Did you know that the first marketing funnel was created in 1898? It followed a very basic formula, similar to the well-known AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) funnel that has been the mantra of copywriters and marketers for the last 100 years.
And although the general sales funnel hasn’t changed much in terms of the general theme, it has evolved in recent years.These days, with so many different channels (as opposed to the one-way communication of yesteryear), it’s only natural that the sales funnel would evolve. With that in mind, your strategies should also evolve.
Here’s what the sales funnel looks like in 2021:
The funnel starts out much the same as the funnel from over a century ago. You need awareness of your brand in order to connect with visitors and customers on their level, so that they understand what you have to offer and how you can help them.
Once the awareness has been made, it’s up to you to persuade the prospect that it’s in their best interests to consider your solution, which leads us to the next step:
Here again, the next step of the funnel is much like its predecessor in that once the prospect is aware of your brand, they’ll need to make a decision as to whether or not it’s right for their specific needs. You can present information that can nudge them in this direction, but ultimately either way, they will naturally go to the next step, which is:
It’s possible that a prospect can spend a great deal of time in between the consideration and decision stages, analyzing every feature and benefit before they ultimately arrive to a decision (or in more modern times, a conversion). In other words, they decide that your solution is indeed what they’ve been looking for, and you’ve provided enough content to support and reinforce that decision.
This has been the end goal of the sales funnel for decades. Once an action was taken, that’s where the funnel ended, barring little follow-up. At this point, either the prospect became a customer or they didn’t, but as far as marketing and sales were concerned, their job was done.
But in this day and age that isn’t the case. Because even after the sale, there’s more pressure than ever to continue delivering an exemplary customer experience, which then creates two more steps to the funnel — a modern solution for modern promotional channels:
You don’t want customers to purchase just one time. You want them to keep coming back, keep ordering and keep enjoying your product or service. In other words, you want to cultivate loyalty. A great way to do this is through the use of a loyalty program. Customers want to align with brands that share their values, and the more you communicate this and live it, the more likely they’ll be to continue buying from you. And as they do so, they’ll gradually become advocates.
Advocacy is the last step in the funnel, and it’s not one that every customer will reach or even want to reach. This is when a customer becomes so loyal, that they become enmeshed in the brand itself — a strong supporter who wouldn’t dream of using anything else. And to that end, they encourage others to do the same. Some brands are so interwoven with their mission that the line between brand and philosophy is blurred, and customers who follow that same mindset become brand advocates who vigorously support and champion the brand.
Now, every business understandably wants to build an army of advocates, but it’s worth understanding that we’re talking about the very tip of the funnel. These are even rarer than those who choose to simply take action. However, the modern sales funnel doesn’t neglect the possibility that there are users who are so enamored with your brand and so committed to your cause that they can easily become brand advocates for you. It’s a good idea to let this process happen naturally and unfold for those customers who are unwaveringly dedicated to using nothing else other than your product or service.
And although they’re few and far between, cultivating this type of customer mindset through every stage of the funnel is our specialty. Here at Workdom, we’re proud to work with companies that are leaders in their respective industries; companies who are socially responsible as well as empowered to create the best possible experience for their prospects and customers.
And if you’d like your business to be one of them, we encourage you to reach out to our senior advertising professionals and connect with us to learn more about how we can help you!