Figure 3-1: A marketing funnel.
Putting SMM in the Context of the Marketing Funnel
The marketing funnel is one of the most important metaphors in marketing today. It differentiates between prospects and customers, and maps out the journey from the point where a prospect learns about a product to when he becomes a loyal and repeat customer. Because practically every marketer uses some form of the marketing funnel, it serves an important framework through which to understand social media marketing.
The traditional marketing funnel typically has five stages, as defined by Forrester. These five stages are awareness, consideration, preference, action, and loyalty (as shown in Figure 3-1). The last stage (loyalty) has the fewest people. Those customers are the most loyal and, therefore, among the most valuable. For many marketers, marketing is fundamentally the act of moving people from having an awareness of a product, considering it along with other products, establishing a preference for the product over the others, to eventually taking action such as purchasing it and developing loyalty toward it.
You employ different marketing strategies and tactics at every stage of the marketing funnel to move the prospects along. The movement of prospects and customers is measured precisely (especially when you do this online), and if there isn’t enough movement, you need to devote more marketing ...