Let’s imagine you have a great service that you have developed over a period of time and you decide to start a company to commercialize your service to customers – this means you need a way of inviting people to know your company and pay for your services. That’s what marketing is, basically. And the process of acquiring leads and conducting them through a step by step abstract line in your company to turn them into paying customers is what we call a (marketing) funnel.
You have lots of examples of funnels and they all have different goals and can be used to achieve different results, so I decided to explain a a basic marketing funnel for you to use it as a template to your business.
Let’s imagine that you have a company that offers I.T services – a customer can call you, tell you the problem they have, ask for a price or a budget and schedule for you to come and solve their I.T problem. Simple as that.
So first all you need to do is understand the process your customer needs to go through and for that, I decided to define it as:
- The customer sees an ad;
- They go to your website/social media;
- They get a price for your service (either by a table you provide online or by calling you);
- They schedule the service with you for day X and time Y;
- You arrive, solve the problem and get paid if haven’t yet;
This simple user trajectory step by step list helps you settle your first marketing funnel, which basically is going into further detail about the kind of interactions you have with the initial lead and how those actions can turn the lead into a customer that requires your services or products. Useful, right?
Hacking the Funnels
Now, you see that the only problem that this funnel has is that it ends, eventually, right? Big companies like Uber, Airbnb and Instagram saw that problem and decided to solve it so they could increase their revenue. What they decided to do was to see the funnel not as a linear process that starts and ends but as a circular trajectory that ends exactly where it started, like a paradox! In a linear funnel, you need to increase your marketing money to increase your customer list as well, but with a circular funnel you can keep customers running the same funnel several time without spending much money doing marketing strategies.
Look at this 4 steps funnel developed by Airbnb:
- New hosts join the app;
- More value provided to the guests/users;
- New guests join the platform;
- More value provided to the hosts
(and then goes back to step 1 again)
This is a simple way of scaling your company and keeping your expenses balanced – which is very important!
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