The Marketing Funnel – How Long Have You Been Getting It Wrong?

Awareness, Consideration and Purchase. The Marketing Funnel as a straight line that the likes of David Ogilvy, Leo Burnett and Jerry Della Femina pitched to brands since the 1940’s.

Then along came the Internet (Thanks Al Gore ha!): search and social forever changed that linear path.

Google … you’ve heard of it right? They have access to massive amounts of data about consumer behavior (including yours!). What we search for, when and on what device, how often for the same or similar things, and what our ‘journey’ to making a purchase looks like.

Google recently released information gleaned from a study over the last six months into the customer journey. They looked at thousands of users’ clickstream data as part of an opt-in panel, and found that no two customer journeys are exactly alike. In fact, even within the same category, journeys take multiple shapes.

What does this mean for businesses trying to build a marketing funnel that reaches those fickle consumers? You can read the whole article here, but basically, forget everything you ever learned about the marketing funnel.

Here are important takeaways:

  1. No two customer purchase journeys are exactly the same.
  2. Most people are not following a linear path from awareness to consideration to purchase.
  3. The business that is able to stay on the customer’s radar consistently and with multiple touch points throughout their purchase journey, eventually wins the customer.
  4. When it comes down to budget allocation, sacrifice reach for frequency. Frequency is different from, and better than Frequently.  Frequency means reaching the same potential customer many times throughout the purchase journey: TV, Search, Website, Review Site, YouTube, Facebook, Site Retargeting, etc are all touch points.

Side Note: This is why having ChartLocal utilize pixels/website tracking codes and harvesting a database for you is so important!

     5. Being there when and where your clients/customers/patients are looking is critical.

    6. Being seen vs. found. If you want to be seen, buy ten large billboards up and down the busiest highway in your county… or commercials on prime time television. But, if you want to be found when your potential customers are looking for your product or service online, you need to carefully choose the most efficient ways to earn that visibility, such as Search Engine Marketing, Responsive Website Design, Business Listings & Online Review sites, YouTube, Social Media, etc.  Again a solid marketing partner like ChartLocal can assist you and make a recommendation, totally free of charge. Just give us a call or send an email to

Still not convinced? Read on …

According to Google, “Today, people are no longer following a linear path from awareness to consideration to purchase. They are narrowing and broadening their consideration set in unique and unpredictable moments. People turn to their devices to get immediate answers. And every time they do, they are expressing intent and reshaping the traditional marketing funnel along the way.”

People may search for a brand, or a broader category, ask peers in social, watch a Youtube video or product vlog, tighten search, look at competitive brands and take 5 or 50 steps before making a purchase. Bottom line is that today, you need to touch consumers several times along that journey if you are going to stand any chance of being there when they finally decide to swipe the card or drive over to your brick & mortar to make a purchase.

Finally, Google suggests we all make sure that these three things are happening.

  1. Alignment: Look at how your marketing is aligned with how you want your business perceived, and what you want your expected outcome or business goal to be (Form fill, inbound call, online sale, store visit).
  2. Wasted Marketing: Know your customer. Quit marketing to the masses and target your best prospects. Stop trying to market to the customers your competition didn’t want.
  3. Automation: Automate as much as possible. Speed is of the essence today. Your CRM should have a marketing automation component. Machine learning is better, faster and more accurate than manual input any day, and can track connections between your business goals and those important key customer segments.

Need assistance with re-calibrating your marketing funnel? Do you know how to make mid-course corrections on the fly? Do you have access to the tools and platforms needed to position or business or practice in the path of your most profitable customer or patient segment?

If you answered no to any or all of these important questions, call ChartLocal today at 888-826-8060 for a no-cost digital analysis of your business or practice. Let our data scientists show you a plan that will have you predicting and reacting to every switchback, twist and turn in that new, non-linear marketing funnel. We’ll keep you from zigging, when you should have zagged.