Many voices - why you need to know about the marketing funnel
Note - this post was written for the London Jewellery School blog
Marketing your business is key to your success. However, marketing is not just about telling new customers who you are - there are a number of different groups of customers and potential customers out there that you need to communicate with.
The marketing funnel is ‘a consumer focused marketing model which illustrates the theoretical customer journey towards the purchase of a product or service’. OK, so what does that mean in English! It means that it is rare (but not unheard of) for someone to see your brand and buy from you immediately. Potential customers like to familiarise themselves with who you are and what you offer before they take the plunge and buy. This means that at any one time when you’re marketing you are talking to different people at different stages in the buying process. This is useful to know because it helps structure how you talk to your customers and potential customers.
The marketing funnel is a tool to look at how you can move people through the process to buy from you. Here are a few ideas about how to go about it.
Awareness - people who haven’t heard of you
The first group is people who haven’t heard of you. When you first start out in business that might be everyone!
How can you let people know about what you offer? Your first step is to identify your ideal customer. This helps you keep in mind what they are likely to be reading, what social media they use etc and then you can ensure your business is on these and that you are posting regularly.
- use social networking (have a look at the Karen Young case study for some great insights)
- have a look at a previous blog post on five (mostly) free ways to promote your business
- you may want to try paid for advertising through google or facebook adverts
Interest - people who have heard of you but don’t think you’re relevant to them
This is an interesting one and I may be a bit controversial in saying this your jewellery shouldn’t be of interest to everyone
What we have found through working with jewellery business owners at LJS is that the more niche you are the easier it is to identify your customers and to appeal directly to them. Generic styles of jewellery are, perhaps counterintuitively, more difficult to sell.
|Bike chain pendants on inner tube cording by Katie’s bike|
For example, take a look at this case study of Katie’s bike. Katie Wallace is a previous jewellery business bootcamp student at the London Jewellery School who makes and sells jewellery from recycled bike chain. She appeals to men and women who are interested in bikes and cycling as well as those who like recycled materials and chunkier jewellery looks.
Having said this, however, there may be customers out there who feel your products aren’t their style but they may buy pieces as gifts. Make sure you remind them about the potential for gift giving.
Desire - people who are interested but haven’t bought
The question here is what will push someone to buy what they currently covet? Think about what encourages you to buy. Is it -
- the design
- a special offer or special price
- free p&p
You may have to play around with what you offer to see what is most effective to persuade people to take the plunge and buy from you for the first time.
Action - people who’ve bought once
You want to wow people who have bought from you to encourage them to buy again. You could do this by
- having lovely packaging and great service
- offering a discount code for first time buyers to encourage repeat business
Retention - people who buy regularly
These are your people! You want them to realise that you value them and their business firstly because they will buy again but also because they are your advocates and will recommend you to their friends and family.
You could do this by
- telling them! Let regular customers know how much you appreciate their business. You could do this with a handwritten note in a parcel or a surprise free gift
- asking their opinion on different designs via social media. This is great because it shows that you are interested in what they think and they will start to think of your designs in relation to their own preferences
I’m sure you can think of other innovative ways to communicate with customers and potential customers. I'd love to hear your ideas. Please comment below.