How the marketing funnel works from top to bottom.

The marketing funnel is a visual representation of the consumer purchasing process. It provides a roadmap for businesses to nurture leads from the initial awareness (top-of-the-funnel) stage through the middle-of-the-funnel stages, where potential buyers research and compare their options, and ultimately to the bottom of the funnel, where they make a purchase.

Ideally, the lead-nurturing process would extend beyond the purchase stage, with businesses encouraging customers to become loyal advocates of their products, services, or brands. Many marketers consider this an additional stage of the funnel.

Depending on the type of business and the goods and services it provides, the activities and outcomes at each stage of the funnel may look different.

For example, inbound marketing plans may use search engine optimization to drive traffic to a website or build a social media platform to generate brand or product awareness, whereas outbound marketing strategies rely on more traditional methods of prompting customers toward the top of the funnel. These tactics may include billboards, direct mail, or cold calling.

In both cases the marketing funnel is a tool to help businesses narrow down a broad group of potential customers to those who will take some sort of action. In most cases, this means handing over their money in exchange for the company’s product or service.

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The action could, however, be any of a number of conversion goals, including:

Submitting an online form.
Downloading a white paper.
Registering for a workshop.
Creating an account .
Sharing a piece of content.
Installing an app….

Regardless of the strategy or the outcome, the marketing funnel is a key component of business operations that allows companies to track the customer journey and provide effective, appropriate touch points at each stage.

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