7 metaphorical variations about customer conversion funnel
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7 metaphorical variations about customer conversion funnel

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The tunnel conventionally represented as conversion marketing funnel is a simple representation; understandable that take place in a sequenced process of buying cycle (phase by phase), programmatic......

The tunnel conventionally represented as conversion marketing funnel is a simple representation; understandable that take place in a sequenced process of buying cycle (phase by phase), programmatic and convergent (closing and purchase).
Individuals who cross the funnel, according to pre-established scenarios (nurturing and (re) targeting content), are gradually "stored" (the spirit of classification / segmentation) in boxes (prospects, leads, ...) according to their progressive journey.
From a logical thought, even a mnemonic one , we fell in the overused model as if it were carved in stone.
Prospect / client experience, is first and foremost human and so shaped by belief, doubt, abandonment, mere curiosity, moody, zapping, heterogeneous and paradoxical behaviors, serendipity, irrationality ... Many intangible and moving elements which can’t be captured into conversion funnel .
As marketing practitionner I realized like others, that this mechanism of the funnel was too well-oiled, too simple even if it is accepted as a representation, a convention, a model for action.
Models are reducers of uncertainty, of complexity, simplistic they are not reality but they reassure.
Simulated somehow reality is more difficult and the prospect , future hot Lead or potential customer is above all a human being within which must be embodied Marketing and its actors.
Listen, (dis) engagement, conversation, sharing, positive or negative buzz on social media ... provide us daily proof that our tools, our practices, our KPIs ... are not adapted to integrate this human dynamic, complex and abundant . It’s clear that the new playground for marketers is the Social Web, 'living' Web, whose raw material is the Human before being the bytes of information.

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  • 1. 7 metaphorical variations around Customer conversion funnel Denis FAILLY
  • 2. SummaryForewordFunnel« simplicity & linearity »A prospect irrationnal and multiple« A non sequential conversion journey »The Labyrinth« Journey is at least as important as the goal »Quantum tunneling in customer conversion« Quantum prospect», tunnels in the funnelSome holes in customer conversion« Virtuous strip or spatio – temporal shifts »Chaos and catastrophe« A prospect between balance and tipping point »Strange attractor« A field based approach of the buying cycle » Denis Failly
  • 3. ForewordThe metaphorical figures inspired by Sciences, which follow and which are gradually complex, are not intended to deliveroperational transpositions, they invite us rather to incorporate more complexity into our thinking, our schemes, sometimestoo formatted.It is quite healthy to revisit the way we see our marketing practices and reconsider more closely the mechanical, automatic,systematic application of certain models, considered such universal matrix or grail.The marketing funnelThe tunnel conventionally represented as conversion marketing funnel is a simple representation; understandable that takeplace in a sequenced process of buying cycle (phase by phase), programmatic and convergent (closing and purchase).Individuals who cross the funnel, according to pre-established scenarios (nurturing and (re) targeting content), are gradually"stored" (the spirit of classification / segmentation) in boxes (prospects, leads, ...) according to their progressive journey . Awareness, Consideration, Evaluation, Selection, Purchase Attention, Interest, Desire, Purchase (AIDA model)From a logical thought, even a mnemonic one , we fell in the overused model as if it were carved in stone.Obviously we feel that nothing is easy and that behind the appearances of light arises the shadow of reality which isprobably quite different; a bit like constellations which we give us the impression that the stars are on the same plane,wheras they are spaced by several light years. Denis Failly -1-
  • 4. We never bathe twice in the same river (Heraclitus)Prospect / client experience, is first and foremost human and so shaped by belief, doubt, abandonment, mere curiosity,moody, zapping, heterogeneous and paradoxical behaviors, serendipity, irrationality ... Many intangible and movingelements which can’t be captured into conversion funnel .As marketing practitionner I realized like others, that this mechanism of the funnel was too well-oiled, too simple even if itis accepted as a representation, a convention, a model for action.The long quiet river of modelsModels are reducers of uncertainty, of complexity, simplistic they are not reality but they reassure.Simulated somehow reality is more difficult and the prospect , future hot Lead or potential customer is above all a humanbeing within which must be embodied Marketing and its actors.Listen, (dis) engagement, conversation, sharing, positive or negative buzz on social media ... provide us daily proof that ourtools, our practices, our KPIs ... are not adapted to integrate this human dynamic, complex and abundant . It’s clear that thenew playground for marketers is the Social Web, living Web, whose raw material is the Human before being the bytes ofinformation.As the boundaries between B2B and B2C, metaphorical figures below, do not pose a real dividing line, because they areporous thus the so called “rationality” of Professional under constraint in position of decision / action has to face his humancondition, irrational by nature as stated above.Do we need simple tools to face complex realities ? Wide-ranging debate, suggesting also the limits of the famous "Keep itSimple Stupid! Denis Failly -2-
