The Evolution of the Marketing Funnel

The Evolution of the Marketing Funnel

For decades, the “marketing funnel” has been a staple in the world of marketing and advertising. This concept has been successfully used to sell billions of dollars of products and services to consumers the world over. 

But they say that time is undefeated. The marketing funnel, like many other things, had to evolve or it would fade into obscurity.

Fortunately, the marketing funnel philosophy is still alive and well. However, it is not what it used to be. Paid advertising platforms and the world wide web have forever changed the marketing funnel.

These changes are not a bad thing, though. In fact, businesses that understand the evolution of the marketing funnel can flourish in the world of digital advertising. Even those that do not understand the funnel can overcome the hurdles of online advertising with the help of companies like Insights ABM, which provides online performance marketing in Dallas, Texas.

What Happened?

In order to understand the marketing funnel as it exists today, it is important to first examine the cause of the changes. What exactly happened to the marketing funnel of old?

Just a few short years ago, creating new leads was the final level of the marketing funnel. It was that last hurdle that business owners needed to clear before making the sale. 

Entire marketing campaigns were built to shuffle consumers into the funnel step by step in hopes of reaching the last stage and generating a lead.

The advent of self-guided purchasing, user reviews, and other constructs has moved lead generation to the front of the funnel. From the moment users interact with content or conduct a Google search, they are bombarded with contact us forms and requests for information.

Landing pages, blogs, and other content are usually based on proven, but bland templates. This has led to the rise of uninspired marketing that focuses primarily on paid advertising. Businesses can set up these lead-generating campaigns in minutes. But is this upside-down funnel really all it’s cracked up to be?

Downfalls of the New Marketing Funnel

Sure, generating more leads is great. However, they are all for naught if most of them do not mature into conversions.

Sadly, many of the leads generated from these played-out methods of PPC-focused digital advertising do not produce real results. In fact, 70% of respondents state that SEO is better at generating sales than paid advertising campaigns.

While there are many possible reasons for this trend, it is likely because paid ads generate cold leads. These leads do not understand your brand and might be completely unfamiliar with your product.

Now What?

While we are certainly not against paid advertising campaigns, they must be used as part of a more comprehensive strategy. Standalone paid advertising only produces cold leads. These types of leads have low conversion rates, which means that your marketing dollars are going to waste.

In order to connect with the modern consumer, businesses must bring them down the funnel from start to finish. This means being active on multiple platforms and bringing back compelling marketing content.

Leads are at the top of the modern marketing funnel. While you cannot change this hard truth, you can redesign your digital marketing strategy to build a better funnel. The last stage of the modern funnel should include a positive interaction with your team. It should not end with a click that leads users to your website.

With that being said, creating a successful digital marketing campaign from the ground up can be quite challenging. A great campaign should leverage SEO content, social media platforms, and paid advertising. 

You can go it alone or you can partner with a firm that provides data-driven performance marketing. Your decision will have a lasting impact on your business.

Subscribe to our blog.

Get marketing news and knowhow from the experts at Insights ABM to move your business forward, insightfully.

Joe Cantu

Joe is a digital marketing strategist and media buying/planning leader with 13+ years of expertise in marketing strategy and program management, omnichannel campaign delivery, brand building, data analytics, and customer experience/UX optimization. He has helped drive growth for industry-leading clients, including F500/F100 firms.