Digital Marketing is much like the Backstreet Boys – seems like it just came in yesterday but seems like it’s been there forever. The risk with getting caught in that kind of a time warp is that you do not know what really is the ‘correct answer’ to many uncomfortable questions. Well, didn’t you almost start believing that Nick, Bryan et al sounded a tad better when re-listened to Larger Than Life in your car the other day? So if you were to ask the veterans in the field, you’ll realize that a digital marketing strategy is one of the most difficult things to pull off right now, given that you are always on test mode. The market is crowded, there are several tools available, and the audience is getting used to the tactics being employed daily.
That being said, one thing that stays true in the midst of this flux, is the concept of marketing funnel, which has been pretty shamelessly borrowed from the marketing thoughts of yesteryear. From the time early man started to sell carved rocks to the man from the other side, human beings have always attempted to measure a customer’s journey towards purchase, often represented in the form of a funnel. The quest to arriving at the right funnel has been a race for the Holy Grail. We’ve had countless number of experts throwing their hats in the ring with just iterative versions of a not so absolute truth. We have attempted to offer a simplified level of the process in this blog and let you understand how best it really fits in with your digital strategy. It really doesn’t matter if you still don’t like the Backstreet Boys, you can still enjoy this full frontal view of the Funnel.
Basically, it is a step-wise arrangement showing the stages a potential buyer goes through before finally becoming that loyal customer. If you may, a sojourn from window shopper to return customer. But, how does it work? Can you optimize the journey? Definitely! And that’s what we’re going to explain.
Several experts have contributed their dollar’s might to come up with funnels with steps ranging from 3 to 12, but in principle the oldest and time-tested AIDA model still forms the basis for any higher truth superstructure. Bottom line, this article explains in detail, the 4 basic stages involved and importantly what your strategies for each could be. Since we love perfume, even more than we do Backstreet Boys (we don’t really love them, it’s all purely convenient analogy), we have decided to add some fragrant notes into our exploration of the funnel.
This is arguably the most important part of the journey because if you fail at it, there is no reason to continue. Imagine a relay race at the Olympics where the anchor runner struggles to pass the baton, there’s no hope for finishing the race.
The same thing with the awareness for your brand. All things being equal, a potential buyer doesn’t know you. At least not well enough. It’s just like the first whiff of an unknown perfume you get when a sales rep sprays it around you. All you get is the first top notes and you’ve made a very early judgement call already. So as a marketer, the onus is on you to put your brand out there, create value which attracts your target audience, and get them to come in.
This can be achieved with the aid of consistent blog posts, webinars, videos, guides, and newsletters. While getting the word out, it is very important to track the appropriate metrics like the number of new visitors, the ratio of new visitors to existing customers, and how much time the customer spends.
How? Simple. When a potential buyer responds to your leads, such a buyer has a problem in need of a solution. Perhaps, you run a retail store which deals in clothing items. It is easy to see that the client is in need of wears. However, how does such buyer choose the appropriate clothing? Does the person want designer labels or low-end materials? How easy is it to navigate your website?
That’s retail clothing, but we were talking perfume, weren’t we? So you got the top notes, and that prompted you to check with the salesperson about the brand, because you know you are looking for one after all. And then came the second whiff, this time an authorized one, when you got the middle notes called the heart notes, named quite appropriately. You got a little more interested now.
Basically, there are ways by which you can help a buyer in Consideration or The Heart Note mode towards making a purchase. Provide educational resources- white papers, case studies, checklists, etc. Also, a detailed description, review, or guide will go a long way in facilitating the decision-making process. Amazon has a perfect formula for this, they give you a hint of similar products users checked recently. Pretty ingenious!
How do you track your progress? Check the growth of your followers on social media, email subscribers, blog or YouTube subscribers, etc.
After deciding to make the purchase, the next hardest task is to actually make the purchase. It might sound funny but it’s true. So you’re sold on the heart notes, and now you’re soaked up in the base notes, which is really a final external manifestation of your purchase decision, but not really taken it to the checkout counter. So, as marketer you should keep in mind that the customer who made it to this point really had intentions of buying. But then, intentions do not translate to sales, does it?
Continuing with the illustration of the potential buyer in need of clothes, how do you finally convince them to click ‘buy’? Provide testimonials, reviews, and genuine feedback on the products. If your business offers services and not goods, you might consider providing free trials or demos, free assessments, or free first-time consultations.
More so, free shipping and discounts, according to research, are enough to immediately convince your buyer.
“I made the sale!” “I’m a genius!!” Errr, not really. If your business is going to be profitable, you need to find a way to keep that buyer forever. Think of it, successful perfume brands such as Christian Dior, Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani or Calvin Klein never stop offering you the first whiff before you buy, nor a sampler after you do. Nor do the biggies like Apple, Amazon, Uber, GE etc. ever stop advertising. They don’t stop marketing, neither do they desist from sending out reminders or updates.
Why should you? We at Biztruss always advocate the need to not just make the customer feel special, but go the extra mile and delight her. Keep the conversation alive. Provide support or seller onboarding, offer second-time discounts or free shipping, send tutorials, surveys, etc. It also helps if your website or mobile platform is User-friendly, with several perks.
It’s a tad overwhelming, isn’t it? If it was ridiculously easy, everyone would be a successful digital marketer without even trying at all. But put in the work, read this article and all the rest of the wonderful ones you can find as often as you can. The sweet whiff of your latest perfume or the last 90’s record of the Backstreet Boys, could power up an awesome funnel for you.
So long then. We’ll be back with the next of our blogs from our famed virtual hot press shortly. Till then, stay funneled!
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