Awareness is the first segment in the marketing funnel. Learn what three things you need to accomplish in this stage and why more awareness doesn't always equal more conversions.
- All right, let's jump into the funnel. So, you obviously can't sell something to someone who has no idea that your product or service exists. That's where stage one awareness comes in. At this stage, we're working to capture the consumer's attention. We need them to be aware of our product or service, but awareness isn't good enough. What we really need is for them to be aware of well one, the fact that our company exists, and two, what it is that we do or sell, and three, that they have a need or want.
Awareness must capitalize on those three things, but that process can happen in any order. Typically, we accomplish that through advertising, pay-per-click ads, webinars, direct mail, social media, blog posts, and so on. But awareness also comes from our competitors, the media, and our consumer's environment. How you approach generating awareness is a function of what you're selling and to who. You may choose to invest evenly across earned, owned, and paid media, or you may opt to stack your efforts in one area that yields the best results with your audience.
I'm not here to dictate how you generate awareness, but instead draw your attention to the need and how it fits in the funnel. It's up to you to find that delicate balance. Too much attention at the top of the funnel may exhaust your budget, leaving you with too large of an audience that you don't have the budget or resources to move down your funnel. No attention at the top of the funnel and you're curious why your sales are lackluster. When we talk about awareness or any stage of the funnel really, we're talking about it as it applies to a specific customer segment.
You must remain diligent and talking to the right customer at the right time in the right place. Now, you may have several customer segments and as such, you'll need to define the funnel for each of those segments. One way to visualize this is to simply slice the funnel vertically, labeling the columns as they correspond to your customer. Or you can simply track the funnel for each segment individually. It's up to you. And this idea will make more sense as we look at marketing sequences later. As you explore awareness, don't fall into the trap of thinking your entire marketing strategy is just about awareness.
There's this misconception, you just dial up awareness and the rest will fall in place. But to really nail awareness, you need to keep showing up in the same demographic. That's why targeting is incredibly important. Awareness doesn't mean distributing your message everywhere. It means making your target demographic aware you exist. Have you ever talked to someone and they've never heard about the new product you're always seeing and you're baffled? Have you not heard about that new shaving club? You haven't seen their ads or not getting their coupons? You see, if a marketer has done their job well, you the key demographic have become very aware because you're the right customer.
They're not wasting their time making everyone aware. They're making the perfect customer segment totally aware. Over investing in awareness will create a really wide funnel at the top, but prospects won't automatically fall down the funnel. The shape suggests gravity is at work here, but that's really not the case. If it's easier to visualize, turn the funnel upside down. You're now pushing that one target demographic up through your funnel and that's a lot more effort which is the reality of that situation.
- What is the marketing funnel?
- Segmenting the marketing funnel
- Mapping the buyer's journey
- Creating a marketing sequence
- Converting: Moving through the funnel
- Improving the funnel
- Evolving the funnel