How to Create an Effective Marketing Funnel

So you’ve got your team, product, funding, and business operations ready to go. What’s next? Making your sale(s) of course! While you can make those sales in your store, these days most products and services are sold online.

Now the accessibility and convenience of a website – or even a social media page – makes it very easy to sell your product online. Yet, the challenge is to make people aware of your brand and guide them to your point of sale. That’s where the “marketing funnel” comes into play.

In this article, we explain what the marketing funnel is, what its goal is, and how it works via a concrete example.

What is a marketing funnel?

A marketing funnel is the funnel through which potential customers – “suspects” – move once they are part of the target audience. In the marketing funnel , these potential customers receive messages that make them aware of their problem/shortcoming and the solutions available to them. With this awareness, “suspects” become “leads.”

The ultimate goal of a marketing funnel is to turn this awareness into a concrete need for a product or service. Once this need is created, “leads” become “prospects” and they move out of the marketing funnel into the sales funnel. In the sales funnel, prospects receive direct messages to convince them to make the actual purchase.

More about the sales funnel, you can read in our next article.

How do you create awareness in the marketing funnel?

In the marketing funnel, you focus your communication strictly on your target audience; about their problem(s) they have and the opportunities that they can capitalize upon. While you can nudge toward your solution, you don’t communicate about your product / service in your marketing funnel yet.

Messages about your product/service in the marketing funnel are counterproductive because they communicate sales talk before the target audience is even aware of their problem and their need for a solution. Accordingly, you come across as pushy and disingenuous, which causes your target audience to devalue your message. The result? You don’t raise awareness among your target audience, you devalue your brand objectivity, and you’ll probably never make a sale with these people.

So, in this phase, you communicate about the target audience and their problems, not about your product/service. In order to come across as objective in this phase, don’t send direct messages but rather pack your messages in elements such as:

  • Storytelling
  • Testimonials
  • Infographics
  • Evidence from scientists or experts

How does the AIDA model relate to the marketing funnel?

The AIDA model stands for Attention – Interest – Desire – Action. The first 2 elements, grabbing a target audience’s attention and sparking their interest are part of the marketing funnel. The latter 2, creating desire and stimulating action among the target audience, are covered in the sales funnel.

What is a good marketing funnel?

So, a good marketing funnel starts with a message that grabs the target audience’s attention and highlights their specific problem. Subsequently, the next message sparks interest by telling the target audience about possible solutions out there (so not your solution), hence creating a concrete need.

Marketing funnel example

Imagine a startup that sells functional foods for high achievers. These foods consist of bars in which tasty nutritious ingredients and supplements are combined in such a way that they generate specific effects. In this example, the effects are better focus and more energy.

Thus, the marketing funnel of this functional food startup consists of messages that clarify:

  • Why you need better focus and more energy as a high achiever
  • What the ways of getting this are
  • The advantages of having better focus and more energy
  • The dangers / drawbacks of a lack of focus or energy
  • What role functional food producers can play in this for high achievers and how you would be helped by them

Once potential customers have moved through this funnel, they will be aware of their need for better focus and more energy, and how functional foods provide them with a convenient solution.

From marketing funnel to sales funnel

The next step is to include these potential customers in the sales funnel by presenting your brand’s solution and making them a specific offer. Although these potential customers are nicely warmed up to receive an offer like yours, there’s still plenty that can go wrong at this stage.

So, do you want to learn about the sales funnel, and about how you make sure that you convert these prospects into returning customers? Read it all in our next article!