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Knowing When The Funnel Doesn’t Matter

Most marketers in tech – and most inudstries — obsess over the funnel. At what point and what rate are we converting people from awareness to consideration to buying and loyalty. There are as many funnel taxonomies as there are views on how to move someone through the funnel.

But does the funnel matter for all purchases? Arguably not. Think of a good burger – lots of awareness, lots of loyalty, not much of a funnel. The argument has long been that the funnel matters most for any capital purchase. But as Aaker points out, as industries mature and we accept basic quality and performance benchmarks exist, funnels start to collapse. Relating his experience of replacing his computer, he says “there was no funnel experience, I passed by awareness, comprehension, and preference and skipped directly to purchase. Makes me wonder about the logic of many marketing programs as well as accompanying analytical efforts to measure results.”

Knowing where a funnel matters most, and where it matters less, is critical. Aaker makes a key point that for many, brand awareness up front might not even matter and can be replaced by recommendation. I’ve long argued that most marketers would do well to focus on replacing awareness with recommendation.

How do you drive recommendation?

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