The Marketing funnel explained

As consumers pass through the cognitive stages (AIDAR), they simultaneously pass through the top, middle and bottom of the ‘’funnel’’, paraphrased as the TOF, MOF and BOF. The funnel is a metaphor used in the marketing world to map the customer journey, from when they first learn of the brand to when they complete the desired action. The aim of the marketing strategy should be to maximise the number of people reaching the BOF, where conversion occurs. 

The funnel is traditionally visualised as wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, as there are fewer customers at each stage. It is inevitable that there will be fewer customers who buy the product than those who are engaged at the initial stage of awareness; not all leads will result in conversion. 

 In 2021, consumers play an active role when engaging with brands: they search keywords, look at customer reviews, message brands privately, and more. A key limitation of the funnel model is that it is evocative of a passive process where consumer’s ‘’fall’’ from awareness to action. This is an unhelpful way to think about marketing strategy, which should consider consumers as active participants. 

  A useful metaphor that serves as a reminder to not only include push-style marketing, is flipping the standard funnel model and thinking of it as a mountain, where consumers ‘’climb’’ from the bottom to the summit. The brand/marketer cannot ‘’push’’ customers up the mountain from awareness to action and retention, but instead should give customers the tools and information for them to climb up themselves. 


Facebook can be used to do this through:

      Allowing for self-directed research

      Poll-style ads on stories

      Facebook messenger

      Customer reviews 

 The marketing strategy should be customer-centred. It is important to think more specifically about how to increase the number of people at the BOF by thinking about the individuals themselves. Customers are not just a statistic moving through the funnel but are individuals with specific preferences and who are at different stages in the AIDAR model. Back to touchpoints, the marketing should meet consumers wherever they are in the customer journey, rather than just being an endless presentation of ads. Centering consumers by thinking of them as actively climbing the mountain to the BOF is a useful reminder of this. 

If you need support creating your own marketing funnel then we are your team! Contact us today at

By Josie Clarke, Shoo Academy