The marketing funnel: while it can be broken down into a relatively simple, easy-to-understand way of looking at your advertising strategy, it’s often misconstrued in the industry. This is most likely a result of a difference in expectations between marketing and sales, or agencies and clients.
The marketing funnel, as defined by Forbes, is “a holistic entity, with all the parts working together to push a lead closer to a win.” It has been adjusted and altered over the years to align with various lenses – B2B, digital, social – but the overarching theme has stayed the same: marketing efforts work to drive users from the top of the funnel (awareness) to the bottom of the funnel (sharing contact information or making a purchase).
MCC defines the three stages of the marketing funnel, from top to bottom, as discovery, consideration and conversion. In regards to digital advertising, the metrics used to evaluate the discovery stage are impressions, clicks and click-through-rates. As no two clients are the same, the metrics included in the consideration and conversion stages vary. The consideration stage metrics typically include engagement with website pages that have to do with investigation (solutions or product pages, for example). The conversion stage, in a B2B environment, most often incorporates lead-generating actions (a contact form submission or asset download).
Where the disconnect between expectation and reality occurs, primarily, is in connecting point A to point B. Point A, representing the top of the funnel and Point B, representing the bottom of the funnel. Regardless of how the marketing funnel is defined, it’s often expected that users will move from awareness directly to purchase.
In reality, the bottom of the funnel (point B) might be better represented with the letter “C,” thus recognizing the middle stage between awareness and lead generation: consideration. As defined above, all parts of the marketing funnel work together to push a lead closer to a win. Consideration, while often overlooked, is what takes a prospect from being aware of your offerings to being interesting in your offerings. According to Forbes Insight, 82% of customers conduct research online. This is why the consideration stage is an equally integral part of the marketing funnel!
That being said, who do you want to be, the hare, racing toward the finish line without ever looking back? Or the tortoise, slowly making its way toward the finish line one step at a time? We know that in the nursery rhyme, the turtle wins the race. But this isn’t a nursery rhyme – this is your digital strategy! Rather than overlooking important steps as the hare, or taking things at a slower pace than necessary as the tortoise, we want to channel Goldilocks and move leads through the funnel in a way that’s juuuuuust right.
Striking that balance often requires the outside perspective of a third-party expert that can help you understand and address all three stages of the funnel.
Oh hey, that’s us! Over here in the comfy chairs, rested and well-fed.