How to Get More Results Out of Your Marketing Funnel — UnboundB2B

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Introduction

That said, today, marketing companies have adopted slight variances to suit the digital age. The likes of Moz, Hubspot, AWeber, Act-On, Forrester, and Bizible have their own take on the marketing funnel. Before you get the most out of your marketing funnel, it is essential to understand what the marketing funnel is for, what it represents, and how you can build your own. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.

What is the Marketing Funnel and What is it Used For?

Figure 1: The buyer’s journey

As such, the marketing funnel is used for defining and improving a companies marketing strategy. For example, a content writer can use a marketing funnel to understand the different types of content in the context of the customer’s journey. For instance, an email can be used to drive brand awareness or to enable seamless onboarding. A demand generation director, on the other hand, will use a marketing funnel from a statistical viewpoint to understand the conversion rate and revenue that each stage in the funnel and every marketing channel generates.

What Does the B2B Marketing Funnel Represent?

The fact is that there are several different possible touchpoints in the funnel, but marketers can only focus on a chosen few to maximize their efforts and get the most out of the funnel. The marketing funnel is, therefore, a simplified version of the customer’s journey that is used by marketers to optimize channels and reduce waste in an easy to understand format. It is used to try and solve a variety of creative and technical challenges that the marketer faces.

How to Build Your Own Marketing Funnel

Marketers have used lead generation from the pre-digital age and still use it today to create new contacts for sales. The challenge with lead goals is that they focus heavily on quantity at the expense of the quality of the leads. In the digital age where capturing complex data and insights (almost in real-time) through analytics is the norm, focusing only on the number of leads is unacceptable. Focusing on quantity over quality misaligns sales and marketing teams because sales teams are not able to follow through on the leads that marketing teams gather. Thankfully, the focus is shifting to improving conversion rates, revenue, and aligning sales and marketing, building loyalty, creating customers that are advocates, and having customers come back for more.

One of the strategies that have been used to turn things around is pipeline marketing data. Pipeline marketing combines marketing and sales data to focus on converting prospects and leads into customers instead of endlessly generating more leads.

Entrepreneurs and marketers use pipeline marketing data to improve decision making, make the sales funnel less costly and more efficient, and to ultimately improve revenue. Pipeline marketing is also one of the tools that are used to understand the customer journey.

In a nutshell, pipeline marketing consists of all channels and campaigns including Inbound marketing, content marketing and lead nurturing, all done to help grow B2B marketing efforts (growth hacking).

Figure 2: Lead generation vs. Pipeline marketing

Different Types of Marketing Funnels

  • Every stage of the funnel is used as an opportunity for growth
  • The funnel goes beyond the purchase and considers customer loyalty and advocacy
  • The marketing funnel is not always viewed as being linear.

Figure 3: Act-On marketing funnel

How to Optimize Your Marketing Funnel

Top of the Funnel

Most online marketers are quite familiar with the channels, tactics, and strategies that are best suited for this part of the funnel and may fail to realize that there is a lot that could be done to optimize it.

The Problem

The Solutions

  • Create fresh content that is keyword-optimized to draw-in people interested in what you have to offer.
  • Optimize (or re-optimize) your PPC keywords and display Ads
  • Leverage the power of social media
  • Recalibrate the targeting in your social media Ads

According to the Content Marketing Institute Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report for 2019, one of the characteristics of top performing B2B content marketers is that they measure the ROI of their marketing efforts. Measuring ROI helps marketers to avoid spreading their budget too thin and to instead refocus on where the most gains can be made.

Figure 4: Measuring the ROI of content marketing efforts is vital for success

Middle of the Funnel

Depending on the length of the conversion path and the specific conversion goals, there will be a variety of interactions with the leads to earn their loyalty. Understanding your customer, their expectations, and their state of mind at this stage is crucial to success.

The Problem

The Solution

Additionally, you need to ask yourself why leads are not converting. Usually, it’s one of three reasons:

  • They are interested in your product, but there is no immediate urgency yet
  • They are interested but cannot afford it right away
  • They do not yet trust you enough

To address these challenges,

  • First, you must communicate the value of your offer in a way that the lead will appreciate. In essence, how much value can your solution deliver to address their pain points?
  • Secondly, find different ways to encourage trust including using some of the tools mentioned above.
  • Third, find different ways to convey urgency. For example, limited inventory, exclusive offers, discounts, etc.

Bottom of the Funnel

Figure 5: Content used by B2B marketers for experiential purposes and to remain top-of-mind

The Problem

The Solution

The Bottom Line: Optimize Your Sales Funnel

If your plans are not working as well as you wish, then you should re-evaluate how you think about your marketing funnel and re-strategize to maximize the value that you get at each stage of the funnel. It is also crucial to remember that sometimes, conversion rates may slip, but revenue may go up. In other words, the conversion rate isn’t everything, and there is no ideal conversion rate. The ultimate goal is to ensure that your marketing funnel brings in more sales, builds more loyalty, creates customers that are advocates, and keeps customers coming back for more.

Originally published at https://www.unboundb2b.com on April 24, 2019.

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