For a long time, we’ve been hearing about the wonky and leaky marketing funnel. In fact, there have been quite a few attempts to update it and make it more relevant for the current B2B landscape. But has the time finally come to say goodbye to the marketing funnel as we know it?
The traditional marketing funnel has long been a convenient and useful tool for categorising the different stages of prospect engagement with a brand. It’s based on the assumption that there is a continuum on which we can place people during the buying journey. Once we start to engage with a prospect, it’s expected that our marketing efforts will ensure that they move from the top to the bottom of the funnel.
So what’s the problem with this model?
It’s not you, it’s me
The main issue with the funnel is that it’s all about US (the vendors). For the most part, the prospective customer isn’t likely to be thinking about you or your product. They are much more likely to be thinking about their problem – whether they can make it go away or solve it themselves.
It’s not a smooth journey
When we talk about the funnel, we assume that prospects will flow naturally from one stage to the next. Some will drop out of course, but eventually a happy customer will pop out at the bottom. The trouble is that prospect behaviour is not linear. They might start on a journey, enquire about a topic and then forget about it. They might even start researching third-party solutions, then find a quick fix and sort it out themselves. The journey is bi-directional and fraught with pitfalls.
What’s the alternative?
Looking at the buyer journey from a different perspective can be a more useful way to categorise your target audience and their level of engagement with your brand.
In our latest ebook, ‘The New B2B Buyer journey. What's changed and how marketing can respond’ we examine the real buyer journey, what it means for you, and provide tips and insights to help you can successfully navigate it using content marketing effectively. We hope you find it useful.