The B2B marketing funnel is a way of conceptualizing the buyer journey. At each level of the funnel, marketers are called upon to ensure they have relevant, high quality content aligned with the decision-maker’s knowledge and priorities, which change throughout the process.
The B2B marketing funnel helps marketing teams develop content that speaks to buyers across a variety of use cases and commitment levels. Using the funnel as a guide, teams can create relevant content and empower each piece with a relevant call-to-action. That gives marketers a bird’s-eye view.
The funnel includes these steps:
At this stage, the decision-maker becomes aware of a problem and sets out to learn more about it. He or she performs basic research to understand the issue, its origins, and the possible solutions. Initially, there may be no expectation of making a purchase. “Top of the funnel” content consists mainly of blog posts. These “evergreen” posts address issues most prospects will have and rarely need to be updated.
During consideration, the decision-maker recognizes there are products or services that could solve the problem. The main objective is to build buying criteria, recognizing what makes a solution effective or ineffective. Content in the “middle of the funnel” is somewhat more detailed. An e-book discussing what to look for in a solution is one example of content that positions a brand to set the terms of discussion.
In the purchase phase, the decision-maker has narrowed down the universe of options to just a few. Now aware of what makes a solution useful, buyers focus on which specific product or service will work best in their own unique context. They are now ready for the deepest and most technical content, including data-driven whitepapers and case studies. This is also the time for a demo or free trial.
After making a purchase, there’s usually a learning curve for buyers or their team to overcome. Customer success content focuses on equipping stakeholders with the skills to realize value as quickly as possible. This is key to retention along with feedback programs and regular follow-up.
The marketing funnel is a useful guide, but experience is essential to creating industrial marketing campaigns that win customers and build lasting relationships. Contact us to learn more.