Traditional Marketing Funnel is dead in 2023

Why do I believe that the traditional marketing funnel is dead?

Traditional Marketing Funnel Definition

The marketing funnel, which has been a mainstay of all marketing for decades, has become obsolete in today’s age. There are many reasons why this strategy has failed to achieve its full potential. One of the main reasons is because marketers are no longer able to target their marketing at the right people.

A marketing funnel is the primary method used by marketers to make sales. This method consists of three stages – sales, acquisition & retention. Sales is made through awareness, recommendation and sales funnel. These three steps lead to the retention of customers. If a customer becomes aware of your product, they will be interested in trying it out and they will end up purchasing it. This is termed as Sales Basket model whereas, the acquisition eliminates all unknown customers.

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When it comes to social media advertising, Especially Facebook and Instagram (Meta), there’s two reasons:

Reason number one is, the traditional funnel doesn’t align with the Facebook recommendations or the power five to feed the algorithm, especially with iOS 14.5 and the lack of data. It’s all about feeding the algorithm, automatic placements and so forth. The traditional marketing funnel is very granular, by that I mean, it’s piece by piece broken out into his small audiences.

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So you’ve probably seen what the traditional marketing funnel looks like at some point.

The traditional marketing funnel has been around since 1950s. And it worked really well up until about 2019 in regards to Facebook ads. And then the world of advertising really started changing. And in 2021 with the apple updates and the lack of data, everything has changed substantially. So in each one of these phases, you would have cold traffic.

The traditional marketing funnel is a model that represents the journey a customer takes, from awareness of a product or service to purchase and beyond. It is called a “funnel” because at each stage of the journey, the number of potential customers decreases, as some people drop out of the process.

The stages of the traditional marketing funnel are:

  1. Awareness: This is the first stage of the funnel, where potential customers become aware of the product or service. This is often done through advertising, social media, or other forms of marketing.
  2. Interest: In this stage, potential customers show interest in the product or service. They may visit the company’s website, read reviews, or ask friends and family for recommendations.
  3. Consideration: At this stage, potential customers are actively considering purchasing the product or service. They may compare it to similar products or services, and research the company’s reputation.
  4. Purchase: In the purchase stage, the customer makes a decision to buy the product or service. This may involve filling out a form, making a payment, or completing some other action to complete the purchase.
  5. Loyalty: The final stage of the traditional marketing funnel is loyalty. This is where customers become loyal to the company, and may make repeat purchases or refer others to the product or service.

The traditional marketing funnel is a useful model for understanding the customer journey, but it is important to note that it is just a model, and not every customer will follow this exact path. Additionally, the customer journey may be more complex in reality, with customers moving back and forth between different stages of the funnel.

What is the new marketing funnel?

The traditional marketing funnel is a useful model for understanding the customer journey, but it is not the only model that exists. Over time, the way that customers interact with businesses has changed, and as a result, some marketers have proposed new models that better reflect the customer journey in the modern age.

One such model is the “inverted funnel,” which flips the traditional marketing funnel on its head. In this model, the customer journey starts with purchase, and then moves through loyalty, consideration, interest, and finally, awareness. This model emphasizes the importance of providing a great customer experience, which can lead to repeat purchases and word-of-mouth marketing.

Another model that has been proposed is the “customer journey map,” which is a visual representation of the different touchpoints that a customer has with a business, from the first time they become aware of the product or service, to post-purchase support and beyond. This model helps businesses understand the entire customer experience, and identify opportunities to improve it.

In conclusion, while the traditional marketing funnel is a well-known and useful model, there are other models that may be more appropriate for understanding the customer journey in the modern age. It is important for businesses to consider these new models, and to continuously evaluate and improve their marketing strategies.

Traditional Marketing Funnel Phases

So phase one is the awareness phase. It’s going to be made up of people that have never heard of your product, your brand, or your service.

Phase two is the consideration phase (warm). So these are people that have, seen the ad, they’ve maybe heard of your brand, but they haven’t visited the website nor taken any action.

Phase three is Conversion (your hot traffic). These are people that added your product to cart, initiated a checkout so forth.

Finally phase four is existing. Those are going to be people that purchased, people that have already taken your desired objective, already completed that final action.

Here’s where the issue arises. First and to be clear, there is not a real issue on Facebook.

Let’s take the first Phase of awareness or cold trafic. On Facebook, for the targeting we can use interests, lookalikes, broad targeting etc. And the issue doesn’t really occur here in this phase of the traditional marketing.

But what you’ll see starts to happen is as we get down into the funnel, so warm traffic, you’re going to be breaking out your audiences as follows:

You might do 50% video viewers. So people that watch 50% of your video, maybe 75% video viewers, 95% video viewers, Facebook engaged, Instagram engaged, clicked an ad and so forth.

So you can see, we start to get very detailed and very granular with the audiences in each phase, each one of these is completely separate audience.

When we get down to hot traffic, this issue becomes even more prevalent. We have view content seven days, page view seven days, add to cart seven days, add to cart 21 days, initiate checkouts one day, initiate checkout seven days, initiated checkout in the last 21 days, payment info seven days etc.

You can see, we start to break these out into all of these separate audiences, which is against Facebook power five that lets the algorithm do the targeting and optimization of the creative for you, and the traditional marketing fennel goes against it.

The other problem with this, that really occurred after the new iOS tracking blocking update is, these audiences are a lot less reliable. So someone might come to your website, they might view your content or add to cart in the last 21 days, but maybe Facebook doesn’t track it, and now you aren’t going to actually be targeting someone that took this action. Whereas if you gave Facebook more control, more broad targeting with a funnel, they might be able to really identify that, do what they call aggregated event measurement, and still identify that person.

Reason number two on why I believe the traditional marketing funnel is dead in this modern era of advertising is, because it’s overly complicated. It requires way too much time and management at scale.

At Digyzon we manage many ad accounts that need to be micromanaged at a fine level. So we decided that we want to develop our own strategy that simplifies the management process, so we don’t spend hours managing accounts, but more like minutes every week, along with driving better results and feeding the Facebook algorithm. We decided that we got to just completely redo what is known as a marketing funnel.

What we use is a nonlinear marketing funnel to engage with customers. Using this tactic allows us to create more leads and sales revenue. This way when the customers come in from the cold traffic, we take them through a journey that never fully ends. And along this journey, we are following Facebook’s recommendations for top results. So by doing this, we simplify our account structure, saving us time, saving us money in generating more results.

With that said, this is why we, at Digyzon, believe that traditional marketing funnel is not the way to go in today’s era of Facebook ads.