What is a Marketing Funnel?

A Modern Approach to Marketing Sales Funnels – Part 1

What is a Marketing Funnel?

A Modern Approach to Marketing Sales Funnels – Part 1

A marketing funnel is a model to visualize the buyer’s journey, or the path a prospect takes from first introduction to conversion and repeat business. There are endless variations of this model, but the underlying principle to all of them is to guide potential customers from the point of browsing to the point of final sale and brand loyalty. The tactics that will properly engage a prospect in the beginning of the journey are very different from the tactics that will engage them in the middle or at the end.

The Old Marketing Funnel—Simple But Outdated

Before the internet, buyers relied heavily on a salesperson to give them information, convince them that their product was superior, and close the sale. A traditional sales funnel model is very simple (see diagram on the top).

Top of the Funnel (TOFU):

Devote the majority of resources to send a message to a big audience.

Middle of the Funnel (MOFU):

Wait for interested members of the audience to call or visit you.

Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU):

Convince as many of the interested people as you can that you are the best investment.

Today’s Marketing Funnel

Calling this process a “funnel” is apt because while many people may hear your message and become aware of you, only a small portion is interested. Even fewer make it to the point of purchase.

Because of the internet, today’s marketing funnel is no longer a straight path from cold audience to conversion. The process is more complex, and it has affected every aspect of the marketing funnel.

Top of the Funnel (TOFU):

There are far more marketing channels you need to consider for raising initial awareness. Modern buyers increasingly use the web to research products and make informed decisions on where to invest their money. They’re no longer waiting for a TV or radio ad to tell them what to buy.

Middle of the Funnel (MOFU):

You must devote more resources to reaching the interested prospects. Customers spend more time in the middle of the funnel, considering, researching, and interacting with your brand before making a purchase decision. Use digital strategies to meet them here.

Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU):

The bottom of the funnel does not end with a purchase. The post-purchase experience has greatly expanded, including product fulfillment and delivery, communication, review acquisition, up-selling and repeat business.

A modern marketing funnel strategy uses an array of digital tools and tactics to guide potential customers through every stage of the buying process.

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