Flip the Funnel
The “Purchase Funnel” is a concept that illustrates the customer journey toward the purchase of a product or service. The Funnel, also often referred to as the “customer funnel,” “marketing funnel,” or “sales funnel,” is a construct in which companies are supposed to systematically move potential customers from initial awareness about the product, to consideration to purchase, to the final sale. The Funnel has been a fundamental sales and marketing tool for over 100 years.
But the world has changed a lot since Elias St. Elmo Lewis first developed the Funnel; consumers are now more informed, connected, and empowered than ever before. So the question becomes: Does the Funnel still work in our hyper-connected, info-intense business age?
According to the Harvard Business Review, leading brands like Google, SAP and Visa are starting to reassess the relevance of the Funnel. These companies are finding that the buying process is no longer linear – potential customers don’t just enter the Funnel at the top; it’s also likely that they will come in at another stage, or jump stages, and move between them. With the advent of e-commerce, for example, it’s easy for customers to move straight from awareness through consideration to purchase with only a few clicks of a mouse. For B2B businesses, customers often do their own “awareness and opinion” research before ever walking through the door or picking up the phone. The same is true for both businesses and consumers who discover products and services from social media like Twitter or Facebook – a fundamental change in how people buy with the reviews and opinions of social media friends and connections taking a front seat in the decision.
Customers on Top
Today, customers can experience your brand in many ways. At OMI we advocate “flipping the Funnel,” by viewing your existing customers on top and flowing to more leads and revenue as a result of your efforts to better manage your existing customers. After all, it costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one, so it makes sense to nurture the Sales Funnel with your best customers…the ones you already have. The goal is to move customers from simply being satisfied with their purchase to becoming an advocate for your brand, sharing “word-of-mouth” customer experiences and perceptions worldwide and virally via social media, blogs, chat rooms and product review sites.
Capture the Value
At OMI we help companies take advantage of these opportunities, not only to build revenue via cross-selling and up-selling, but also to build customer loyalty and experiences that flip the Funnel and encourage brand advocates. Our cloud-based customer communications management platform, 366° Degrees℠, does just that by providing a single platform to manage all of your customer communications no matter what form they take. You can easily reach across communication channels in social media, mobile and online formats and then quickly analyze the effectiveness of those connections. Contact us to learn more today.