Traditional marketing strategies are evolving over time as more businesses adopt modern ways of reaching their customers much faster and efficiently through online channels. The move to omni-channels is driven by the fact that most consumers especially the millennials are always on online platforms, while others spend time in malls doing window shopping over the weekends and holidays. In addition, millennials are known to be high spenders on things that are trendy and appealing to them; and they don’t mind accumulating debt on their credit cards as long as long as they get to keep up with the latest trends and fashion. According to one report, customers with Mastercard and Visa cards alone accumulated more than $180 billion in credit card debt in 2009.For business owners, the millennials therefore form a very critical customer base that you want to be engaged with at all times; by putting your products in all the online and offline platforms where they are found.
Millennials are however very difficult people to please due to the wide range of choices they have to choose from. With e-commerce sites coming up every day, millennials are exposed to a myriad of brands from across the world and getting to attract their attention to your brand and your products will therefore call for a lot more effort. Targeted marketing and walking patiently with the millennials through the customer journey is therefore a necessity for all businesses. You will need to understand how to customize your marketing funnel for the millennials, and how to make each phase brief and transition to the next within a short period of time. This will help you to keep up with high pace at which trends and customer preferences are changing in this digital marketing era.
Marketing funnel assumes that you will start by creating awareness to a wide group of potential customers and only convert a small number into actual buyers for your goods and services in the end. To capture the attention of millennials and convert them into loyal customers, you need to follow the following steps in the marketing funnel:
At the top of your funnel you start with creating awareness to a large number of potential customers who might be strangers to your brand and your products. Your goal here is to show the value of your product, educate the potential customers and build trust with your subscribers. You can achieve this through writing blog posts, hosting webinars and giving away free e-books to your target customers so that they learn about your business and what value they can get from buying your products. At this level you do not delve into specifics of your products, you just get the high level details out there.
After creating awareness in the first step of the marketing funnel, you will get some potential customers who are willing to consider buying your products. For such potential customers, your goal is to build a deeper relationship with them and get them product education content that is customized to their specific needs. This can be achieved through live product demonstrations, customized email marketing and customized blog posts and webinars where you invite specific customers only.
At this point your goal is to get the customer to actually buy your product. You will therefore focus on showing the benefits of your product, offering discounts and creating the urgency to compel your potential customers to buy right away. You however do not want to appear to be bullying the customers or trying to force your products down their throats. You ought to be tactful while at the conversion stage in order to ensure you get as many buyers as possible.
A lot of work goes into the awareness, consideration and conversion stages of your marketing funnel; hence once you have acquired a customer you want to retain them and grow with them over time. To create customer loyalty, you will need to continue giving helpful information to your customer and send educational content that is relevant and customized for each customer you have. Continuous engagement with the customer even after they buy from you makes them feel appreciated and they will always come back for more products thereafter.
At this stage all you want is to turn your customer base into your fun base and have them be your product and brand ambassadors. Regularly seeking feedback from your customers and integrating it in your products helps you to meet your customers at their points of need and retain them. With constant communication via email marketing using relevant information, your customers will transition from just being users of your products to advocates of your products to the people within their social circles.
Walking through the 5 stages of your customer journey in the marketing funnel is very important for your business in terms of customer acquisition and retention. Even more important is ensuring that you get to the advocacy level in the marketing funnel, so that you can start growing your business organically through customer referrals.