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What is the Marketing Funnel?

Simply put, a marketing funnel describes your customer’s journey with you from the initial stages (when someone learns about your business) to the purchasing stage and beyond. The funnel lets you know what your company needs to do to influence your customers at each stage of the journey. By evaluating your funnels, you can drive greater sales, more loyalty, and stronger brand awareness.

The “AIDA” model highlights the stages of a customer’s relationship with a business. This model indicates that every purchase involves:

Awareness: The potential customer has a certain need, is aware of it, and knows your product or service.

Interest: The potential customer shows interest in your product or service.

Desire: The prospect has the need to buy your product and begins to evaluate your brand.

Action: The prospect decides to purchase.

In the marketing funnel, your main goal is to attract potential customers. You’re focusing on a broad audience and trying to convince them that your services and products are the best choices for their needs. Setting up your funnel begins with a thorough investigation of your potential customers, how you can reach them, and how your product or service can help them. Then, it’s important to determine which phases your customers go through and with which communication you can respond to them.

The Mentor Vs. The Sponsor

Do you know what the difference between having a mentor vs. having a sponsor is? A mentor could be anyone in a position with experience who can offer a mentee advice and support. They give their mentees support through discussions about how to build skills, qualities and confidence for career advancement. A sponsor, on the other hand, could be a senior level staff member who’s invested in a protégé’s career success. Sponsors promote protégés directly, using their influence and networks to connect them to high profile assignments, people, pay increases, and promotions. They help drive their protégés career visions. This should be someone you trust and knows you very well. Basically, a sponsor is sort of like a mentor, only with more power.

According to Carla Harris, Vice-Chairman at Morgan Stanley, “Popular business press loves to say you need a mentor, but they don’t tell you what a good mentor is supposed to do for you or tell the difference between mentors and sponsorship. You can survive a very long time in your career without a mentor, but you will not survive without a sponsor.” (https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/profiles-strategies/2014/11/the-mentor-vs-the-sponsor-who-gets-to-hear-the.html?page=all)

The Use of Persuasion in Marketing

Psychology and persuasion play a significant role in marketing and business success. Marketers have the power to capture the public’s attention, influence the undecided, and motivate purchases. The science behind influence comes from social psychology. With research, trial and error, and reading psychology books such as Books and Influence: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, we can learn and understand how to develop our communication skills to influence individual’s decisions. 

These are the six principles of persuasion you could apply to your marketing strategy:

1. Reciprocity: A request preceded by an unexpected gift; give something to get something. 

2. Commitment/Consistency: The Principle of Commitmentis based on the desire to look and appear like a person with consistent attitudes and behavior over time. Once we are committed, we are more likely to continue with this plan.

3. Social Proof: People follow what other people do. Instead of telling people what to do, tell them what other people do. 

4. Sympathy/Likeability: People are more attracted to others who like them. Make sure to authentically, naturally and believably thank and be grateful to your consumer.

5. Authority: Customers tend to buy things from people they trust and an individual or a business with authority on the subject. 

6. Scarcity: People need to know what they may miss out on if they don’t act quickly – things are more attractive when we risk losing the opportunity to acquire them. 

(https://insites-consulting.com/6-principles-of-persuasive-marketing-how-to-influence-people/)

Why Excellent Customer Service is Important to Your Business

Customer service is vital to your business because it’s key to retaining customers and receiving more value from them. Companies that provide positive experiences for their buyers dramatically impact their growth and cultivate a loyal customer. This can lead to customers referring your business to friends and colleagues. When your customers are satisfied with their service, they are more understanding if their product breaks and are less sensitive to price increases. Customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition. “Ultimately, investing in customer service can decrease your churn rate, which decreases the amount you must spend on acquiring new customers and decreases the overall CAC.” (https://blog.hubspot.com/service/importance-customer-service.)

Your customer service represents your reputation, image, and values. Your customer service team is your direct connection to your customers. Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes keeps your interactions human. Would you be pleased with the service you’re providing to your customers? Keep that in mind the next time you interact with your customers. 

What is an Omnichannel Customer Journey?

An omnichannel customer journey consists of significant interactions over multiple touchpoints between the customer and business during a point of sale and throughout the customer lifecycle. Building a seamless customer experience through an omnichannel customer journey that engages your prospect helps efficiently lead them through your sales funnel. Customers are more likely to choose a brand that has invested in the customer journey experience over a company that has poor customer service. Businesses need to integrate these omnichannel communications into one cohesive, seamless experience.

The omnichannel customer journey consists of the following journey experiences: Awareness > Consideration > Purchase > Retention > Advocacy.

Awareness: Create a generally welcoming brand experience which consists of inbound marketing, retargeting, and store layout and design.

Consideration: Customers have provided contact data – a marketing campaign can start to take root. This experience consists of social media marketing, reviews, media, and direct mail.

Purchase: When customers are lingering over the decision, you must help them decide to purchase. This includes strategies such as abandoned cart reminders, in-store assistance, and or scheduling a demo.

Retention: They have made a purchase, now you must keep them. You can do this by reminding them of free shipping, offer one-time discounts, FAQ knowledge base, and community forums.

Advocacy: Your customer’s opinion is an asset you can cultivate and include in future marketing endeavors. You can do this by obtaining a customer satisfaction or product review, offering discounts on a future purchase, or by social media/text notifications.

How Providing Feedback to Others Can Benefit Your Work

When you provide feedback to others on their work as opposed to only reviewing your own, you begin to see things from a different perspective. Giving feedback on your peers’ work gives you an insight into what works and what doesn’t work and how you can come up with something even better. It inspires you and broadens your ideas. By taking the time to identify what appeals to you (or why it doesn’t), you’re teaching yourself and can, therefore, apply it to your work.

On the other hand, when others critique your work, the information they provide you with may surprise you as well. After having experience with giving and receiving feedback, I’ve learned that this tactic gives you a well-rounded view of your work and enables you to tweak your efforts in a way you maybe couldn’t before. It’s a great learning experience and something everybody should consider practicing more often.

What is Customer Lifetime Value and How Do You Measure It?

Customer Lifetime Value represents how “valuable” a customer is to your company in an unlimited period. This metric helps marketers understand a reasonable cost per acquisition. This measurement is particularly significant for businesses with subscriptions or membership-based companies. The CLV is a crucial metric as it costs less to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. Therefore, increasing the value of your current customers is a great way to drive business growth. Knowing the CLV helps your business develop efficient strategies to acquire new customers and retain the existing ones while maintaining profit margins. The CLV can be measured by identifying customer touchpoints that create value and measuring their revenue and integrating customer history and behaviors to create the customer journey. 

At its simplest, the formula for measuring CLV is:

“Customer revenue minus the costs of acquiring and serving the customer = CLV.” (https://www.qualtrics.com/experience-management/customer/customer-lifetime-value/)

Strategies vs. Goal setting

A strategy is a framework that defines how you will reach the goals and objectives of your business. A strategy establishes the long-term direction and scope of an organization. It identifies and communicates a business’s position and determines how their resources and skills can create a competitive advantage. For each of your strategies, a set of specific goals should be designed to measure your progress and make any necessary tweaks.

Simply put, strategies can be defined as: “Determining how we are going to win in the period ahead.” (https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/what-is-strategy.htm

A goal, on the other hand, is a measure of progress which supports your strategies. A goal decides what your business wants to accomplish as an end result over a specific period of time. It directs the business in the right direction and helps the company understand whether their firm is heading toward success or not.

Simply put, goals can be defined as: “Goals provide the business with a structured framework.” (https://www.itsguru.com/difference-goal-objective-strategy-plan/