Season 5, Episode 2
The Marketing Funnel

Jan 22, 2024

Your typical consumer journey is going to differ whether you work in a B2C business or a B2B business, but why? What makes the traditional consumer journey effective sometimes and the account-based/inbound journey effective at other times?

Your typical consumer journey is going to differ whether you work in a B2C business or a B2B business, but why? What makes the traditional consumer journey effective sometimes and the account-based/inbound journey effective at other times?

On today’s episode of Marketing Matters, Morgan, and Sarah are discussing the marketing funnel and how the B2B funnel may look different from your typical B2C funnel. We’ll focus on the different aspects of each funnel, as well as how to implement the funnel for a truly effective marketing strategy. Tune in to learn which strategy would work best for you and your business.

Highlights:

  • What is the typical consumer journey/funnel?
  • What is the account-based or inbound marketing funnel?
  • What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of each funnel?
  • How will content differ when you’re in different stages of the funnel?
  • How does re-engagement/re-entering the funnel affect how you treat the consumer?

Resources:

Inbound Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: A Comprehensive Comparison for B2B

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Marketing Matters is brought to you by ADV Marketing  

Sarah Roberts
We’re excited to be bringing you this podcast produced by our company, ADV Marketing. ADV Marketing develops high-quality and cost-effective marketing materials for a wide range of businesses. Our relationship-driven business model and customized marketing solutions make us the perfect partner for small businesses looking to grow. I’m Sarah, creative director at ADV Marketing. Join me here with the rest of my team on marketing matters every other Monday to discuss business-to-business marketing topics. Now let’s get into the episode. Hello, everyone. Welcome back to Marketing Matters, a podcast where we discuss all things marketing-related and how it relates to your business. And we’re so excited to be coming back to you for a second episode of Season five. I’m Sarah Roberts, creative director at ADV Marketing and
 
Morgan Hutcherson
I’m Morgan Hutcherson an account manager at ADV Marketing.
 
Sarah Roberts
And we are going to talk about a pretty fun topic today. We’re going to talk about the marketing funnel and the marketing funnel is really central to a lot of the understanding of what content you should put out, and when. It’s also really important if you’re getting into like the marketing automation parts and like understanding the consumer journey. So, we’re going to go back to the working funnel and define the typical consumer journey slash consumer funnel, and then we’re going to also talk about the account-based marketing, and inbound funnel, which is the funnel we use. And it’s a little bit different because it’s specifically catered to B2B and it’s also the most cost-effective way for B2B businesses to market to their people. So, a lot about content creation and making sure you are speaking the right language to the right people and then we talk about how to use these. So, what it actually looks like in practice and how you actually implement these key concepts and the very end.So, Morgan, let’s talk about the typical consumer journey. What are the stages of the typical consumer journey?
 
Morgan Hutcherson
So, they go from awareness to consideration to intent, to evaluation and then when they actually purchase the item. So, the way to think about this funnel is just in general, like just picture a normal funnel and you’re going to capture a whole bunch of leads and then later in the journey and weed out the ones that are fully relevant and then close a small amount of the leads.So, you’re starting up, you’re really focusing on that awareness and getting it out there, and then you’re not really guiding them along the journey because you’re just trying to see who’s actually serious about it.
 
Sarah Roberts
Yeah, and there’s a conversion rate between each stage. So, when you’re talking about this typical funnel, you’re usually looking at how many people get dropped out of each stage and why that might be, and you’re kind of refining your audience as you go.So, more people might be aware about you, but the ones actually serious about you were the smaller pool. And then you’re talking like more specific people. And then there’s certain events that happen that can convert them. Like if they’re looking for a car, you might always be aware of car brands, but your intent to purchase depends on like if you get a bonus or if you have this sudden influx of cash or if your car breaks down.So those events can trigger the conversions as well. So that is the typical one. Also, I should say that there are lots of different versions of this. Companies basically brand their own versions of this basic funnel, and sometimes they even add like a repurchasing or an advocacy stage right after purchasing, which is basically becoming like an ambassador for your brand and then promoting awareness. So, it kind of becomes a circle instead of a funnel. So, these are lots of different versions of this and you can find a lot, and there’s also different versions based off of the channel, you know, so like Google will have a certain consumer funnel because they’re specifically talking about SEO and digital marketing. And so that’s a little bit different too, but they all follow the same basic path.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yes.
 
Sarah Roberts
What is nice about this funnel?
 
Morgan Hutcherson
I think just in general with B2C, you’re going to get a lot of exposure and a lot of awareness. And that’s what a lot of companies focus on, is they’re just like, I want to have my company out there and like everyone to know about it. And so that’s kind of your goal and you think that’s what’s right for you. This is a great funnel.
 
