What is Full Funnel Marketing and Why Is It Important?

Published: Apr 01, 2020
Last Updated:
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Six out of every ten marketers prioritize understanding their customers' journey. One of the most effective tools for depicting that journey is the marketing funnel.

In full funnel marketing, brands take consumers through the different stages of the buying process. From the point where consumers first become aware of an offering to the decision to buy and commit to a brand, marketers tailor their full funnel marketing efforts to follow customers' thought processes and emotions.

What are the Stages of Full Funnel Marketing?

Although brands often differ in how they construct their marketing funnels, most marketing funnels follow a similar structure. They start wide at the top, where you have the largest number of people, and taper as customers move through the marketing process.

The funnel shape recognizes that not all people who become aware of your brand turn into full-fledged customers. However, marketers can use strategies such as well-placed calls to action to move more prospects through the process.

A typical marketing funnel follows these steps:

Step 1: Awareness

At this stage, people learn that you exist and that you offer a product or service of interest. Someone might:

  • See your ad on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media platform
  • Click on your SEO-optimized search result
  • Read your print ad in a magazine or newspaper
  • Hear about you through word-of-mouth

Increasing brand awareness and extending your business’s reach are critical to earning new customers. In fact, North American marketers ranked these priorities as their top goals for paid advertising campaigns, according to 2020 HubSpot research.

Step 2: Interest

After you’ve successfully built awareness around your brand, people will dive deeper into your marketing funnel. They will take the plunge and express interest in your product or service by:

  • Joining your email list
  • Clicking a link to follow your brand on social media
  • Signing up for a trial to check out your product.

A person that reaches the Interest stage is now no longer a stranger to your brand. They know of you and can now be officially considered a prospect.

Step 3: Decision

The decision stage is a critical juncture. Here, prospects will decide whether to buy your product or service.

Before making a final decision, prospects will often:

  • Conduct their own research about your business
  • Look into product or service reviews of your brand
  • Consult their peers or friends for advice
  • Compare your product or service with similar offerings

Typically, marketers work to nurture a decision by convincing customers that the business’s product or service is the best option available. During this process, it’s crucial to build trust with your prospects so that they decide your product or service is the best one for them.

Step 4: Action

You’ve made it. Your marketing and sales efforts have successfully convinced the prospect to take action. The prospect has chosen to buy and become a customer.

But, wait, you’re not done yet.

Step 5: Retention

In today’s world of online reviews, word-of-mouth-marketing, and curated brand reputations, retaining your customers is more important than ever. After your prospect converts into a client, you need to cultivate your relationship with the customer so they stick around, maintain a positive perception of your brand, and recommend your brand to others.

What Does Full Funnel Marketing Look Like?

Full funnel marketing starts wide and tapers off as prospects move through the marketing process, from brand awareness to purchase and brand loyalty.

To illustrate how full funnel marketing works in practice, let’s look at an example.

Step 1: You raise awareness with an ad.

The top of the marketing funnel represents the lead generation stage. Here, you’re looking to make as many people aware of your brand as possible.

Prospects may scroll through their feeds on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or another popular website, see your ad, become aware of your brand, and want to learn more. At this stage, marketers must create ads that resonate with their target audiences.

This is where strategies like A/B testing will help you identify content that's best suited to converting your prospects and where effective calls to action let them know how to interact with you.

Step 2: Prospects arrive at your landing page.

If you create a well-crafted ad, people will enter the lead nurturing phase, where they become interested in your brand and want to learn more. They might:

  • Look you up or click your ad to visit your landing page
  • Express interest by signing up for your email newsletters
  • Research your brand through review sites or search engines

Step 3: Prospects learn more about why your brand fills their needs.

Now it's time for you to help your prospects evaluate your product or service.

  • Provide a demo, give them a call, or send them a series of email newsletters.
  • Create tutorials to show them exactly how your products or services work.
  • Learn about and answer their concerns and questions.

Your goal is to show prospects that you and your offerings are there to help.

Step 4: Prospects buy your product or service.

After evaluating your brand, service, or product, customers decide to commit and make the purchase. You work out the terms of delivery and service.

Congratulations! Your prospects are now your customers.

Step 5: You foster an ongoing relationship with your customers.

After delivering your  product or service, you have to manage expectations and responses.

Deliver an A+ buying experience. Listen to and address customer concerns. To prevent churn and boost trust, remember to respond to and learn from negative feedback. If you provide a positive experience, satisfied customers will stay loyal to your brand and even spread the word about your products or services.


Salesforce research has shown that the highest performing marketing organizations are 1.9 times more likely to employ lead nurturing marketing strategies than lower-performing marketing groups. When HubSpot recently asked marketers about top sales priorities, the top two answers were closing more deals and improving the efficiencies of sales funnels.

Marketing funnels are great tools to help brands visualize the marketing and sales process that converts strangers into loyal clients. They also help you chart your brand’s marketing process and learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing strategy. No matter how strong your brand is in meeting client demands, you need a strong full funnel marketing strategy to nurture leads, convert clients, and build a loyal brand following.

This article was written by Compose.ly writer Ryan Owen.


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