Digital Marketing and the Customer Funnel

The concept of the marketing funnel has been around since 1898 but like everything else, it has evolved. Pretty much like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which is a pyramid depicting human needs from the most basic at the base of the pyramid to their higher needs at the peak, the marketing funnel appears either as an inverted pyramid or a funnel-shaped symbol. The marketing funnel represents consumers’ behavior towards the purchase of a product from the time they become aware of the product to the time they make a purchase decision and actually make the purchase. The steps in the traditional funnel were linear and included awareness, interest, desire, and action. As the marketing or customer funnel has evolved, various forms and stages of it exist today.

WebFx, an internet marketing agency, in their article titled, “The Digital Marketing Funnel for Reaching Shoppers,” states that as articulated by Google, the conventional marketing funnel no longer works as consumers are now following unique paths to buying. The proposed way to address this change in consumer behavior is to adopt today’s online marketing funnel. Today’s digital marketing funnel caters to modern consumers’ (individuals and businesses) distinct purchasing patterns. No longer do consumers follow the structured step-by-step pattern laid out in the traditional funnel – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. Each consumer now follows an individual course of buying action and various forms of online funnels have been developed to match the various paths consumers take.

The three most common forms of digital funnel for 2019 as stated by WebFx are hourglass, looping, and micro-moments. Hourglass focuses on building and maintaining customer relationships, looping flexes to accommodate the purchasing journey of each user, and micro-moments focuses on what motivates the user to enter the funnel.

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