In the evolving landscape of digital marketing, businesses must constantly keep updated with the latest funnel trends. From the traditional marketing funnel to new and innovative models, these trends can significantly impact the effectiveness of your marketing and sales strategies. Here is a deep-dive into the hot and not-so-hot trends in the world of funnels.
The Traditional Marketing Funnel: The Old Guard
The traditional marketing funnel has long been a cornerstone model for businesses. This linear model starts from the awareness stage, progresses to consideration, and ends with the purchase. However, with the advent of digital technology and mobile devices, consumers now have more control over their buying journey, leading to non-linear funnels.
The Changing Shape of the Funnel
The classic funnel model is now being challenged by more complex and diverse paths that consumers take. With digital technology and mobile devices, customers are no longer following a linear path from awareness to purchase. Instead, they are bouncing in and out of the funnel, expanding and narrowing their consideration set in unpredictable ways.
For instance, a potential customer might start by researching several brands, then narrow their search to a few promising ones. However, they might then expand their search again by looking for alternative brands. These intent-rich moments are reshaping the traditional marketing funnel into more complex structures resembling pyramids, diamonds, and hourglasses.
The Power of Intent
In today's market, the power of intent is redefining the marketing funnel. Consumers now expect immediate answers in their moments of need. Brands that can predict and respond to these intent-rich moments are more likely to win their customers' loyalty.
Case Study: Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines used search signals to predict the people most likely to book a trip to Hawaii. By understanding people's desire for a direct flight from a nearby airport, they tailored their messages accordingly. Consequently, their video ads directed people to a landing page of relevant flight and pricing options.
The Dark Funnel: The Hidden Side of Marketing
While traditional and non-linear funnels are important, there is another trend that businesses should be aware of - the dark funnel. This refers to the part of your sales funnel that you can't track. It includes private messaging, review sites, social media posts and comments, podcasts, PR, and direct and organic search traffic.
The Importance of the Dark Funnel
While it may be challenging to track, the dark funnel can hold valuable insights. Often, these untracked paths come from consumers who are most likely to buy. By identifying these avenues and reaching out to potential customers, businesses can significantly increase their conversion rates.
Strategies for Navigating the Dark Funnel
One strategy for navigating the dark funnel is to join online communities and follow topics and trends relevant to your target audience. Another strategy is to ask your existing and new customers how they heard about you. Adding an extra field to online forms can provide valuable insights into your dark funnel.
The Rise of Google Web Stories
In the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing, Google Web Stories have emerged as a hot trend. Easy to digest and exciting to consume, these stories offer a unique way for brands to engage with their audience.
The Impact of Google Web Stories
Google Web Stories are changing the way brands interact with their customers. They offer a dynamic delivery method that enhances the desirability of your product. Unlike social media stories, their lifespan is long-term, not a 24-hour high-risk hit. By using Web Stories, brands can reach a wider audience, engage with them more effectively, and ultimately drive more conversions.
Case Study: Jill's Journey
Consider the example of Jill, a 25-year-old looking for hypoallergenic and aluminum-free makeup. Her journey started with Google searches, where she learned about the products she needed. She then narrowed her search to a few promising brands, then expanded it again by looking for "makeup brands without aluminum." For two months, Jill's consideration set expanded and contracted several times as she researched brands on Google and watched YouTube videos.
More with Less: The New Approach to Marketing Budgets
In the face of economic crises and budget cuts, marketing teams are learning to do more with less. While many businesses respond to crises by cutting back their marketing budgets, savvy marketers are finding ways to increase their effectiveness even with limited resources.
Creative Content Creation
One way to do more with less is through creative content creation. By leveraging the expertise within your organization, you can create engaging content without incurring additional costs.
Another strategy for doing more with less is smart investment. By spring-cleaning your tech stack and subscriptions, you can free up additional budget for elements with higher returns on investment (ROIs).
Digital marketing was the winner during the pandemic, and it's likely to continue its dominance in the foreseeable future. By focusing on digital over physical marketing strategies, businesses can cut costs while reaching a broader audience.
In the world of digital marketing, the only constant is change. As the traditional marketing funnel evolves into more complex structures, businesses must stay ahead of the curve and adapt to these changing funnel trends. Whether it's exploring the hidden potential of the dark funnel, harnessing the power of Google Web Stories, or learning to do more with less, the key to success lies in staying flexible, proactive, and consumer-centric.