Jordan Ogren

May 2, 2022

Do you believe in the funnel illusion?

You've heard of the marketing funnel, right?
  1. Awareness 
  2. Interest
  3. Consideration
  4. Intent 
  5. Evaluation
  6. Decision

While I think it's an okay framework, it falls short.

It does not map to reality. It's a mirage.

Like seeing water in a dessert, you pray it's real, but the last five times you had a similar experience, it was in your mind.

The same is true with clinging to this funnel and holding it as complete truth.

No one goes through the funnel linearly. Instead, they go through it like a pinball machine.

They may have awareness but never consider your product. Or, they may be considering your product but then realize they need more information (awareness).

Or, someone may go and purchase the thing without any research and type in the best X widget. They practically zoom through the funnel.

Some may take years or longer to free fall through the funnel to the purchase stage.

While having content for each funnel stage is an effective and excellent way to use the funnel framework, relying on it as truth will leave you disappointed.

The alternative?

Talk to your customers.

Learn about their journey from "I don't need a solution" to "I am in pain, I need a solution."

Or maybe they never realized they had pain. 

Ask them questions like you would a friend who recently went through a divorce. 

Rather than ask questions like:
  • On a scale of 1-10, how much pain did you experience before switching?
  • Why did you pick our solution?

Be curious and care. Ask questions such as:
  • Wow. That must have sucked before using our product. Why didn't you switch providers sooner?
  • I can't even imagine how much that would have sucked. How did you even think about searching for our solution?

Maybe their answers will map directly to the funnel. If they do, follow the funnel.

If they don't, leave the funnel (fantasy) and develop the actual customer journey (reality).

The lesson: Don't let frameworks cloud your vision of reality. 

Figure out what's real and make your decisions through the lens of reality instead of fantasy and opinions.

🧠 + ❤️ // JO