Is the Purchase Funnel Dead?

The purchase funnel is known as one of the ideal marketing tools for understanding and researching consumer behavior. It theorizes that all consumersScreen Shot 2016-04-09 at 10.23.39 AM
follow these specific steps, from being in contact with a company in which they are interested in purchasing that product or service ultimately. The purchase funnel consists of several steps: awareness, opinion, consideration, preference, and purchase.   Purchase Funnel Diagram

Brands and agencies have been using this method, for decades, to assist in designing strategic promotional and marketing campaigns. However, with the emergence of the internet, many argue that the purchasing path of consumers have shifted, and because of the emergence of social media, tablets, and smartphones, the theory is now antiquated.

Newbery writes, the internet, combined with the growth in the number of channels, devices, and means by which the average consumer shops and considers purchases, has made the path to purchase a very different process. Although the five steps, awareness, consideration, interaction, purchase, and advocacy are unchanged, the means by which consumers engage with them are very different.  New Marketing Funnel Diagram

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 11.15.02 AMThe arrival new technology has increased the engagement and awareness of products and services offered to consumers. Consumers can easily shop and do research online through an app via mobile device or table. These new technologies have transformed the ways in which advertisers reach consumers and how they engage with them. It has transformed the way marketers advertise to consumers which have become more personal and personalized. Even in the purchase phase, the channels through which products and services can be purchased have evolved, with mobile leading the charge.

Online purchasing has been decreasing over the years, especially now that more company websites are mobile optimized and apps are available on smartphones. In addition to the increase of mobile usage, we see consumers turning to mobile as a necessary part of their purchase decisions. These changes in which consumers can purchase products and services have altered the level at which they enter the purchase funnel. In addition to the screens they use to search and purchase, the influence of others, the information they gather, social media platforms networks they rely upon and experiences. Do you believe the purchase funnel exist in today’s media world?



2 thoughts on “Is the Purchase Funnel Dead?

  1. Great post! I think that consumers are definitely moving outside of the traditional purchase funnel, especially with the rise of emerging media. Today, the prevalence of multiple, digital touch points and the explosion of a wide variety of product choices, makes the customer journey quite unique. Not to mention, consumers are more perceptive, well-informed due to having the Internet at their fingertips, and they take initiative to seek out products based on familiar recommendations from friends, family and coworkers. However, one thing remains the same, consumers want seamless journeys across traditional and digital marketing channels. These customer journeys are important, so much so that McKinsey recently found that 50% of all customer interactions occur during a multi-event and multi-step journey. The customer journey definitely continues to evolve. As such, it’s important for marketers to think outside of the box when it comes to the traditional purchase funnel in order to connect with consumers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Super interesting post that points to the larger implications of emerging media — that is, its power to change the very foundation of marketing, sales and the purchasing cycle. Instead of a linear purchasing funnel, the McKinsey Institute created a circular Customer Decision Journey that includes a loop of four phases: initial consideration; active evaluation; purchase; and postpurchase – Some experts think more than just the shape of the graphic needs to change, however. Some think the focus should shift from the transactional purchase to the brand experience/relationship. Visa, for example, took a different approach and created a Customer Engagement Journey instead. As the Harvard Business Review put it, “We need a model that informs marketers how to enable and empower, not just persuade and promote.”

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