If there’s one thing we can’t stress enough, it’s the value of goals. We are strong 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 use.
Once you have defined your business’ goalsyou can take a step back and break down short-term marketing Goals to get you where you need to go.
In marketing, everything you do should be tied to a goal. If you don’t know Why you do something, what’s the point of doing it? Even if you’re just experimenting with something new, knowing your goal will tell you whether or not you’re succeeding.
Goals give you purpose. Goals make things measurable.
So how do you determine which goals to focus on? It’s about mastering the fundamentals!
In this blog, you will learn how to prioritize goals and steer 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 who feels stuck with your existing marketing strategy, we hope you learn something new.
If you’re already a fan of funnels, take the next step to learn how to apply it to your business. If you’ve ever avoided learning about the marketing funnel, stick with us. Understanding the marketing funnel doesn’t have to be so daunting. In fact, it’s empowering and possibly one of the best things you’ll ever learn to master.
So what exactly is the marketing funnel?
Simply put, the marketing funnel tells you what stage your target audience is at in the buyer’s journey—that is, the path they need to take to go from discovering your brand to becoming your client.
It has 4 steps:
- Sensitization: The discovery phase, 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 offer, and why it’s important
- Consideration: The conviction phase, where you help your audience understand why they should choose you over your competition
- Conversion: The sales 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 gets smaller, which means you need to start with more people at the sensitization only at the stage of conversion.
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 determine how many people you need to reach at the top of the funnel and budget for it. This will help you set the right expectations and give you a lot 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 customers about their goals, they give one of two answers: sales or awareness. When we dig deeper, most of the time when companies say they want to increase brand awareness, they really want sales. This is perfectly natural, but it’s important to be clear about this, so you can choose the right channels and tactics to achieve your goals.
But how do you really know where you are now?
Let’s look at some 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 just started your business, or maybe you’re promoting a new product, breaking into a new market, or changing brands to target a new audience. The goal here is to cast a wide net with your marketing to generate as many relevant leads as possible.
At this point, a good strategy is to focus on campaigns that will have great reach. For example, an e-commerce brand can run social media campaigns and run ads to promote its new products. Video is a great tool because it offers great reach across all platforms, but any high-quality content that drives engagement is a good approach.
Your audience needs to understand the value of what you do.
Maybe you’ve made a few sales and need to take it to the next level, or maybe you’ve been around a long time but your growth has plateaued. These are two signs that you are in what is known as the “middle of the funnel” where you need to nurture your audience.
In the education phase, your goal is to give people the information they need to go from knowing you exist to making a purchase. Your marketing should focus on sharing compelling information about your business and what makes your offer so interesting.
For example, a B2B company might want to start hosting webinars, sharing blogs, or publishing thought leadership articles. These tactics don’t have to drive sales, they just provide insight that helps people better understand your business and the problem you’re solving.
You need to show what makes your product shine.
This brings us to the next phase, reflection, where you need to help people self-select themselves as ideal customers. Maybe you’ve gained traction or grown really fast, but can’t seem to keep up the momentum.
This is where storytelling becomes really important. If you haven’t laid the groundwork for strong brand positioning, that could be why your growth is stunted.
Your audience needs to understand why your business is a better choice than any other competitor. A differentiated value proposition must therefore be integrated into everything you do. Highlight what you bring to the table, why it’s unique, and most importantly, how it solves your clients’ specific challenges.
Useful tactics at this stage include customer testimonials, case studies, team highlights, and any high-quality content that uses storytelling to demonstrate your value proposition. For example, a company can engage its employees in a series of videos explaining the impact of their work and how they help customers.
The key here is to use stories that will really connect with your customers.
Your audience is primed and ready, you just need to figure out how to make the sale.
It’s finally time to turn your audience into customers! By the time you reach the conversion stage, you’ve built an audience 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 and repeatable process to increase your sales.
There are several 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 as it should. If so, see if you can identify what works. Once you know what works, it’s time to start spending more money on marketing to increase your sales volume. This is when ads get really powerful, but you can also find other tactics that work well for your business.
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 above scenarios? If so, start there! If you still don’t know what to focus on, 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 to you?
- Does your audience understand how your offer could solve their problems?
- Is your sales process working efficiently?
These questions offer clues to help you determine what you need to focus on first.
I hope this article has helped you understand your priorities, so you can invest your resources more effectively. If you have questions or still need help figuring out what to focus on, you can contact me at [email protected] to schedule a consultation.
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Originally published on www.the-emms.com on March 22, 2022.