Save to read for later. Download your free PDF copy above.
Over 2018, we’ve been working on a concept we want to launch for the purpose of establishing better, clearer marketing for every business who needs to cater to an online customer— a new Marketing Lifecycle flowchart that better reflects our human customer’s journey than the “sales funnel.” We completed and published it yesterday on the Write Blog. In the free ebook copy you can download here, Julia McCoy (creator) is giving you her most detailed thoughts on the Marketing Lifecycle as a whole.
Our Marketing Lifecycle concept was built to replace the generic Sales Funnel, with a typical model of Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. The concept is quite old: the AIDA concept was first proposed in Bond Salesmanship by William W. Townsend in 1924. Here’s what Townsend actually wrote in his book in 1924, which gave us our first usage of this “sales funnel” as associated today with the AIDA model: “The salesman should visualize his whole problem of developing the sales steps as the forcing by compression of a broad and general concept of facts through a funnel which produces the specific and favorable consideration of one fact. The process is continually from the general to the specific, and the visualizing of the funnel has helped many salesmen to lead a customer from Attention to Interest, and beyond.”
We don’t believe this fits marketing anymore as a whole. Today’s buyers are smart, and savvy. The traditional, outdated sales funnel was relatively straightforward. When the concept came out (1924), the internet didn’t exist! But think about today for a second. Over 40,000 searches happen on Google per second, 1.49 billion people log onto Facebook daily, 84% of buyers trust online reviews, and 47% of B2B buyers read 3-5 blog posts or content pieces prior to talking with a salesperson. 45% of Americans use Twitter, and 77% of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their tweet has been replied to.
Developing a Human-Centric Marketing Lifecycle
Along with the Lifecycle itself, Julia developed a final outer circle to explain how leads think at each stage, and what brands should be doing to facilitate their leads’ journey throughout the lifecycle. Everything in the Lifecycle was designed with a purpose. There are no walls, zero funnel structure, and a lot of intersection — representing the nature of today’s customer (they can walk straight from Reach to Sales within the same week, if you’ve built up a trustworthy brand, or they may need months to talk to the rest of their executive team to make a decision). Marketing done well should intersect at all stages, and never come across as pushy or feel like a literal “funnel.” It will turn off human buyers if that happens. They’re smarter than they’ve ever been, with reviews, Google, and all your industry competitors within a fingertip’s swipe away.
This was created by Julia after years of conversations and actual customer sales in the marketing industry, listening to and chatting with her Content Strategy & Marketing Course students and peers, watching the sales journeys closely in 2018 of our clientele (as we approach our first $1.5 million gross sales year), and with a bit of inspiration from Ardath Albee.
We’d love for you to download, use and share these lifecycle images, including the full PDF, with credit back to Julia McCoy and Express Writers. Let’s spread the word and share a more accurate, “human” representation of the journey our human leads take through our marketing and what they experience from our brand firsthand.