How does a person get to know our brand? How do you go from a simple interest to the desire of buying a product? Why should he tell others about us? The conversion from user to customer is the result of a complex experiential path and TSW’s approach aims at welcoming, studying and structuring people’s experiences. In this article I will talk about a tool, essential for those who work in the experience marketing field, to design a strategic path with and for people: the Marketing Funnel.
Before understanding why this tool can be used as a fundamental resource for designing the user experience, let’s start with the definition of Marketing Funnel. We can describe the marketing funnel as a strategic path made up of channels, contents and experiences that accompany people in all phases of contact with the brand, to gain their attention, their interest and their trust, even beyond the moment of purchase.
The term “funnel” is exactly right, and this is precisely how this marketing tool has been represented since its inception. Why a funnel? The funnel is represented in this way because at the beginning of the path we find many potential people to whom the brand wants to address its message, subsequently we will see a decrease in these users during the different phases, and only those who arrive at the end of the funnel will be the new brand’s customers. The goal for an effective marketing strategy structured on marketing funnel? Minimize the loss of users along the way. How to do it? Through an optimal funnel design.
Born in the advertising field, but today applied transversally to all the strategic marketing levers, at its beginnings the marketing funnel was identified with the acronym AIDA, which represents the four phases the user’s path can be divided into: awareness, interest, desire and action. If the first objective is in fact to make the brand and the product known to potential customers, it is then necessary to understand how to convert this first knowledge into interest, desire and finally into action, understood as a purchase.
Today this model is partly outdated, or rather, incomplete. The purchase or conversion into a lead is in fact only the first step of a new relational process, which continues even after-sales, including many other stages of customer retention, aimed at cultivating the relationship with the customer so that he can become a real brand ambassador. After the purchase, the user is the first and most fundamental resource of the brand to engage and to lead new users to the marketing funnel. The real value is in people’s experience with the brand, and that is why especially in that of the marketing funnel we must be able to successfully listen to their needs and their experiences.
Let’s focus on inbound marketing strategies: how can we generate valuable experiences for those people who have spontaneously expressed an interest in our brand? Inbound is characterized by a pull approach, the user is attracted to the brand thanks to quality content, which can stimulate his interest. The focus is therefore on content, which is the key to making the user spontaneously approach the brand. For us at TSW, the perfect content is the result of a co-design process of the user experience, involving the same people for whom we are designing the message. In this way we will be able to define together how to make ourselves relevant, respond to an interest, be desirable and motivate the purchase, finally giving the right means to tell other people about the experience. User involvement is so fundamental from the very beginning of the marketing funnel design, but not only. The comparison must be, for all marketing experts, a continuous action with the goal to improve the user experience from time to time also, and above all, in relation to his new needs and desires.
In the design of the marketing funnel we must take into consideration not only the contents, but also the most appropriate channel of conveyance. The choice of the company’s digital and physical touchpoints becomes essential for defining the different steps of the process. An optimal marketing funnel study knows how to allocate the right content, to the right channels, to the right phases of the funnel. But not only that, we must in fact consider that even within the single touchpoint we can get to design a marketing funnel. Let’s take a website as an example: the user lands there because somehow he has come into contact with the brand, and wants to know more. Here it is our task to provide him with the right content to respond to his interest, make us desirable and make the conversion action accessible in few clicks. We could then facilitate sharing by asking him to follow the brand on social media or to write a review.
How to get these results? By creating an experience that is gratifying, enjoyable and relevant to people’s needs, which only people can express: we just need to be able to listen.