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Funnel Marketing: Influencing Today’s Consumer Decision Journey

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In today’s crazy, mixed-up, new-ballgame “world of the millennials,” it may be nearly impossible to get an immediate, up-front purchase. You may have to court your customers and cajole them into the eventual buy. Enter the “funnel approach” — a way to attract more specific prospects with whom you can develop a relationship, that encourages them to buy from you.

by Jim Ackerman, president of Ascend Marketing

In today’s crazy, mixed-up, new-ballgame “world of the millennials,” it may be nearly impossible to get an immediate, up-front purchase. You may have to court your customers and cajole them into the eventual buy.

If that’s the way today’s customer does business, you need to switch to a “funnel approach” — one that attracts more specific prospects with whom you can develop a relationship, that encourages them to buy from you.

Sounds like a real pain in the patoot, doesn’t it? Why can’t things be simple, like they used to be — a Yellow Page ad, a little something in the paper, and the money comes rolling in?

Well, those days are gone, and you’d better adapt to the new marketing paradigm FAST.

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This is where funnel marketing comes in. And effective funnel marketing boils down to two things: Generating TRAFFIC and getting CONVERSIONS. Harder than it sounds and a bit more complex, too.

If you’re going after likes and follows on your social media, you’re missing the boat. You should have 1 thing and 1 thing only in mind… Getting contact information.

You can do it with free information, sweepstakes, uber-compelling, highly-limited offers, or any number of other “lead magnets,” but you MUST be going for that contact information.

The more you ask for, the less you’ll get, but you’ve got to go for something. If you ask for just a first name and email address, you’ll get quite a few takers, but your funnel is likely to include more steps to get to a sale.

If you ask for first and last names, email and cell phone numbers, you’ll get fewer leads but they may not take as many steps to close.

Regardless of your approach, once you’ve got the contact info, you’re shooting for the eventual conversion. For that, you must “build out” your funnel.

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Your funnel consists of a series of prospect-engaging contacts through all available media; email, phone, text, and face-to-face selling. Social media posting is not part of the funnel, except as you use it to generate the original lead and keep the whole audience up to speed with what you’re doing.

Point is, you pre-program all of your steps and automate them as much as possible. Your POS system will help with this, but it’s not likely to be the full answer, unless it enables you to put emails and text messages on auto-pilot at specified intervals, as well as trigger live and automated phone calls.

Your goal with all of this is to engage, teach, offer and render consistent value to your prospects until they become customers, then continue the process until they become clients.

Sign up for Jim’s SMART Show session, “Funnel Marketing: Influencing the Consumer Decision Journey,” on Sunday, April 16.

Jim Ackerman, president of Ascend Marketing helps jewelers across the nation and around the world get more bodies through the door so they can put more dollars in the till.

Jim Ackerman, “Marketing Coach to the Jewelry Industry,” is president of Ascend Marketing. Reach him at [email protected].

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