Another week, another “the marketing funnel is dead” article. This time, it comes from the increasingly disappointing Forrester Research, filled to the brim with inexperienced analysts who pretty much cut and paste two-year-old blog posts from colleagues. We can at least give them credit for stealing and plagiarizing from within the family only.
Last week, MediaPost ran a stinky piece from Forrester titled “Bid Farewell To The Marketing Funnel.” The Forrester analyst credited for the article conveniently forgot to mention that its core content was also published by Forrester:
>In October of 2010, by Steven Noble; “It’s Time To Bury The Marketing Funnel”
>In February of 2011, by Steven Noble; “Make The Switch To The Customer Lifecycle”
>In February of 2011, by Luca Paderni; “Customer Life-Cycle Marketing Demands New Metrics” (note different spelling of lifecycle in this case)
>In September of 2011, by Mike Gilpin; “Understand The Requirements Of The Customer Life Cycle” (note another different spelling of lifecycle in this case)
>In February of 2012, by Luca Paderni; “Four Steps To Tackle The Switch To The Customer Life Cycle”
We should just stop here, and let this tired dog die on its own (after all, the MediaPost column in which the latest “dead funnel” piece ran received just one comment). But in case there’s anyone left to fall for this awful logic, here are some quick counters.
1. Per the Forrester analyst, the marketing funnel “Is too linear…digital devices and channels have fragmented the journey.” The marketing funnel has never been about the media or channel journey. It has always been about the state of mind a customer must pass through to get to purchase.
No one has yet been able to disprove the theory that a customer must know a product exists before she can buy it.
2. Per the Forrester analyst, “Marketing activities come before customer behaviors…Awareness, Consideration, Preference, and Purchase…are outcomes that marketing seeks to drive, rather than activities to address with customers.” Seems like someone forgot to define marketing to this analyst.
Awareness, et al. are outcomes marketing seeks to influence through marketing activities. The funnel is pure gold when viewed in this proper, nonconvoluted manner.
3. Per the Forrester analyst, “There is no one-size-fits-all way to approach marketing.” If she had written “execute” rather than “approach” she would have been correct.
But without a framework or approach as solid as the funnel (so solid, in fact, that other Forrester analysts make constant and positive reference to it in other writings), what you execute will be a random set of “hope and pray” events.
Upon examination of the background of the Forrester analyst who authored “Bid Farewell To The Marketing Funnel,” we now know why it stunk on ice.
>>> Years of work experience: 3.
>>> Companies worked for other than Forrester: 0.
>>> Real marketing experience: None.
>>> Degree: B.A. in political science and Hispanic studies.