marketing funnel

The Marketing Funnel is Dead. Long Live the Funnel!

Nothing is linear and marketing is not easy.  It was easy at one time but that was at least two years ago.

Update:  In the short time since this post was originally published, the idea that the marketing funnel may have outlived its utility seems to have become something of a buzz-phrase among the customer engagement community.  We’re not saying we were the first to identify this idea but we will certainly lay claim to the fact that we’re always looking up toward the next horizon.  Hope you’re enjoying the view as much as we enjoy presenting it to you.  Cheers.

Nothing is linear and marketing is not easy.  It was easy at one time but that was at least two years ago.  Now we have to formulate an entirely new set of questions just to be able to create customer views that have meaning.  The marketing funnel was a great concept that served us well for what might be called the teenage years of customer marketing but we’re in a new age now – we’re reaching something that looks more like adulthood. It’s a time of eye-opening, a time of breath-taking change.  It’s a time to experiment and experience.  It’s a time to recognize that what once was is no longer.

It’s also a time of incredible opportunity where brands can actually “know” their customers with an unprecedented immediacy and at an unprecedented scale.  Confusing.  Exciting.  Complicated.  Rich with opportunity.  And our sense is that this is just the beginning.  We’re just getting started.

New Questions

If you were to design your product – your business model from the customer backward, if you could re-create your customer dialogue from scratch and build a branded ecosystem that spoke exclusively to every individual customer in your market, what would that look like? What would you do differently? What questions would you be asking of your data?  What technologies would you be assembling to enable that dialogue?  What would your new expectations look like?  We’re talking to the people who are figuring that out.

Approaching the Starting Line with Momentum

In coming weeks you’ll be meeting and hearing from people who are changing the games in their respective corners of the customer landscape.  People like Michael Fisher (Fluent Dialogue) who is adding a series of flyovers to the giant online channels that will ultimately allow brands to determine their own online roadmaps and ROI.  People like Matt Britton (Suzy) who is pioneering real-time customer intelligence at a brand-wide scale.  People like Tim Myers (Pointillist) who is part of a team transforming customer journey data into holistic customer-centric business decision-making.

These people and the people they work with aren’t constrained by what the landscape looks like now – they are molding and shaping what it will look like next year, in five years from now.  They are leading companies that know that agility counts but creativity wins.  And the brands they work with (some of whom you’ll meet here as well) are living case-studies in their effectiveness.

The Whole Customer-Insight Enchilada

Your customers have a new set of expectations and demands.  And it’s likely that those expectations will shift and morph quickly and radically.  We designed TheCustomer from the ground up to give brands a head-up on those shifts and to give a voice to the providers who will help them to see and leverage them.

We think it’s the right time to build a place where CX meets Loyalty, where UX meets CRM, where Behavioral Economics meets data analyses. A place where all of the disciplines, research, technology and events that inform customer insights are rolled up into one neat* package designed to keep you informed and inspired.

*Neat but meaty.

Customers are everywhere and they come in every conceivable shape and size, preference and predilection.  Our job is to help brands find more of them, nurture them better, and build healthy, profitable relationships with them – inside and outside of the marketing funnel.  It’s going to be a fun journey.  Want to come along?

  • mg
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