Sarah Roberts
Yes. What does this funnel miss? What is it missing?
 
Morgan Hutcherson
I think what I often see with it, it’s just not targeted enough. It’s so broad and you’re not really targeting your specific target audience that would probably go through all those stages and not drop off. You’re just like, let’s get everyone.
 
Sarah Roberts
Yeah, there’s a lot of waste coverage.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah.
 
Sarah Roberts
When I say waste coverage, that’s like, how many people are you reaching that will never buy from you? Which technically is wasted resources.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah.
 
Sarah Roberts
So, billboards are my go-to example of this because everyone driving on a highway cannot possibly be your target market unless you’re just that targeted or that like, common.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah
 
Sarah Roberts
Like if you’re that common are billboards the right thing for you?
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah. Do you even need to market that much?
 
Sarah Roberts
Yeah, I don’t know about that. But everyone who drives by that will never even remember that they saw your billboards. That’s waste coverage.
 
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Well, I was going to say I feel like really a good example of a billboard that I can think about where everyone is the target market, think of Buccees. If you’re in Texas, Bucees is a gas station but not really a gas station it’s like a.
 
Sarah Roberts
Experience.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah, that’s what every Texan says it is. And they have a lot of billboards and they’re really widely known, like, I don’t know, a single Texan that doesn’t know what Bucees is. And so, it’s great for them because they have a huge target audience.
 
Sarah Roberts
On the road.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah, on the road too, and they’re going to go, there’s a Bucees in 30 miles. Why would I stop at this other gas station when I can go to this one and have this full experience and get snacks and clothes and everything?
 
Sarah Roberts
That is so fun, because they also do them in stages right?
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah.
 
Sarah Roberts
They do them in miles, so it’s literally down the funnel, like you’re aware of it. And then like the closer you get, you like go through the whole “now I intend to go there, there’s like now you’re considering it”. It’s telling you exactly where to go.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah, that just popped in my brain. Actually, this billboard does work.
 
Sarah Roberts
Yeah, the Bucees billboards are the illustration of a typical consumer journey. It is probably one of the better ones with less waste coverage. So, yes, absolutely. And after that, let’s talk about the account-based marketing and the inbound funnel. Which is the one we use for B2B marketing client. So, what does that look like?
 
Morgan Hutcherson
So, this is like the reverse. So instead of capturing a whole bunch of leads, you’re capturing very specific leads that, you know, have the best chances of purchasing your product, wanting your services, all that, and you’re guiding through that, through that stage. So, you’re educating them, you’re influencing their consideration, and then you’re engaging in contacting to lead to the sale.
 
 
 
 
Sarah Roberts
Yes, absolutely. It looks like the inverse, if you illustrate it, it looks like the inverse. And part of the reason why it starts out small and ends big, is first of all, you’re reaching a smaller audience. You just won’t be mass marketing. You’re going to be talking to very specific people in a very specific world. But then those like in B2B, those clients are massive moneymakers because they are returning clients. So that funnels upside down because when they start out, they’re up here in this very targeted group. But then as they engage with you and as they purchase from you, they’re generating a lot of your revenue. So, they’re very important.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah. Think about 20% of your clients do 80% of your business.
 
Sarah Roberts
Yeah, this is true. That’s the Parrado rule.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah, I love that rule.
 
Sarah Roberts
It’s a nice rule and its funny because you notice it everywhere. After you learn about it, anyway fun stuff. Let’s talk about what’s nice about this funnel. Not that we haven’t already. In summary, what’s nice about this?
 
Morgan Hutcherson
I mean, you’re going to close a majority of the leads, if not all, because you’re so targeted. So, I think that’s, like, the best thing about it. And it’s really great if you’re a niche company or service provider because you’re not going to be talking the mass or you’re not going to have that Bucees billboard saying like, oh you need pipeline services right this way. Like, that’s not going to work for you. But when you’re on LinkedIn and showing, hey, like we know about the industry, we know about your problems, and then you post a couple of case studies and then you start engaging with them at events, it, I think, works so much better for companies than the other funnel.
 
Sarah Roberts
Yes. What does it miss? What is this funnel not great for?
 
Morgan Hutcherson
I don’t know. I feel like I have a bias, and I feel like it’s amazing.
 
Sarah Roberts
For our clients it really is the better fit. If it misses anything, it’s if you’re trying to expand to other industries or audiences, then it looks a little bit different and you kind of have to build out a separate funnel.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah. And I feel like that’s when you would go back into your social listening and your consumer research and figure out what that new market would look like and you would just build it up, build your strategy up towards that and do them both simultaneous.
 
