Are you looking to grow your business? It’s good to think about the growth in the context of a funnel. You know the funnels you use to put oil in your car or how you used to consume beer in college *wink*? It’s big at the top and gets progressively smaller.
You need to start thinking about the different stages of building relationships with your audience, customers, or group of people that you’re trying to grow. Once you understand the stages, then you can start to build a plan to move people towards whatever goal that you’re trying to accomplish. For most of you, that goal is revenue or sales of some kind.
When I started my first marketing job, I just kind of did stuff. Luckily enough, that user-base grew pretty rapidly. I’d imagine for as much as I did right that there was plenty I did wrong. I could’ve benefited from being more methodical about understanding my users
If you Google marketing funnels, there’s a million of them of varying complexity. So definitely feel free to take what I’ve written below as just a baseline.
Awareness – Does someone know that you exist? How do you start getting on someone’s radar? You could do this through advertising, press, social media, or optimizing to rank highly on search engines. Awareness is a BIG first step. This sounds like a pretty simple statement but it a doozy… someone’s not going to buy something from you if they don’t know you exist.
Consideration – This is where someone knows where you are and they’re starting to think about pulling the trigger on whatever it is that you’re selling. What are the benefits of what you’re doing?
Acquisition – Now ya gotta get them to buy what you’re selling. When someone’s thinking about buying something, they start thinking about the upsides and they finish thinking about the risks. At this stage, you want to assuage any fears that someone has so you can push them over the edge.
Retention – How do you keep them buying what you’re selling? They already have a relationship. You want to keep in touch. Make them feel the love. If they bought something, they likely already love you. In some cases, it’s going to be easier to get an existing user/customer to buy more than to teach someone new why you’re awesome and then get them to buy something.
What’s the biggest problem for your business? Do people know you exist? Do people know you exist and they’re not buying? Have people bought but they’re not coming back? By understanding the funnel, you can tailor a solution that fits the problem. You can market yourself not just for the sake of marketing but to accomplish an important business objective.
In future posts, I’ll dive into each of these stages and the associated tactics.