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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why the marketing funnel is not dead

The marketing funnel is not dead. It cannot be dead because it is not a thing.

People in social media especially like to pronounce the death of everything old. We have to make way for the new. But we have to be careful that we aren't throwing away what's important just because it's not shiny.

The marketing funnel has become the standard but it is just a representation of marketing's effect on the organization.

The actual thing is measurement. Getting rid of the funnel, as a model, is fine. It doesn't matter. However, if you are going to remove one model, then be sure you have a new one to put in place.

Considerations

Building a new measurement model is going to be unique to your company but some high-level concepts you should include are:
- Raw marketing reach. It is important to know how far your marketing reaches. Or how many people are responding to your outreach.
- Qualified marketing leads. You need to know out of your entire audience what subset of fall within your traget market and are, or could become, sales ready.
- Bottom line. Measure the ROI for your campaigns. It's difficult to track marketing from start to finish but when you can create that path, it helps to show the value of marketing.
- Proxy measurements. Following on the point above. Marketing isn't responsible for the revenue coming in - that's the role of sales. But it introduces some variability into measuring your effectiveness. Attaching revenue amounts to activities that marketing does control, allows you to rate how well your different efforts are doing.