What is the Dark Funnel in marketing?
The Dark Funnel in digital marketing refers to the stage in the customer journey where potential customers are unknown to the brand and have not yet interacted with them in any way. It’s called the “dark” funnel because, in this stage, the company has no visibility or information on the customer. This makes it difficult to target and convert them into paying customers.
However, with the advancement of technology and not to forget data analytics, companies are now able to shed light on the Dark funnel and tap into this previously untapped source of potential customers. The Dark funnel is crucial for businesses because it allows them to reach out to customers who may not have been aware of their products or services in the past.
The Dark funnel consists of three main stages (or paths): Awareness, Interest, and Desire.
- The so-called Awareness stage is where the customer first becomes aware of a brand or product. He or she may come across the brand through a variety of channels, such as social media, search engines like Google or Bing, or advertising. In this stage, the customer is most likely not actively searching for the product, but they have taken notice of it.
- The Interest stage is where the customer starts to engage with the brand and shows more intent to purchase. They may do more research on the product, read reviews, or interact with the brand through social media. This stage is crucial because it is where the customer begins to form an opinion on the brand and its products, and it’s also where the company has a real opportunity to influence the customer’s perception and decision-making process.
- The Desire stage is where the customer has decided to purchase the product. They may be ready to buy immediately, or they may need a little more persuasion. This is where the company can use targeted marketing and advertising to close the sale.
To really tap into the Dark funnel, online businesses must first identify their target audience and understand their behaviours, interests and last but not least their pain points. They can then use various digital marketing tactics such as search engine optimisation (SEO), social media advertising, and content marketing to reach out to these ‘hidden’ customers and build brand awareness.
SEO involves optimising the company’s website and content to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This increases the online visibility of this brand and makes it easier for online shoppers to find it when searching for related products or services. Social media advertising involves creating targeted ads that reach the target audience where they spend most of their time, such as on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Content marketing is also a very effective way to reach out to potential customers in the Dark funnel. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that involves creating valuable and relevant content that helps solve the customer’s pain points and answers their questions. This can include articles, infographics, videos, e-books and podcasts. The goal of content marketing is to provide the customer with valuable information and build trust in the brand, which will increase the likelihood of them becoming paying customers.
In conclusion, the Dark Funnel is an important aspect of the customer journey that should not be overlooked by companies. By shedding light on this previously untapped source of potential customers, companies can reach out to customers who may not have been aware of their products or services before and convert them into paying customers. By using tactics such as SEO, social media advertising, and content marketing, companies can effectively target and influence customers in the Dark funnel and increase their chances of success.
Who is Riaz Kanani?
Riaz Kanani is a leading advocate for Account Based Marketing (ABM), a strategy that is making a comeback and is poised to revolutionise the way B2B marketers approach their marketing efforts. ABM fosters stronger relationships with potential clients and leads to larger, faster-closing deals. His ABM platform, Radiate B2B, empowers companies to effectively target other businesses through online advertising, resulting in a higher likelihood of closing deals worth up to seven times the average value.
Riaz Kanani has been a trailblazer in the use of data in MarTech for the past two decades, leveraging it to gain insights into online behaviour and enhance marketing capabilities. He also believes in giving individuals control over their privacy.