When talking about sales and marketing you often hear about Marketing
Funnels. The traditional funnel is shaped like an upside down Christmas
tree and has lots of potential at the top but is down to a small number
of customers by the time you get to the bottom and the reason for this
Over the next few blogs, I am going to talk about various sections of the funnel, and what comes after, to hopefully help you reduce attrition and generate ripples from the customers you do convert.
To start I am going to talk about the top part which is based on awareness.
Awareness, or reach, is how many people can you place your product, brand or idea in front of. Many of the traditional ways of advertising such as newspaper, radio and TV may fall into this stage. The problem with this is that if you haven't fully defined your target audience you will end up with marketing strategy with no clear direction and you will waste money reaching people who have no desire or need to move to the next part of the funnel.
So before we even start looking at each section of the funnel we need to know who we are actually targeting and then it may be that we have different funnels featuring different tactics for different audiences. Still with me?
Let's look at why this is important.
Say you have the idea to place a magazine advert to increase your reach. This could be in the form of a submitted article or an advert. Which magazine are you going to place it in?
Unless you know who you are targeting you run the risk of reaching
lots of people, but none who would never be interested in your offering.
Taking a photographer as an example. One of their target markets could
be parents of newborns and another recently engaged couples looking to
plan their wedding.
Here we have 2 different target markets both needing different messages.
They could advertise in a general lifestyle magazine but while there is a chance that 4 or 5 per cent of the readership may also be new parents or recently engaged, but wouldn't it be better to place an advert directly targeting parents of newborns, with a picture of a baby and a clear offer for newborn photography in a new parents magazine and then an advert about wedding photography in a bridal magazine.
Even though you are one business the message each target audience wants to see and hear is different.
I am sure you have heard of the saying “jack of all trades, master of
none”. Well, even if you are master of a few you still need to separate
your message up.
If I was looking for a photographer for a wedding I would be drawn to an advert featuring a wedding shot and talking about capturing my big day for the future. A general advert saying photographer just doesn’t cut it.
Which advert is more targeted?
To create defined target audiences, you will need to look at:
Common Characteristics such as Age, locations and values, plus
looking at what their key needs are or problems they need solving.
Then define where they currently consume information. Is it via blogs, magazines, social media etc? The reason shops set up on the high street or shopping centre is that there is already a customer base there. If your audiences are already hanging out on Facebook or Instagram it makes sense to take your message to them.
Once you have set your target markets you are now in a much better position to increase your reach and reduce attrition from this stage.
To put this in numbers, even when one magazine has a higher readership:
General lifestyle magazine:
Your target market 5%
Total potential customers moving to the next stage: 1500
Potential market 75% (some may just be reading even with no plan to marry!)
Total potential customers moving to the next stage: 6750
You can clearly see that targeting your exact audience makes much more sense than just placing random adverts.
Reach/awareness is making people aware of your business and what you do. It is the often the first time someone has been introduced to you.
The aim of this stage is to move them onto your platforms so that you can provide extra details. For example, the magazine advert might be done to either encourage a phone call or to visit your website but by knowing that 90% of people are not ready to buy straight away, chances are the journey from the advert to purchase will involve the next stages of the funnel which relate to consideration and nurturing. Do you buy straight away from a business you have never heard from or do you check out their website and social channels? Ever heard of a restaurant and before going check our their trip advisor? I am taking it that the answer is yes so, therefore, you will understand the importance of the next stage which we will cover in a future blog.