Trending March 2024 # 12 Tools That Can Improve Your Marketing Funnel # Suggested April 2024 # Top 8 Popular

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Have you ever been in a situation when you’ve done everything you could to sell your product, but people didn’t buy it? You may have a fantastic product, a lot of great ideas and motivation to run your business, but unfortunately, that is not always enough to succeed. This blog will review how optimizing your marketing funnel can help you overcome this dilemma!

According to Forbes, eight out of ten entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within 18 months. If you don’t want to repeat their fate as a businessman, you need to understand how to sell your product or service. To do that, you need to be able to build an effective marketing funnel.

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In this article, we will share 12 tools you can use to improve your marketing funnel. The tools are sorted into their respective groups to make everything easier to follow.

Tools for creating lead magnets

The average time people spend on a page is only 15 seconds. This means that a big chunk of visitors that are on your site for the first time won’t remember you for long, even if they found the information they came for.

That’s why it’s important to build email lists or pick up other contact info such as telephone numbers. This gives you the ability to follow up with your prospects and lead them through your funnel. What is the best way to get that valuable contact information? The answer is lead magnets.

Over the years, marketers came up with a wide variety of different lead magnets – ebooks, checklist, white papers, quizzes, contests, webinars, to name just a few.

However, great lead magnets don’t just pop-up out of thin air. You need to create them. Luckily, there are a lot of different tools you can use to speed up the process of creating any type of lead magnet we just mentioned.

Here are some of our favorites:

Designrr

Did you ever thought about transforming your blog posts, podcasts, or videos into lead magnets but gave up on that idea because it was too much work? You can use Designrr to automate the whole process and quickly create eBooks, Flipbooks, and Transcripts you can use as your next lead magnets.

Canva Typeform Wishpond

If you want to take interactivity to a whole new level and focus more on user-generated content, Wishpond can help you smoothly run a variety of social media contests.

When do you need these tools?

The answer is almost always.

You need incentives to pull visitors into your funnel. All of these tools give you an ability to provide incentives that are strong enough to get that valuable contact info.

A great time to explore your options is if you are in the process of building up your website and you are still unsure what kind of incentives you can or should offer.

For those that have been running their business for a while and want to spice things up, it is never too late to look at different lead magnet ideas and then search for tools that can help you create whatever caught your eye.    

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Tools for creating landing pages

Some marketers don’t believe in landing pages because they haven’t had a reasonable conversion rate or think it takes too long to create one. However, these days you don’t need to hire a designer or developer to build a highly converting landing page.

Leadpages

One of the most robust tools on the market for creating landing pages is Leadpages. It offers a variety of different features like:

Website builder

Landing page builder

Pop-ups and alert bars builder

Facebook Ad builder

In terms of creating landing pages, you will be interested to know that it offers mobile responsive themes, drag and drop page building, unlimited A/B testing, plenty of integrations with popular tools, real-time optimization tips, and a huge base of templates to choose from.

Landingi

If you want a tool whose sole focus is landing pages, you can give Landingi a try. When it comes to building landing pages, Landingi boasts very similar features such as simple drag and drop builder, huge list of integrations, split testing, responsive templates, and decent analytics.

You can even send your design files and the team will import it into your Landingi account.

When should you create landing pages?

There are a lot of solid landing page builders out there and most of them offer more or less the same features. With that in mind, workflow and pricing will play the biggest role in deciding which one is best for you.

Two main elements differentiate a landing page from your run of the mill pop-up offers:

Landing pages give you more space to work with and build a high-conversion copy.

Properly built landing pages eliminate unnecessary distractions and keep visitors focused on your unique selling proposition.

Because of these differences, landing pages are more suitable for targeting prospects that are closer to the bottom of your funnel. Why? As you can imagine, it takes more persuasion to convince someone to start a trial or buy a product than to leave you their email address in return for some checklist.

Here are a few additional situations where landing pages can be really useful:

You can build landing pages that welcome referral traffic generated from affiliate marketing.

Funnel mapping tools

Based on the sales funnel diagram, it seems like the funnel has a linear structure. But in reality, the marketing funnel is not that simple.

People are attacked by tons of information every day. When they come across your product, they might want to see and try other options. It might take weeks or even months before potential clients get back to your funnel and make a purchase. Things get messy over time, and this is where funnel mapping can help.

