When you look at the typical marketing funnels, they could be more human-centric.
All that I came across are business-centric. Let me clarify.
The typical funnel goes like this:
Top – Awareness
Mid – Consideration
Bottom – Conversion
Often, awareness stands for making your audience aware of your business.
Often, consideration stands for making your audience engage and consider your business.
Often, conversion means making your audience take the desired action you want them to, for example, purchase.
So what is wrong with this?
Nothing, it works for the majority of the time.
The struggle comes when you know that the business game is infinite and you want to stay in the game infinite.
At this point, the typical marketing funnel must give you the framework and understanding to help you build a business that can play the infinite game.
You soon start to realize that the typical funnel puts the perspective of your business first and the perspective of your audience last.
But to play the infinite game, you need to put your audience’s perspective first and your business’s perspective last.
Simply put, always think of your customers first and then your business.
That is why I reinvented the Marketing Funnel to be more human-centric. Now, I call it the Marketing Journey.
And it goes like this A.C.T.T.:
Marketing Funnel Phase 1. Attention
Why Attention, not Awareness?
To make someone aware of your business in this digital era, you must earn their attention. They will skip you in seconds if you don’t bother putting time and effort into earning their attention.
Don’t believe me?
How many ads on YouTube do you skip because they are not relevant or worthy of your attention?
How many ads did you scroll past on Facebook and Instagram because they are not worth your attention?
Or how many of you disabled cookies in your browser settings to avoid getting irrelevant ads? Some even use adblockers…
Are you getting the point?
So, we need to start considering our audience’s attention and think of ways of earning it.
Businesses should seek permission from their audience before delivering marketing messages. Creating remarkable and relevant content that people willingly engage with should be a business priority.Seth Godin
Businesses should craft compelling narratives that resonate with their audience and evoke an emotional response, which can lead to higher attention and engagementAnn Handley
Businesses should provide value (jabs) to their audience before making a compelling offer (right hook).Gary V
More on how to earn attention later in my newsletter.
Your attention is valuable, and so is the one of your audience, hence why the new marketing journey is here to help you keep that in mind.
Marketing Funnel Phase 2. Cultivation
Why Cultivation and Not Consideration or Engage?
Let’s look at the definition of cultivation.
- cultivating land or the state of being cultivated. “the cultivation of crops.”
- the process of acquiring or developing a quality or a skill. “the cultivation of good staff-management relations.”
When you look at this definition, we can understand that the cultivation of crops takes considerable time. Depending on the plant, it takes one month, a year, or more.
Let us look at the definition of engage or consideration.
- Occupy, attract, or involve (someone’s interest or attention)
- Participate or become involved in.
- Careful thought, typically over a period of time.
- A payment or reward.
Which one of these aligns more with the process of building a long-lasting relationship?
If you are playing the Infinite business game and you are looking to play the game indefinitely, what you are looking for is a long-lasting relationship with your audience.
That is what Amazon is doing, that is what Apple is doing, that is what Nike is doing, or any other business looking to stay in the game forever.
Cultivation is a natural next step in the New Marketing Journey.
It helps you keep the attention of your audience. It is to help you sustain it.
It is to help you build long-lasting relationships with your audience that will grow for decades.
If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.Jay Baer
Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.Ann Handley
In my newsletter, I will dive into how to cultivate a relationship with your audience.
For now, let us proceed to Transition.
Marketing Funnel Phase 3. Transition
Why Transition and not Conversion?
In business, conversion is mainly focused on getting your customers to become a lead or getting them to purchase.
As we look at this again, it mainly focuses on your business and puts little emphasis on the audience.
I choose Transition because, at some point during the cultivation journey, your audience would want to exchange money with you to help them transform their life.
They want you to be their trusted adviser and let you guide them in becoming the Hero of their journey in some way or another.
The Transition point is critical in your audience’s Journey.
They expect to transform their life by embarking on this journey with you as their guide.
Some of them might have high expectations.
The critical point here is for you to understand that it is not the end of the journey but another stage of the journey.
It is practically the beginning of the transformation of their life.
This means you must be their guide and help them along the way.
In this always-on, always-connected world, the most successful companies will be those that put relationships before transactions.David Meerman Scott
The best way to sell something—don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, and trust of those who might buy.Rand Fishkin
More on how to make effective transitions in my newsletter.
Now, it is time for a fundamental transformation.
Marketing Funnel Phase 4. Transformation
Why transformation and not advocacy?
Simply put, advocacy means people support your business and what it stands for.
But in a human-centric marketing journey, you want to focus on supporting your audience.
And the best way to know if you’re doing a great job at supporting our audience is if you are transforming their life.
We see our customers as guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our daily job to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.Jeff Bezos (Amazon Founder)
The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.Seth Godin
If you manage to transform their life, they will not stop talking about the transformation and the one who helped them get there.
If you want to learn more about how to be the guide that transforms your audience’s life, sign up for the Uncharted Journeys Newsletter.