When you are strategizing your brand and trying to determine your ideal audience for your business, consider crafting customer profiles. Even a little deeper than that, consider creating a user journey that walks through the various touch points your ideal customer will engage with when interacting with your brand. One way I like to visualize this, is by drawing out what it will look like for the customer to go through a funnel.
Sales Funnel. Purchase Funnel. Marketing Funnel. Which is which, and what is what? There seems to be a different variety of these all over the internet, and different opinions on which is which. Whatever it’s called, I want to walk through the most common funnel that I see. This blog post is about how you could use a funnel to help strategize how your branding and marketing will be executed across all the appropriate channels.
“The purchase funnel - understanding these points along the consumers journey will help us recommend the correct format and the media channels based on the decisions the consumer needs to make in each stage.”
- Douglas Davis | Creative Strategy And The Business Of Design
Using the following list. Write out as many items you can think of that apply to your ideal customer at each point in the journey. What channels can you use, what messaging can you use, or what campaigns can you design that engage the user in each phase?
1. Compelling Events
This is the first step. Before the user or consumer has taken their plunge into the funnel, buying your product, or engaging with your brand there is probably a compelling event that takes place. This will send the consumer onto the quest to find a solution. Examples:
This is how the consumer initially finds your business or how they discover what they are seeking. This is the top of the funnel. Your potential customer is now on the search to find a solution to their problem that was discovered in their compelling event. Examples:
3. Research / Education
In this phase the consumer has found you and they are trying to learn more about you and what you offer. They are looking for answers to questions like: Who are you? How can you solve my problem? What do I need to do to buy? How much risk is there for me if I choose you? And how much do you actually know? They are seeing if they can trust you. Examples:
In this phase the consumer has likely not made a purchase yet, but they are starting to interact with your brand more. This phase is how and why they might take action. Maybe they started following your movements or downloading the free content you provide. Examples:
5. Convert / Purchase
You’ve finally convinced the consumer that you are the least risky option and you can solve their problem. They’ve made a purchase and they are ready to apply what you teach or provide to their lives. Examples:
6. Post Purchase
The user or consumer is now your customer. How do you delight them even further? Why do they return to you for more? Examples:
You’ve thrilled the customer to the point where they are not only delighted, but they’ve become an evangelist. They are quick to tell their friends about your brand, leave positive reviews online about your product, and hit that share button when the opportunity arrives. Examples:
Now that you have the funnel in front of you, what are different channels you can use to engage with the consumer in each phase? For your product, service, or organization, which channels are the most appropriate? Here’s a list of channels just to get thinking: Social media, your website, TV, Radio, Billboards, outdoor media, email, packaging, direct mail, posters, mobile apps, signage, word of mouth, etc. What kind of deliverables can you create to engage your customers in each step? These are things I love thinking about in helping businesses align their brand with their customers. It’s more than just visuals, it’s strategy.