  • 5. Algorithm: great evening of knowledge or ghost with empty hands ?No doubt that the rise of Big Data and data mining techniques will give more meaning to the data (static or dynamic) torefine the understanding of the dynamics of customer through its cycle, his "journey." .We could discover that there is no funnel and behaviors are more duality wave / particle type (by analogy with quantumphysics).The individual "particle" could be examined as carrying a profile, a behavorial dynamic, a probability of presence in the“vicinity of” a stimuli /responses - actions field (concept of attractor) related to received sollicitations (emails, variouscontents, business offers...) and dependent on his whim of the moment (availability, mood, attention level…)Hosted in the cloud, huge amounts of data will be collected on the fly (real time) , catching possibly erratic behavior of eachprospect or customer, considered individually this time. A new customer knowledge will all the richer that the data will bemultidimensional .New relationships, learning algorithm will perform new classifications and micro segments.We might go so far as to say that this new "nuclear"and in-depth knowledge will make each individual, his own segmentadressable with hyper-personalized and real time contents.What about the quality? (semantic layer, analysis of conversation and text mining?)Naturally remain the questions of ethics and privacy ... and Big Data, algorithms and other automated solutions can’t doeverything. Denis Failly - 3-
  • 6. Does marketing try to find itself ?Finally, and more broadly, in light of Social Web and other societal phenomena, marketing pundits know how to producenumerous articles like "x key success factors for" or tools catalogs, even number of books sometimes mutually redundant…,but the discipline has neither revisited its foundations nor the validity of its procedures and methods for "knowing".A marketing epistemology is lacking.Customers changes, exchanges and interactions spaces are diversifying; actors and markets are transforming and initiativesabound. Societal and paradoxical behaviors get involved (the “AND” connective takes precedence over the “OR” thatdisjoint). In short, conjunction / disjunction, Order and Chaos (chaordism) coexist; we are well entered into the paradigm ofcomplexity (from the latin “Complexus” : what is woven together)Sometimes proclaimed as an ideology, the marketing, continues with rationalizing methods, tools, models and rhetoric,against the current of the "unitas multiplex" (unity in diversity, diversity in unity) which composed each individual, thePersona based approach is a interesting beginning and proof the relevance of qualitative data in the analysis.I remain convinced that the marketing that acts, and think about also, should not only refer to itself (reflexivity) but has tobe trans-disciplinary with some cross-fertilizations with its own sphere of thinking, practices and prosperity, but it must alsogo look elsewhere as in the sciences, for example (a kind of benchmarking).It is interesting to note that far from being a science, Marketing by using some of the scientific methods (mathematics,statistics, analytic approach ...), remained in what I call a "borrowing base“ built on Cartesian paradigm. Except thatSciences exceeded now this paradigm (cf. biology and complexity of life, quantum physics effects, ...).Obviously It is not intended to venture into knowledge of areas that we don’t master but just to open new fruitful windowsof perception.Thats why we chose the conversion tunnel as starting point for news representations (purely metaphorical) of theconversion journey. Denis Failly -4-
  • 7. Representation upgrade of conversion funnel Strange attractor Chaos / Catastrophe Complexity Cusp Möbius Strip Tunnel effect Complication Simplicity Labyrinth Spectrum Funnel Denis Failly -5-
  • 8. Funnel Variant Funnel and Buying Cycle« simplicity & linearity » Eviction Containment by (abandonment, off-target…) retargeting for example Buying cycle Opportunities Selection Purchase Qualified leads Pre-leads Evaluation Visitors Consideration White paper Awareness -6-
  • 9. A prospect irrationnal and multiple « A non sequential conversion journey »Complex vision Prospect less rationaldrop shadow of the real Psychological, behavorial,Multi-dimensionnal individual identity spectrum, wide- opinions and moving.- attitudes- behaviors- past experiences- constraints (costs, deadlines) Consumer/ Decision maker journey probable and non linearDistorted perception of therealAppearances lightIndividual (indi-visible) uni-dimensionnal- apparent and distorted Consumer/Decision maker journey vision, assumed and mechanistic- linear and reductionnist Awareness Consideration Evaluation Selection Purchase Denis Failly based approach. -7-
  • 10. The Labyrinth The Labyrinth « Journey is at least as important as the goal » « Journey is at least as important as the goal » Awareness Consideration Evaluation Selection Purchase Persistents Dead end Semi commited Wait and See attitude BuyersDead end : « Wall » off-target,- Outdate email database- No attractive emails or landing pages- Low quality contents… Withdrawal behaviors Dead end Denis Failly -8-