The stages of your funnel

Lead magnets

Landing pages

Traffic sources and more

Simply put, funnel mapping is just a visual representation of your sales funnel. This representation includes everything:

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best tools for funnel mapping out there.

Funnelytics

Creating a funnel may sound easy at first, but the devil is in the details. Try Funnelytics – an app that allows you to design your sales funnel with a drag and drop feature. You can use templates of marketing funnels and customize them.

Funnelflows

Funnelflows is another neat tool that can help you build and visualize your marketing funnels. What separates it from similar mind-mapping tools is that it is built specifically for this purpose. You can use a wide variety of premade elements to quickly visualize any type of marketing funnel.

When do you need to visualize your funnel?

While many marketers will at least outline their funnels on a piece of paper or a whiteboard, sometimes that isn’t enough.

If you need to build a complex funnel with a lot of branching, building an accurate visual representation can point you to potential problems, as well as give you ideas on how to further optimize the whole process.

On top of that, having it in a digital format allows for easier sharing and collaboration with both clients and different team members.

Lead generation tools Intercom Snitcher

Another interesting tool used for lead generation you can give a try is Snitcher.

Snitcher integrates with your Google Analytics account to retroactively identify who has visited your site, how they found it, and give you an idea of what they were looking for. It also gives you an ability to segment those visitors based on their company’s attributes and actions they performed on your website.

However, keep in mind that people who did not directly leave you their contact information often aren’t ready to buy so be very careful how you approach them. If you are too pushy, likely, you will never get a response.

Do you need lead generation tools? Email automation tools

How often do you use emails to interact with your customers? Do you notify them about new products, features, and useful guides? Do you wish them a happy birthday? Emails can help you increase conversions in by more than 14%.

Autoresponders

Nurture sequences

Email sequences

Automated email follow-ups

For instance, when a person requests a freebie or uses the contact form. Email automation allows you to build a relationship with potential clients by educating them about your product and sending them all kinds of useful content (e.g. whitepapers).

In essence, email automation is a crucial part of email marketing as it allows you to automate your whole lead nurturing process.

SendinBlue

SendinBlue is a powerful email automation software that enables you to send the right message at the right time. You can quickly build great looking emails, use their machine-learning algorithm to decide when is the best time to send them, track analytics, and more.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is another popular marketing tool used by over 60,000 companies, from bloggers to big corporations all over the globe.

When is the time to invest in email automation tools?

The idea behind it is simple – the welcome email triggers after they opt-in for one of your lead magnets. You send a series of emails that tell them a bit more about your brand and delivers another piece of useful content.

If that sounds like something you want to try out, you will need to invest in email automation tools.

Here are a few additional situations in which email automation tools are necessary:

You plan to run weekly or monthly email newsletters.

You are starting an online store and plan to build an email list to notify people about offers like discounts and contests.

Over to you

Building a sustainable funnel involves a lot of testing and you will rarely get it right on your first try. Luckily, there are plenty of tools on the market that can help you optimize this process by solving specific problems you encounter at different stages of the funnel.

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Where Links Fit Within The Marketing Funnel

“Just link to my product pages!”

If you’ve worked in SEO long enough, you’ve undoubtedly heard this request.

If you’re an in-house marketer searching for an SEO vendor, please don’t make this request.

This may seem counterintuitive since product pages are typically your most valuable pages in terms of conversions, but conversion value doesn’t necessarily translate to link-worthiness.

For some reason, when it comes to links, we see clients forgetting how their marketing funnels work, focusing solely on bottom funnel pages.

Of course, SEO and link building should influence the search visibility of your most important, bottom funnel pages (category and product pages), but in this post, I want to explain:

How links fit within the marketing funnel.

How to sustainably earn links that feed your entire funnel.

Different Pages for Different Stages

The pages on your website serve different purposes and functions, and different pages are meant for different types of visitors.

A complete website will feature pages that serve every stage of your marketing funnel – from awareness to purchase – to ensure you’re reaching all your audience and moving them towards becoming loyal customers.

For example, the website of the company I work for has:

Service pages that inform visitors who are considering an SEO vendor.

Guides and resources that provide information for visitors who are new to SEO and looking to learn more.

