As a startup, you want to ensure that you've got a base of loyal customers. People who are going to swear by your product (and hopefully not at it).
The marketing funnel is a model that illustrates the steps a buyer takes to becoming a valued customer.
The funnel metaphor starts with a customer being made aware of your product (the wide end of the funnel). This can be as simple as them finding out about you through word of mouth. From here, the customer acknowledges your brand but compares you with competitors. They narrow down their options and eventually purchase your product – emerging from the bottom of the funnel.
At least, that’s what you hope happens. If they were happy with the overall experience then, fingers crossed, they’ll become a loyal customer and ambassador for your business.
Sounds simple, right?
That’s exactly the problem. The marketing funnel is just too simplistic. It assumes that everyone has taken this linear route and that buyers aren’t well-informed. Unfortunately they are. It also doesn’t look at how a company’s interactions with them after purchasing can affect loyalty.
Basically, you’ve wined and dined your customer in the first date, but this model doesn’t tell you how to keep them interested in the second, third, or fourth dates.
One more recent model, that does do this, is the Loyalty Loop (sounds way cooler than the marketing funnel, right?). This model is great as it gives a more accurate picture of the consumer after they’ve purchased your product. It can tell you what it is that makes the customer decide to use you again.
The Loyalty Loop starts off in the same way as the funnel, with a customer being made aware that your brand is an option. This then leads onto a process where the customer thinks about this option, before then beginning a process of evaluation. It’s here that they’ll shop around and compare you with competitors.
After this, the customer enters the purchasing phase of this loop. It’s from this moment of purchase that the Loyalty Loop greatly differs from the marketing funnel. The Loyalty Loop continues to show how post-purchase experiences dictate whether the customer will return again.
By using this model you can get an accurate view of where your customer stands. By understanding their attitude towards your brand, you can make sure that you send content their way that’s going to keep them enticed.
But, you have to ensure that the messages are kept consistent and frequent, to avoid your competitors grabbing the attention of the fickle customer. If you keep them enticed their bound to let everyone know about how awesome your business is. Capiche?