Marketers have always liked linear thinking — it’s wonderfully complicated and makes it easier to measure what’s going on. That’s why I have always liked the funnel thinking of the AIDA model — where you raise Awareness, turn it into Interest, change that to a Desire to buy, leading ultimately to Action, where a purchase is made. At each stage you could find metrics to see what influence you are having in driving a prospect down the funnel.
Steven Noble from Forrester Research says that’s all outdated thinking. It ignores the concept of loyalty and increasing the lifetime value of customers. Plus, in today’s multichannel environment, there are many more ways at which you interact with a customer or prospective customer.
Instead, in his recent paper “It’s Time to Bury the Marketing Funnel” he suggests an alternative — an ongoing cycle of discovering, exploring, buying and engaging. He talks through this model in this edition of BTalk.
It makes a lot of sense — maybe it is time to abandon some of our old textbook marketing techniques. They don’t apply today, and perhaps they weren’t too realistic then either!