The traditional Industrial Economy sales funnel/buying cycle has a number of tiers with the goal of marketing to progress your target market through each tier of the funnel:
- Unaware – People who do not know your product/service exists
- Awareness – People who are aware your product/service exists
- Interest – People who are interested in your product/service
- Consideration – People who are investigating/researching who is the best product/service fit for them
- Decision – People who are ready to make a buying decision
In today’s Connection Economy we still have this funnel, but since customers can now be in relationship with brands (and other customers) over time, the New Sales Funnel looks like:
- Fan – People who have bought from you and will now prefer you over other suppliers (& tell others)
- True Fan – People who are obsessed with you and will buy everything you release, including limited editions, no matter the cost
- Ambassador – People who are so delighted with the brand that they proactively convince others to get on board.
Marketing in today’s Connection Economy, therefore, no longer stops when people make a buying decision.
The end goal of marketing now is to create products/services that are so remarkable, that customers become such fans, they can’t help but convince everyone else they know to also get on board (and be smart, cool, trendy etc, just like them).
Even though the New Sales Funnel extends 3 tiers on the old, because of the very different end goal, this fundamentally changes who you reach in the original 5 tiers and how you reach them.
You can’t just bolt on an extra three tiers, you need to design all 7 tiers to work towards the same goal.
Begin with the end in mind.