Pushing leads through the marketing funnel

With budget cuts, marketing often gets the first whack. And it’s unfortunate because those number-crunchers don’t see the value of each marketing mix component and how they build on one another. So it might be helpful to show them a marketing funnel to illustrate the process of casting a net into a sea of prospects and reeling in the big ones via integrated marketing.

1.    Create awareness.

Through advertising, publicity (trade shows, event sponsorship), and public relations, you build awareness of your brand. This familiarity prompts interest in your product or service.

2.    Build desire.

Your next step is to cultivate that awareness into desire. In this stage, you employ heftier marketing tools, like online tours and demonstrations, special events, social media (Facebook, Twitter) to differentiate your brand from the competition.

3.    Cultivate prospects.

Take those tire-kickers to the next level with direct mail, email marketing, special offers, whitepapers and case studies, and a landing page or microsite that is targeted to your audience. Give them the hard data on your benefits.

Most importantly, measure every step of the way. Any marketing task that isn’t measured is a failure. If you want to justify the value of your marketing for budgetary purposes, use metrics. Track media coverage, website and social media traffic, email opens and clickthroughs.

The success of your marketing relies on the strength of each effort. Make each one count, and count each one!


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