Publication date: September 21, 2018

What is a marketing funnel and how do you use it?

Did you know that only 2% of the purchases are made at the first contact moment? This percentage is even only 10% at the fourth contact moment. On average, a customer needs between 5 and 8 contact moments before a purchase is made. These moments together form the customer journey and this journey is different for every customer. That is why it is very important to respond well to this with your communication, so that potential customers get the right information at the right time. The process towards a purchase is called the marketing and sales funnel.

Why do I need a funnel?
As mentioned in the introduction, a customer needs between 5 and 8 contact moments on average for a purchase. Annoying? On the contrary! It offers opportunities to brand your company and product or service in such a way that the customer can not miss you in any way.

Customer journey
The contact moments that lead to a purchase together form the customer journey. There are countless models written for this by marketing gurus and experts, but certainly the most used one is the AIDA model. This model contains the following phases:

Attention: the customer has a certain need, is aware of it and knows your product or service
Interest: the customer begins to show interest in your product
Desire: the customer has the need to buy your product
Action: the customer buys your product

Each stage of the model needs his own unique approach and messages. It does not make any sense to start communicating prices and packages, when the customer is not yet aware of your product and certainly does not have the need to buy it.

Time and effectiveness
A well-equipped funnel ensures an effective distribution between sales and marketing and saves you or your employees a lot of time. An automated funnel ensures that your website and communication provide a constant stream of leads 24 hours a day. The marketing department can focus on the communication within this funnel and the sales department can effectively spend its time by focusing on prospects that are in the last part of the customer journey and thus your funnel.

Advising and informing
Consciously or unconsciously, customers have the need to be informed and advised by experts when purchasing. They want to be helped to make sure they make the right choice. A sales and marketing funnel offers the opportunity to meet this need and at the same time put your company and product as the solution that the customer needs.

What is the difference between the marketing and sales funnel?

The funnel that we are talking about is often classified as a sales funnel. Strange, since most of this funnel consists of marketing, while sales comes around the corner only at the end. That is why we make a clear distinction between marketing and sales here.

Marketing funnel
In the marketing funnel you are busy attracting potential customers. You’re focusing on a broad audience and try to convince the customer that your company is the best choice for their needs. In this process it is of the utmost importance that your target audience gets as little 'red flags' as possible. That is why you only communicate about problems and opportunities that your target group has and do not yet speak about the solution that you can offer. If you do this, potential customers will start to doubt your motives and sincerity and thus trigger a 'red flag'.

Sales funnel
The sales funnel starts when the marketing funnel has done its job well. The customer is aware of his needs and now is the moment to talk about your product or solution and how it can help your customer.

Shift from sales to marketing
In recent years, the focus has shifted more and more from sales to marketing. Where sales were still responsible for about 60% of the funnel, this is now only about 20%. This is clearly visible in the image below.

How do I build an effective marketing and sales funnel?

Setting up a funnel starts with a thorough investigation of your potential customers, how you can reach them and can help with your product or service. Then it is important to determine which phases your customers go through and with which communication you can respond to them. Think carefully what you want to tell per phase and at which stage of the customer journey this fits in. Finally, it is very important to determine the turning point between marketing and sales; when does a lead become a prospect?

Happy to help!

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