TOFU, MOFU, AND BOFU
Understanding the different types of leads, and how a new lead becomes a qualified lead, is one thing. Generating actual leads you can nurture into new customers for your business is another. Lead segmentation is an important next step to converting leads into customers.
Salespeople and marketers often talk about the sales funnel. The sales funnel is a way of describing all of your business’ potential customers, and how they are ranked prior to becoming actual customers. The top of the funnel (TOFU) is full of marketing leads — potential customers, most of whom are just trying to find solutions to the problems they’re experiencing but who may not be ready to purchase. The goal is to help guide as many of those leads as possible through the middle of the funnel (MOFU), where there is more interest in your product or business, to the bottom of the funnel (BOFU), where fewer people remain, but they’re the ones who are ready to do business.
So lets zero in on how to fill the top of the funnel with marketing leads — quality leads, at that. The first step, getting people to know about your product or service so that it can be placed in the potential customers’ group of product/services under consideration. Its proven that making it to a potential customers’ initial consideration increases that chances of making it to the selection process. For most businesses, it means developing a marketing strategy focused on digital – the internet. I internet is where customers start the journey seeking a solution to their problem. A great looking website is the hub for your digital activity. From there you need to use social media, blogging platforms, and email campaigns to drive traffic back to your site.
Lead Segmentation: Inbound Marketing & Prospecting
Potential customers can now use a mobile device to start the journey. When searching for content they want interesting and useful content, not content all about how great your company is. Today, companies have to spend time and money designing and crafting quality content to power an inbound marketing strategy.
Unlike outbound marketing, which includes TV or print ad, online ads, email lists, and cold calling, inbound marketing meets consumers where they are online. It’s more self-directed and the content is compelling enough to draw potential customer into your business. The outbound style of casting broad nets for leads has a place, but inbound marketing has proven a more effective, less costly means of generating quality sales leads.
Quality Leads: Entertain & Inform
Good content marketing entertains and informs with blog articles, social media posts, video and other bite-sized content that adds something to readers’ goal of finding a solution to their problem. Larger company’s do this all the time, but small businesses should also repurpose great content over as many of their digital and online platforms appropriate. Not having to reinvent the wheel saves time and money.
Prospecting is another technique that often provides a link between inbound marketing and sales activities. Once a sales lead has been nurtured to the bottom of the funnel, a sales reps can follow up with prospecting activities such as emails, LinkedIn messages, and phone calls or voicemails. This stage is a way for the sales rep to have a one-to-one conversation.
The ways in which consumer receive information about a product/service changes constantly. This makes it important to plan periodic reviews of your marketing strategies and methods for capturing. Remember potential customers can become your lead through channels such as your online presence, referrals, word-of-mouth recommendations, tradeshows, and networking. No matter how you do it, you’re going to want to keep track of them digitally with a CRM platform or lead management tool. What tools are available is what’s next.
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In a recent McKinsey Consulting article, “Analytics Translator: The new must-have role,” by McKinsey Consultants Nicolaus Henke,