Possibly the biggest claim of the corporate marketer’s relevance to the economy? The sales funnel they renamed and claimed for their own. And this stolen equation which the marketer lives and dies by its validity?
It’s wrong. The funnel is a myth. An impossible way to measure user behavior, simply because its formula doesn’t match the customer lifecycle, user decision journey, or any process your brain uses to make a commitment.
So naturally, the media categories that marketers just made up?
They’re wrong too. And so is the marketing leadership at each big, stupid company who once dominated a market – and now bastardizes and keyword mentions its way to proving their point, especially in meetings where they aren’t even teaching, where many of them show up to bitch about not being invited (also known as “the idiots” of their discipline – the people you work for).
Stop the next meeting about meetings when marketing moron inserts the “funnel” keyword – likely out of context when they do, and you’ll save your company. Why let mom and dad tell you that you’re wrong, and big brother – who has their ear, tell them to fire you?
Let them talk – and I’ll show you how to get rich proving them wrong. Before we address the business opportunity marketers have given us, let’s take a look at the step-by-step guide to proving them wrong…
The framework of marketing fiction
Here, you can see marketing’s re-spin on the original sales or “purchase” funnel, created by E. St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. A model that maps a theoretical customer journey from the moment a brand or product attracted consumer attention to the point of action or purchase.
St. Elmo’s model, predictably created by an academic who never made anything in life but a lie, is one of the first known marketers. And his model, is terribly mistaken. As you can see in the original model below and to your right, little has changed since his creatively-challenged offspring grabbed this product and claimed it.
Practical Flaws of the Marketing Funnel
The first element of this model is wrong …
Step one is being unaware.
The sales process begins long before most people know you exist – and LONG BEFORE you become aware of them. You must first know the user – the persona. Their problems, a solution you create for them after sizing its value, how they view the world and relate to your solution – and then … you help them find you. The solution.
Step Two is Awareness.
How you attract people and earn their attention. This could be anything – but its most valuable when earned by social peers, a search engine query, or influencers in their decision process. Step Three is Authority. Before permission, and long after consideration – which awareness grants unless you spammed them – comes authority. They bookmark you, share you or subscribe, giving you… Step Four is Permission. With authority, you’re granted permission to mentor the user with your knowledge…
- Products and Experiences that can’t afford NOT to buy
- Resources to Empower them as they become the Influencer
- Rewards for Being a Hero in doing so – and a partner
Step Five is Sharing. When a person gives you permission to mentor them, give them a reason to follow your path. Make him or her the expert in their social circles. Build the experience they love around the analytics and social praise they give you – where you’ll find the answers to converting them for life. Make them a part of your conversation – feature them, praise them, empower them. Give them a reason to partner with you. As a peer. An equal. Step Six is Conversion. When it comes to conversion, there are technically 4 Ps of motivation … but marketing, despite this omnipresent yet unaccountable business unit’s accidentally being close, got each of them wrong as well.
- Progressive Improvement. Who wouldn’t convert – to anything – if your daily experience was progressively improving with every action you take involving this thing?
- Praise. If P #1 wasn’t enough to convert the average person alone, imagine a product or service experience where you are praised for simply being a part of it?
- Partnership. Now into what marketers consider loyalty, you are given a new level of product experience – partnership opportunity. You ask them to be the hero – not you.
- Profitability. You are invited to be a part of the business model. Not only is your purchase returned in revenue – you are then PAID to be a partner. You share a percentage of what you share, converting others and making a bigger network to sell your own product or service in the process!
Best of all, your partner – the experience you bought – mentors you down the path of making your own product or service. Then you are given their network of like-minded peers to provide a solution, KEEP 100 PERCENT OF YOUR PROFITS, and simply asked to share the experience with your peers. You become a mentor – the model expands, and marketers are ripe for the picking … as buyers of your product, advertisers or losers in your competitive landscape.
The Matrix of storytelling, experience, and strategy.
With endless resources and impressive search technology, Thomas Anderson – better known by his online handle, NEO – finds a key to the secret he’s long been seeking … and it’s social that makes this possible.
In a new social hub / online community, he’s found by a woman named Trinity. She apparently has been looking for him? Trinity leads NEO to Morpheus, who he’s been seeking.
Neo is given a choice… Stay in this ordinary world, or discover the answers he has long been wanting to find – and become utterly transformed.
He converts because he believes in Morpheus.
After seeing that Morpheus believes in him, proven before and after conversion, Neo comes to believe in himself. This is the true analogy of the influencer lifecycle. And a perfect experience to benchmark.
The Hero’s Journey = the customer journey.