Marketing Funnel – Series Recap

Over the course of the last eight weeks, we have featured a series of blog posts dedicated to breaking down the marketing funnel, and describing each stage in full. For those that happened to miss any or all of those posts, we’ve organized them all neatly below:

  1. Marketing Funnel Overview
  2. The Target Market
  3. Awareness
  4. Interest
  5. Evaluation
  6. Commitment
  7. Purchase
  8. Loyalty

Stay tuned next week for the start of a brand new series.

Zach Heller Marketing Week in Review

If a prospective customer were to come up to you on the street and say, “I have to run to a meeting, but real quick, can you tell me why I should buy from your company”, what would you say? As a marketer or small business owner, this should be your bread and butter. The unique value proposition tells people in as few words as possible why they should choose your brand or your product. It’s the quick who-what-why answer that sets you apart from all your competitors. Define it, practice it, master it.

Here are last week’s posts:

  1. Marketing Funnel – Part 7
  2. The Fine Line Between Annoying and Effective
  3. Are You Solving for the Needs of Mobile Users?

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Are You Solving for the Needs of Mobile Users?

In 2017 we should recognize the fact that mobile users and desktop users are not the same. According to data from eMarketer, in 2016 in the US, less than 19 million people accessed the internet only from desktops or laptops. That’s just 7% of internet users overall.

Another 31 million accessed the internet with a smartphone only. The remaining 215 million use both.

That means over 80% of internet users are “multidevice” users. They access the internet with their phones, tablets, and personal computers. They access the internet at home, at work, and on the go.

The time has come and gone for companies to recognize this shift in consumer behavior. It’s no longer enough to have mobile optimized website. Companies now must design not just for the device a person is using, but their needs at a given time on that device.

It is your job to understand your users. When they access your website or app on a mobile device, are they trying to accomplish the same thing as when they access your site on a desktop? Chances are, the answer is no. When someone engages with your company on mobile their expectation is different because their needs are different. The key is understand those needs so you can design experiences that solve for them.

One example from personal experience:

I fly with JetBlue and get a great deal of use out of their mobile app. But when I book my flights, most often it’s with a desktop or laptop at home or at work. JetBlue knows that even though I am one person, my needs are different when I engage on different devices. The experiences are crafted with that knowledge in mind.

Obviously this is a very specific example, but it goes toward illustrating the larger point. If you are not solving for the specific needs of the mobile user, you are likely to lose them. And in a time when more than 50% of internet traffic in the US comes from mobile devices, your business cannot afford to lose them anymore.

The Fine Line Between Annoying and Effective

Frequency. As in, what is the right frequency for my marketing communications? It’s one of the most common questions asked by marketers and small business owners looking to grow their sales. And for good reason.

There is a fine line between annoying and effective.

Effective frequencies increase the rate of sales by connecting with more people and converting them with your messaging. Annoying frequencies turn people off by messaging that is too frequent, causing them to unsubscribe, block, report spam, and otherwise damage your reputation.

The problem is, there is no sure way to know where the line between the two is.

The solution: test!

If your question is, can I contact people more frequently and will it lead to more sales, try it. Start with one additional message. If you are contacting them once a month, try twice. Measure sales compared to before and make a judgment. If that works, try three.

If your question is, am I contacting people too much and turning them off, try pulling back. Again, start with one message. If you are contacting them once a week, try once every other week instead. Measure sales and complaints and make a judgment.

The key point is that for every business and every offer this point at which you are messaging your prospective customers too frequently is different. In order to know for sure, the only thing you can do is test it out for yourself. And you should.

Marketing Funnel – Part 7

The marketing funnel - sometimes called the sales funnel, the purchase funnel, or the buyer’s journey, - is a fundamental concept in marketing for understanding the step by step process that consumers go through to make a purchasing decision.

Each week we will focus on one segment of the funnel and go into more detail. Last week we introduced the purchase stage.

This week’s segment: Loyalty

An older version of the marketing funnel, that many companies still wrongly use today, would have ended with last week’s “purchase stage” explanation. But the modern marketer’s job does not end when a customer makes a purchase. We want that customer to be satisfied, and we want that satisfaction to translate into future sales.

Loyalty is the new end of the funnel. And one could argue the start of a brand new funnel specifically designed to sell to existing customers.

To effectively take someone from the first sale to the second one, you have to make sure a couple of things happen on a consistent basis:

  1. They get the promised value out of using your product
  2. Any interaction with customer service or sales is pleasant
  3. You stay in touch with them

Happy customers come back for more. They refer their friends. They leave positive reviews online and help your company’s reputation. Unhappy customers flee for your competitors and leave negative reviews online for all to see.

To improve customer happiness, marketing can conduct customer surveys, create an online community, offer incentives for frequent shoppers, and actively work with customer service teams to improve customer relations.

So ends the seven part series on the different stages of the marketing funnel. Did you miss any? Look back here.