Dig a little deeper into marketing funnels, buyer journeys and the different kinds of users your business will encounter.
In this episode, we’re going to look at funnels in a bit more depth. Now as we discussed in the last episode, a funnel is a single journey that a user would take to engage with a business. Now, there are several kinds of journeys that a user might take and it's impossible to track every last one. But understanding how journeys work is crucial for one very important reason.
You can curate journeys for your users.
In fact, that is literally what marketing is all about - building pathways that a business' audience will take, so that they are introduced to the brand, engage with the brand, buy from the brand, and ultimately, become loyal to the brand. Now, you might ask - why is it so important to understand all these journeys and pathways and funnels?
Glad you asked!
Let me illustrate with the help of an example. Let's talk about one journey a user might take in engaging with the flower store we’ve been talking about.
Step 1: User sees an ad on Instagram
Step 2: User clicks on the Ad and comes to the website
Step 3: User clicks on a set of flowers
Step 4: User adds the set of flowers to the cart
Step 5: User enters the delivery address and makes the payment
Here's the catch – at each of these steps, the relationship of the user with the brand is changing.
At step 1, the user doesn't really know anything about the brand.
At step 2, the user is interested in the flower store and keen to make a purchase.
At step 3, the user decides to check out the product.
At step 4, the user decides to buy,
and at step five, they finally make the purchase.
Now here is what's interesting - How the brand talks to the user at each of these steps also changes.
At step 1, the brand is just introducing itself to them
At step 3, the brand is now encouraging the user to select a product
and at step 5, the brand is asking the user to make a payment.
This is a very very, very important aspect of marketing to understand. The brand has to always talk to the user based on WHERE they might be in their journey. If the brand tries to get the user to make the payment at step 1, it just wouldn't work.
Let’s take a different industry.
Imagine I tried to sell you a piece of real estate with an ad on Instagram. How likely are you to look at that ad and be like, "Sure, let me put down half of my life-savings because you ran an ad to me on a trendy social platform."? Not very, right? This is why, understanding user journeys and funnels are essential to being a successful marketer.
To help you get a grasp on how different users might be at different points in their journey with the brand, here's a framework that will help. You can categorise the kinds of users a brand has into five separate segments:
Prospect - This is someone who does know the brand and has not interacted with them yet. They’re just out there
Follower - A follower is someone who has seen the brand and even checked it out but hasn’t yet taken any major action towards engaging with the brand. This would be the user who has clicked on the ad and has checked out the website or followed them on social media.
Lead - This is a person who has not just engaged with the brand but has also taken a step towards buying from them. This could be the user that has checked out the products on the website and has also added the product to cart. Maybe they downloaded a freebie the brand may have been offering.
Customer - This would be the person who has actually purchased from the brand.
Loyalist - This is someone who regularly purchases from the brand.
This framework is pretty simple and is probably why so many marketers overlook it. They assume that everyone is the same - at the same point in their journeys, with the same needs and the same preferences.
But smart marketers like you, understand that everyone in your target audience is on a journey and you need to market to them in a customised way. This will really help you create ad campaigns that truly set you apart in the industry.