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Social Media Shifts: Goodbye, Marketing Funnel
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Funnels are simple; something enters the wider opening at the top and makes its way down to the smaller exit. The marketing funnel has customers enter during the discovery phase and pushes them through until a purchase is complete. Customer acquired and goals achieved. But brands are now realizing that the funnel doesn’t end with a purchase in this new age where brand advocates can be created.

With a never-ending amount of information, customers are able to rely on multiple sources to help them make a decision. Brands have discovered that current customers are the perfect source to attract new customers into the newly evolved funnel. With the addition of social media, companies are now focused on creating brand advocates to share thoughts and experiences online with potential new customers. The purchase that historically occurred at the end of the marketing funnel is now somewhere in the middle.

Brands that focus time and money into creating brand advocates in the digital space understand that in return new customers can be gained. People talk, and much of that conversation is happening online. By fostering a longer-term relationship with the client, brands are not only looking to gain “multiple purchasers”; the hope is that this advocacy is shared online. With social media as a forum, customers can be the avenue for a genuine, unprompted recommendation about a brand.

Although brands want to build advocacy with current purchasers, it’s important for companies to provide a story to tell. By building this longer-term relationship with the customer, there are more opportunities for them to post, tweet, or blog about their experience. Although the purchase is first and foremost with a brand, the after-party can be just as crucial to making those sales again and again.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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