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The INCO Funnel – How to turn product into profit

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Your marketing efforts are a fundamental asset to your company and you’re trying your best to get your brand out there but sometimes we get so passionate and emotionally involved in what we are doing, that we forget to take a step back and strip each situation back to the basics.

First and foremost, let’s not forget that marketing is an exchange process, one that is mutually beneficial to both the customer and the provider. The customer has a need and as a provider we have a solution to that need. The customer then measures their satisfaction and we measure our profit.

Long gone are the days where businesses can adopt the Henry Ford, ‘You can have any colour as long as it’s black’ attitude. Products are now easily sourced and accessible from around the world. As marketers, it’s our job to deliver our brands’ message to our target audience, wherever they may be - all the time proving a return on investment in terms of not only money but also time spent. It’s important to really know how much your customers acquisition journey costs you.

Marketing Mix

Basic marketing theory teaches us that the marketing mix consists of the 7P’s:

  • Product – What product do we offer and how does that meet the customer’s need?
  • Place – How will we distribute our products in a way that is convenient to our customer?
  • Price – What factors affect our pricing and what pricing policy should we adopt?
  • Promotion – Who is our target audience and how do we communicate with them?
  • People – Who will be the best customer-facing staff and how can we ensure a professional attitude and appearance?
  • Process – What processes and procedures need to be put in place in order to ensure our customer is satisfied?
  • Physical Evidence (also referred to as physical environment and particularly relevant to those who are working out of a shop/storefront) – What are the premises like and are they appropriate for what we are trying to achieve? Further to this though, if you do not operate from a business premises, for example an ecommerce business, you should consider your website and the customers experience when using it as your physical evidence.

Communications Mix

Once we’ve established our attributes, we must then create and push our messages out through selected elements of the communications mix, briefly summarized below:

  • Advertising
  • Sales Promotion
  • Events
  • PR
  • Direct Marketing
  • Personal Selling

These mediums must be carefully selected, with consideration to the behavior of our target audience. It would be a costly and pointless exercise to try to reach everyone, because only people with a need for your product are going to buy it – whether that’s a primal need like food and water, or a desire such as wanting the latest smart phone, not everyone is going to need your product and therefore you don’t need to target them.

Try to imagine the type of person who will desire your product or service. Think about the way they act, how much disposable income they’re likely to have, what sort of job they are in, what sort of hobbies they have...

Thinking about the type of people who will buy your products, helps you to create customer profiles/‘personas’, in turn helping you to understand which methods of communicating with them will be the most effective in terms of reaching and converting them.

A Good ‘Impression’?

Once you’ve established the best way of communicating your message and have implemented your communications plan, you will start to make ‘impressions’ (in the online advertising sense).

When using paid for online advertising to reach your audience, most PPC (Pay Per Click) platforms will measure the ‘impressions’ for you. Organic marketing is a little harder to measure but can be achieved by using Google analytics if you are directing customers towards your website. Nevertheless, consideration should be given to not just the money spent on a ‘message’, but also the time spent creating its content, after all, time is money!


By now, if we’ve done our job well enough, our efforts should result in enquiries/sales. Sometimes repetition of the message is needed to remind people that they ‘need’ our product and to build trust with people who haven’t come across our brand before, however, don’t waste your time flogging a dead horse.

The most important thing we can possibly do is measure, measure, measure. This way we are able to distinguish what does work, and what doesn’t. If we don’t know what’s working and what isn’t, our efforts are wasted.

How much did it cost to acquire that customer? Are they likely to use our services again?

Remember it’s always more expensive to acquire a new customer, so if you’re going after new business ensure that you give the customer a high level of satisfaction meaning that they will become loyal to your brand and want to have the same customer experience with you again and again.

Do you need help with your marketing strategy? Or want a passionate agency to take care of it all for you? E-mail to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.

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