The Last Step of Funneling: Understanding the Customer Journey

Marketing funnels are unique strategies that help buyers make decisions about products or services. Learn more about understanding customer journeys through funnels and how to optimize them for increased conversions.

The Last Step of Funneling: Understanding the Customer Journey

Marketing and sales teams often work together to help buyers make decisions and convince them that your brand's product is the best option. Ask 10 marketers about marketing funnels and you'll likely get 10 different answers. This is because a marketing funnel isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy; it's unique to the way your buyer buys. To optimize your marketing channel for the customer journey and increase conversions, use Hotjar heat maps, recordings, and surveys. The traditional funnel model is linear, starting at the top of the funnel and ending at the bottom, where potential customers convert.

However, the marketing funnel, like people's buying behavior in real life, is not linear. It's important to understand the customer journey from the moment of awareness to the moment of conversion. This includes understanding how each stage works in the traditional marketing funnel model. The top of the funnel (TOFU) is where potential customers first become aware of your brand and interact with it. At this stage, they may not know much about your product or service, so content and marketing materials that promote brand awareness are key.

The bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is the last place potential customers go before making a conversion. Measuring the target conversion rate allows your team to make more informed decisions about each phase of the funnel, rather than just about the final outcome. To measure the success of your marketing funnel, you need to understand how people use your website (beyond traffic and conversions) and why they behave in a certain way while browsing or buying. Then, you can optimize your marketing funnel to increase conversions at every stage of the customer experience. Use heat maps to see if changes have affected conversions.

Surveys give you an opportunity to interact with real visitors at every step of the funnel, so you can learn how to improve customer experience and increase conversions. Your action plan when creating a sales funnel should be similar to setting objectives: separate each strategy into BOFU, MOFU, and TOFU. Think about how you want potential customers to interact at each step of the funnel. When creating engagement in the middle of the sales funnel, build trust with a more direct approach. Focus on sharing high-quality content via email or making calls with an educational purpose in mind. Finally, always communicate in a positive and professional manner.

The final stage of the sales funnel is action. The potential customer becomes a customer when they purchase your product or service (or decides to leave without making a purchase). If they make a purchase, they are now part of your company's ecosystem. Customers enter the sales funnel and, through a process of discernment, choose between moving to an alternative solution or buying from you. The action at the end of the funnel, or purchase, completes the stages of the conversion funnel. To be truly effective, you need to go one step further and determine how potential customers will qualify throughout the process.

Recognizing a problem or need is what triggers their search for more information and brings possible clues to the second stage of the funnel. Once customers know a solution, they compare alternatives described by your article or advertisement. This journey consists of a funnel of steps that sales teams use to convert potential customers into customers (also known as prospecting). While not part of the traditional content marketing funnel, many companies have added an additional step to retain or delight customers. One of the most important steps in creating a successful conversion sales funnel is including a clear and decisive call to action at the end. On the other hand, if your oven turns off in wintertime, you'll immediately know that you have a problem and will quickly move on to searching for information in the buying process. People don't always get into a funnel right at the top and move forward step by step through each stage until they reach the bottom like new customers do.

To track how well your funnel is working, determine what metrics you're going to measure.

Cassandra Paule
Cassandra Paule

Certified social media guru. Hardcore food scholar. Freelance baconaholic. Infuriatingly humble bacon specialist. Subtly charming web aficionado. Certified twitteraholic.

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