stage as it relates to drawing in new customers and increasing business is the interest stage. Without the right marketing, this is where a lot of your prospective leads could “drop off,” never to be seen again. This is where lead nurturing becomes vital, and an experienced marketing team will be able to help you make the right decisions to help your leads go from simply being aware of your brand to having a genuine interest in your offerings.

Need Help Moving Your Leads Through the Funnel?

Looking at a diagram of the marketing funnel, the concept may seem simple enough. In reality, however, the marketing funnel is quite complex, and your leads will need to be interacted with differently at each stage. All of this requires an in-depth understanding of your target audience and their buying journey.
It’s also worth noting that the marketing funnel isn’t always an accurate representation of how the buying process happens, and many other models have been proposed that may (or may not) coincide with your buyer’s journey. All of this is to say that the lead generation and conversion process is nuanced and complicated no matter what industry your business is in—which is why having an experienced marking team you can turn to for help with your lead generation is always a good idea.
A marketing professional will have the tools, resources, and knowledge not only to identify your target audience, but to tailor marketing materials to that audience accordingly. From there, your brand will have more success in the initial stages of the marketing funnel (awareness and interest). By casting this wider net, you’ll have a better chance of generating quality leads that ultimately turn into sales for your business!

Mighty Good Marketing is a digital marketing agency located in Flowery Branch, GA and serving the metro-Atlanta area. Our marketing professionals know how to design a marketing funnel strategy that will attract and convert customers for your business.  Contact us today at 1-866-MIGHTY8 or fill out our form to schedule a free consultation

Why Choose Mighty Good Marketing?

Your business is unique; your marketing should promote the advantages of choosing your brand over others. We spend the time to learn what your company delivers and what makes your brand unique. Many other marketing companies deliver a one-size-fits-all marketing solution to a specific industry. They use the same messages for all their customers – customers that may, in fact, be your direct competitors. We deliver custom solutions for your business.