The Media Marketing Funnel

Bringing in new business is a critical component of operating a successful business. Leveraging this art begins with understanding how your consumers make purchases and business decisions.

There are five key stages within a purchasing decision that can be outlined in a “media marketing funnel”. As the customer moves from stage to stage, they get closer and closer to a positive buying decision. As they get closer to that positive buying decision, they also get closer to becoming a cheerleader for your brand; someone that influences others to also consider your product or service.

In order for this model to work, it’s imperative that you’re effectively marketing through each stage:

There is almost always a large population of potential customers who are less than familiar with your brand, or perhaps have never heard of your brand at all. In order to win new business, these customers need to be made aware of everything brand has to offer. Direct Mail and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key in the awareness stage. Direct Mail effectively spreads positive brand messaging to a mass audience and SEO drives how and when your company’s web site appears in search engine results. If someone is blindly searching for a company that offers your product or service, your company shows up in the results. If the potential customer has already heard of you through Direct Mail, BINGO! – You’re officially credible.

In order to get these potential customers to consider making a purchase, your web site, email and Direct Mail should all be speaking directly to them. Your web site shares all of the highlights that would entice customers to consider your company, and you can personalise emails and direct mail communication to the receivers’ needs and interests in order to get them to consider doing business with you.

The engagement stage is all about communication and helping customers get a better feel for your brand and it’s value to their lives. Social media is a great marketing tool to use to build relationships with your existing and potential customers through two-way communication. Whether you’re using LinkedIn or a corporate blog, your customers will appreciate the ongoing conversation. These customers are already waiting in these media, looking for the conversation. You should be the one facilitating it! If not, someone else will.

Assuming they like what they’ve seen so far, the potential customer makes a purchase. From a marketing perspective, offering discounts and specials that drive them in-store or encouraging them to pick up the phone and call you are great ways to help seal the deal.

Finally, and most importantly, happy customers will spread the word on your behalf, effectively driving more customers into the top of the marketing funnel. Review sites such as Yelp!, Google Plus Local, and other forms of word-of-mouth are key to this advocacy. As you can see, it takes a fully integrated marketing effort to successfully drive conversions through today’s new media channels. Potential customers are moved through the marketing funnel using a variety of different tactics. It’s up to you to figure out what will work best for your brand.

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