In the past years, the universe of Marketing has been in constant change. The AIDA model (Awareness -Interest – Desire -Action), although still in use, has been adapted to the changes in the marketplace. Especially, Digital Marketing.
In this context, Digital marketing funnel was born. This method expands the original by focusing on Brand Engagement, consumer education and embracing the non-linear way on how consumers shop online. It consists of 4 stages: attract, nurture, convert and delight. However, to cover every possible variable, it expanded to 10 steps. The first six take place before the point of sale, and the last four occur after.
Let’s go through each step:
1. Engagement: This first step seeks to achieve “Brand awareness”, that is, to publicize the brand. Currently, this is achieved almost exclusively online through social networks. (Facebook-Twitter-You tube-LinkedIn). The goal is to reach a large number of people and start attracting potential customers from the masses.
2. Education: The discovery stage that started with engagement, continues with educating customers about our brand. This includes identifying consumers’ problems and providing insight to help solve them.
3. Research: The process continues with the period of investigation by the consumer. They are looking to understand why they should choose a particular company. The goal is not to overwhelm them with offers, but to provide them with the information they need about our company.
4. Evaluation: At this time a solution to the problem must be presented. The consumer at this stage is in search of the product that represents the best solution (better benefits – price difference).
5. Justification: Often, marketers succeed at convincing consumers that their solution is the best one for them, but still don’t make a sale due to consumers’ objections, obstacles or inertia. The justification stage is about finding ways to overcome these issues. They need reasons why they should buy it.
6. Purchase: This phase is where potential customers become consumers. The purchase stage is all about the sale; you must give support by assisting the consumer, providing them with all the information they need.
7. Adoption: Post-purchase is time to deliver on everything a company has promised its new customers. Here we include the importance of customer service and support.
8. Retention: Getting a potential client to become a customer is quite an achievement. However, we must focus on keeping them as satisfied consumers.
9. Expansion: Ideally, customers should not only be satisfied with their original purchases but also become repeat consumers. Marketing campaigns should be built around upselling customers higher-end products and cross-selling them complimentary products.
10. Advocacy: Satisfied customers can spread the word to a whole new universe of prospects, including their peers, colleagues, family, and friends.
When we talk about Marketing Funnel, we do not refer to a rigid model that applies to every case scenario. It’s up to marketing teams to understand their industry, products and target audiences — and then create the digital marketing strategy and funnel that best meets their needs in reaching their potential new customers.