Advertising Funnel

The Advertising Funnel is a model that shows how customers move from learning about a product or service to finally purchasing.

It outlines the steps a potential customer takes during this process, helping marketers create strategies tailored to each phase.

Think of it like a funnel: many potential customers start at the top, but only a few make it through to the bottom to become buyers.1

Visual Representation

advertising funnel visual representation

Stages of the Advertising Funnel

The advertising funnel has five main stages – awareness, interest, consideration, conversion, and retention.

Here’s an overview of each of them:

  1. Awareness:
    • Goal: Make people aware of your brand, product, or service.
    • How: Use ads, social media, content marketing, and search engine advertising to reach a broad audience.
  2. Interest:
    • Goal: Generate interest in your products or services.
    • How: Share detailed information through blog posts, webinars, email newsletters, and engaging social media content.
  3. Consideration:
    • Goal: Help potential customers evaluate their options.
    • How: Provide case studies, product demos, testimonials, and comparison guides to help them make informed decisions.
  4. Purchase:
    • Goal: Make the purchase process smooth and user-friendly.
    • How: Provide clear calls-to-action, an easy checkout process, and excellent customer support.
  5. Retention:
    • Goal: Keep customers coming back.
    • How: Offer great after-sales service, loyalty programs, and regular updates or special offers to existing customers.

Importance of the Advertising Funnel

Understanding the advertising funnel is crucial because it helps to create better marketing strategies.

Here’s why it’s important:

  • Segment Marketing Efforts: Businesses can tailor their content and campaigns to each funnel stage, which helps keep customers interested and increases sales.
  • Optimize Budget Allocation: Companies can focus their money and resources on the most important stages of the funnel.
  • Measure Success: By tracking each stage, businesses can see what’s working well and what needs improvement.
  • Improve Customer Experience: Providing the right information at the right time helps guide customers smoothly through their buying journey.

Businesses can use the advertising funnel to plan more effectively, sell more products, and build better customer relationships.2


A company launches an online advertising campaign for a new sleep-tracking app.

The first set of ads, aimed at generating awareness, highlights the app’s unique features.

The next phase targets interested users with more detailed information about sleep benefits and user testimonials to build desire.

Finally, the campaign uses special discount offers to prompt users to download and subscribe to the app, completing the action stage.

Related Terms


1. What is an advertising funnel & how to use it? [example included]. Marketing. (n.d.).

2. Williams, N. (2016). The Sales Funnel Book: How To Multiply Your Business With Marketing Automation. (n.p.): CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

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