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A B2C marketing funnel is a different animal to the common B2B strategies you may have seen online. While all marketing funnels follow a similar concept, consumer businesses can also create a marketing funnel to acquire customers. In this article, we’ll tell you more about building a B2C marketing funnel and how it can help accelerate your sales.
Understanding a B2C marketing funnel
The first time a lead hears about a product, they rarely convert to an actual customer. Usually, there are several interactions that a customer needs before they are engaged enough to buy or sign up. A B2C marketing funnel is divided into three sections:
1. Top of the Funnel – TOFU )
The top of the funnel is the point at which customers find out or hear about the brand for the first time.
Awareness – This part covers the different activities that may cause a customer to become excited about a brand. This stage happens before the customer has seen the actual offer. Some common examples of these activities are social media posts, TV ads, media interviews, PR publications, search engine ads, microsites, industry reports and more.
Awareness is also sometimes referred to as the Attention phase. The goal of this stage is to gain visibility by introducing the brand to potential customers. To raise awareness effectively, brands need to have developed a clear set of customer personas. For this, it helps to develop a clear set of demographic and psychographic data in order to shape an understanding of the ideal customer.
The way that brands approach TOFU is important because it is the initial point of contact for the potential customer. If the funnel hits a wrong note with it’s messaging to a target customer, it may cause the brand to lose them.
2. Middle of the Funnel – MOFU)
The middle of the funnel is the moment that the brand “captures” the lead. This is the time when a browser is about to become a customer.
Consideration – This is the stage at which a customer has heard about the brand and is considering the goods that a brand offers. The customers may have come across your brand from ads, seen it on social media or is simply actively looking for a product to buy. This phase is considered the golden moment when the potential customer is deciding if the brand is right for them. This is also the area where performance marketing campaigns, strong content pieces, SEO and online reviews will help the brand.
Online reviews are especially important for B2C brands so, brands should consider investing their time and effort in securing them. According to a report published by Nielsen, (Digital Formats Are The Most Trusted Advertising Sources Despite Slow Growth), “83% of consumers say they trust recommendations from family, friends and colleague more than any other source of information. No PPC campaign will ever convert as well as positive online reviews.”
The consideration phase is the perfect time for brands to assure customers that their needs and wants are being met. The Consideration phase is the perfect time to present unique selling points and offer extra value to the customers.
Conversion – In a B2C marketing funnel, the conversion is the time when brands are able to get their hands on the customer’s contact information. Unlike with typical B2B products, B2C campaigns rarely give out e-books, free consultation or other items in exchange for data. This means that, in order to reach the conversion phase, the brand has to offer something more fitting to their customers such as their products or services.
The conversion phase needs to be as smooth as possible to avoid losing the customer. Brands should do everything possible at this stage to make the process smooth and hassle free in order to secure the purchase.
3. Bottom of the Funnel – BOFU)
Typically, in a B2B marketing funnel, brands will only see the activation and loyalty as part of the BOFU. However, in the B2C arena, it is important to add another phase – Advocacy.
Activation – This is the stage at which the customer completes the purchase. The brand has gained a new customer. At this stage, there are plenty of tactics that can be used to make sure that the brand maximises retention and purchase frequency from these customers.
Loyalty – This phase is all about what the brand is doing to ensure retention. A brand’s marketing effort should not end in activation. It is always cheaper to sell more to existing customers than it is to gain new ones.
Advocacy – This phase is when a customer brings in new customers for you. Advocacy is simply good old-fashioned “word of mouth” marketing. Brands can find plenty of activities that will help with the advocacy phase such as incentivising online reviews and referral programmes.
Visualising the Business to Clients marketing funnel
Ideally, brands should work towards building a real-time visualisation of their marketing funnel’s performance in order to identify ways in which is can be optimised. The marketing funnel allows the brand to cast a huge net in order to capture as many potential customers as possible but there are always opportunities to optimise and improve it’s performance… a different headline, layout, customer journey, checkout process or imagery should all be tested in order to help brands turn more browsers into buyers.
The non-linear funnel
Some marketing experts argue about the relevancy of a marketing funnel. This is because the buying process and customer behaviour are no longer linear. In today’s world, a potential customer can enter the funnel at any point and at any time. This can happen when the potential customer is referred to the brand or when they already know what the brand offers and have decided to buy. In some cases, potential customers are interested in gaining more information or getting educated about the product or service.