The Growth Marketing Funnel Brands are pouring out new marketing campaigns and communications, with the goal of remaining relevant – and at the end of the day, increasing revenues. Marketing campaigns depend on countless IT requirements to make these brand messages effective. Why are brands constantly pumping out content? They are attracting, nurturing, converting and engaging their current and future consumers. Where does this start? It starts with strategic marketing plan development by the brand(s). Similar to The Sales Funnel, growth marketing follows a likewise path, which I will be referring to as The Customer Growth Marketing Funnel, which include the five stages shown to the left.

As you can see in the illustration, the Customers are always on top – they should always be the driver of all decisions. To support any marketing plan, they are many software platforms to help develop, organize and deploy marketing initiatives; they include the ability to forecast and budget, customize templates, tools to define your target and reach market, and embedded calculators to help you realize the ROI, cash flows, customer conversion rate, break even points, and marketing deployment success rates. They also support competitive analysis, marketing strategies, product development, Ad content and the ability to delegate to your team. Overall, this software allows you to develop your positioning and brand strategies across a multi-channel business, use interactive marketing plan templates to map out your strategies, and organize and manage your team through implementation through pre-built, guided templates and additional tools.

This type of software is also applicable to the “Attract” portion of the funnel. I like to refer to this stage as the Buyer Stage, the customer exploration and education phase. This is the stage where you are executing your Marketing Plans, where you’re producing, publishing and promoting suitable content across all strategic channels; you are drawing consumers in to your content hub(s) and ultimately your database. Strategic Marketing Plan Platforms assist in tracking the views, visits, followers and opt-ins and downloads from your initiatives. Deployment tools include your website, social medial pages, mobile aps and interactions, videos, podcasts, SEM, SEO and blogging. When you have attracted customers you then should nurture them and show your company is worthy of keeping a customer’s attention by offering additional value adds to keep and foster consumer loyalty. Loyalty Platform Software, for example, can drive and maintain quality conversions, encourage engagement and increase the customer’s time spent on your website and other engagement platforms. Other software platforms that assist in the nurturing portion of the funnel include landing pages, automated e-mail deployments, webinars and marketing automation software. Marketing automation software is crucial to a company’s marketing plan; it allows you to relay information quickly and effectively to current and future members. This software will also pick up any information that you may have missed and track the information allowing you to be in real-time cognizant state of knowing the success rate and effectiveness.

Now that we have nurtured your most loyal customers, let’s convert them to be regular purchasers and advocates to your brand, otherwise known as influencers. Marketing automation is the driver to consumer conversions, but your website, landing pages, staff and hubs should be the “closers”. Key metrics to this phase include multi-channel sales, click to purchase rate, revenue/profit and repeat purchasing, to name a few. In my opinion, this is where the most important and crucial marketing software platforms come into place; all Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms fall in this phase. Not only does CRM collect data on customers across many different channels including contact hubs between the customer and the company (i.e. company's website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media), but they can also provide customer-facing staff comprehensive information on customers' personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns for more targeted and personal shopping experience. CRM also drives future marketing strategies and investments. CRM comes full circle and supports all aspects of The Customer Growth Marketing Funnel.

You have all of this valuable information, so what do you do with it? You utilize this data to not only drive future decisions but also to engage your customer base. You identify your advocacy champions and enhance your customer engagement. In this stage, your goal is to turn your most loyal customers into social advocates for your brad, value and product/service. For example, beauty bloggers are influencers in the market where, at times and most likely, are paid by brands to promote their product through their blogs and websites. Key metrics within this phase include reviews, comments on social media, social support, referrals, and survey responses and indirect sales. Gathering measureable feedback allows for action planning and execution. When you pay attention to when your customers are talking, you may uncover things you would have not known and not be able to adjust course in time. There is software available for Reputation Management. These platforms allow you to grow your customer relationships, gather actionable feedback, standout online, get customers interacting, build repeat business and monitor customer trends.

Customers are the essence of any business, but within today’s overabundance of communication hubs, it’s become more difficult to get your message through. Investing in and utilizing marketing software platforms increases your chances of getting your messaging and initiatives through to not only your loyal customers but your “reach” ones. Investing in marketing technology can and most likely will increase your ROI and effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. Run through The Customer Growth Marketing Funnel and ask yourself the following:

· What is the ROI on each marketing campaign?

· Do we have the proper marketing software to foster and grow my business?

· Is my technology performing affectively in real-time?

· Do we Plan, Attract, Nurture, Convert and engage our customers?

If the answer to any of these is no, it’s time to look into sourcing the proper marketing software partner to increase your strategic marketing plan and more importantly, profits!
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Liz Skipor

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