Each of your pages should serve a specific purpose and select portion of your visitors. Not all pages on your site are going to relevant to all users.

Because there are pages on your site that aren’t relevant to segments of your own audience, it makes sense that there are also pages that won’t be relevant to the audiences of other sites.

If your page isn’t relevant to another site’s audience, the human that manages that site is never going to link to that page – there is no benefit for them to link.

Therefore, some pages are more linkable than others, because they have a broader appeal to larger audiences.

(Most) Link Opportunity Exists at the Top of the Funnel

Pages with a broader appeal are typically more linkable, and these pages usually live at the top of your marketing funnel.

Informational, top funnel pages are link-worthy for a couple reasons:

There is usually more search demand surrounding these topics.

These types of pages provide inherent value (free information).

The lower you go down the funnel, the more specific and smaller an audience you’ll target – more people are searching for [how to mount a TV] than are searching for a specific TV mount model.

So, your page about how to safely mount a TV will be relevant to many more websites (link prospects) and their corresponding audiences than your page about a specific mount.

From a site manager’s perspective, a page that instructs readers on how to do something is much more useful to their readers than a page trying to sell them a product.

Site owners want to link to pages that benefit their audience, and they are much more likely to link to the how-to page because it bolsters their own reputation as a trusted resource.

This is why SEOs cringe when a client wants to emphasize their product pages for a link acquisition campaign – securing links to product and category pages isn’t sustainable.

However, it’s possible to influence the visibility of these pages by linking internally to them from more link-worthy, top funnel pages.

Internal links can pass link equity and topical authority to other pages, and an effective link building strategy will leverage internal links to impact bottom funnel pages.

With all that being said, it’s not impossible to earn links to product pages and other pages at the bottom of your funnel.

But the problem is that these opportunities are very limited, and you can not sustain a long-term link building campaign with mid and low-end funnel pages.

To better understand why link opportunities dissipate the further down the funnel you go, I’ll share some examples of the different opportunities at each stage.

Link Opportunities at Each Stage of the Funnel

While most link opportunities exist for top funnel content, it is possible to earn a handful of links for mid and bottom funnel pages.

Consider the different types of content you have at each stage of the funnel and think about how large the potential audience might be for those pages.

If you’re unsure of which pages fit where in your funnel, check out this helpful guide from HubSpot on creating content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Here are some of the common opportunities available for each type of page.

Top Funnel Pages

Typically, these are the most linkable pages on your site. There is a wealth of link opportunity for this type of content:

Audience resource pages

Enthusiasts and clubs

Online communities and groups

Public agencies (schools, government, etc.)

Informational resource pages

Guides and how-to’s

Information hubs

Authoritative lists

Business list resource pages

Directories

Associations

Partners pages

Sponsor pages

Vendors that sell your products or services

Citations

Mid Funnel Pages

Mid funnel pages address the consideration stage of the funnel and usually reference your products or services, but more in the sense of their application rather than describing their features.

Common link opportunities for these pages include:

Unlinked brand mentions

You have no control over mentions as these opportunities are completely reliant on other people talking about your brand.

Industry comparison sites

These pages often involve affiliate partnerships and won’t link to non-affiliates.

Bottom Funnel Pages

Again, these are the most difficult pages to attract links to because they are commercial and don’t provide broad value. However, there are a few limited opportunities here:

Unlinked product or service mentions

Again, reliant on product or service recognition and popularity.

Product listing pages

Typically tied to affiliate programs.

Local guide pages

Contextual depending on industry and not deeply scalable because you’re limited by location.

Directories

Limited opportunities for quality directory listings – is there a section of the directory that is topically relevant to your page? Are people visiting the directory? Is it indexed? Does it cost money to be listed?

It’s possible to secure links to mid and lower-end funnel pages on your website, but the further down the funnel you go, the narrower your audience becomes and subsequently, link opportunities become much more limited.

A complete SEO strategy aims to influence the overall visibility of your site, helping your potential customers find your website in search.

All pages won’t rank for all things, but strategic SEO helps you identify search intent – and what stage of the funnel they’re at – and matches those searches with your corresponding content.

Additionally, a comprehensive SEO strategy will inform content creation to ensure you’re addressing your entire funnel and audience.

