Now that you've unlocked the mysteries of the marketing plan, I'm going to give you more keys to help you implement or improve it.
An analysis tool: the conversion funnel.
A fundamental concept: the customer lifecycle.
An essential methodology: AIDAR.
This part will equip you with a more comprehensive vision of online customer relationships and make it much easier for you to look at your activity and improve performance.
Analyze the Customer Journey
In digital marketing, you'll do a lot of testing and analysis. For every marketing action you take, you need to understand why it worked or not. This approach allows you to optimize your efforts, stop using some techniques, start using new ones, and adjust your prices, product, or distribution strategy. In other words, testing will help help you find the plan that best achieves your goals.
How do I identify the strengths and weaknesses of my strategy?
To find your strengths and weaknesses, you need to view your marketing mix and all of your marketing activity as part of a single system:
When analyzed in their entire context, a set of different elements appears as a single system.
In other words, view every element of your marketing mix, and every marketing technique that you're going to use, as interdependent. A winning marketing strategy consists of a combination of good marketing choices.
Does that sound abstract to you? Don't worry - it's normal. The notion of a system can be hard to visualize. That's why we use the idea of a funnel.
The conversion funnel is a diagram that shows a visitor's step-by-step journey up to the point when they are converted.
Depending on your goals, convert can mean different things. You may want to convert your visitors:
Into a simple user.
Into a subscriber.
Into a customer.
Into a donor.
Into someone who'll give a recommendation.
Each step of the journey corresponds to a sub-goal (or micro-conversion).
Examples of sub-goals:
Reading a text.
Scrolling the page from top to bottom.
Clicking a link or button.
Viewing an article.
Adding to the basket.
Completing and submitting a form.
At each step, the visitor advances or leaves the funnel. If a lot of visitors abandon their journey, the funnel gets thinner. This thinning gives the diagram its funnel shape. If you converted 100% of visitors, the graph would be a rectangle!
You can use the funnel to visualize at which stage in the journey you lose more traffic than you should. It makes it relatively easy to see the weak points in your marketing strategy, analyze them, and perform tests to correct them.
Structure Your Funnel According to the Customer Lifecycle
Before, during and after their journey through your funnel, your targets and future customers go through different phases. We call this the customer lifecycle.
If all goes well, your customer lifecycle will look like this:
Your prospects are people you think would be interested in what you offer. You target them by exposing them to your brand or products. Note that your targets may not know who you are or what you offer until you get their attention.
Your visitors are those who have shown some interest in your offer: they've taken the time to visit your site.
Your leads are those who want what you offer after seeing it and are potentially willing to pay.
Your customers are those who have purchased from you at least once. Some stay active over time and pay you regularly. Others are passive: your challenge is to reactivate them.
Your ambassadors are your most loyal customers. They were so satisfied that they recommend you to others, helping you to attract new visitors, or even new prospects.
Note that these lifecycle phases all depend on the effectiveness of your marketing.
Convert Your Audience Into Customers - and Ambassadors
Since everyone you talk to is not in the same phase of this cycle, they don't have the same expectations. In the first part, you saw that a personal customer relationship was one of the strengths of digital marketing. You want to differentiate your communication and marketing actions, depending on who you're interacting with.
To illustrate this idea, let's say a member of your target audience encounters your brand and products for the first time. Your final goal is to turn them into a loyal customer. Do you think this first exposure is the right time to promote your loyalty program? At the same time, would it make sense to send introductory offers to someone who's already a customer?
In either case, you'll be wasting your time and marketing budget. To avoid such waste and get the most out of your marketing budget, use the AIDAR model to sequence and prioritize your actions.
The model consists of five successive phases:
Push towards action.
Build loyalty to encourage recommendations.
The AIDAR model corresponds with the customer lifecycle phases you saw earlier in this chapter.
In this part of the course, you'll see how the AIDAR model helps you understand each customer relationship phase. We'll explore the central concepts and review the essential techniques and methods.
In this chapter, you learned that:
A conversion funnel helps you visualize your customer journey.
Your customer's lifecycle progresses through five major phases: prospects > visitors > leads > customers > ambassadors.
The AIDAR method allows you to move your audience from one phase to the next, with strategies to attract attention, generate interest, stimulate desire, take action, and get recommendations.
Now let's take a look at each step of this funnel and learn how to optimize your marketing campaigns.