The Purchase Funnel: a marketing model for the journey a customer takes from awareness to the purchase of your product or service. Do you understand yours? Are you investing in that “route” constantly?
The Purchase Funnel is of the utmost importance to develop, and when delivered well, will end with a purchase or conversion – but it’s essential to understand that it’s not an ending, it’s actually where your marketing journey can really take off!
While the Purchase Funnel can be described as linear, your relationship with clients and potential clients is cyclical. It’s a living, breathing, growing, changing process that you need to nurture on every level. Assess what works and what doesn’t, identify new opportunities, and optimize existing systems on an ongoing basis.
Customer service is marketing. The user experience when someone lands on your website or blog is marketing. Greeting a customer entering your workspace is marketing. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”->”]Marketing is not one activity undertaken by one person[/inlinetweet], or one department – it’s a whole new way of doing everything.
Whether you are developing your Purchase Funnel, starting your business, or looking to grow, ensure that you consider Acquisition, Activation, Engagement and Virality relating to all you create – this is where you will see a return on your investment when it comes to marketing.
AKA: Creating interest in your community. Get people in front of you and/or your product! This is the stage where you’re educating, sharing, meeting potential customers at demos and trade shows, reaching out on social media, and through sales calls. Acquiring customers costs five times more than it does to retain one, so keep at it, and once they have gone through your Purchase Funnel, do everything to keep them.
AKA: Turning your customers into your community. It is always important to provide a great initial experience with your product or service – Activation involves building a brand that people will come back to time, and time again. The key in brand activation is to show your customers that your promoted promises and what you say are true. This is your chance to connect and turn the relationship your audience has with your brand into something bigger.
Whether your objective is to increase subscriptions or membership, move products off the shelf, gain foot traffic or fundraise, brand activation is not just about gaining affinity, it’s about inspiring action. Ultimately, for successful activation, you shouldn’t focus on one activity or event – that is too much work without sustainable return. Instead, strategize how, on an ongoing basis, you can keep your brand visible, relevant and reflective of your values. In turn, you will find yourself connecting with your audience in meaningful ways and they will understand how to engage with you, for shared benefit.
AKA: Keeping your customer relationships alive for the long-haul. Continue to deliver value. Maintain your conversations and interactions in real life and in the virtual world. It’s not just a popularity contest that can be judged on likes or reach — it’s a conversation. Use social media (read this if you are considering hiring an “expert”!). Set up and make the best use of your email marketing (here’s how to make sure you have permission to add someone to your mailing list). Tell your story well, and repeatedly. Deliver on your promises – or ideally, over-deliver. Listen to what your customers have to say, and reply with thanks, taking action based on their feedback. New customers are exciting, but your long-term customers matter. Reminder: customer service is marketing as much as, or even more than anything else.
AKA: Getting your customers so excited and happy with your business, that they share the love and invite others to join them in your community, use your product, and try your services. Beyond delivering amazing service (that people can’t help but share!), there are other ways to encourage your customers to refer and recommend. Set up an influencer program to harness the power of good, targeted social reach (we take great pride in organizing these programs), or perhaps set up a basic affiliate program that rewards people with commission every time they refer a sale. Virality is all about creating and sustaining growth. When people have an authentic love for you, your service, your brand – their passion and loyalty will support you. It takes a village, and one by one, a community becomes your army. There is no better sales team than raving fans who want to support you simply because they appreciate the value you share.
Every day, every month, every year, focus on sharing the best of yourself and your business, giving it (and others) your all, and enjoying the process and investment – you will realize the return. With every thing that you do, remember that it’s contributing to the larger picture, and the health of your business.