Creating Sustainable Marketing (And Business) Results!
You’ve probably seen the marketing funnel many times, but did you know that it can be used as a framework for a marketing program that creates sustainable results? Creating a strategy linked to the marketing funnel generates a constant flow of prospects and buyers at each stage of the process, increases the sales rate, shortens the sales cycle, reduces uneven sales, and assists with cash flow issues. What marketing goals and activities will help move the customer at each stage of the process?
Awareness campaigns address the top of the funnel and answer the question “What do you offer?” for the marketplace. These campaigns draw the attention of anyone who may have an immediate need for your products and those who are shopping for anticipated needs. Awareness campaigns attract the market and create prospects, but they do little to move anyone further along in the process.
After you have developed awareness, it’s time to educate prospects about the benefits of your products and build an affinity for your company, using customer- and market-centric messaging and contacts that stress the value of your offerings to that specific buyer type. At this stage you’ll want to focus on answering the question: “What will your product/service do for me?” Once you can show prospects the value of your product or service, you will convert them into leads.
Leads are prospects who have told you enough about themselves to allow you to predict what they will need and when they will need it. Once you have developed the leads, your messages should communicate value, differentiate your offerings, generate enthusiasm and create a sense of urgency. If you are successful at this stage of the process you will convert the leads to customers.
Customers who have a positive experience before and during the buying process will walk away with a favorable impression of your company. If the experience is positive enough, you will have created Brand Promoters: Buyers that will happily tell others about your company if asked. So the goal at this stage is to delight your buyers, and your marketing should be more experience focused.
The capstone of a great marketing program is converting promoters to brand advocates. These are the buyers who are so inspired by their experience that they will tell everyone they know about it and encourage others to buy from you as well. Reward and loyalty programs are a great way to encourage this transformation. This would also be a great time to ask for testimonials, which will give you insights into how well your marketing program is working from the buyer’s perspective in addition to some great reviews.
Sustainable marketing – and business – results can be achieved by creating a cohesive marketing program that leads prospects through each of the 5 key stages of customer development in the journey from awareness to (brand) advocacy.
Would you like more information on how to connect your marketing strategy to the marketing funnel? Contact us today!