  • 11. The Labyrinth « Journey is at least as important as the goal »Contents (quality, quantity, variety, exclusivity, periodicity, recurrence, diffusion mode,experience, ability ownership, ability to meet customer needs (solutions ...) ... …impact on the behaviors that can be : multiple, non linear, iterative, reluctant, withdrawal… - search - compare - jump from one phase to another (buying cycle) - contents sharing - inactive - off target - non-decision-maker - under constraint (cost / deadlines) - Lurkers : passive observer, collector of - semi -committed (time constraint / budget ...) contents (white papers ...) - buys - no committed - influence, recommend / evangelize - Persistents (those who follow the cycle on a given phase or those who repeat the cycle at the beginning (Awareness ...) by themselves or due to the marketer Denis Failly -9-
  • 12. Quantum tunneling in customer conversion « Quantum prospect», tunnels in the funnelBased metaphorically on Quantum tunelling the prospect can "jump" the classical stages sequentially , without going through the stepsIntermediaries, this is all the more in B2B where purchases can be complex solutions and where time horizon purchases / sales may range from 6months to 2 years or more.Example :A Consumer or Decision maker P is firstly requested in Awareness Conversion funnelstage, via marketing content (white paper, article, video ...) targeted(emailing, call to action, landing page) to be gradually accompanied inphase "Consideration" where a demo product is proposed, he maycontinue his "journey" as he may suspend it or withdraw after : « tunnel effect»- a disappointment on your content (quality, consistency ...),- an unexpected event, P- he is not the final decision maker, P P- compression budget, P- a better offer from competitors- a negative word of mouth, ...Conversely, he may be in “wait and see” attitude, or turn back to better « tunnel effect»understand your world (awareness / consideration) and initiate a new Abandonment, Pcycle or even leapfrog to the selection phase to reach a purchase ... and withdrawal Purchase or eviction Selectionfinally it may abandon because he is not directly concerned or also be Evaluationremoved by you as off-target ...Thus many reasons exist for not follow a straight tunnel conversion Considerationmapped out. Awareness Denis Failly - 10 -
  • 13. Some holes in customer conversion « Virtuous strip or spatio – temporal shifts » Mobius strip and Whormholes Awareness prospect off-target or abandonent Purchase Whormholes Consideration prospect off-target or abandonment SelectionProspect performs some spatio (buying cycle phases) – temporal shifts (planning and scheduling ofemailing/contents campaign via marketing automation).Moving or in "wait and see" attitude, or even between two phases of buying cycle, ready to topple tonext stage it may not always be possible to relate the prospect to a segment of belonging (suchcold/hot lead, opportunity) beforhand defined and frozen. It can be said it exists a certain statisticalprobability of prospect presence here or there (in the conversion cycle). Denis Failly - 11 -
  • 14. Chaos and catastrophe* « A prospect between balance and tipping point » Behavioral surface (cusp )Space of possibilities• Behaviors -AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, purchase) Neutral zone, balance edge before -Loyalty/ Non loyalty tipping -Zapping, abandonment…• Status - Prospect (cold, hot…) - Lead - Opportunity Space Dots surface of individuals / variables - Customer of possibilities projected on 2 dimensions Behavioral dynamic conducive• Various phases of buying cycle to progressive conversion Awareness,… Bifurcation NO GO “Don’t know” GO Behavioral dynamic non conducive and oriented towards abandonment “Maybe” Prospect in balance position : • Status quo, in balance but ready to tip (depends on contents quality, attractivity, persuasiveness of marketing…), • Wait and see attitude, doubt, disappointment…abandonment oriented Prospect in “decision making ” with 2 terms : the prospect knows where is going the prospect is off - target or in withdrawal situation•The word "catastrophe" should be considered here in the sense of the Greek etymology "Katastrophe" ie "sudden change and Denis Failly unplanned" upheaval, which can lead to : runaway instability (chaos), a new order, or a new equilibrium. - 13 -
  • 15. Attracteur étrangeStrange attractorUnefield basedpar les champs du cycle de vie»« A approche approach of the buying cycle Instead of following linearly and sequentially a buying cycle on which his position would be clearly identified, the prospect would be “in the vicinity of” a given space ( or the borders of a phase of cycle) and would progress by converging towards the center of a given phase of buying cycle. The strength of attraction depends on the contents (quality, ability to meet needs…). Awareness Consideration Evaluation Selection Purchase Denis Failly Denis Failly - 14 -
  • 16. Conditions of use Read more http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ Denis Failly - 15 -
  • 17. Thanks YouMy blogsEpistémo Marketing : http://denisfailly.blogspirit.com/Entretiens du Futur : http://entretiens-du-futur.blogspirit.com/Digital WatchBeyond Marketing : http://www.scoop.it/t/beyond-marketing/PresentationsSlideShare : http://fr.slideshare.net/dfaillyProfile http://fr.linkedin.com/in/denisfailly http://fr.viadeo.com/fr/profile/denis.failly https://twitter.com/dfailly Denis Failly - 16 -