Marketing used to be simpler. Not easier – it’s never been easy to take business away from a determined competitor. But simpler in the sense that years ago one could push a heavy ad schedule on a limited number of media, create awareness, offer credible (with luck, USP) differentiation within your category, and close the sale. Bingo.
Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end.
But buyer decision-making has evolved, and we must adapt. Sources of information have multiplied while willingness to listen to your sales pitch has disappeared. Even that page-one finish on Google for your burrito joint or ebook or IT consulting firm can now get killed by negative peer reviews.
Click on chart to enlarge.
Which brings us to that tired old metaphor, the sales funnel. It always was misleading: everything that enters any funnel goes through, given time and gravity. But prospects for your (burrito consulting ebook?) brand detour out of the process at many different points, for good reasons and bad. (Click to enlarge the flowchart.) Now you have to consider many more media and processes and influences than ever before. It’s gettin’ com-pli-ca-ted out there.
Budgeting is harder too, of course. Sure, you can zero out media that are struggling (magazines) or dying (newspapers) or dead-but-still-twitching (Yellow Pages), but where do you re-allocate those funds? On this flowchart, there are at least ten places where a marketer can invest for better results. You don’t have unlimited bucks, so where can you get the most bang? Question old assumptions, choose wisely, and seek professional help.