The marketing funnel — or journey, if you will — is the process a person goes through from the moment they find out about a brand's existence to the moment they decide to make a purchase or use a brand. 

Think of it as hiking up a mountainI, personally, am not a hiker, but let's pretend! 

Every person starts at the same point. Along the way, some people divert or decide they have come far enough, and they set up camp. Some even drop out, but there are a select few who see it through and make it to the top of the mountain. 


Get your hiking shoes ready, because Alrika Möller from media update is your top tour guide on this journey through the marketing funnel. 

The basics of a marketing funnel 

Before we start our journey, we have to make a stop at the base camp to cover the necessities. 

The marketing funnel has three main sections and four main stops along the way. The main sections are:

  • top of the funnel
  • middle of the funnel, and
  • bottom of the funnel.

The goal of a marketer is to ensure that as many people as possible start the journey and that as few people as possible fall off along the way. 

Marketers cannot change the funnel. It is what it is. What they can do is utilise different strategies and methods at every step to keep the journey going. 

Sounds simple enough? Let's get started! 


Top of the funnel

The top of the funnel is the very start, where the whole journey kicks off. There is only one stop during this section, and that is awareness

Every brand is a solution to a problem. The marketers have to either make people aware that the problem exists or make them aware that the brand exists as a solution to the problem. 

There are many ways to create brand awareness. We have some of our faves below. 

Search engine optimisation is what makes your brand searchable online. Optimise the text and SEO on your website to ensure that people find your health plan when they are looking for quick ways to lose weight

Think about the problems people can solve with your brand. That is what they will search for online

Advertisements are the OG method for brand awareness, and this approach is still a popular one because it works. With ads, you have to keep in mind who your audience is and where to reach them. 

If your audience is spending a lot of time on the road, you want to look into radio ads and billboards. Advertise where your audiences live their lives. 

Social media
Most people have some kind of social media account — even my grandfather has Facebook. That is why marketers have to utilise social media as a way to increase brand awareness. 

This does not just apply to social media ads; it includes posts and interactions. Utilise the correct hashtags and trends to ensure that people see your page.


Middle of the funnel

This is the part of the journey where we take a pit stop at interest. Once people know about your brand, they will either get interested — or they won't. Marketers obviously want people to be interested

There are a couple of ways to get people interested once they know about your brand.

Use influencers
Social media influencers are some of the biggest marketing tools at the moment. They are a great way to reach a lot of people. Influencers can give your brand or product a review or provide information in a way that does not seem like an ad (but it actually is). 

Educate possible clients
Thanks to your stellar marketing during the top section of the funnel, people know that your brand exists. Now is the time to educate them on how it works and provide more information about what you offer. If they know the details, they won't feel like using your brand results in any risks


Bottom of the funnel

We are nearing the end! This section has two main stops: desire and action

People know you exist, and now they are interested in your brand. This is where you kick things up a notch to get them to really desire your brand. It is the final step before they make a purchase

Here are some special methods to move people from interest to desire: 

Reviews and testimonials
One of the best ways to get people closer to a commitment to your brand is to show them people who already use and like your brand. 

Utilise positive reviews and testimonials on:
  • your website
  • social media, and 
  • external review platforms. 
This will showcase positive aspects of your brand and let possible customers know that you do, in fact, solve the problem you claim to solve. 

Promo codes
If customers feel like they are saving money by using your brand, they will girl maths their way all the way to the add to cart button

Popular promo codes are things like saving on your first purchase if you subscribe or offering free shipping if you spend over a certain amount. Don't underestimate the hook in an influencer-specific promo code or affiliate link. 

Everyone loves a good deal. 

Free trial periods
If you offer an online service, consider having a free trial period with a new subscription. This will show them that you are confident in your product, and it will give them the chance to fall in love with your brand before they fully commit. 

One more stop to go! 

The last stop on the journey is when customers take action. This is when they purchase a product or book your services

This step is what marketers are trying to achieve. They want customers to get to this part of the journey and, hopefully, take things further by becoming a loyal customer. 

There are a couple of ways to get people into action mode. 

Optimised processes
Nothing deters customers more from making the final move than if the process is a shlep. Make the purchasing, using or booking process as simple as you possibly can

Loyalty perks
We already know that people love a good deal — and they really love anything free. Offer customers a loyalty programme or perks that will get them to keep coming back to your brand over others. 

The marketing funnel will always be a reality for marketers. They cannot control it, but they can use it and make the most of every step in the journey


Do you have a burning marketing question that is keeping you up at night? Let us know in the comment section below. 

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Are you looking to move people along in the marketing funnel? We can help! Check out What is affiliate marketing? [Infographic]
*Image courtesy of Canva