Sarah Roberts
Absolutely. Okay. Now that we lay the groundwork for typical versus account-based marketing funnels we’re going to take a quick break and when we come back, we’re going to talk about how to use the funnels and we’re going to focus, I think we’re going to focus specifically on the account-based marketing we will pull in a little bit of the typical if that’s relevant for you. But just because our experience is in B2B we’re going to do account-based marketing for this one. But yeah, so stick around. We’ll be right back.
 
Sarah Roberts
Welcome back, everyone. I hope you enjoyed our cute little break because it is the funnest music in the world. It is the best elevator music of all time.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
I know I was about to say it reminds me of an elevator every time.
 
Sarah Roberts
Yeah. So now that we’re back, we are going to talk about how to use the funnel information that we talked about before the break. So first, we’re talking about how this relates to planning content. Because it is helpful. When you understand the consumer journey and each like headspace that the client is in based off the different phase of the funnel. So, we know that there’s different types of content that resonate for each stage. And in the account-based marketing funnel, that’s the education and influencing consideration and engaging in contact phases. What does that look like, Morgan? Like, how is the education content different than the influencing consideration content?
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah. So, when you think of education, I think some people might think it’s just like, we’re only going to educate about our company. So that’s one misconception I really want to clear up really quickly. Some of it can be company based content, and we do talk about whenever we especially when we start doing social media for our clients, will do like this is just about the company to start building up that social media presence, but really educates going to be talking about the industry stuff, whether it’s about a current event, if it’s about just a general thing that relates to your services, but just educating client and then making sure that they know that they’re the hero in the content, that’s another key thing. Whereas like influence consideration, that’s where you’re going to bring more of your company-centric stuff in. So, talking about case studies, articles, newsletters, videos, videos, really putting in more that brand, more of that company-centric stuff, but not centric. No, company stuff but client-centric.
 
Sarah Roberts
And it’s building yourself up as a subject matter expert who can come in and be a resource. That’s a big part of that one. Okay. So that’s how it looks. And that’s the same for education, for consideration and engaging. What is an example of engaging contact?
 
Morgan Hutcherson
A really good one. If you go to trade shows, which a lot of our clients do, and you’re actually talking to them.
So maybe on LinkedIn you’ll say, hey, we’re going to be at this event, please stop by our booth and like, say your booth location and you’re inviting them to connect with you.
 
Sarah Roberts
Yeah, for sure. Okay. There’s another part to that, though, and that’s post funnel. So, let’s talk about that.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah. So how? So let’s say they’ve already paid for the service, bought the product. How are they going to reenter that funnel? And what does that look like?
 
 
 
Sarah Roberts
So, this goes back to how I was saying, some funnels have like a cycle because especially for B2B where your client base is like they’re coming back to you as the resource, they’re coming back to you again and again as the problem solver for their specific problem and leveraging your expertise. When they’re doing that, they’re reengaging you and they look different in like the influencing and influencing consideration and education stage. Then like a brand-new person, your prospects look a lot different that your returning clients. Every B2B business knows that. When you’re doing that, you have to consider that some people in the influencing consideration, I would say influencing and consideration because your kind of already educated them that you’re there like they are aware of you.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah.
 
Sarah Roberts
They have a firm understanding of how you can provide value, influencing consideration is like, how do we reintroduce ourselves into the problems you have now, now that we establish credibility with you and a reputation with you and solving your problems already, and we can come back and help you again. So, you can’t just only message and market to new people. You have to also consider the fact that your returning clients are a huge part of your business. So how are you reengaging them with that? And that just looks a little bit different. They can also play a different role in the advocacy part. So, in service companies especially, reviews are huge because services are intangible. You can’t really judge a service just based on looking at it because you can’t look at anything. So, with that, a lot of people depend on testimonials, and testimonials are huge for telling your story and building credibility. So, if you reengage them in that way and ask for testimonial that is helping with your new customer marketing. There’s a lot it’s a lot to consider and a complicated, but at least the funnel gives you structure for having the conversation.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah. And if you want to know more about the funnel and how account-based marketing and content marketing work together with that, we have an article on our website actually that we will link.
 
Sarah Roberts
And I’m sure we did another podcast.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yeah.
 
Sarah Roberts
We need to build like a podcast library start categorizing it. That would be nice.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Yes.
 
Sarah Roberts
Okay. So, we talked about the funnel. I really like this conversation because it’s so central and foundational to marketing in general and creating really strategic messaging. So this was a really good conversation and I hope everyone learned something from it and had a good takeaway. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast, rate our podcast we would love that too and we’ll see you again soon. Thanks, guys.
 
Morgan Hutcherson
Bye, guys,
 

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