It's time to bury the marketing funnel

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

Forrester, 10/28/10

A few months ago, I asked marketing leaders: Does the funnel still work for you? Or are you moving onto something else?

This led to some very interesting briefings, and an enormous amount of thinking and debate. The upshot: it’s time to bury the marketing funnel.

The marketing funnel, shown below on the left, is a simple and broad-ranging model, which is part of its appeal. However, it’s from an earlier era and does a poor job of summarising how we think about customers and marketing today. Luckily, the customer life cycle, shown below on the right, is as clear and usable as the funnel, but provides a far better fit with marketing in the 21st century.

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