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Designing the Buyer Centric Funnel in the digital marketing space

In today's highly competitive world, where there are service providers for every possible thing one can dream of, it becomes imperative for companies to optimize and improve their marketing strategies so that customers choose their services.

The marketing funnel is a simple yet effective way to explain conversion rates in the digital marketing space, it suggests that not all people getting to the first step, make it to the second, due to discrepancies in the marketing strategies or "funnel blockage" points, which reduce conversion rates and interest. 

Buyer Centric Funnel Design

A better approach to the funnel is a buyer-centric one. The basic idea of a buyer-centric approach is to counter friction and concerns with motivation.

Ideally, the highly intrusive and often infuriating pop-up ads we see on websites would do the trick, but that’s not how the human psyche works. The reason such marketing strategies yield no results is that customers still have umpteen questions about the product and they aren't motivated to buy the product. In other words, customers are being pitched a product they have no use for.

The Buyer’s Journey

There are 3 steps to what is referred to as "The buyer's journey", which can be explained as follows:


Awareness: This step refers to when a buyer faces a problem/need and turns to possible solutions. This is where companies can play to the emotions and needs of their customers, highlighting the concern and suggesting a solution without mentioning their product to generate preliminary interest.

Consideration: This is the step where the actual product should be pitched in the form of free trials, demos, or customer stories. This is where the customer learns all about your product. Try to establish trust and create a trigger here.

Purchase: The penultimate step, refers to customers who have made up their mind about purchasing a product, they just need to be nudged in the right direction towards your product.

The Mismatch Problem

Marketing teams need to focus on the fact that everyone who seeks information about their product via their website is not on the "Purchase" step, in fact, customers who visit a product website with the intent of purchasing form a mere 5% of the total demographic. A big chunk, 80% to be precise, is formed by customers who are still on the first (Awareness) step. Companies need to examine and understand their buyer personae to come up with specific marketing strategies. A general rule that one can follow is that buyers look for competitive features and also ROI and sustainability

Website Optimization

According to website grader: free tools, low customer work requirements and demonstration of expertise drive a viral spread and lead to better conversion rates. 

A practical example of optimizing a website following these guidelines is Salsify, a Product Content Supply Chain Automation service. The original free trial experience involved several tedious and impractical features, such as verifying one’s email address, learning the UI, signing up with a different retailer, and exporting to a new retailer. 

After revamping their free trial experience which led to minimum customer work, sample data to work with, and direct exporting to google, they received much higher conversion rates as the “full wow” factor was achieved much more quickly and easily.

Funnel blockages are like a game of whack-a-mole, once you fix a problem, it moves elsewhere. A possible solution is instead of employing siloed thinking, departments should all come together to look for solutions.

Joseph Jaffe’s “Flip the Funnel”

 Joseph Jaffe, Chief Interrupter, Powered Inc. has turned the marketing funnel strategy on its head, quite literally. He believes in “Flip the Funnel”, a marketing strategy in which companies focus more on providing current customers with their best experience rather than acquiring new ones. This is based on the fact that if people are satisfied with a service, they will tell others around them. 

In the internet age, where even one bad review could potentially lead to losing plenty of current and potential customers, it is pivotal to make sure your current customers are satisfied. 

Flip the Funnel heavily reduces advertising costs and brings in new customers, a win-win as word of mouth seems to be the only organic form of advertising one can employ these days. However, flipping the funnel is likely to require long-term investments and have opaque insight into future impact.


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Manya Arora