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A Complex Art: Marketing to the Different Funnel Stages [Podcast]

In this month’s episode of Marketing O’Talk, Greg Finn sits down with some of marketing’s finest minds to discuss funnels.

On this special Marketing O’Talk podcast, part of the Search Engine Journal Network, host Greg Finn was joined by an all-star cast to discuss the complexities of funnels, how sales and marketing funnels differ, marketing to different funnels stages, best practices, and more.

You can also watch the video version of this podcast on the Search Engine Journal YouTube channel.

What Is a Funnel?

As a customer goes through their buying journey with a company, they are in what is called a funnel. This definition may seem straightforward, but there are a lot of intricacies with funnels and how each individual interacts with them, and how individual companies define those stages.

Some of the most common funnels that companies will follow are sales funnels and marketing funnels, which work hand in hand during the customer journey.

Glenn gives a great illustration of how funnels are a good model to work off of, but will not always be the same for everyone or every company.

“[Funnels are] an artificial thing… To me, it’s a model of how we make sense of the way buyers move towards buying a product… It’s helpful, but it has its limits.”

Andrea follows up giving a bit more insight into how the same way of thinking may not work for everyone.

“The key when thinking about a funnel is… that you cannot copy and paste them. It’s going to be different for everyone, it’s going to change from business to business… It’s more of an art than a science.”

Mark agrees, and gives some insight into his experience with clients.

“I’ve never worked with one single client who had the same definition of their marketing funnel, or their sales funnel anywhere… When I’m defining it, I’m thinking more of where are we trying to bring people in on the sales side and what types of interactions are we trying to elicit from a prospect.”

How Is a Funnel Structured?

The team then goes on to discuss the structure of funnels.

Common Marketing Funnel Structures aim to lead prospects to complete a certain sales action in order to convert them to a lead, or future customer

  • Top of Funnel.
  • Middle of Funnel.
  • Bottom of Funnel.


  • Awareness.
  • Intent.
  • Desire.
  • Action.

A Common Sales Funnel Structure aims to measure success and gives the sales team an idea of how to best reach out to the prospect

  • Lead.
  • Marketing Qualified Lead.
  • Sales Qualified Lead.
  • Opportunity.
  • Customer.

Knowing the common sales funnel as a marketer is important so that the decisions made in terms of marketing are aligned with the data being gathered from the sales side and how the current efforts are affecting prospects in the sales funnel.

These structures and definitions can and will change depending on the company, their views, and their goals.

What Networks and Ad Types Work?

The team then moves onto what networks and ad types will help marketing initiatives based on funnels succeed.

Andrea explains that there are not any specific ad platforms or types that will instantly make an initiative succeed, but rather to utilize multiple platforms to target specific audiences throughout the funnel process.

What Happens After They Convert?

After a prospect converts, a marketer’s job is not over! Supporting the sales team with marketing messages is extremely important to get that lead to eventually become a customer.

Listen to the full episode for more tips and tricks for how to best serve your funnels and find success with the customer journey!

Marketing O’Clock releases new digital marketing news podcasts every Friday morning along with “Marketing O’Talk” deep dive discussions each week.

Head over to the Marketing O’Clock site to subscribe!

Featured Image Credit: Samantha Hanson

Category News SEJ Network
Katie Gaisser Digital Marketing Coordinator at Cypress North

Katie Gaisser is a digital marketing coordinator at Cypress North & producer of Marketing O’Clock, on the Search Engine Journal ...

A Complex Art: Marketing to the Different Funnel Stages [Podcast]

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