The traditional marketing funnel is a structure that used to be applied to marketing strategy for just about every business. It starts with awareness (market potential), moving to interest (suspects), desire (prospects) and then action (customers). The thinking behind it was that the funnel was linear and that those customers who were lost at any stage were simply out of the loop. However, as technology has evolved and the way that consumers receive information from brands has changed drastically, the modern day marketing funnel now looks very different.
A brand new structure
Traditionally, it was assumed that consumers were getting their information about products or services from traditional mass marketing methods e.g. TV ads. However, today everything has gone digital and as a result, although it’s still important to invest in generating leads, many potential customers are coming across brand products or services on their own.
Customers can now enter the marketing funnel at a variety of different points and this creates a lot of individual customer journeys for which the traditional marketing funnel is just too basic. This omni-channel experience means that customers can enter – and exit – the funnel at any different stage. Rather than one single marketing process, the modern day marketing funnel looks much more like this:
- Using brand strategy to demonstrate what the business offers
- Engaging with customers to show how your products and services provide solutions to their issues and pain points
- Identifying the key benefits and differentiators of your brand as opposed to competitors
- Nurturing customers on an individual basis through to purchase
- Establishing lasting relationships and customer loyalty via a variety of data, tools and onboarding processes
- Exceeding expectations so that customers are happy to stay with your brand
- Integrating feedback and customer insights so that you’re listening to, and learning from, your audience
- Creating brand advocates from existing customers who will loop others into the modern day marketing funnel
This alternative structure allows for much more flexibility so that brands can treat customers as individuals, which creates the basis for lasting relationships. It’s also essential that any modern day marketing funnel is able to integrate ongoing changes in key digital marketing trends including:
It’s vital for brands to understand which platforms their target audience uses and how they like to digest content via social media. For example, many brands assume Facebook is predominantly for teenagers but 41% of Facebook users are over the age of 65.
Space needs to be made for AI in any digital marketing strategy as it is predicted to grow by more than 150% in 2019. AI chat bots are where there is currently the most marketing activity.
As 50% of all web searches are going to be carried out via voice technology by 2020, it’s essential that this is part of ongoing marketing decision making and factored into the design of any modern day marketing funnel.
Digital marketing is changing at a face pace and isn’t likely to slow down any time soon. If you’d like to find out more about the modern marketing funnel, contact a member of our team.