The marketing funnel has evolved over the years. Recent advances in technology, increased access to information, emerging digital marketing tactics, and changing consumer behavior have all contributed to this marketing funnel makeover. The customer’s buying journey is now less linear and more complicated than what the old funnel suggests.
The Traditional Marketing Funnel and How it Works
Businesses have been using the marketing funnel to visualize and understand the consumer’s buying process from being a prospect to becoming a buying customer. The term was coined because of how it works – like a funnel. Awareness sits on the wide edge of the funnel where potential customers are drawn in through various campaigns and research. Engagement happens next, followed by discovery and then purchase. Retention takes place when a delighted customer makes a repeat purchase.
For years, marketers have used marketing strategies inspired by the traditional marketing funnel. They capture leads, make sales, and retain customers. The farther the cycle gets, the narrower it becomes. This traditional marketing funnel was all but a linear journey. Fast forward to today, this might not be the case anymore.
Out with the Old, In with the New
As businesses grow, so does the consumers. The digital age not only sparked changes in marketing practices and tactics; it also enabled consumers to gather the information they need and altered the way they interact with each other. Given this scenario, prospects and consumers can now appear at any stage. This paved the way for a new marketing funnel – one that looks quite different from how it once was.
But how does it differ aside from the way it looks?
The new marketing funnel isn’t even a funnel at all. It’s a looping hourglass where customers can enter and exit at any stage of the marketing process. This further extends the finish line to include other stages, like adoption, expansion, and advocacy, that help nurture prospects through an omnichannel experience that’s unique for each buyer.
Let’s take a look at how the new, lifecycle-based marketing funnel works.
With the new marketing funnel, marketers can come up with better business strategies that propel growth. When done right, it can lead to efficient sales processes and increased business profit. Now, the goal doesn’t end at the point-of-sale with a customer. Rather, the goal is to touch on every stage of the customer life-cycle, from spreading brand awareness to coming up with a long-term brand advocacy – a strategy that spells brand success.
Thanks to our friends at Campaignmonitor.com for this educational infographic.