The Modern-day Digital Marketing Funnel Stages You Need to Know


5 Apr, 2023


37% of marketers say that the most difficult part of their job is prospecting, and without this crucial first step, it’s extremely difficult to build a digital marketing funnel.

You must be wondering what is the marketing funnel. The marketing funnel refers to a visual representation of the various steps involved in the journey of a potential customer to a regular customer. 

It starts from an initial stage where a potential customer learns about your business, shows interest, to the purchasing stage, and finally becomes a regular customer. It involves careful analysis of what action must be taken to influence an interested party to become a regular customer in the long run. This can be a very powerful tool to drive greater sales, spread brand awareness and create a loyal customer base.

Looking to Create a Powerful Sales Conversion Funnel?

  • Social Media Optimization
  • Content Optimization
  • Reached your Target Customers

A Brief History of the Marketing Funnel

Now you know what is the marketing funnel. Let us revisit the history of the marketing funnel. In 1898, Elias Elmo Lewis created the concept of the marketing funnel, which has become ubiquitous all around the globe. It was based on an “AIDA” model that indicates every purchase involves:

Awareness – The prospect possesses an awareness of the problem and is looking for possible solutions.

Interest – The prospect demonstrates interest in the services.

Desire – The prospect shows a strong inclination towards a particular service or group of services.

Action – The prospect eliminates the possibilities in favor of the most suitable service brand and takes the action to purchase.

Even though it was a concept introduced over a hundred and twenty years ago, it is still very much relevant today, although in a much more evolved and advanced form, which we will discuss later.

Modern Digital Marketing Funnel- When TOFU meets  MOFU meets BOFU

Modern Digital Marketing Funnel

With regard to the modern marketing funnel, the advent of the digital era made a huge difference. The dawn of the internet has prompted significant moves in marketing methodology— though it is not much overturning, yet it has enormously altered and extended the first AIDA model. This has offered to ascend to the digital marketing funnel, a strategy that revolves around brand engagement, education, and grasping the non-linear manner by which web-based clients encountered the act of their digital purchase journey.

The Marketing Funnel Stages (Pre Purchase)

The fundamentals of the modern digital marketing funnel incorporate four key stages (like AIDA): attract, nurture, convert, and delight. In any case, to suit a wide range of sorts of advertising ventures required to contend with the present wild digital marketing techniques, the channel steps have extended. Numbers differ, yet these 10 stages regularly contain well-oiled digital marketing funnels. The initial six phases occur up to the point of the final sale. The last four happen once the sale is done. Here are the marketing funnel stages-

Marketing Funnel Stages

1. Engagement (aka, brand awareness) 

Today, brand awareness frequently starts on the web, commonly one of the numerous social networking stages, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, where customers find brands. The objective is to reach out to an enormous number of individuals and begin drawing in potential clients from the majority. Engagement can take an assortment of structures, including free ideas for interesting and informative content, social media posts or advertisements, or reviews from loved ones.

2. Education (aka, problem identification)

The discovering phase that began with engagement proceeds with teaching buyers about the brand. This incorporates unmistakably distinguishing buyers' issues and giving the understanding to help settle them.

3. Research (aka, investigate solutions)

The discovery phase proceeds with buyer research. Guests are frequently focused on catchy content and becoming familiar with the organization and its items. They are hoping to comprehend why they ought to pick a specific organization. At this stage, the objective isn't to overpower the customer with offers, however, give the important data to be considered.

4. Evaluation (aka, assess needs)

At this point, it's an ideal opportunity to introduce a particular answer to the issue. Clients might be looking at various contending answers for their concerns, so the emphasis ought to be on giving them why a specific item is their best solution, for instance, through clear advantages and cost correlations with contenders.

5. Justification (aka, quantify value)

Often, advertisers prevail at convincing prospects that their answer is the best one for them, yet at the same time don't make a deal because of buyers' complaints, hindrances, or dormancy. The justification stage is tied in with discovering approaches to defeat these issues. They need reasons why they should pull the trigger.

6. Purchase (aka, a transaction occurs)

Sooner or later, a few possibilities will become clients. The purchase stage is about the sale. Advertisers should bolster the business procedure by addressing the entirety of their inquiries and causing them to feel sure of the item's worth.

The Modern Marketing Funnel Stages (Post Purchase)

The customer journey doesn't stop after the purchase. There are modern post-purchase marketing funnel stages for customer retention including adoption, retention, expansion, and advocacy.

Marketing Funnel Stages (Post Purchase)

1. Adoption (aka, onboarding and implementation)

Post-sale is a great opportunity to deliver on everything an organization has guaranteed its new clients. Its significant correspondences proceed after the purchase through satisfaction, backing, and client assistance, for example, educational materials on the best way to capitalize on the items.

2. Retention (aka, satisfaction and success)

Converting a possibility into a client is a significant accomplishment. Be that as it may, presently advertisers need to hold them as fulfilled clients. One way that brands accomplish this is through progressing high-esteem communications.

3. Expansion (aka, upsell and cross-sell)

Ideally, clients ought not to exclusively be happy with their unique buys, yet in addition, become repeat customers. Advertising efforts workaround upselling clients’ better quality items and strategically pitching them with complimentary items. Growing your association with buyers is simpler in the event that they see your image as reliable and as a position. Your progressing interchanges should broadcast this message noisily and plainly.

4. Advocacy (aka, loyalty and evangelism)

This is regularly one of the most neglected stages in the marketing funnel. Yet, brands who work to transform their fulfilled clients into advocates frequently score significant prizes for their endeavors. Satisfied clients can get the message out to an entirely different universe of possibilities, including their companions, associates, and loved ones.

