Consumers are moving outside the purchasing funnel-changing the way they research end buy your products. If your marketing hasn’t changed in response. It should.
David Court, Dave Elzinga, Susan Mulder, and O Jbrgen Vetvlk
If marketing has one goal, it’s to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions. That’s why consumer electronics companies make sure not only that customers see their televisions in stores but also that those televisions display vivid high-den nit ion pictures. It’s why Amazon.com, a decade ago, began offering targeted product recommendations to consumers already logged in and ready to buy. And it explains P&G’s decision, long ago, to produce radio and then TV programs to reach the audiences most likely to buy its products—hence, the term “soap opera.”
Marketing has always sought those moments, or touch points, when consumers are open to influence. For years, touch points have been understood through the metaphor of a “funnel”—consumers start with a number of potential brands in mind (the wide end of the runnel), marketing is then directed at them as they methodically reduce that number and move through the funnel, and at the end they emerge with the one brand they chose to purchase. But today, the funnel concept foils to capture all the touch points and key buying factors resulting from the explosion of product choices and digit channels, coupled with the emergence of an increasingly discerning well-informed consumer. A more sophisticated approach is required to help marketers navigate this environment, which is less linear.