buying funnelor buying funnel, is a consumer-focused marketing model that illustrates the customer’s theoretical journey toward the purchase of a good or service.
In 1898, E. St. Elmo Lewis developed a model that mapped a theoretical journey of customers from the moment a brand or product drew consumers’ attention to the point of action or purchase. The idea of St. Elmo Lewis is often called the AIDA model, an acronym that means awareness, interest, desire and action. This step-by-step process is summarized below:
- awareness – the customer is aware of the existence of a product or service
- Interest – active expression of interest in a product group
- Desire – aspiring to a certain brand or product
- Action – taking the next step towards purchasing the chosen product
The buying funnel is also often referred to as the « customer funnel », « marketing funnel », « sales funnel » or « conversion funnel ». The association of the funnel model with the AIDA concept was first proposed in Bond sales by William W. Townsend in 1924.
This early model was modified by marketing consultants and academics to satisfy the modern customer and is now referred to in marketing as the « buying funnel » or « buying funnel ». Many different business and consumer buying patterns exist in marketing today, but it is generally accepted that the modern business-to-business purchasing funnel has several stages, considers the intention to buy back and takes into account new technologies and changes in consumer buying behavior. As a model, the buying funnel has been validated in a variety of areas, including search, keyword advertising, and lead generation, but also modified to include previously unrecognized steps and values, such as outbound sales, Internet impressions, and Sales Channel Stages.
The concept of purchasing funnel is used in marketing to guide promotional campaigns targeting different stages of the journey with the customer and as a basis for customer relationship management (CRM) programs and leadership management campaigns.
Similar to a buying funnel, « conversion funnel » is a technical term used in e-commerce operations to describe the track a consumer travels through a search or advertising system on the Internet, browsing an e-commerce site. and finally convert to a sale.
The main elements of an online buying / selling funnel are:
- Traffic sources (ie SEO, PPC, referral traffic, etc.)
- The upper part of the funnel (TOFU) that coincides with the traditional stage of awareness
- The middle of the funnel (MOFU) that describes the perspectives in the examination stage
- Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) corresponding to the last stages of the life cycle (ie decision, conversion, purchase)
- Ways to re-employ – strategies and techniques to regain lost prospects / opportunities, usually through retargeting or email marketing
The modern conversion funnel can have many entry points, which means that people can enter any stage of their life cycle, leave and re-enter. This is why an effective online marketing strategy requires an omnichannel approach that combines various sources of traffic, campaigns and re-employment paths and makes them work as one to complete the purchase and even lead to loyal customers or brand advocates.
- EK Strong, Jr. The Psychology of Sales and Advertising. New York 1925, p. 349 and p. 9.
- « The seller should visualize his whole problem of developing the stages of sale as forcing by compressing a broad and general concept of facts through a funnel that produces the specific and favorable consideration of a fact. The process is continuous from general to specific. » and viewing the funnel has helped many salespeople drive a customer from Attention to interest and beyond ”(p. 109).
- A Modern Concept of Purchasing Funnel – Marketing-made-simple.com (2009)
- Court, D. Elzinga, D., Mulder, S. and Vetvik, OJ, « Travel decision for consumers », McKinsey quarterly, June 2009, Online: http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/the-consumer-decision-journey
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