Are you frustrated by stalled growth and wondering if your marketing funnel is to blame? Many clients come to (amp) media agency questioning why they’ve stopped seeing growth and where they can make adjustments. One of our first recommendations is to re-evaluate their marketing funnels.

What is the marketing funnel?

The marketing funnel is a framework used to visualize a customer’s journey. From the moment they gain brand awareness to their days or weeks of consideration to the time they make a purchase, the marketing funnel framework helps marketers understand consumer motivations and then shape their marketing campaigns accordingly.

Naturally, marketing funnels are necessary and effective, but they must also evolve with modern technology, business, and customer expectations. The classic marketing funnel that generated new leads and increased ROI was a great solution. However, it’s linear approach to driving growth have undergone a much-needed redesign, and your brand needs to know about it.

What is an updated marketing funnel?

ampsupp_5stepConsumers no longer move along a linear path of brand awareness, consideration, and purchase. With information literally at our fingertips, people can spend days, weeks, and even months searching for and considering possible products. They can discover great brands, consider their products, and circle back to finding new brands again.

The updated marketing funnel isn’t throwing out the old playbook; instead, its building upon it for more effective outcomes. While the classic funnel used audience demographics to inform content and drive growth, the updated approach takes the classic components of awareness, consideration and conversion and expands them to include two new vital steps: loyalty and advocacy.

Adding loyalty and advocacy to the marketing funnel recognizes the fact that modern marketing is about more than great sales pitches delivered at opportune times—it is about creating an emotional connection with your audience that fosters a sense of shared understanding and interpersonal relationship. Loyalty and advocacy are new, often-overlooked steps of the marketing equation that are just as vital to nurturing repeat sales as all the other funnel stages.

It isn’t enough anymore to simply create brand awareness, educate your audience, and expect conversions. Marketers can boost their profits by nurturing loyal customers who can advocate for and drive more consumers toward their brand.

But how can you get started? How can your business successfully implement all five steps of the evolved marketing funnel to deliver maximum conversions and earning potential?

The Five Steps of an Updated Marketing Funnel

As a media agency that’s optimized multiple clients’ sales funnels, (amp) can help your brand understand how to approach each step of the new-and-improved marketing funnel too.

Step 1: Awareness

Building consumer awareness and engagement is all about highlighting your brand’s value proposition, and there are multiple ways to accomplish this. Targeted ad and email campaigns, case studies, and customer testimonials are highly effective methods of illustrating exactly how your brand understands and can easily solve your audience’s problems.

Remember that at this initial stage of the marketing funnel, your audience is still expanding and narrowing their product searches, trying to find the type of solution they need. Make sure your brand is front and center by offering powerful solutions that deliver real results.

Step 2: Consideration

At the Consideration stage, potential customers are weighing the pros and cons of choosing your product or service. They are also very likely comparing you to multiple other brands and weighing potential benefits. Your brand messaging during this step should position you as the best solution to your audience’s problems.

Drive home your brand’s value by sharing the benefits of your products and the ways they outperform the competition. You can accomplish this by creating educational content, sharing case studies and testimonials, or developing comparisons with competitors’ products. No matter how you choose to approach this step of the marketing funnel, remember that your value proposition should be clear and worthwhile to consumers. ampsupp_loyaltyprogram

Step 3: Conversion

If the first two stages of your funnel have worked their magic, your audience is nearly ready to make a decision to purchase. You might need to gently nudge them toward the finish line by making any onboarding and checkout processes as smooth and frustration-free as possible. Some brands also offer small incentives like discounts, coupons, or free trials to help consumers take the leap and buy.

Once your audience does make a purchase, their journey through your marketing funnel is not over. Not only should you be collecting and analyzing your conversion metrics to help inform future campaigns and product messaging, but now is also the time to show your new customer why their loyalty is so valuable to your brand.

Step 4: Loyalty

Once they settle on a product and make a purchase, they often want to share their findings on social media—and the marketing funnel steps of loyalty and advocacy begin. By leveraging the power of loyal customers, your brand can build on conversions and continue to scale. ampsupp_checkout

The updated marketing funnel considers the effect of these loyal customers who repeatedly buy from and promote your brand and puts this influence into action with two new funnel steps: Loyalty and Advocacy. This stage isn’t guaranteed, but if your brand can go above and beyond to create an exceptional experience for your customers, they will be happy to return to you.

Step 5: Advocacy

Your most loyal customer believes in what you have to offer, and by investing a little bit of time to connect with and listen to their experiences, you can uncover valuable insights that can inform future messaging. Take time to discover what customers love about your products, and then give them opportunities to persuade their friends to give them a try, too.

Customers can be persuaded toward advocacy with a solid retention program that includes rewarding them for repeat purchases or for sharing about your products online. Word-of-mouth advertising is a tried-and-true method of bringing new audiences into the Awareness step of the marketing funnel and enlarging your consumer base.

How can my brand create an updated marketing funnel?

Before potential customers can learn about, purchase from, and become loyal to your brand, it is your job as a marketer to make the consumer process as seamless as possible. From beginning to end, your target audience should feel well cared for and important, and you can accomplish this by focusing on a few key points.

First, define your goals for each step of your marketing funnel. Determine the outcomes you would like to see at each stage, whether that be increased social media sharing, an uptick in website traffic, or a product-specific increase in sales. Secondly, determine your customers’ pain points and needs.

When people encounter your brand, what problems do they need solved? What messaging do they need to hear to help them feel seen, heard, and understood by your brand? Once you’ve determined your audience’s needs, you can begin to map out their journey through your marketing funnel and create highly personalized content that speaks to them at every step.

How can I be sure my marketing funnel is effective?

Remember that consumers are making decisions at every step of the marketing funnel. Brands that want to continue to grow need to acknowledge and plan marketing content that speaks to their audience no matter where they are in their buying journey. Your brand can implement these new steps of the marketing funnel and grow its success—if you know how to leverage their power.

The expert marketing team at (amp) works tirelessly to provide second-to-none results that maximize your brand’s media spend and get you the results you need. Connect with us today to learn more about how partnering with (amp) can help you optimize every stage of your marketing funnel and increase ROI.