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Rethink the Marketing Funnel as a Framework to Solve Problems to Better Connect With & Convert Audiences

By Nick Price

The fundamental shift to mobile and digital content consumption presents a great opportunity for brands, according to Google evangelist Avinash Kaushik, who recently presented the opening keynote at MarketingProf’s B2B Marketing Forum.
With mobile devices bringing brands closer to their customers than even before, perhaps that old, familiar marketing funnel concept has outlived its utility. Consumers no longer walk a linear line from awareness, to consideration, to conversion, and on to advocacy.
As Kaushik puts it, “I hate funnels, and I hate you if you like them.” He advocates for a reimagining of the marketing funnel; one built with a focus of understanding intent.
Of course, the ways in which consumers are using their devices is changing, as well. Adam Lavine, CEO of mobile-first agency FunMobility, urges marketers to look beyond mobile apps. “Apps are pretty much for the whales — the five percent of your consumer base that’s really rabid and loves your brand,” he said in a recent MarketingProfs Marketing Smarts podcast.
Instead, marketers should use technologies like HTML5 to add elements of gamification to campaigns, making them interactive and engaging for consumers. Banana brand, Chiquita, has seen great success using gamification to drive opt-ins, Lavine shared.
Eric Tung, social media manager at BMC Software, advocates for social media as another highly effective method of building engagement, though he cautions that it does take planning to get it right.
In his recent MarketingSmarts podcast, Tung called on brands to make better use of their internal resources for smarter social strategy. “Seventy-five or eighty percent of people that work for your company are probably interested in helping to share your company info on social,” he said, continuing, “They just don’t know how to do it or they don’t want to get in trouble for it.”
What do you think of this reimagining of the marketing funnel and the new technologies driving engagement across networks, devices and platforms? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Nick Price

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