If there’s one thing we can’t stress enough, it’s the value of goals. We’re huge advocates of goal setting because it helps you figure out how to prioritize your time, where to invest your resources, and even what marketing tactics to use.
Once you’ve defined your business’ goalsyou can take a step back and break down short-term marketing objectives to get you to where you need to go.
In marketing, everything you do should be tied to an objective. If you don’t know why you’re doing something, what’s the point of doing it at all? Even if you’re just experimenting with something new, knowing your objective will tell you whether you’re being successful or not.
Goals give you purpose. Objectives make things measurable.
So how do you figure out what objectives to focus on? It’s all about nailing the fundamentals!
In this blog, you’ll learn how to prioritize objectives and focus your marketing tactics in the right direction by strategically using the marketing funnel. Whether you’re new to marketing, looking for a refresher, or an experienced business owner feeling stuck with your existing marketing strategy, we hope you’ll learn something new.
If you’re already a fan of funnels, skip ahead to learn how to apply it to your business. If you’ve avoided learning about the marketing funnel before, stick with us. Understanding the marketing funnel doesn’t have to be as intimidating. In fact it’s empowering and it might be one of the best things you will ever learn to master.
So what exactly is the marketing funnel?
Simply put, the marketing funnel tells you at what stage your target audience is in the buyer’s journey, ie the path they need to take from discovering your brand to actually becoming your customer.
It involves 4 stages:
- Awareness: The phase of discovery, where your audience learns that your brand exists
- Education: The learning phase, where you teach your audience about the problem you’re solving, the value you’re offering and why it’s important
- Consideration: The phase of convincing, where you help your audience understand why they should choose you over competitors
- Conversion: The selling phase where your audience becomes paying customers
It’s called a funnel because you start at the top and work your way down and because with each step, your audience will get smaller, meaning you have to start with a much larger number of people at the awareness stage than in the conversion stage.
This is useful because if you know how many sales you need to make to achieve your revenue goals, you can use the funnel to work backwards to figure out how many people you need to reach at the top of the funnel and work out the necessary budget . This will help you have the right expectations and give you so much more control!
Alright, now that we’ve covered what you need to know about the marketing funnel, let’s get to the fun part where you apply it to your business!
Most often when we ask clients about their objectives, they give one of two answers: sales or awareness. When we dig further, most of the time when companies say they want to build awareness, they really want sales. That’s perfectly natural but it’s important to be clear on this, so you can choose the right channels and tactics to achieve your objectives.
But how do you actually know where you’re at now?
Let’s look at a few scenarios:
You need to build your audience.
So you have something new that your target audience doesn’t know about yet. Welcome to the awareness stage! Maybe you’ve just launched your company, or maybe you’re promoting a new product, breaking into a new market, or rebranding to target a new audience. The objective here is to cast a wide net with your marketing in order to generate as many relevant leads as possible.
In this stage, a good strategy is to focus on campaigns that will have high reach. For example, an ecommerce brand may launch campaigns on social media and run ads to promote its new products. Video is an excellent tool because it offers high reach across platforms, but any high-quality content that drives engagement is a good approach.
Your audience needs to understand the value of what you do.
Perhaps you’ve made a few sales and you need to take it to the next level, or perhaps you’ve been around a long time but your growth has hit a plateau. These are both signs that you’re in what’s called the ‘middle of the funnel’ where you need to nurture your audience.
In the education phase, your objective is to give people the information they need to move from being aware that you exist to actually considering making a purchase. Your marketing should focus on sharing compelling information about your company and what makes your offer so great.
For example, a B2B company may want to begin hosting webinars, sharing blogs, or publishing thought leadership articles. These tactics don’t have to push for sales, they simply need to provide knowledge that helps people to better understand your company and the problem you solve.
You need to showcase what makes your product shine.
This brings us to the next phase, consideration, where you need to help people self-select as your ideal customers. Perhaps you’ve gained some traction or you’ve grown really quickly but you can’t seem to keep the momentum going.
Here is where storytelling becomes really important. If you haven’t laid the groundwork with strong brand positioning, this could be why your growth is stunted.
Your audience needs to understand why your company is a better choice than any other competitor, so a differentiated value proposition should be woven into everything you do. Highlight what you bring to the table, why it’s unique, and most importantly, how it solves your customers’ specific challenges.
Useful tactics in this stage include customer stories, case studies, team highlights, and any high-quality content that uses storytelling to demonstrate your value proposition. For example, a company might have employees participate in a video series explaining the impact of their work and how they help customers.
The key here is to use stories that will truly connect with your customers.
Your audience is primed and ready, you just need to figure out how to make the sale.
At last, it’s time to turn your audience into customers! By the time you reach the conversion phase, you have built a following of people who know who you are, what you do, and why they should choose your products. The challenge here is to figure out how to get people to say ‘yes’ and then establish an effective, repeatable process to grow your sales.
There are a few reasons why companies sometimes struggle at this stage. Your salespeople or your website could be part of the problem, or you could be attracting the wrong audience with your marketing. Sometimes things just don’t sell because you haven’t achieved product-market fit.
The first step is to make sure your sales process is working the way it should. If it is, see if you can identify what’s working. Once you know what works, it’s time to start spending more money on marketing in order to increase your volume of sales. This is when ads become really powerful, but you may find other tactics that work well for your business as well.
Now that you understand the marketing funnel and how to use it, it’s time to use it as a tool for your business.
Did you recognize your business in any of the scenarios above? If so, start there! If you’re still unsure where you should focus, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your target audience know who you are?
- If you asked your audience today what your company does, would they be able to explain it?
- Does your audience understand how your offering could solve their problems?
- Is your sales process working effectively?
These questions offer clues to help you figure out what you need to focus on first.
I hope this post has helped you understand your priorities, so that you can invest your resources more effectively. If you have any questions or you still need help figuring out what to focus on, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.
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Originally published on www.the-emms.com on 22 March, 2022.