What is a Marketing Funnel?


Seth Godin once said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, it is about the stories you tell.” As a marketing professional, it is important to understand consumer behavior. Consumers have a repetitive pattern. If studied well, it becomes easy to understand their psychology, buying and selling habits. The study further helps marketers to target and aim higher with marketing campaigns.

Wondering what is a marketing funnel? A marketing funnel is the breakdown of consumer behavior. It is a theoretical form of customer journey when he/she falls under our list. The list is bifurcated as per a narrowing funnel as mentioned below:

marketing funnel

1. Awareness: At this stage, the audience data is analyzed thoroughly. The target audience is then made aware of the presence of your product, brand or services. The idea of reaching out to the audience at this stage is very sensitive and therefore the medium of communication must be chosen strategically. A few of them are listed below for a better understanding of how marketing communication works.

2. Interest:

Based on the response of how the audience has been reached and communicated, a fair pool of data is developed. These names actually reflect the number of people who have shown or hinted to have interested in the particular brand or the product or service that they are offering. These individuals are also at times considered as cold leads.

3. Desire: Individuals at this stage are already aware of the brand and their offering. They have shown interest and are willing to know more about the brand to be convinced to buy it. Desire in other words also resembles the idea of wanting to buy something along with the power to buy it. These individuals need an extra push to be converted into a sale.

4. Action: This stage occurs when a lead converts into a buyer. In other words, when a lead converts to sale making a profit for the business. At this stage, all the marketing efforts have become effective.

Be it a digital marketing campaign or traditional marketing campaign, when followed according to the marketing funnel, the results are bound to be good. The marketing funnel doesn’t only focus on filtering people; it also saves a lot of time. Without a marketing funnel in place, it would be as good as finding a needle in a haystack!

There is another side to the theory of marketing funnel. The marketing funnel doesn’t only help the marketer; it also in a way helps the consumer. Earlier, when an individual surfed online, they had to go through a ton load of things that were not of their interest. With advancement in data collection and retention, an individual now only goes through what he/she is interested in as the advertising algorithm features their interest based things on the topmost searches based on keywords. After all, a marketer thinks more about everyone’s benefit.

marketing funnel

When considering steps to a successful campaign, the above info graphic helps in understanding that how old and new leads can be worked on as per the funnel. While the purpose of directing an old lead may be for pure persuasion and sales, the new may need to undergo brand awareness.

As marketing professionals, we may follow a thousand other things like cold calling a list of 50k people. Or even send across bulk emails or messages. How do you know how many are genuinely interested? That is exactly where a marketing funnel helps. While implementing a campaign, make sure you follow the basics of theory along with the practical.

Along with marketing, comes the obvious of making mistakes. While all marketers may try to follow the marketing funnel, they tend to overlook these small mistakes which may cause them a lead:

1. Giving Too Many Choices: The idea of ‘If you can’t convince them, confuse them’ can sometimes backfire when it comes to leads. Giving them too many choices is as good as confusing them. They may end up being perplexed and may not buy a thing at the end.

2. Lack of Personalisation: Every individual has the need to feel special. Personalizing your content may give it a personal touch and turn your results better. Wondering how to make bulk emails and messages personalized? Well, automation is the answer. You may read more about ‘Why your strategy needs to combine AI with Marketing Automation?’ That explains about marketing automation.

3. Making the Audience Work: The audience doesn’t have much time and patience. They won’t make time to hear you out. You have to make things quick and precise to convince them. Be it emails, calls or messages, you just have 5 seconds to hook them to your offer.

In simple ways, the journey of your audience from being a visitor to turning into a customer is mapped by the marketing funnel. The ideal way to map the success of a campaign or marketing effort over the marketing funnel is to gauge how high this conversion number is. The greater the converted number (visitor to a customer), the higher the business returns.