Since links are such a powerful ranking factor, we often see clients assume that they must link directly to their product pages to rank those converting pages.

However, targeting top funnel pages, which have far more link opportunity, and then leveraging internal links from those pages is a much more sustainable link acquisition strategy for impacting rankings of bottom funnel pages.

More Resources:

Image Credits

Featured Image: Created by author, February 2023

How To Use Mobile Marketing To Improve Your Sales

8 reasons to invest in mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is fast becoming a mainstream activity for those companies that get it. But for every company that does, there are many more that still don’t. Whether it’s because they think it’s a passing fad, or because they don’t quite know where to start, these companies are missing out on a commercial revolution. Here then, are eight reasons why you can’t afford to ignore mobile marketing…learn more from companies already reaping the benefits of mobile presented at the upcoming Mobile marketing Live on the 1st and 2nd October at London.

Reason 1: Consumers are already there

When Marks & Spencer became the first UK retailer to launch a mobile-optimised, transactional website on 12 May 2010, its rationale came from an analysis of traffic to its website. Five per cent of it was coming from mobile devices, and that was enough to convince M&S it needed to cater for these users. Less than five months later, the site had attracted 1.2m unique visitors, and taken more than 13,000 orders, with the largest single order for £3,280, for two sofas.

Recently, Debenhams revealed that 20 per cent of its traffic was coming from mobile devices. If you want a more subjective analysis of the situation, take a look around you the next time you get on a bus or a train; people are ‘grazing’ on their mobile phones, sometimes researching, sometimes shopping. If you’re not at the party, you won’t get a date…

Reason 2: The High Street is suffering

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s a mess on the High Street right now. The Local Data Company’s (LDC) mid-year shop vacancy report for 2012, derived from 506 town centres and 145,000 shops that it visited between January and June 2012, revealed an average vacancy rate in Great Britain of 14.6 per cent. According to the report, almost 15,000 shops closed in town centres in the nine years between 2000 and 2009, but a further 10,000 closed in 2010 and 2011.

Coupons have a big part to play in mobile’s future.

Reason 3: A full-fat website looks awful on a mobile phone

Here is an example of a non mobile optimised site.

The simplicity offered from a mobile-optimised site is clear:

Add to this the sheer number of people shopping on their mobile phone and it becomes something of a no-brainer. According to the IAB’s ‘Mobile in the Retail Store’ study from January 2012, 92 per cent of UK shoppers use the web to research purchases while on the move. Of these, half went in store to buy the product, while 28 per cent bought it on their mobile phone.

Reason 4: Second screening is a fact of life

Shazam for TV made its UK debut on 12 May 2012.  Pepsi MAX and Cadbury’s were the first two brands to deploy the technology. Viewers could Shazam the Pepsi Max ad to enter a sweepstake to win tickets to summer festivals and other Pepsi MAX merchandise. Viewers could also tag the Cadbury’s Unwrap Gold ad for a chance to win a London 2012 Opening Ceremony ticket package.

Reason 5: Your competitors are already doing it

Of course, Amazon and eBay have been deploying mobile apps and sites for years now and generate a significant amount of their business via M-commerce, so it’s worth keeping a close look at their latest approaches.

Reason 6: That mobile in your hand is not a mobile – and it knows where you are

It’s a mini computer, with as much processing power as a PC of only a few years ago, and, arguably, more intelligence than the best-spec PC in the store. Because one of the key points of difference between a PC and a mobile phone is that the mobile knows where you are.

It’s being used in other ways too, such as the FindaProperty app that uses Augmented Reality to enable users to see details of properties for sale around them simply by holding their phone in front of them, point towards the area they are interested in.

Reason 7: It’s the web all over again

And there’s no going back. When the internet first appeared on the scene, traditional retailers were slow to get it. Which is why pureplay online retailers like Amazon and eBay were able to build up such a position of strength. Eventually, retailers realised that the web was not going to go away, and as initial concerns about the safety and security of online shopping (remember them?) evaporated, they realised too that it was an important new shopping channel for consumers.

Given that last year, more mobile phones were shipped than PCs – 488m compared to 415m according to Canalys – and that, according to Microsoft, mobile browsing should overtake PC browsing some time in 2014, there can surely be no logical argument to suggest that mobile is a passing fad that you can afford to ignore. It is only going to become more strategically important to your business, and for the kids just getting their first phone, the mobile life will just be normal life.

