The Reason It’s Called a Funnel
The Attention – Interest – Desire – Action (AIDA) funnel is a guide to purchasing behavior, just like the buyer’s journey. The AIDA funnel encapsulates a process; its steps are adjustable filters designed to qualify and nurture prospects along their buying journey. By customizing the 4 filters in the funnel, you can achieve your campaign goals and address the needs of your developer audience.
It is important to understand the analogy of the funnel — your leads start at a big opening at the top and are filtered through a small opening at the bottom. At the top, you have a broad pool of people with a modicum of interest. At the bottom, you have a small number of people with a high degree of interest. As you engage and educate them through the funnel, the pool of available purchasers decreases, and you wind up with a small audience of highly qualified buying prospects.
Race to the Bottom
While the digital AIDA funnel represents the process of moving a lead to a sale, is it possible to blow up the funnel and go straight to the bottom? After all, developers are highly educated and informed, and typically know what they want or need to get their job done. Can’t we just market to them without attracting attention, without being interesting, and without being desirable? Why sell the whole cow when all they want is a burger?
The simple answer is that you can and will attract some customers at the bottom of the funnel without going through each step of AIDA, but it is important to realize how they got there. Somehow, someway, you attracted their attention, either directly from a search, a reference, or referral. Product knowledge, brand awareness, and “solutions” do not exist in a vacuum. Marketing is the driving force behind promotion and advertising that keeps brands and products alive in the minds of consumers. Through history, advertising and promotion have evolved into an art. More recently, it has experienced a renaissance through the digital revolution. The dramatic changes that have emerged from the digital revolution have influenced the way we interact socially and in business.
Take Me to Your Developer
A lot has been written about marketing to developers because they are an attractive target for marketers. They buy things we like to sell, and they buy in a manner that is predictable, so the funnel or buyer’s journey can be used to model their behavior. Developers are also educated and aware — two traits which place them solidly in the mouth of the funnel because they can be nurtured to closure. Developers who are in the position to make purchase decisions rely on recommendations from their colleagues, and act as the lead in the decision-making unit. They can be influenced from multiple angles. Any fear, uncertainty, or doubt can be mitigated through education and confidence-building for your product/brand, using the funnel stages.
Let’s Meet in the Funnel
The digital AIDA funnel offers structure for a disciplined approach to marketing to developers, and both marketing and salespeople understand the concept. As previously mentioned, unqualified leads go in at the top, and qualified leads come out at the bottom. Depending on the product, and the responsibilities of the sales force, the marketing team typically owns Attention. They will often share the Interest and Desire stages, while the sales team owns the Action stage. CRM and marketing automation systems can be configured to split the various responsibilities of team members at different stages. However the responsibilities are split, it’s important to maintain a clear division of responsibility throughout the process.
The AIDA funnel can be used successfully to nurture your developer prospects from their initial interest to closure. Using the funnel increases the transparency of your process and helps you plan things like channel selection, media selection, and marketing tactics. Developers fit the funnel model, and the structure of the funnel enables marketing to work closely with sales to efficiently take them through the stages.
If you need help marketing to developers, or want to discuss how to use the AIDA funnel or the buyer’s journey to map your process and increase your efficiency, contact the team at DeveloperMedia. They have the experience and market knowledge to help you get the best results from your marketing campaigns.
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