The buyer’s journey, or the marketing funnel, is business 101. Most entrepreneurs know the basics in this regard: you invite a broad scope of people to get to know your product. Those whose interests are piqued want more information. Some eventually take the final step to make a purchase.
Business leaders put great effort into tailoring their sales and marketing at every stage of this funnel. Your content marketing, sales strategies and distribution efforts all relate to who you want to reach through those efforts. That “who” depends on their position in the buyer’s journey.
But how do you know why people choose to abandon the journey before making a purchase? It’s called a funnel for a precise reason: at the beginning stage, the numbers are their highest. As people lose interest or choose not to buy, the number of potential customers get smaller. At the funnel’s narrowest point, this select group has not only expressed interest, but forked over cash for a product.
Funnel analysis is the process of telling you who bailed and when — but most importantly, why.
There are a number of different platforms that give you information about your customer funnel. But in order to get the most out of this data, it is essential to choose a solution that not only gives you data but helps you integrate it with other aspects of your operations. In other words, one that doesn’t just tell you what’s happening, but provides ways to tweak your funnel strategies so as many prospects as possible stick around to the end.
Funnel Analysis and Customer Experience
In any business endeavor, tweaking the product development and sales processes are common. It is an essential practice in order to respond to the particular needs of customers. By listening to customers, companies create the best product, thereby increasing sales.
It’s this ideology that is equally important in the marketing process. Businesses need to listen to potential customers. That includes people who interacted with the brand but left before communicating why. Knowing those motives is the first step toward changing sales and marketing models so more people continue on the buyers’ journey.
Customer Acquisition: Marketing
A new customer typically goes through three stages: discovery, consideration, and conversion. They learn about the product; they think about whether they want to buy; they sign a contract or finalize a payment. At each stage, there are any number of potential reasons why the process might be abandoned. There are ways businesses can work to remedy those reasons:
Discovery: Are enough people learning about the product? Are the initial marketing materials enticing enough? Are they reaching the right demographic? Is there the right “hook” to keep them interested?
Consideration: Once potential buyers know the details, are they intriguing enough to consider a purchase? Do the materials demonstrate how the product solves their problem? Is it at the right price point so that the prospect feels that a return on investment is possible? Are special deals or incentives offered to sweeten the deal?
Conversion: Why are customers abandoning the journey? Is the product offering confusing, are the costs understood, is the final contract for service too confusing or overwhelming? Are the final terms of the sales agreement unacceptable?
These are all just examples. But they demonstrate how knowing exactly what’s driving consumer behavior is directly related to the sales strategy for a product.
Your funnel analytics can give you this information, in ways you may not expect. The right solution provider can help you to unpack the data, so you know what the numbers actually mean. In other words, how a statistic is emblematic of a particular behavior or consumer motive.
Customer Retention: Product Experience
The final stage of the marketing funnel, by some accounts, is retention. That’s keeping your current customers happy. Everyone knows it is more economical to keep current customers happy than to constantly acquire new ones. Also, high customer turnover is often a sign of a deeper problem. Over time, a legacy of unsatisfied customers will affect the company’s reputation. That will make it harder and harder to get more people in at the top of the funnel.
Analytics at the retention stage look at the effectiveness of the product itself. The data may analyze timelines of when a customer chose to cancel a subscription, end a contract, or stop making regular purchases from an eCommerce site. The analysis can help you pinpoint whether a change in the product led to large-scale abandonment. Perhaps your business plan anticipates parts to last for 3 years, but customers need replacements after 1 or 2. Your data shows you more in-depth what’s going on, and gives you ideas of how to fix it.
Single and Multi-Touch Attribution Models
Much of this discussion has been on what may go wrong during the buyers’ journey. However, there is an equal benefit in understanding what has gone right. More precisely, why do potential customers stick around to learn more about the product, and how are they finally convinced to make a purchase?
There are different ways of interpreting this information. Single attribution models credit the first “hook” that got the customer in the door if they eventually made a purchase. Multi-touch attribution models credit each new “push” along the way that kept the customer in the funnel.
As a business leader, you can choose whatever method makes the most sense for you, but ideally it’s the attribution model that yields the greatest return. Your funnel analytics solution provider can give you the insights based on both methodologies, so you can get an accurate picture of what’s working. Then you can put more emphasis on that work, in order to maximize the number of prospects who consider buying your product.
Specific Strategies and ROI
From a more targeted perspective, business leaders may want to know how exactly this analysis works. Data providers can spit out numbers and claim they say certain things about your business models. But what exactly are those data providers looking at? There are many ways technology provides a picture of consumer behavior. There’s basic information, such as search location, click-throughs, and path of interaction with a website or online property. In other words, data shows how a particular user has interacted with your brand, from finding you through a social media post to finally buying a product in your ecommerce store.
That’s through techniques such as UTM tags or referring domain/URL inspection, which show where a user came from before they got to your site. Using this type of information, data analysts can develop an in-depth picture of who your potential customers are. They can work with important strategies like target cost per action campaigns, that bill based on the number of actions taken by an internet user. Your analysts can show how to tweak those campaigns to improve your ROI.
Choosing the Right Solution
When looking for the right funnel analytics solution, it may seem easiest to choose whoever says they offer the best data. But what do you do with that data once you get it and how do you determine what is the “best”? As an entrepreneur, business strategy is your forte. Partnering with a funnel analytics platform, however, may give you the particular insight you might not otherwise have considered. As experts in the data and business world, the right solution provider can give you those insights and prove that they lead to ROI — saving you both time and money you might otherwise expend sifting through the data on your own. In short, the right data partner fees should be a fraction of what they bring you in measurable growth attributed to better insights and decisions.
ironFocus stands out from its competitors. The brand goes beyond data services and solutions to provide powerful strategies based on in-depth analytics. The company’s thought leaders and team members have a collective, comprehensive skill set that includes business, sales, marketing, as well as big data. Unlike IT strategists who may simply offer the data to clients and ask them to make the most of it, ironFocus’ team knows how to use that information to achieve growth. To learn more about how ironFocus can elevate your business and marketing strategies, contact us today.