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Marketers use conversion funnels to measure the impact of their marketing efforts. Ultimately, you want to pull people into and through that funnel to get them to become customers.
Without having a way to measure that, it’s difficult to understand what’s working well and what’s not, in addition to whether you need to adjust your strategy.
The conversion funnel is broken into six stages: visitors, leads, marketing qualified leads (MQLs), sales qualified leads (SQLs), opportunities and customers. Each of those stages represents a progression through the buyer’s journey.
While the conversion funnel illustrates a company’s perspective on how prospects are converting toward becoming customers, the buyer’s journey represents the customer’s perspective on how they experience that progression.
The buyer’s journey is split into three stages: awareness, consideration and decision. Each of those stages requires different strategies in order for companies to get the right message in front of the right person at the right time.
In order to tailor their marketing efforts to align with the buyer’s journey, marketers divide the conversion funnel into three sections: top of funnel (ToFu), middle of funnel (MoFu) and bottom of funnel (BoFu).
ToFu covers the first third of the funnel, though it can sometimes overlap into the middle of the funnel slightly. So, ToFu marketing efforts are targeted at visitors, leads and MQLs.
Your goal with prospects at this stage is to help them understand the pain points they have and educate them further on what that problem is and how solving it can improve their lives.
By the end of this process, you’ll want prospects to fully understand their challenge and be working toward identifying solutions.
MoFu encompasses the center third of the funnel and addresses MQLs and SQLs.
MoFu marketing efforts aim to get prospects thinking about what solutions exist for their challenge and which of those existing solutions might be right for them.
MoFu marketing shouldn’t be trying to convince prospects why your company specifically is the best choice for them, but rather why the type of solution your company provides is better than the alternatives.
BoFu marketing is targeted at SQLs and opportunities and encompasses the fourth and fifth funnel stages.
By the time a prospect has reached this far down the funnel, they should be aware of the challenge they’re trying to overcome and what solutions exist. So, BoFu efforts revolve around demonstrating why they should pick your company.
The main goals of your strategy here is to prove your value and build trust.
Thinking about your marketing efforts in terms of where they fall in the conversion funnel will help you ensure your marketing is aligning with the needs of your prospects at that time.
You don’t want prospects feeling rushed through the buyer’s journey or pushed into a conversation with sales they’re not ready for. Plus, if they don’t fully understand the pain they’re experiencing, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to convince them how valuable your solution is.
The ToFu, MoFu, BoFu framework is also a great way to structure your content strategy. You should start by providing your prospects with high-level educational content, then nurture them further with more tactical, solution-based resources and conclude with trust-building resources like case studies that reinforce the ideas you’ve been teaching them all along.
Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.