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Marc Williams

REQUIEM FOR A FUNNEL

Consumer behavior, no matter what we wish, is seldom tidy, logical, or linear and the considered purchase cycle, now more than ever, has no clear beginning nor even a clear end.

Consumer behavior, no matter what we wish, is seldom tidy, logical, or linear and the considered purchase cycle, now more than ever, has no clear beginning nor even a clear end.

For years, marketers have used the funnel model to explain considered purchase behavior and the flow of product information. This model worked fairly well during the days of mass advertising and media-centric agencies. It has its strong points as an explanation: it’s tidy, logical, and linear. The cycle it describes has a clear, defined beginning and a clear, defined end. It also has its weak points as an explanation: it’s tidy, logical, and linear. The cycle it describes has a clear, defined beginning and a clear, defined end. Consumer behavior, no matter what we wish, is seldom tidy, logical, or linear and the considered purchase cycle, now more than ever, has no clear beginning nor even a clear end.

The funnel also requires mass advertising to top-load a huge number of leads, most of which go nowhere. It assumes mass media in a multi-media world.

Here at Williams Helde Marketing Communications , we loved the funnel. We used the funnel. The funnel, like eight-track tapes, rotary dial land line telephones, and those old cameras that required flash powder and a photographer hunched under a black wool blanket, was great in its day. It was state-of-the-art. We have fond memories of it. So it pains us to say it, but its time has passed.

The funnel is dead. Long live the Mobius Cycle

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About the Author

Marc Williams
Marc Williams Marc Williams is the president and sole owner of Seattle’s oldest independent advertising agency, Williams Helde Marketing Communications. Marc has extensive experience in branding, marketing and advertising, serving as creative director and now as agency principal. Williams Helde is currently ranked among the top 15 agencies in the Pacific Northwest by revenue according to the Puget Sound Business Journal and focuses on national and global clients. Marc has taught courses at Seattle University within their MBA program and served as Chairman of the Board for the Northwest Entrepreneur Network. As a graduate of Western Washington University, Marc brings a powerful combination of creative insight, brand strategy and design aesthetic to everything he creates.

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