Reason 8: The numbers say it all

There is currently a massive imbalance in the ratio of consumer time spent on mobile versus ad spend in the channel, compared to other media. According to figures from VSS, Mary Meeker, comScore, Alexa and Flurry Analytics, in 2011 in the US, TV commanded 43 per cent of consumer time and took 40 per cent of ad spend, while mobile commanded 23 per cent and took just 1 per cent of ad spend.

Ad spend always follows eyeballs sooner or later, but when the disparity is as large as it is here, it seems inevitable that brands are going to pile in to the mobile space. And indeed, mobile ad spend is growing. According to the annual study carried out by the IAB and PwC, mobile ad spend in the UK in 2011 was £203.2m. up from £83m in 2010, and just £28.6m in 2008.

 In Summary:

Mobile is becoming a primary content channel – Consumers are turning to mobile to buy, to research purchases, and to augment their TV viewing

Always on – A transactional mobile app or site enables your customers to buy from you whenever and (almost) wherever they are

Spend on mobile is increasing – if you have not started working on your mobile marketing strategy, chances are your competitors have.

Is it a phone? – Not really, the modern smartphone is a powerful, location-aware computer that could not be better suited to commerce.

It’s here to stay – web browsing is moving from the PC to the smartphone and from the moment they get their first mobile phone, the mobile lifestyle – including mCommerce – will be second nature to tomorrow’s adults.

Here Are 10 Chrome Flags That Will Improve Your Web

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Chrome is known for its simplicity and speed. Despite this, there are a lot of extra tools under the hood. This includes several experimental features that can be accessed through special Chrome Flags.

Considering these are all test features that might not even make it to the stable version of Chrome, bugs are expected. Nonetheless, if you are willing to go through the occasional hiccup, some enable an improved browsing experience. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.

Also read: How to download and install Chrome

What is a Chrome Flag?

Chrome Flags are experimental features Google hasn’t released yet, but you can access and try. Just remember these aren’t ready for an official release just yet. This means they may not work very well all of the time. You may encounter the occasional hiccup, bug, or crash.

How to access the Chrome Flags page:

Open Chrome.

Type the following in the address bar: “chrome://flags/” (without quotation marks).

Press Enter.

You are in!

There are two primary tabs on the page: Available and Unavailable. Some of these experimental features are only available on specific devices. You can’t use features made for Android on devices like a laptop, for example.

How to enable a Chrome Flag:

Once you find yourself within the Chrome Flags page, go ahead and search for the Chrome Flag you want to try out.

Select Enabled.

You’ll need to relaunch Chrome most of the time. Hit Relaunch if the option shows up.

Note: These instructions were put together using a Pixel 7 Pro running Android 13. These steps are identical across all Chrome browsers, though. The same steps will work on desktop and iOS.

Are Chrome Flags safe?

Once in the Chrome Flags settings, you will see a warning message telling you about the dangers of using them. This is because experimental features can cause issues and hiccups in the browser. They are usually not too unstable, but some can be. Regardless, you can easily disable them.

How to disable Chrome Flags:

Access the Chrome Flags settings as directed in the previous section.

Find the experimental Chrome Flag you want to disable.

Select the drop-down menu and select Disabled.

Alternatively, you can press the button in the top-right corner that says Reset all to disable all of them.

You’ll need to relaunch Chrome most of the time. Hit Relaunch if the option shows up.

The best Chrome Flags:

Editor’s note: We’ll regularly update this list with new Chrome Flags. All instructions in this post were put together using a custom PC running Windows 11 and Chrome version 107.0.5304.107.

Smooth Scrolling

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Ever notice your scrolling stutter or that it can get a bit sluggish? There could be many reasons it’s happening, but this Chrome Flag will likely improve the situation. Search for “Smooth Scrolling” in the search bar and enable the feature. It’s a great feature Android users should enable, but you can also use it on Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS.

Auto Dark Mode for Web Contents

Dark Mode is pretty cool, both aesthetically and for eye comfort reasons. If you are also a fan of it, you want all website content to support it. Sadly, not all websites cooperate, but a secondary option forces the option on all websites.

