The marketing funnel is a visual representation of the process of converting leads into customers from a marketing and sales point of view. Marketers are like a funnel, they cast a wider net to gather as many leads as possible, and then they nurture prospective consumers through their purchasing decision. Finally, they narrow down candidates at each stage of the funnel.
The most important stage of the marketing funnel is awareness. Marketing strategy, campaigns, consumer research and discovery, bring many potential customers. Events, advertising, trade fairs, content blog posts, infographics, etc. , webinars, direct mail, viral campaigns, social media, search, media mentions, and other methods are used to build trust and leadership. Lead generation occurs here, where data and leads are gathered into a lead management system.
After leads are generated, they move to the interest stage, where they learn more about the company, products, services, core values, history and any other relevant information. Brands may take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen relationships with those in their lead database to establish their positioning.
Leads will be converted to marketing qualified leads which are potential customers. Marketers use automated email campaigns to deliver leads about products while continuing to nurture them with relevant content, case studies and free trials.
Leads must demonstrate that they are interested in purchasing a brand’s product to reach the intent stage. This can happen during a survey, after a product demonstration, or after a product is added to the cart. Marketers can use this chance to create a compelling argument for why their product is the best option for a buyer.
Buyers make a final decision about whether or not to buy a brand’s product or services during the evaluation stage. In most cases, marketing and sales collaborate closely to guide the customer through the decision-making process and persuade them that their brand’s product is the best option.
Leads become a customer. This is where the purchase transaction is handled by sales. A positive buyer experience can lead to referrals, which feed the top of the marketing funnel, and the cycle repeats itself.
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