why startups should be looking at the funnel from the bottom up

Okay, let’s talk about funnels. 

It’s the central point of most marketing and sales conversations. And it’s generated its position with good reason – it’s a guiding force for the messaging, data gathering and appeals that you want to make when hoping that an individual will take action.

So, here’s the standard funnel. It makes sense. Each stage of the funnel – from top to bottom – indicates the size of the group of individuals in each stage. After all, we are funnelling individuals through a variety of appeals and messages to have them land in the stage we desire – generally, a paying customer.

For new businesses, I like to think of the funnel upside down for two primary reasons – messaging and placements. Let’s say that again, messaging and placements.

Now imagine I’m selling you a Rocketbook notepad (disclaimer: I just bought one of these so I’m obsessed with it right now). The Rocketbook is a notebook which is infinitely reusable and connected to cloud storage, so your handwritten notes can be kept safe. You can buy one right here

Okay, let’s look at that again from a messaging perspective. I like to think of our base messaging just like a conversation you have with your local barista before your coffee is ready, or your dentist before there’s too many appliances in your mouth. In other words, when you have about 10-30 seconds to get a message across.

(AWARENESS) I’m selling you a Rocketbook notepad
(CONSIDERATION) The Rocketbook is a notebook which is infinitely reusable and connected to cloud storage, so your handwritten notes can be kept safe.
(CONVERSION) You can buy one right here. 

Now, if I hadn’t worked out my consideration and conversion stages yet – you wouldn’t be able to purchase it and nor would you know about the benefits of it. You’d just … know that it exists.

And that’s one reason why it’s so important to patch your funnel from the bottom up. If you’re not aware of how you’re going to nurture prospective customers down the funnel, then they’re going to drop out like crazy. Your conversion rate will drop and your customers will be left confused. That covers the messaging.

But, what about the placements. Where do we need to put our messaging? It’s all well and good to have our words in order, but we need to ensure that we’re showing these to our prospective customers at the right time, in the right place.

It’s our job to find out where our customers are hanging out and be there, with the right message, at the right time, before too many other businesses are competing for our customers’ attention.

So, let’s bring it back to the messaging example from before. We need to find a place where we can deliver each of the below messages about our product. Each stage has a different purpose, whether it’s reach, engagement or desired action.

(AWARENESS) Let’s imagine I’m selling you a Rocketbook notepad (disclaimer: I just bought one of these so I’m obsessed with it right now).
(CONSIDERATION) The Rocketbook is a notebook which is infinitely reusable and connected to cloud storage, so your handwritten notes can be kept safe.
(CONVERSION) You can buy one right here. 

(RETARGETING) This messaging can be a repetition of any of the above messaging, or another form (e.g. promotions, offers, etc.). The most important part of retargeting is ensuring that we can in fact show our business or product to people again and again. And again and again and again. From different angles. 

The question is – which of these channels are going to achieve the results we’re after? Which metrics do we need to hit to show that we’re driving a financially viable result to take us to our desired future state?

The answer comes in running through a process to challenge our channel bias, discover new opportunities and run a process of identification, prioritisation and optimisation to ensure that the right channels are being focused on, to achieve the goals of the stages we’re at.

Then, we’ll have achieved our metrics and we’ll start to enjoy our desired future state. How can we do this? Read on here.

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