Open the Chrome Flags page and search for “Auto Dark Mode for Web Contents.” Enable the feature through the drop-down menu next to it.

Show autofill predictions

Nobody likes filling out forms, so Google simplifies this process using autofill. Still annoying? You can automatically have Chrome autofill form information by enabling the “Show autofill predictions” feature.

Search for “Show Autofill Predictions” and enable the feature using the drop-down menu to the right.

Live Caption

Some video players and websites offer captions, but this isn’t a universal feature. Those who want transcripts for all recognized words in media can use the Live Caption Chrome Flag.

Search for “Live Caption” and enable it.

GPU Rasterization

Is Chrome simply not fast enough for you? We know how you can harness the full power of your computer to speed things up. There’s a trick, though; you need to have a dedicated GPU for this one to make any improvements to Chrome’s performance. GPU Rasterization allows Chrome to take some of the workload off the CPU and have your GPU take care of it.

Here’s how to do it. Search for “GPU rasterization” and enable the feature using the drop-down menu.

Next: How to speed up Chrome

FAQs

Using Chrome flags is safe, but it can make your experience a bit buggy. The team also warns you could lose data and compromise privacy. This is just Google being careful, though. The worse that can usually happen is that you’ll need to relaunch Chrome and turn off a Chrome flag, if anything goes wrong.

Chrome flags are experimental features the Google team is testing. The team will make these official Chrome features once they are in good working order, if they are deemed worthy. This isn’t always the case, though. Additionally, Chrome flags are often killed.

You can use Chrome flags on both mobile and desktop browsers, but not all Chrome flags are available on every device. Some are desktop or mobile-specific. However, Chrome will separate unavailable flags and put them into the Unavailable tab.

Are you looking for other Chrome tips to improve your experience? We have more content to help you out. Let’s start with a list of our best Chrome tips and tricks.

Three Strategic Planning Tools To Shape Your Multichannel Marketing Strategy

A review of different frameworks covering the customer journey, brand and content

Today, consumers do not search, engage and consume information within individual channels while making purchase decisions. Their journeys are fluid and choices are influenced by multiple channels, devices and screens, and a vast array of content, both online and offline. Therefore the challenge for businesses today is to understand how their customers behave and to establish a multichannel marketing strategy to effectively communicate with prospects in the right channel, at the right time. The frameworks and digital marketing models I review in this post can help build communications around the consumer rather than a product.

Business challenges in a hyper-connected world

Businesses face many challenges today, all of which impact the scope and effectiveness of marketing strategy. Some of the stand-out challenges include:

Device proliferation 

Smartphones, 4G coverage and social media has redefined how we consume media.

Connectivity

The average UK household today has on average 7.4 connected devices.

With so much distraction, consumers’ attention is at a premium and therefore marketers must put the right mechanisms in place to understand how people and devices can be targeted, e.g. 2nd/ 3rd screening

Consumer expectations

Despite the hullabaloo surrounding Millennials and how businesses should market to them, there’s a good reason for this concern. The Millennial cohort is an example of a demographic that is always connected, always on and always looking for control, and a reminder of the changing face of the media consumer.

Hype

Hype around new technologies and innovations can be distracting and unless this is tempered can result in ‘Shiny New Object Syndrome’

Businesses must always align innovation with relevance and value, for both consumer behaviour and the business itself.

Resources such as Gartner’s Hype Cycle can provide very useful insights

Silos

Perhaps the biggest barrier to innovation for many businesses is structure and culture:

Marketing ecosystem

Other barriers include education, leadership and ideation:

Innovation Index

Developing a culture where digital is embraced and integrated rather than siloed gives marketers a much better opportunity to understand and appeal to consumers.

Consistency

“Customers expect a consistent experience across all of their touch points with companies and product” – Dwight Griesman, CMO, Forrester

Customers do not differentiate between channels, regardless of how a business is structured internally, e.g. brand, marcomms, digital, ecommerce etc.

Three key tools for multichannel marketing planning

The process of crafting a multichannel marketing strategy is not straightforward and takes time to implement. There are a number of very useful guides on how to take this step-by-step and Smart Insights’ Multichannel Marketing Growth Wheel provides an excellent overview:

In light of the challenges outlined above, I’m going to focus on section three of the Multichannel Marketing Growth Wheel (‘How we get there?’) and highlight three tools and frameworks that marketers can use to shape their thinking to form an approach to strategy and the development of a proposition:

The three frameworks cover the following areas:

Customer journey

Brand

Content

Defining the customer journey using ZMOT

Considering the world we live in today, what is a typical customer journey?

