Marketing funnels are not always successful. If a business is struggling with inconsistent marketing efforts or sub-par results despite the time and work invested, it may consider an overhaul of its entire funnel.
However, a complete revamp may be easier said than done if the business does not know exactly what the issue was to begin with. Without proper consideration, any overhaul risks causing more damage than good.
To help navigate this situation, 15 members of Forbes Agency Council share some of the key items brands should check off when revamping their sales funnel to carry out the process successfully.
1. Identify Where Losses Happen
Rather than abandoning their entire strategy, brands should identify the step where customer losses are greatest and address this area specifically. For instance, if you’re successful in capturing attention but conversions aren’t happening, you may need to analyze why customers are choosing your competition over you and address their objections in your campaign. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions
2. Insist On A Holistic Program
Company marketing efforts often happen in silos (marketing, PR, sales, etc.), each with its own plan, agenda, language, etc. This inconsistency can create confusion with customers and hurt sales. A marketing funnel overhaul is a good time for executive leadership to be brave and insist that department heads get aligned on corporate marketing priorities, messages, goals and successes. – David Fouse, Pinkston Group
3. Reflect On Your Ideal Customer Profile
Before throwing the entire marketing funnel out with the bathwater, I’d suggest taking a deep look at your ideal customer profile. Far too often, brands don’t really understand their customer and worse, aren’t spending money where their customers spend their time. Go back to the customer — really go back. Host a focus group and get their insights and opinions before you slather on a new concept. – Danica Kombol, Everywhere Agency
4. Start With The Pain Points
Rather than starting with a blank canvas, start with the biggest issue or pain point in your funnel. Where are the numbers bad or where is there a big drop-off? More than likely, this will lead to a ripple effect of solutions if you can pinpoint the source of the issue. – Jim Huffman, Growthhit
5. Consider The Domino Effect
A marketing funnel can be like a stack of dominoes — when one piece falls, the rest follow. So when “revamping” a marketing funnel, the first step is to analyze the funnel to uncover if the whole system is broken or if there are some specific parts that are broken. Attempt to “root-cause” the problem first before starting from scratch and reinventing the wheel when only one spoke is broken. – Bernard May, National Positions
6. Optimize One Stage At A Time
Don’t destroy the entire funnel without evaluating where the problem lies. Nail down the biggest barrier to action for each stage and then optimize your lead gen plan focusing on one stage at a time. And don’t forget that both marketing and sales must have a voice in the discussion. – Keri Witman, Cleriti
7. Revisit Your Audience Insights
The best way to identify the actual problem in your marketing funnel is to revisit your audience insights. When you address channels and tactics, without an understanding of your audience and their unique journey, you’re wasting your time and money. Instead, map the journey of your target audience. Identify outside factors and the role your brand plays in their lives. Then adjust accordingly. – Kevin Smith, Mighty Roar
8. Segment Your Audience
The most important aspect of a brand revamp is to segment your audience by demographics, and more importantly, psychographics such as reasons to buy, personal preferences or other selection criteria. After that, building detailed personas will be key. Make sure to prioritize the most desired segments and include those you may not have been targeting previously. After that, focus on messaging. – Francine Carb, Markitects, Inc.
9. Look For Changes In Your Audience
Sometimes, sagging results are just par for the course. But, if there’s genuinely a downward trend, looking at changes in your audience is critical. As consumers continue to gain more power and tools and techniques change rapidly, marketers are left holding the bag, and as the sand leaks out, they can panic. First, look at your customer — they’ll tell you what you need to know. – Bo Bothe, BrandExtract, LLC
10. Open Up Communication With Clients
The first step is to open up communication with your client. What we often see with smaller businesses is that there isn’t an agreement on what qualifies as a “response.” We can show them countless calls, clicks and impressions, but they still see “no results,” when really, it’s another cog in the wheel that’s broken, usually their website or landing page. – Joy Gendusa, PostcardMania
11. Understand Your Attribution Model
One of the first things a company should visit is their attribution model — where are they attributing the valued touch points within their customer journey. A deep understanding of your own attribution model is crucial in order to understand how clients are converting and why. Revisit your attribution model with solid analytics from your social and ad platforms to find if it warrants remodeling. – Michael Smith, MDS Media Inc.
12. Start With The Data
It all starts with data. If tracked properly, you should be able to determine exactly what parts of marketing are performing better than others. You’ll start to see a baseline to determine if it was the creative, messaging or media that supported the increased results. But if not tracked properly, you won’t be able to determine any of this. Make sure you find the right partner who can do this. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, HAWTHORNE LLC
13. Invest In Tools And Content
Marketers are quick to try lead generation pilots and find out nothing takes flight. To be successful with customer engagement at scale, you need two core things: 1) the right marketing automation tools that can deliver connected and personalized journeys, and 2) a runway of good content to drip out. Having one e-book, whitepaper or webinar won’t cut it. You need to continuously feed the funnel. – Andrew Au, Intercept Group
14. Don’t Forget Cross-Sell And Upsell
Many brands have departments that operate separately. Your best prospects may be current or lapsed customers from a “sister” brand. When you revisit your marketing funnel, pay special attention to the opportunity you may have missed to cross-sell or upsell or drive renewals previously. – Kieley Taylor, GroupM
15. Flip The Sales Funnel
Usually the funnel looks like a reversed cone, that narrows on the bottom. Instead, I flip the funnel 90 degrees, and turn it into a megaphone that narrows at the top. I speak through my most loyal customers to spread my message and you should do the same. If you can turn your funnel upside down, you’ll get results! – Fran Biderman-Gross, Advantages