Is the sales funnel dead?
Much has been debated around the impact of social media on the traditional sales funnel model. Personally I don’t believe all that much has changed in the principle, we just have new channels of reference and feedback. It is still essential to identify your target market, build understanding of their needs and desires and communicate with them in their preferred medium.
Much as the internet ‘revolutionised’ retail, the premise was much the same, the consumer just discovered the power to shop around from the comfort of their home, compare prices and service. Social just adds an additional layer to this around consumer feedback on the service they require.
Social Media represents a change in the circles of trust, as discussed in the Edelman Trust Barometer, people now trust ‘people like me’ that they congregate with in social circles, taking their thoughts and feedback into account when making a purchase.
While this could be seen as a challenge for business, it can equally be seen as an opportunity. Companies used to have to pay huge fees to market research companies to manage customer feedback and consumer forums, now they can get this feedback in real time – and have the opportunity to address concerns at the point of purchase. This offers the opportunity to reverse a negative perception or experience into a positive by engaging customer service via social.
An interesting perspective can be found here from the Economist: http://bit.ly/1sk4nE6
So is it all now about the consumer decision journey? I would love to know your thoughts.