The truth is that there isn’t a typical journey and our influence as marketers is often limited. Journeys vary by industry, brand and category and can be extremely simple or complex, as illustrated by these two contrasting examples:

Booking a holiday:

In this example of booking a holiday, over a 28 day period and lots of shopping around (aggregators, tour operators, review sites), First Choice gets the business in the end following a search once again for “corfu holidays” (which was the query that began their journey). Booking a holiday is an important purchase for many people and therefore consumers take their time to ensure they make the right choice.

Car insurance: 

Buying insurance is shorter and more direct and is often considered to be a ‘hygiene’ activity that we need, rather than want, to do. In addition to price, consumers also tend to stick with brands they believe to have delivered trust and consistency in the past. If the experience was positive before, people continue to buy.

So how can we approach analysing and planning for different customer journeys?

A US study by Carat and Microsoft revealed three basic patterns in shoppers’ paths to purchase, suggesting that it’s often better to think about journeys from the consumer mindset rather than as touchpoints:

With this insight in mind, and despite many different types of customer journey frameworks available, Google’s Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) provides a very useful model that combines both consumer mindset and touchpoints to evaluate the customer journey:

When originally published in 2011, ZMOT suggested that whilst the first moment of truth was in front of the shelf and that the second moment of truth occurred through product trial and experience, the zero moment of truth happened largely online, using multiple journeys and multiple devices.

The useful aspect of ZMOT is that rather than replacing the traditional sales funnel, it adds another layer of context. Different channels play different roles at different stages of the journey:

The ZMOT model has evolved over the last five years which can be seen in Google’s publication of micro moments. However, I still believe it provides a useful frame of reference and a valuable tool for marketers.

Understanding brand purpose using the Golden Circle

What is your brand values and purpose? What do you stand for? How do you differentiate versus the competition?

Your brand and business identity is an integral part of how you communicate with customers so it’s therefore essential to have a clear understanding of the purpose that both drives you as a business and inspires consumers to buy from you. One of the tools that I have found to be particularly useful in articulating brand purpose and why you do what you do is Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle marketing model:

Whilst every company knows what they do (e.g. we make widgets), only some clearly know how they do it (the differentiating value proposition or USP). However, it’s sometimes surprising to learn that very few clearly know why they do what they do. The ‘why’ is the fundamental belief and reason for our existence and should be at the very heart of everything we do.

Simon Sinek argues that when you communicate from the outside-in you are simply competing on features, price and add-ons. This is not inspiring and doesn’t give people a reason to believe in your product, service or cause.

In contrast, good leaders and brands act and communicate from the inside-out. They explain why they do what they do before talking about what they do and how they do it. For example, Apple don’t start by saying they make great computers. Instead, the foundation of much of their communication revolves around their beliefs in thinking differently which sets a tone and inspires loyalty.

The Golden Circle is a simple but effective framework that enables you to define:

Establishing a clear understanding of your purpose and raison d’être will give you confidence and clarity regarding the multichannel marketing options that align best with your brand.

Establishing content excellence using the Content Marketing Matrix

Content forms the bedrock of everything we do as marketers and therefore the format, structure and type of content we choose to produce to engage consumers must be consistent with our strategy and objectives.

Smart Insights’ Content Marketing Matrix is an excellent framework for generating ideas and identifying the most engaging content types for different audiences:

As Danyl Bosomworth explains in his blog post introducing the framework:

“Our matrix is structured to help you think through the dimensions of different content based on how your audience might think and what you’re trying to achieve as a business. What will work where your audience are more or less impulsive or rational? What does that mean for content creation and marketing goals? Depending on the quadrant(s) that you feel drawn to for your audience, it offers a starting point for your ideas generation”.

If we think about the multichannel approach, we can see how the Content Marketing Matrix can be applied to different channel options to give our strategy or campaign depth:

And another benefit of the Content Marketing Matrix is that different content types can be used alongside customer journey models, such as ZMOT, to understand where content can entertain, inspire, educate and convince consumers are different stages of the decision-making process:

Summary

Marketing today is a complex process which has made the marketer’s role much more complicated than it once was previously in a predominantly broadcast media landscape.

