Build a Strong B2B Marketing Funnel

When planning your B2B marketing strategy, the importance of knowing your audience cannot be understated – offering accessible brand position, what you stand for, and stories at any time. These days, your customer wants to know who you are beyond your products and services.

With smaller markets to connect with across Australia and New Zealand, this can be both a blessing and a curse – however your ideal target customer, if spoken to directly, will begin to understand exactly how you can fill their needs.

One of the best ways to demonstrate an understanding of your B2B industry audience is how you structure your marketing funnel strategy. A marketing funnel is a system for guiding potential customers through the buying process, from awareness to purchase. A well-designed B2B marketing funnel can help you increase brand awareness, generate leads, and close more deals.

We’re also interested in showcasing how incentive and rewards programs Australia and New Zealand-wide can assist with the creation, implementation, and success of your B2B marketing funnel. We’ve laid out the details and advantages of how B2B loyalty programs can support a B2B Marketing Funnel in these processes.

What is a B2B Marketing Funnel?

Before building your own marketing funnel, it’s important to properly grasp what a B2B marketing funnel is and what it can do for your business.

A B2B marketing funnel is a series of steps taken by the business to attract specifically targeted leads to a website or store. The main purpose of this marketing funnel is to build brand awareness through the ability to educate potential customers, increase customer loyalty and convert a potential customer into a qualified lead.

The marketing funnel, when laid out, will establish the customer journey, and outline the B2B marketing activities that businesses across Australia and New Zealand will need to carry out at each stage of the funnel.

It’s integral to understand the importance of this as a B2B marketer because, while a B2B marketing funnel may take longer to cycle through than a sales cycle, it is a more sustainable process long term. It will also help you segment the customer’s journey and customer experience by personalizing your relevant content based on where each customer currently sits in the buyer journey, resulting in more consistent sales success. 

The 3 Traditional B2B Marketing Funnel Stages

So, if you’re still reading, you’re clearly hooked on the idea of building a marketing funnel of your own – after all, why wouldn’t you? The next step is building your understanding of what the three stages of a marketing funnel are:

  1. Top of the funnel (TOFU): This is where your dream audience of new customers will become aware of your brand and product if they’re not already. This is the where the audience are aware of their pain points and start looking for ways to solve them.
    The aim of your business should be to increase awareness of your brand and begin creating leads. This can be created through various techniques, such as organic awareness through blog posts, ebooks, white papers, social media posts and sharing to connect with your target audience, or paid awareness through Google or boosting social media ads. Campaign collateral can solve most of your issues here – we can assist with defining your audience, so that we can work on how to best capture them in this early stage of your funnel.
    While your customers may be building an understanding of their pain point, they may not completely understand how your product will solve it. It is better to let them come to their own conclusion, so avoid seeking large commitments at this stage such as sales contact or trying to schedule a demo. Demonstrating awareness of these common pain points through your content can communicate to your audience that your product contains value to their situation.
  2. Middle of the funnel (MOFU): Once the customer fully understands their problem and are actively looking for a way to solve them – this is sometimes called the consideration stage.
    Now is the time for you to introduce your product! Your customer won’t exactly be ready to purchase yet, so don’t go all-in trying to lock them down, but be prepared to have your content demonstrate how this may solve the problems they’re facing.
    For a B2B-focus, it’s important to keep in mind that the customer won’t be buying this for themselves, but rather to improve their business outcomes or shooting for a competitive advantage. Aim to show how your product can help achieve this – examples such as industry reports, case studies, product videos or surveys, demonstrating examples of profitability or showing the negative impacts that not going with your product may cause.
    Your website and online presence will be a powerful tool in this stage, as this will provide them with an understanding of your brand and product without seeking a firm commitment. However, utilizing contact forms to gather data will provide your brand with a clear path to utilizing advanced marketing techniques such as cold email and remarketing, outbound lead generation, and retargeting ads to nurture marketing qualified leads.
  3. Bottom of the funnel (BOFU): This is sometimes known as the decision stage, where the customer has narrowed down the potential list and is prepared to make a buying decision. This stage is useful for filling in any of the gaps you may have had in your customer’s information, while also furthering their understanding of the product through free trials, consultations, quotes, and training.
    This section will usually be handled by a marketing representative or outbound sales team and will be built around preparing your marketing-qualified leads to become sales-qualified leads. By gathering as much intel as you can on the customer and their specific needs in this stage, you better prepare your sales rep to seal the deal with the ideal customer.

Your B2B loyalty program can greatly assist at this stage of your marketing funnel. By using the program platform, you can incentivise your audience to provide their details when signing up, which allows you to gain further insight into your customers and communicate with them regularly to ensure your product stays front of mind, while also providing them with further incentive around continued business with your brand. This is just one of the B2B retention strategies offered by the creation of a B2B loyalty program, and how it can supplement the effectiveness of your B2B marketing funnel.

