What is a marketing funnel and how it works

A marketing funnel describes your customer’s journey with you.

From the initial stages where someone impacts your business content for the first time, to the purchase stage, marketing funnels map prospects’ paths to conversion, sale, and beyond.

With careful analysis, a marketing funnel lets you know what your business needs to do to influence consumers at certain stages . By improving your funnel, you can potentially increase sales, potential customer confidence, and have greater brand awareness.

The evolution of the marketing funnel

In the late 20th century, Elias St. Elmo Lewis created a model that highlights the stages of a customer’s relationship with a company. The ” AIDA ” model indicates that each purchase involves:

  • Awereness (Awareness) : the potential customer is aware of their problems and what possible solutions may be.
  • Interest : The prospect shows interest in a group of services or products.
  • Desire : The prospect starts evaluating a brand’s offerings
  • Action : The prospect decides whether to buy.

Definition of funnel marketing

The fundamentals of the funnel have remained the same since 1900. However, no single model is universally accepted by all companies. Some prefer to keep their model simple, using the “ TOFU-MOFU-BOFU ” strategy which refers to the top (TOp), middle (MIddle) and bottom (BOttom) of the funnel as distinct elements.

Others believe that adding “ loyalty ” and “ advocacy ” phases to the funnel improves the marketing strategy. After all, businesses lose up to $ 1.6 trillion a year when customers leave them .

Strategies for each stage

The funnel works as a whole. This means that each section must work perfectly for the journey to be successful. There are many things that reduce friction in marketing funnels. For example:

  • Awareness : Content marketing strategies attract audiences and make them receptive to future interactions.
  • Consideration : Advocates of social proof help customers when they compare you to competitors.
  • Conversion : A simple purchase process increases sales.
  • Loyalty : A loyalty program with regular discounts, email and social media interactions keeps you in touch with customers.
  • Advocacy : Receptive people in your loyalty program support your future funnels.

The benefits of the funnel

Marketing funnels simplify the customer journey and make it easier for businesses to follow it. These solutions map each stage of the customer’s decision-making process and plan the steps they wish to take in each of them.

A marketing funnel applies to almost all customer interactions. Whether you’re looking for online sales, driving traffic to your brick-and-mortar store, or collecting clicks as an affiliate, you need a funnel.

The biggest advantage of marketing funnels is their measurability. Your funnel shows you where you are losing customers, to help you improve your strategy . For example, if you lose customers before they get to the second stage, you need a better brand awareness campaign.

The difference between B2B and B2C marketing funnles

Funnels often change depending on the customers.

  • B2C customers often navigate the funnel alone or with trusted advisors like family and friends. B2C customers can never interact directly with a company representative.
  • B2B customers have larger and more targeted buying groups. B2B consumers interact directly with sales reps at the lower stages of the marketing funnel.

Adjusting your funnel to fit your ideal customers instantly makes it more effective.


by Abdullah Sam
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