Today’s media landscape is much more fragmented, consumers’ attention is harder to obtain and technology is constant influence on consumer decision-making. To stand-out and be relevant in such a noisy environment requires precision and flexibility.

However, with careful planning and the use of models such as those we’ve looked at in this post, we can begin to analyse different customer journeys, understand where our brand plays a role in the communication process and assess the content needed to make an impact and drive action.

5 Hidden Iphone Features That Improve Productivity

But maybe that does not have to be a problem anymore. Instead of having you go through the trouble of studying each built-in app on your phone, we listed some of them below.

1. Scan and sign documents on Notes

One of the main updates of iOS 11 was the implementation of document-scanning and signature-adding into the Notes app. So, instead of downloading a third-party app and perhaps paying to get certain features, the Notes app takes care of this for free.

There are only two reasons why any user may have overlooked this hidden iPhone feature:

Lack of use of the Notes app.

Lack of use of “+” and “Markup” on the Notes app where the features are hidden.

Listed below is how to use these features.

Scanning Documents on an iPhone

1. Launch the Notes app.

4. Place the documents you want to scan in view of the camera.

5. Tap the shutter button or use your volume button to capture the scan.

6. Adjust the captured scan according to your preference. then select “Keep Scan.”

7. You can choose to include additional scans, especially if you have a large document or save what you already have.

Signing Documents on an iPhone

1. Select the saved scanned document in the note.

2. Tap the “Share” icon to bring out a list of options.

3. Select “Markup,” and then go to the “+” icon at the bottom of the screen.

4. Tap “Signature” to add your signature. Either sign with your finger or with an Apple Pencil.

5. Tap Done to save the signature.

2. Spotlight search

Another action you can easily carry out with your iPhone is a spotlight search. This is one of the many hidden iPhone features most individuals tend to overlook. A reason for this is that most of us are reliant on our phone browsers to carry out any research.

But, instead of launching the Safari, a simple swipe of the home page can get a search for contacts, emails, web news, etc. Here’s how to use this feature:

1. Go to your Home screen.

2. Swipe down from the top of the screen.

3. Tap the Search bar, and input what you’re looking for.

4. See real-time results as you type.

5. Choose to “Search more” in an app or tap a result to “Show more.”

3. Scan QR codes with camera

Instead of downloading a QR code reader, your iPhone camera can help you save up a lot of space by scanning codes. Using this function is as simple as launching the camera app and placing the QR code in its field of view.

However, if you use your “Control Center” to launch the camera:

1. Hard press the “Camera” icon and wait for a pop-up menu.

2. Select “Scan QR code,” and the camera app will launch.

3. Place the code in the field of view of the camera and a link will pop out.

4. Tap the link and it will either open in Safari or open the targeted app.

4. Universal Clipboard

Apple’s devices are integrated and leverage one another for maximum efficiency. One such hidden iPhone feature that makes it easy to carry out an action on one Apple device and complete it in another is Continuity on Mac.

When the feature is enabled, you can easily copy something from an iOS 10 or higher and paste it on your iPhone or iPad but must do so within two minutes. To carry out this action:

1. Select the item you want to copy by placing your mouse arrow on it.

3. Choose “Copy” out of the options or make use of a keyboard shortcut to perform this action.

4. The copied item should be available on all your Apple devices so that all you have to do is “Paste” it.

5. Using Siri as a Reminder

Since the launch of Siri, Apple has reinvented the abilities of its voice-enabled AI to perform more functions. For example, you can open a web page on your browser and ask the AI to remind you of it in the next hour or the next day.

You can also make use of the AI to send messages on third-party apps such as WhatsApp or Twitter.

Conclusion

Sometimes you don’t have to go the extra mile to find a solution to a problem. Such is the case with some of the hidden iPhone features. A little exploration of your device and its capabilities can help you maximize its potential for your own productivity.

If you think you’ve found better hidden features than what we listed here, please share.

Sarah Adedun

Sarah Adedun is a technology enthusiast. When she is not reviewing tech products, you can find her sharing personal thoughts on Medium and researching ways to merge Finance and Technology together.

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