A common perception about digital marketing is that it’s yet another alternative to the offline sales funnel. Why spend money on physical print and posters, when visual display campaigns and PPC advertising can achieve the same results with better tracking?
While it’s true that digital marketing, specifically paid advertising, can result in a larger funnel, you’d be amiss if that is the only difference you’d expect from a digital campaign.
Unlike with print advertising and offline media, digital marketing avenues lend a voice to the end user, giving them an option to continue the conversation.
- If anything goes wrong, you can bet your customers will complain on your Twitter or Facebook page.
- If things go right, your customers can leave a review on Google or Yelp.
- If your customers aren’t sure about making a purchase, they’ll visit TripAdvisor or browse through HomeStars before making a decision.
Digital marketing doesn’t follow the traditional sales funnel.
Ecommerce doesn’t follow the rules, and the competitors aren’t fair. After seeing your seasonal advertisement reminding them to purchase – what’s stopping your potential customers from purchasing a similar product through Amazon?
Thriving In The Digital Age
The key to succeeding in the digital market is to embrace the unique qualities of what make digital – well, digital.
Consumers have a lot of power, especially in the online market. They are the most powerful influencer in their social circles, and their voices as an aggregate (through reviews, comments and engagement) are the best forms of endorsement your brand can receive.
We believe in two concepts, which go hand-in-hand:
- Branding is the future of marketing
- Gratitude is the answer to building a loyal brand
If you’re familiar with the customer buying cycle, you’ll know that “Purchase” is the last stage of a sales funnel, after a pool of potential leads are identified, cultivated, and marketed towards.
But, with digital marketing, the sales funnel doesn’t have to end there. In his bestselling book Flipping The Funnel, author Joseph Jaffe makes a point that it costs 5-10 times more to acquire a new customer, and yet businesses tend to spend their budget on awareness rather than cultivation.
By using gratitude as a guideline, you empower your own loyal audience to make statements on your behalf.
Flipping The Funnel
The concept of “flipping the funnel” means using your end consumer as a means to market to the greater population. This is done by empowering your consumers through your own social media and owned content channels – and is the backbone of any brand ambassador or influencer marketing campaign.
The idea is to showcase how your product or service has impacted a user’s life, and using their story to appeal to people that are similar to them or experiencing similar events. By using their own words, not yours, the message comes out as more authentic and trustworthy.
The possibilities in ways to flip the funnel are endless!
From social media takeovers, to product trial reviews and brand ambassadors, keeping your end consumer engaged and excited about your brand is more than necessary in this digital age.
Instead of launching a large mass-market campaign, maybe look to your most loyal fans – perhaps those that have left great product reviews on your site – and see if there are any opportunities to empower their voice on your behalf. Send some love their way – and see how far your gratitude can reward you in the end.
Agree with the idea of flipping the funnel? Have more questions about the concept? Let us know on Facebook if you have any thoughts, or visit our digital marketing agency in Downtown Vancouver on Robson. We’d love to chat – and we always have chocolate 🙂