The hidden power of the marketing funnel
To some people the marketing funnel is far too simplistic; to others it can be a priceless tool for improving sales.
Last weekend, my partner and I took a bicycle tour to a small village near our home, called Adendorf. Each year, it hosts an iconic garden exhibition – a sales show with plenty of champagne and canapés.
After a few glasses, we passed a large exhibition of roofed wicker beach chairs. The thing is, in our house, we have pretty much every chair we need. But there are chairs, and there are roofed wicker beach chairs. Handmade. In over 100 fabrics. With a list of extras longer than a BMW’s.
Fitted champagne cooler? No problem. Smartphone pocket? Just tick here. We fell in love with the blue model and considered what needed to go from our terrace to make space. Frank, the owner, told us that all 15 display chairs had now been sold. But ours would ship within four weeks. Did we need a €4,000 roofed wicker beach chair? We absolutely did. That blue one.
On this afternoon, we shot right through the marketing funnel, from ‘no clue’ to ‘purchase’. We experienced AIDA (attention, interest, desire and action – not Verdi’s opera) in under an hour.
No, the funnel isn’t perfect. But as a communication device, it’s priceless.
Technically, the marketing funnel tries to map how target customers interact with a brand, from knowing it to buying it, with steps in between. But here’s the problem: there’s not just one purchase process. Exactly how people buy is complicated, differs by product and keeps changing.
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