The traditional marketing funnel is no longer the go-to model for marketers. In an era of digital marketing, the customer decision-making process has evolved beyond the traditional funnel. Market trends suggest that the mismatch between real customer experiences and funnel models or Customer Decision Journey will only increase. Sales funnels can still be used to generate reports and help teams see how a contact is progressing to become a customer, but they are no longer the only way to do so.
Most versions of the standard funnel are based on three basic levels: knowledge, consideration, and conversion. The goal of the marketing funnel is to convert a visitor into a potential customer and then into a customer. However, with the rise of digital marketing, brands can now build their presence in the upper funnel and allow for more creativity in their marketing efforts. The current sales funnel is heavily influenced by an advertising school of thought, dominant in the early and middle of the 20th century and later adopted by most digital platforms.
This school of thought suggests that advertising must persuade people with data to actively evaluate and consider a product or service. In today's global and highly connected digital era, customers or buyers can enter at any stage of the funnel and from virtually anywhere in the world.With a little knowledge of how the funnel has changed and what that means for the marketing role, brands can now take advantage of digital marketing to reach potential customers in new ways. Nor does the standard funnel tend to emphasize a key role played by much of digital marketing today.
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