Though the customer journey may not be as linear as the simplified one expressed in the marketing funnel, the concept is still important. The digital path to purchase is anything but linear, and the digital marketing funnel accounts for the fact that consumers enter and exit and move around the funnel, and their shopping isn’t limited to a single store or geographic area.
With customers’ ability to shop anywhere at any time, brands should think about how they can reach them at all stages of the customer journey. The consideration phase in the digital marketing funnel alone can involve extensive research and comparison online by consumers, and is no longer limited to comparing products in store. Many brands have adjusted to this new way of shopping, and embraced this less-linear path to purchase by connecting with customers in authentic and valuable ways across the funnel.
Marketing funnels are also important for both lead generation and lead nurturing. In the awareness and consideration phases, brands use campaigns to attract new leads. In the decision and loyalty phases, brands use campaigns to nurture current leads and, eventually, help grow customers into brand advocates. Digital marketing and the marketing funnel are critical to connecting the dots between what channels, tactics, and content is driving the most attention, conversations, and, ultimately, sales for their brand.