The marketing funnel is a framework that describes the journey a customer goes through as they interact with a company's marketing efforts. It’s a visual representation of the whole process of turning leads into customers from the sales and marketing perspective. There are more than a few versions of the funnel but they do have a lot in common.
Understanding how the funnel works and the different stages of the customer journey would enable marketers to target campaigns to get and convert more leads. The funnel is typically divided into four main stages:
Awareness: This is the stage where the customer first becomes aware of the company and its products or services. Marketing efforts during this stage are focused on generating interest and reaching as many potential customers as possible.
At this stage, potential customers are targeted with campaigns that support their research and discovery. This is also the stage where marketers can capture leads which are pulled into a database and nurtured further down the funnel. Events, advertising, social media campaigns, and search optimization are examples of marketing tactics directed at promoting awareness.
Interest: Once a customer is aware of the company, they may enter the interest stage, where they learn more about the company and its offerings. Marketing efforts during this stage are focused on building a relationship with the customer and providing them with more information about the company and its products or services.
Desire: As the customer learns more about the company and its products or services, they may develop a desire to make a purchase. Marketing efforts during this stage are focused on building the customer's desire to buy and addressing any objections they may have.
This may also overlap with the Consideration and Evaluation stages illustrated in other versions of the funnel. At this stage, marketers can further drive the leads down the funnel with targeted content, free trials, case studies, and other types of content that tell the customer why the brand is the best choice. To nurture customer interest, marketers typically introduce positioning at this stage with the goal to develop a relationship with the customer. Leads captured in the awareness stage can be developed through tactics like email marketing targeted around the brand or industry.
Action: Finally, the customer takes action by making a purchase or engaging with the company in some other way. Marketing efforts during this stage are focused on making it as easy as possible for the customer to make a purchase and continuing to engage with the customer after the sale. You want to provide the most positive shopping experience possible to drive referrals and repeat customers.
It's important to note that customers may not always move through the funnel in a linear fashion and may revisit earlier stages at any point. It is a key tool for companies in identifying their target audience and then honing in on how to reach them.

Different Types of Marketing Funnels

There are several different types of marketing funnels, including the traditional AIDA funnel, the customer journey funnel, and the sales funnel. Each type of funnel is designed to take a customer through a different journey, depending on the marketing goals of the business. The AIDA funnel is designed to generate interest in a product or service, while the customer journey funnel is designed to guide a customer through the entire process of becoming a customer. The sales funnel is designed to guide a customer through the process of making a purchase.
AIDA Funnel: The AIDA funnel is a traditional model that is often used in advertising and marketing. It stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Its goal is to grab the attention of potential customers, then generate interest in a product or service, create a desire for that product or service, and finally prompt the customer to take some kind of action, such as making a purchase.
Customer Journey Funnel: The customer journey funnel is a more holistic approach that covers the entire process of becoming a customer. It includes stages such as awareness, consideration, and decision. The focus is on understanding how a customer interacts with a brand, and what steps need to be taken to guide them through the process of becoming a customer.
Sales Funnel: The sales funnel is a more specific model, its goal is to guide a customer through the process of making a purchase. Typically, it includes stages such as awareness, interest, evaluation, and purchase.

Why is the Marketing Funnel Important

The marketing funnel is important for several reasons:
1. It provides a clear and concise framework for understanding the customer journey: By breaking down the customer journey into distinct stages, the marketing funnel helps companies understand where their customers are in the buying process and what marketing efforts are most likely to be effective at each stage.
2. It helps companies identify and target their ideal customer: By understanding the different stages of the funnel, companies can identify their target audience and tailor their marketing efforts to reach them at the right time and in the right way.
3. It helps companies track and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts: By breaking the customer journey down into stages, the marketing funnel provides a way for companies to track how many customers are entering the funnel, how many are moving through to the next stage, and how many are making a purchase. This information can be used to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and make adjustments as needed.
4. It helps companies optimize their sales process: The marketing funnel also provides a way for companies to optimize their sales process and increase conversion rates. By understanding where customers are dropping out of the funnel, companies can take steps to address any issues and make the buying process as seamless and easy as possible.
5. Gives a holistic view : It helps companies look at the entire journey of the customer and come up with a holistic marketing strategy rather than just focusing on one touch point.
Overall, the marketing funnel is a powerful tool that can help companies understand their customers, target them effectively, and increase conversion rates.

PartnerForward Full-Funnel Approach

As a marketing agency, PartnerForward’s full-funnel approach to marketing begins with the goal to Attract interest and introduce your brand to shoppers. We promote customer awareness by initially working with our affiliates at the top of the funnel. This stage involves collaborating with influencers and media houses, targeting niche content.
We then help direct your customers to the middle of the funnel through efforts that Inform and Engage them and bring them closer to making a purchase. PartnerForward activates mid-funnel publishers including apps and deal sites for this purpose.
At the very bottom of the funnel, our team typically makes use of affiliates for retargeting and finally converting customers who may just need a little push to make a final decision. We offer coupons, loyalty benefits, and more similar offers to finally Convert interested customers into buyers.
To learn more about our full-funnel affiliate marketing strategy and to see how it can benefit your business, contact us today.