How to Adapt Your Marketing Plan to Changing Technology – Simply

How to Adapt Your Marketing Plan to Changing Technology – Simply

The Marketing Funnel is Not a Funnel Anymore. Here’s What to Do About It.

If your marketing plan isn’t keeping pace with technology, the tools that were supposed to make reaching your customers easier can also make it harder.

Overwhelmed? You’re not alone. But there is a solution, and it’s pretty simple.

First, you have to understand the problem, and that problem is the marketing funnel.

The Marketing Funnel and Technology

Before we discuss how to adapt your marketing plan to keep pace with technology, we have to have a basic understanding of the marketing funnel.

A Brief History of the Funnel

The traditional marketing funnel is a marriage of two models. The AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action) model was pioneered by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898, and in 1924, William W. Townsend applied it to a funnel shape in his book Bond Salesmanship.

Together, the models look like this:

The funnel describes consumer behavior, often referred to as the “customer journey,” from beginning to end.

It’s purpose is to maximize opportunities to engage with customers at different stages to keep them moving actively toward making a purchase.

How Today’s Marketing Funnel is Different

But in most industries today, the marketing funnel is not actually a funnel anymore.

It’s a pretzel.

Rapid advances in technology and the resulting shifts in consumer behavior mean the customer journey down the marketing funnel is no longer linear or easy to predict.

According to Neil Patel co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics the new marketing funnel has twists and turns. It even crosses over itself as it doubles back to what can only be described as a frustrating knot.

Here’s an example of technology’s influence on the customer journey.

Technology’s Impact on the Customer Journey

One day, your product is recommended to a prospect by a Facebook friend.

Because personal recommendations are highly valued by consumers today, the prospect goes directly to your website, right to the product page and adds your product to their shopping cart.

Applied to the traditional model, suddenly their entry into your marketing funnel is just before the end Action phase instead of the beginning Awareness phase.

The consumer just skipped all the way to the end of the funnel and is ready to purchase.

Sounds great, right?

It is. But there is a downside.

While navigating through your website, the prospect opens another browser tab and performs a general internet search to price check your product. They also visit Pinterest for alternatives.

They may also engage with pop-up advertisements and chatbots on other websites. And because developments in shopping cart software will keep your product in their shopping cart until they are ready to buy it, they won’t rush back to complete the purchase.

Suddenly, your customer has looped back to the Interest phase of the traditional marketing funnel and is no longer ready to purchase.

With the customer journey so greatly impacted by technology today – full of unpredictable twists and turns – how do you adapt your marketing plan to move people toward a purchase?

How to Adapt Your Marketing Plan – Simply

Since the impact of technology on the customer journey means it is hard to predict consumer behavior, consider keeping your marketing plan as simple as possible.

Keep it about people.

Marketers used to say “content is king.” And that is still true. But an even more accurate statement today is that relationships are king.

Evaluate your current marketing plan to identify opportunities that strengthen the relationship between people and your brand.

Consider how you can use technology, yes, like customer relationship management systems (CRM), email automation workflows, social media platforms and lead generation tools, on-page chat software and support forums to connect with people.

Engage your prospects, learn about them, listen to their interests and concerns and understand their problems.

Finally, develop messaging, content and experiences that better resonate with people, keeping them connected to your brand and product.

Then you can worry less about the non-linear, unpredictable behavior technology inspires in the consumer.

One of the biggest marketing challenges small and medium-size business owners face is keeping up with rapid evolution in the marketplace. If you’ve stopped getting results from your marketing efforts it may be time to adapt.

Technology is supposed to make marketing easier – its sole purpose is to use science to develop tools that solve problems. Don’t let it derail your marketing plan.

If you need help developing content that keeps you connected to your prospects despite technological advancements, Alt-Creative can help.

Learn more about our content services today.

This blog post was written for Alt-Creative.com by Jennifer Bonessi. Check out more of her stuff at: http://jhelenbonessi.wordpress.com/

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