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The Marketing Funnel is Dead, and That’s Good News for Marketers

The typical marketing funnel is no longer in use.

What you may not realize is that the “death” of the marketing funnel is really excellent news for marketers, at least for those of us who can adjust to a new way of seeing the funnel.

This is simpler than ever before if you understand how the funnel has evolved and what it implies for the function of marketing. Today, we’ll talk about why the death of the old marketing funnel is good news for marketers, but first, let’s take a look at the old funnel to refresh our recollections.

What exactly is a marketing funnel, and why should you be concerned?

A marketing funnel is necessary since it is the approach that helps your audience go from prospect to customer. This is accomplished by adding prospects to your funnel and guiding them through the phases until they decide it’s time to make the ultimate conversion, which generally results in them buying a product or service.

What are the marketing funnel stages?

Awareness, interest, desire, and action are the four phases of the classic marketing funnel. Visually, it appears like follows:

The traditional marketing funnel has four stages: awareness, interest, desire, and action. Visually, it looks something like this:

What exactly is an email funnel?

The email funnel describes the email marketing process that subscribers undergo until they become customers. Email marketers have long utilized this marketing funnel concept to construct email campaigns that urge consumers to go down the funnel through multiple email series.

The email funnel refers to the email marketing journey subscribers take until they convert into a customer.

Using the loop to replace the previous funnel

So, what became to the old funnel?

Some have described it as “broken,” while others have said that it has been turned on its side or flipped, and yet others have likened the new model to a pinball machine.

There’s even a conference dedicated to dealing with the “flipped” funnel. Terminus hosted their first #flipmyfunnel conference in 2015. Their objective was to create awareness about the new funnel and come up with strategies to adapt to it. The conference was a lead generating and customer acquisition event in and of itself, in the spirit of best practices for the new funnel.

Terminus’ willingness to disclose this information widely would have made little sense in the days of a typical funnel that sucked in hard-won leads and threw out consumers. Today’s funnel (or loop) takes into account the larger context of the purchasing transaction. It offers opportunities in the hitherto overlooked post-sale phase, when clients may become repeat customers and brand evangelists.

Most significantly, the new strategy encourages us to abandon pre- and post-purchase phases in favor of a more holistic approach that considers the full client lifetime.

Modern leads may enter at any point in the process

Leads may now join the new marketing funnel at any point. They are no longer “acquired,” and they are no longer guided through a sequence of predictable and sequential phases, from awareness to discovery to sale. Anyone who has ever purchased online and received a cart abandonment email or Googled customer reviews from a store aisle understands this.

The buyer’s trip has evolved into a game of choose-your-own-adventure. It’s multichannel. Someone at the awareness stage may be only one or two clicks away from the crucial purchase step, or they may be interacting in a public manner, such as via social media.

While this may seem to imply that important portions of the buyer’s journey are now out of marketers’ control, the contrary is true. Modern marketers today have unparalleled access to the whole client lifecycle. They no longer need to be obsessed with acquisition and can instead concentrate on a dynamic strategy that can reach clients at any time.

The marketing funnel of today employs an omnichannel strategy

Personalization and multichannel marketing are required in the new funnel. After all, it is how most people interact with the internet in general.

According to Ascend2’s 2017 State of Marketing, customization is the most successful email marketing approach, but it is also one of the most difficult to execute well. Scalable personalization is dependent on the efficient use of data and organizational tools such as email automation and customisation.

Each “ping” of contact with a lead—whether by email, social media, or one of the many other online channels—presents a chance to give a tailored marketing experience while also collecting data to further personalize future pings. As a result, some have compared the new funnel to a pinball machine.

Each “ping” of contact with a lead—whether via email, social media, or the many other online channels—presents an opportunity to deliver a personalized marketing experience and collect data to personalize future pings further.

Wrap up

If we go with the example, mastering the new funnel’s rules is the difference between receiving replay after replay on your initial quarter and shaking the machine in anger as the pinballs fade out of grasp.