What attracted you to your spouse or partner? How long did it take before you were in a committed relationship? Now, think about your last marketing effort…How did you make your audience aware of your product or service? How long or what content did you provide them before you tried to make the sale? I want you to think about this as you read the following.
Back in the day we were so proud of our products that we would market our products primarily on technical specifications. Skipping many stages in the traditional marketing funnel and moving right to the question…”do you want to buy”?
What???!!! I equate this to just making eye contact with somebody, and they asked you if you want to go on a date, or worse yet if want to get married???!!! Hopefully, the latter has never happened. 🙂
But many times we do this exact thing when marketing to our customers. We go right to the question “Do you want to marry me?” without going through the dating process.
The relationship process is usually something like this.
- They seem interesting, funny, caring, etc
- They do care for me, they do so much for me, etc
- That was a fun date
- They are the best person I have ever met, they are a good match, we complement each other
- They asked me to marry me!
OK, I have really oversimplified the relationship process so don’t bash me too bad for that. BUT you get the point, a relationship goes through several stages and this happens over a period of time. Sound familiar?…the marketing funnel has a lot of similarities. Here is one example of the marketing funnel and the similarities with dating.
- Awareness – inspirational or broad appeal content such as customer stories, company history, projects, etc…
- Consideration – content to help with research such as product comparisons, configuration tools, expert advice, how-to’s
- Preference – factual content such as product details, specifications, product features
- Action – closing the sale such as online purchase, lead generation form
- Loyalty – “liking” the brand, following, subscribing
- Advocacy – user reviews, ratings
The similarities between moving down the relationship process and marketing funnel are quite shocking once you sit back and look at it. This is what we need to REMEMBER…next time you are planning your next marketing campaign…HAVE patience and take the time to create a digital relationship with the potential customer. In my marketing roles we use multiple pieces of content and multiple channels to move the potential customer through the marketing funnel. Many times I am asked
“Where does social media work best in the marketing funnel”? For us social media works best in the Awareness and Consideration stages and then we move them to other channels for the Preference and Action stages.
In the Awareness and Consideration stages, we are taking advantage of social media’s ability to reach a wide audience and feed the funnel. For us, other channels work better further down the funnel to give more specific and personalized content to the potential customer.
Social media can be used in so many ways and this is an example how it can be used in the marketing funnel. How do you use social media in the marketing funnel? What has worked best for you?…and how are your relationships going? Follow me on Twitter at @kevingespinosa and let me know.