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The Marketing Funnel

Market funnels are traditional tools used by marketers. The marketing funnel contains the stages that a customer takes on the way to purchase your product. The funnel may vary slightly, but there are basic stages in the AIDA funnel that remain the same. These stages are awareness, interest, desire, and action.


The first stage of the marketing funnel is Awareness. This is the stage where the consumer is first exposed to your product. There are different ways that a customer can become aware of a product. For example, word of mouth creates awareness. Other methods include discovery through communications and successful marketing. Awareness can lead to the next stage of the funnel, which is why you must do everything that you can to ensure that awareness is always a positive experience. Pleasant shopping experiences will create positive word of mouth, and effective marketing will generate positive attention.


The second stage of the marketing funnel is interest. When awareness is positive, interest will develop. This occurs when the customer actively shows interest in your product. There are specific strategies that will help develop interest and move the customer along to the next stage of the funnel. Specifically, you need a value proposition for the product.

Create a Value Proposition:

  • Advertise benefits Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing.
  • Show advantages over competition
  • Show how it will solve problems

When you successfully engage interest, customers will be able to reach the stage of desire.


Once a customer has developed interest in a product, desire is not far behind. At this point, customers aspire to own the brands that they are interested in. The key to establishing desire is convincing customers that the brand will satisfy them. This is a good time to offer incentives and samples. Try providing demonstrations that allow customers to see firsthand how the product will fit their needs. For example, Apple allows customers to try using computers, phones, and tablets, in their stores. Once customers experience desire, it is easier to convince them to take action.


Action occurs when the customer actually purchases the product. Customers must be led to take action by the marketer, and there are different methods to improve the odds of customer action. These procedures are called calls to action. Calls to action may be coupons or subscriptions. Online, these calls come in the form of banner ads and social interaction such as Groupon. Not including calls to action is the chief mistake that marketers make when using a marketing funnel. Once a customer accepts the call to action, the purchase is almost guaranteed.


If you are interested in becoming a marketing professional, enrol in our Marketing and Communication qualifications.

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