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Here are some tips for building a powerful B2B marketing funnel:

  • Start with your target customers. Who are you trying to reach with your marketing efforts? What are their needs and pain points? Once you understand your audience, you can tailor your marketing messages and content to appeal to them. This also supplements a B2B incentive reward system, as knowing your target audience will allow you to customise your rewards and incentives towards them, allowing your program to position you above competitors.
  • Create a clear value proposition. What makes your product or service unique? What benefits does it offer to potential customers? Your value proposition should be clear and concise, and it should be something that your target audience can easily understand and relate to, as an easily-consumable statement is more likely to have your audience connect with it.
  • Use a variety of marketing channels. There are many different marketing channels available, and not all of them will be effective for your business. Experiment with different channels to see what works best for your target audience. Some popular marketing channels for B2B businesses include:
  • Content marketing: Create and share valuable content, such as blog posts, infographics, and white papers. This will help you establish yourself as an expert in your field and attract new leads.
  • Email marketing campaigns: Collect email addresses from your website visitors and send them regular newsletters and updates. This is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your target audience and nurture leads until they’re ready to buy.
  • Social media campaigns: Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to connect with your target audience and promote your products or services.
  • Paid advertising: Use paid advertising platforms like Google AdWords and LinkedIn Ads to target potential customers who are already interested in what you have to offer.

4. Track your results. It’s important to track the results of your marketing strategy so you can see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you make adjustments to your marketing strategy as needed. There are a number of different tools available to help you track your marketing results, such as Google Analytics and HubSpot CRM. In terms of strategy, we can help with the strategy for your B2B reward or loyalty program, which as we’ve shown, shares many overlapping components with your B2B marketing funnel and sales funnel.

Here are some additional tips for creating a successful B2B marketing funnel:

  • Focus on the buyer’s journey. Your marketing funnel should be designed to guide potential customers through the different stages of the customer journey, from the awareness stage to purchase.
  • Create relevant content. The content you create should be relevant to the needs and interests of your target audience. This will help you attract and engage potential customers.
  • Nurture leads. Once you’ve captured a lead’s contact information, it’s important to nurture them through the sales funnel process. This can be done through email marketing, social media marketing, or other channels. This is complemented by a B2B incentive program, as your communications can take a positive view by advising them of nearing reward or incentive values, sharing success stories and the like.
  • Close the deal. The goal of your marketing funnel is to close deals. This means having a clear call to action and making it easy for potential customers to purchase your products or services.

Here are some additional terms that are related to B2B marketing funnels:

  • Sales funnel: A sales funnel is a specific type of marketing funnel that is designed to help businesses close more deals.
  • Lead nurturing sequences: Lead nurturing is the process of providing your chosen audience with valuable information and resources in order to move them closer to the decision stage of the buyer’s journey.
  • Conversion rate: The conversion rate is a measure of how effective your marketing funnel is at converting potential customers into paying customers.

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By following these tips, you can create a B2B marketing funnel that will help you achieve your business goals. However, understanding the process is only half the battle. Since 1996, we’ve been helping B2B businesses build strategy in reward and incentive programs targeting their desired audiences. Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for your brand!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Digital marketing allows you to soft launch your product to your desired audience. By using hashtags and social media, it allows your customer to begin to build knowledge around their issue, and lets your brand better inform them prior to them deciding on the sales process.

  • The marketing funnel assist with optimizing the sales cycle by providing more information on prospective buyers, leading to more successful sales. By increase brand awareness and products earlier in the sales cycle, your marketing teams will function as part of the sales pipeline through paid media and Google ads.

  • The B2B sales funnel and marketing funnel share some overlap at first glance, but actually complement each other! The marketing funnel will provide more information for your B2B sales funnels and sales team, including lead generation through the intent stage. This allows for your customer relationship management to be more personalised through the sales teams and their B2B sales funnel, potentially increasing the customer lifetime value by aligning prospective buyers with the brand.

  • Unlike the B2B sales funnel, the marketing funnel will take place earlier in the conversation piece and provide more information to the customer, allowing them to feel more comfortable with your brand. By taking place earlier in the customer lifetime, this will raise awareness of your brand, and influences the purchasing decisions in the next stage. Simple tools such as a marketing campaign on your landing page or social media ads turn potential customers into existing customers – marketing teams, don’t sleep on the benefits of the marketing funnel!

  • The entire marketing process is involved in building a B2B marketing funnel! Content marketing across your social media platforms, an online store or educational content on your website landing pages are all valuable tools in establish thought leadership. These will create a unique value proposition that will influence the purchase decision and turn leads from lead generation into paying customers!

  • A B2B loyalty program will go hand-in-hand with a lot of the stages of your marketing funnel and sales funnel, but the advantages of sharing them generally come in later in the funnel’s cycle. Your loyalty program provides you with data insights through customer sign-ups, retention of customers across a longer lifetime of purchases, the ability to better communicate with your audience after they’ve made a purchase which will secure an ongoing customer relationship. Forget about the value of card reward programs, your B2B loyalty program can provide your brand with strong incentives directly to your customers.

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