Digital Advertising: Understanding the Sales and Marketing Funnels

Running a business in today’s day and age means adjusting to the new rules of the game. That is, it means following the market trends and trying to keep up, so as not to be completely outshined by your competitors. This is why relying solely on those traditional marketing methods that you may have been used to in the past is certainly not a good idea. And neither is ignoring marketing altogether in case you’re new to the business world completely and have never done any advertising before. Time to change that.

Marketing is undeniably not to be ignored and, as you may have understood it already, the trick is in adding digital marketing to the mix as well. People are relying on digital platforms for anything they need and want nowadays, from buying groceries and clothes to using plumbing services or booking vacations. The bottom line is, therefore, that digital advertising is a must for you regardless of what kind of business you are running because everyone needs to find a way to stand out online and get an audience. That will further lead to getting customers and, therefore, to getting the success you want.

Read about the importance of this whole concept for your business:

Anyway, it is not exactly a short way between a member of the audience and a customer. Or, in better words, it may not be. People aren’t always quick to decide that they want to spend their money on something, and even when they seemingly act impulsively and make hasty purchases, their minds have gone through certain stages of making that decision. It’s just that those minds have gone through the stages quickly.

In any case, what I am trying to say is that there is a whole path from the point when a person becomes acquainted with your brand to the point when he or she becomes a customer. And, instead of you just sitting around and waiting for something like that will happen with the people who learn about you and your business, you will actually have to take matters into your own hands and sort of push the right people into the right direction. In order to do that, you will need the help of the sales funnel and the marketing funnel, two concepts that people often confuse with one another.

Sure, people often confuse these two concepts with one another, but the thing is that they are rather different. Even so, both of them are also important for your business, as you will quickly see. Below I will give you a better idea about what the sales funnel and the marketing funnel precisely are, which will help you further understand their functions in your efforts to gain customers, establish your brand, and lead your business towards the success you’re dreaming of. So, let’s start learning.

What Is the Marketing Funnel?

Let us begin with the marketing funnel. Basically, it represents a high-level picture of how the people that are in your target audience not only become aware of your business, but also become interested in what you’re offering, start desiring it, and finally act towards buying it. You may have already heard of the famous acronym used to denote these particular processes, that is, the stages I have mentioned here.

The AIDA model: So, the acronym AIDA stands for awareness, interest, desire, and action. Those are, thus, the main stages that the people from your target audience will go through before they turn into your customers. Also, each and every one of those stages is represented with the marketing funnel, from top to bottom.

As it is clear, more people will become aware of your company than will finally take purchasing or other action. This is why the process is represented as a funnel. Now, you take different actions in different stages in order to achieve the desired results.

For instance, in order to raise awareness of your brand, you will say, write compelling and relevant blog articles, and run active social media pages. Then, you may use blog guides, webinars, or even targeted ads to increase people’s interest in your products and services, after which you can use e-mail campaigns or free trials to make those people who have gone further down the funnel start desiring what you’re offering. And, in the end, there are also actions to take, including email onboarding or phone calls, to close the deal and get the leads to make a purchase or perform another action.

So, as you can see, a marketing funnel follows the customers through the entire journey, from awareness to action. It is a strategy that your business needs to have in place in order to succeed. Without it, you’ll just be using random techniques, hoping for the best, which is not the right way to run a business.

What Is the Sales Funnel?

Next, there is the sales funnel. While a lot of people tend to use the terms interchangeably, there is a difference between these two concepts. So as to finally get a clear picture of sales funnel vs marketing funnel, you’ll need to clearly understand this particular concept as well. Let me, thus, give you the explanation you need.

In the simplest words possible, a sales funnel constitutes a page-by-page experience aimed at driving your target audience toward taking action. Now, what the action will depend on the actual goal you’re trying to achieve. You could be looking to drive them towards making a purchase, or to sign up for your newsletter, or pretty much anything else.

This brings us to an important conclusion. The sales funnel is used to generate leads and to, of course, make sales. You start the process out by making an irresistible offer to your audience – something that will act as a lead magnet. After they’ve filled out the necessary information you wanted to get this way, you can continue by making an upsell or down-sell offer, featuring the products or services you really want to sell and allowing them to buy it in a simple click.

What Is the Key Difference?

To sum things up, here is what you need to know about the key difference between these two concepts. A marketing funnel basically provides you with a holistic overview of your customer’s journey, from awareness to taking action, while the sales funnel is focused on creating those pages that will guide a specific conversion event, that is, a specific action. And, naturally, you need both strategies in order to run your business successfully.

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