Flip Funnel - The Future of Digital Marketing Funnel

B2B Marketing And Sales Roadshow

As high-impact as the new digital marketing funnel seems to be, some marketing industry specialists are discussing an entirely different way to deal with digital marketing. Rather than the channel as we probably are aware it—wide on top and thin on the base—they are upholding we "flip the funnel" to suit another way to deal with promoting called Account-Based Marketing (ABM).

The ABM technique starts with distinguishing and focusing on best-fit records. Advertisers at that point serve customized information to the entirety of the decision-makers at the accounts. The thought depends on the idea that it is only once in a while that people settle on buying choices all alone any. Rather, a group of frequently seven to twenty individuals is associated with the dynamic procedure. 

This implies that the advertisers need to reach out to all the leaders inside a specific organization. To help this methodology, advertisers have recognized the marketing funnel stages in the ABM model as follows:

  1. Identify -  Advertising and deals groups must team up on a rundown of target records or organizations that are the best fit for the arrangement. To do this present, it's pivotal they concede to their optimal client profile and individual purchaser personas. 
  2. Expand -  Next, take the list of target accounts and extend the organization profiles with the contact data of key partners and leaders. 
  3. Engage - Presently, execute an omnichannel showcasing plan and start to draw in contacts in the objective records by utilizing an assortment of offers and marketing strategies—including content advertising, customized messages, occasions, and calls. 
  4. Advocate -  After your business group effectively settles negotiations, the showcasing group needs to work to change fulfilled clients into brand advocates.
  5. Measure - Measure the accomplishment of the ABM battles by concentrating on account-level KPIs that mirror the promoting group's commitment to pipeline and income (ROI).

Top Elements of Digital marketing funnel

1. Digital Trends

Keeping up with ever-evolving digital marketing trends is a vital element of the digital marketing funnel. What attracted the customers five years ago may not attract them today. Adapting to different digital platforms is another aspect of these digital trends that need to be kept an eye on. For example, the rapid increase in the number of Android smartphones in the past five years has forced every business to develop and regularly update an android application. 

2. Social Media

If used correctly, it can be the most potent platform to reach your target audience. However, it is crucial to identify the platforms used by the target audience and make the best use of them. For example, the popular image-sharing platform, Instagram, has become a widely-used platform for different types of businesses to easily reach their target audience. The clever implementation of advertisements can lead to substantial growth in sales. 

For example, most of clothing brands on Instagram will share a picture of a model dressed up in a specific piece of clothing with the caption addressing the target audience and a link to purchase the same clothing. A person randomly browsing through the social media app will come across the picture and is highly likely to purchase the product if it is suitable.

Another advantage of social media platforms is that it connects the audience of different ages, financial interests, and various other factors to their relatable services. 

3. Audio and Voice searching technologies

Voice recognition services are gaining rapid popularity in recent times. From smartphones to cars to even your household articles, are all controlled by the command of your voice. Two of the most successful business firms in history, Amazon and Apple, have successfully developed their trademark voice recognition systems; Alexa and Siri. 

Google’s android auto and Apple’s car play are widely popular voice recognition services used in the auto industry that can execute all basic tasks without even moving a finger, just your lips. The increasing popularity of online podcasts has also become a powerful platform for digital marketing.

4. Artificial Intelligence

It is the technology of the present and the future. The artificial intelligence (AI) market is experiencing rapid growth in recent years. The “chatbots” are the most widely used form of AI. These chatbots have the capacity to interact with the customers on your behalf in a human-like manner. Customer support in the technology world is the biggest market for these chatbots.

5. Email marketing

Email automation marketing is a powerful tool for digital marketing. Whenever a customer signs up, subscribes or downloads/uploads data on a website, a contact in the form of an email is captured. Once they have accepted the subscription, an automated email service can be used to send product promotion emails regularly. Email Marketing is also one of the longest-serving methods of digital marketing. Here are three best tips to use this in the correct manner.

 1). Build your own list. All you're going to do by sending unsolicited emails is to turn off most of the people you're hoping to turn into customers. Whether through your website, in your store, or at an event, make it clear when customers are opting into receiving your emails.

2). Adhere to the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act. These rules include having a non-deceptive subject line, a method of unsubscribing, and your name and address at the end of the emails.

3). Don't just send out ads to buy all the time. Use your emails to build rapport with customers by sharing your expertise or that of others, giving them tips and insights they can value. Share information that lets them know more about you and your company.

Wrapping up

The marketing funnel, when used properly, is a powerful tool that can help in growing your business substantially. Of course, it is not an easy process but the hard work pays off. Once you invest enough time and practice, you get the hang of it and it gets relatively simpler. A quick recap of what is the marketing funnel and what exactly the customer needs:

The customer does not want to be a mere number target anymore, they want customized products and services and a high level of utility satisfaction. 

The base for the digital marketing funnel is technology, and if there’s one thing certain about technology, is that it will continue to change and so will we. This is why business brands need a funnel that will help in adapting and growing in the years to come. Building marketing funnel isn’t easy by any means, but these are the major platforms it must be adaptable in order to succeed:

  • Digital Trends
  • Social Media
  • Audio and Voice recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Email marketing

I hope we have been able to educate you enough about the marketing funnel stages and top elements of the marketing funnel.

Looking to build a Digital Marketing funnel?

  • Leverage Social Platforms
  • Landing Page Optimization
  • Convert Visitors into Potential Buyers
  • Optimize Your Contact Forms

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