26 Jul Why a Marketing Funnel is Great for Marketing Automation
In the age of digital marketing, marketing automation has long been hailed as a lifesaving tool for teams. But what if we said you could be smarter about how you handle your marketing automation?
It’s all about learning from the evolution of marketing funnels. If you understand how marketing funnels have changed, you can actually improve your automation strategy and do a better job of converting prospects into paying customers, wherever they join the funnel.
Here’s why your marketing funnel can boost your automation and vice versa.
What is Marketing Automation?
In a nutshell, marketing automation is exactly what it sounds like. It’s software that automates your marketing for you. The idea is that it allows you to prioritize tasks and execute them in a more streamlined manner.
In the ideal world, marketing automation is a marriage of software and strategy. It’s a lot like growing a garden–planting seeds and giving them sun to grow of their own accord has its benefits, but you’ll see better results from your efforts if you give your seeds fertilizer, check the soil, and protect them from animals.
If you do that, you’ll have a much easier time of turning your seedlings (leads) into lush plants (paying customers).
Why It’s a Lifesaver
Marketing automation is a lifesaver for so many marketers precisely because it allows you to prioritize. You can take your attention off of small busywork tasks and instead focus on the big picture.
This also makes it easier to see how your campaigns are paying off. And if they’re not paying off, you can easily switch your trajectory.
But most of all, it allows you to personalize content for customers. You can draw your customers into a story, taking them on a journey that’s designed for them (without driving your marketing team up the walls trying to engage with customers manually).
What is a Marketing Funnel?
The other half of our equation is a marketing funnel, which is a process of moving your customers through the stages of the buying process until they finally convert.
The traditional marketing funnel has four stages:
As you progress from the first stage down to the fourth, your pool of customers narrows down. At the first stage are customers who are aware they have a problem and are just starting to look for solutions. The customers who remain at the fourth stage are the ones who will convert.
Why the Old Funnels Are Dead…
Now that we’ve explained the stages of the funnel, it’s time for a revelation: the old marketing funnel model is dead.
Don’t bust out the funeral music–this is actually great news for marketers!
All the stages of the original marketing funnel still exist, but the consumers of today are disrupting the cycle. What was once a funnel is now at best described as flipped funnel and at worst described as a pinball machine.
Customers of today are doing a lot of work that marketers used to do themselves. Marketers still have to attract leads and generate interest, but those leads may come in at different stages of the funnel and are now educating themselves through reviews and content.
Then, when they purchase, they go on to advocate for the product or service, repeating the cycle for new customers.
…And Why That’s Great News
This is fantastic news for marketers (if you know how to leverage it).
Think about it: the entire customer life cycle has changed. Customers are now empowered to educate themselves and make their own way through their buying cycle like never before.
This creates an opportunity on both sides of the sale. If you provide customers with the right materials, they can do much of the legwork themselves. And after customers convert, it’s that much easier to leverage the buying experience to keep customers coming back.
Automation and Funnels
So you see, the meeting point of automation and funnels is actually a pretty happy place for marketers.
The new, evolving funnel of today is a way to marry strategy and automation into your marketing since it forces marketers to think outside the box.
Let’s say, for example, you have a lead magnet, like an explainer video. How will you get that video seen by the right customers?
Marketers who only know automation might think it’s enough to let it into the wild and let the software do the work. Marketers who understand the buyer’s journey as a choose-your-own-adventure understand that if you want that lead magnet to work, you have to think about how it can be used for customers entering at various stages of the buying journey.
This allows you to be smarter about how you market your product or service and how you leverage the marketing tools that you have. You can get more mileage out of your lead magnets and use automation to make smarter decisions about the customers you target.
You see, you now have access to the buyer’s journey at every stage of the game. Marketing automation makes it easier to leverage insights from that unique journey and tailor your approach to match each specific customer.
This means that instead of obsessing over the acquisition stage, you can catch buyers wherever they enter your funnel. And once you have them, automation makes it easier to be responsive and personal, maximizing your chances of a successful conversion.
Taking Control of Your Funnel
So you see, when you bring your marketing funnel and your marketing automation together, it’s actually the perfect combination of tools to help you be a more effective marketer in a crowded digital field.
Of course, you have to build your funnel using the right components–otherwise, customers won’t join the funnel at any stage.
That’s where we can help. We make videos that will play perfectly into what your funnel needs, no matter what your company’s focus may be. Want to find out more about how we can help your business thrive? Get in touch today.