We live in a digital world. At present, 70% of companies are rolling out a digital transformation strategy or are working on one—and these seismic shifts in business evolution are largely due to the ever-changing needs of today’s consumers.
In today’s world, the average customer has access to a wealth of information with the swipe of a screen or the click of a button. There are now countless touchpoints for researching brands, services, or products, and the traditional demand funnel (or sales funnel) no longer applies to the average buying journey.
The modern demand funnel
From social media to mobile apps, specialist landing pages, immersive in-store experiences, and beyond, the digital age has opened up a wealth of shopping options for curious consumers.
In the age of digital transformation, omnichannel (all consumer touchpoints working cohesively to offer a fluid buying or shopping experience) is the order of the day. As such, the traditional demand funnel appears very different.
To put this notion into perspective, here are the key stages of the traditional sales funnel:
As digital technologies continue to evolve, and consumer shopping habits change, brands across industries must adapt their communications and activities to engage their audience regardless of where they are in the demand funnel – and that is valid both in the B2C and B2B world.
For instance, you might have a customer that skipped from the awareness stage to the purchase stage in an instant. By offering an engaging post-buying experience, you can convert a one-time buyer into a loyal repeat customer.
The point here is: In our fast-paced, hyper-connected digital age, customers can enter any of the pre-purchase stages rather than passing through each phase in a linear, logical fashion.
To succeed both now and in the long term, you should engage and inspire your prospects wherever they are in their journey—and we’re going to tell you how.
How to approach modern demand funnel engagement
With so many touchpoints and a range of possible demand funnel scenarios to consider, it’s never been more important to track consumer behaviour at every phase of the buyer lifecycle.
If you understand your audience on a deeper level and can move with them along their journey, you will be able to craft targeted communications and deliver valuable solutions to specific pain points at the times when a prospect is most engaged.
The data-driven approach
Data is everywhere, and almost 90% of all data has been generated in the last two years or so.
By harnessing your business’s most valuable digital customer data to your advantage, you will gain a deeper insight into your audience’s needs, desires, and buying behaviours. As a result, rather than relying on the traditional demand funnel model, you will be empowered to develop initiatives that offer value at any time and via any channel or touchpoint.
In order to have a consistent and consolidated view of the data – and make sense of it all to inform your marketing and sales approach, you’ll require a tool such as CRM (if possible integrated with all your marketing tracking and automation tools so you have one single view of all interactions and demographics information about a customer). Your CRM should provide dynamic real-time reporting , enabling data-driven insights that are ever-evolving, consistently relevant, and capture metrics that allow you to make informed decisions concerning your sales initiatives and brand messaging. This is one of the most effective approaches to tackling the modern demand funnel, as it will ensure you get the best possible return on investment (ROI) from your various sales or marketing activities.
Content is (still) king
Once considered an industry buzz term, “content is king” is a phrase that rings true in the age of digital transformation.
Today’s customers—whether they’re conducting research, are curious about a brand or its services, or considering pressing a “buy now” button e—expect brands to deliver value-driven content tailored to their specific needs. These days, one-size-fits-all marketing will not do. To connect with your audience, you have to craft communications that reach out and speak to people on a personal level.
Rather than creating content-driven campaigns for each linear stage of the traditional demand funnel, it’s important to use your data to craft dynamic communications that will inspire or engage your audience wherever they are on their journey.
Here are some quick tips:
- Create local or geo-specific content to appeal to more streamlined audiences.
- Create persona specific content, based on the role, responsiblities or unique characteritics of your segmented audience.
- Invest time and resources in social listening to gain a deeper understanding of what your customers are talking about so you can join the conversation while gathering intelligence.
- Create whitepapers and infographics based on specific industry subjects to gain authority in your niche.
- Develop post-sales messaging, content, and incentives to encourage customer loyalty.
“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”—Tom Fishburne
Niche or sector aside, to grow and evolve consistently in the digital age, it’s essential to leverage the power of data while delivering content that offers genuine value regardless of where your consumers enter.
If your goal is to manage your content-based sales and marketing efforts cohesively across channels while gaining access to the customer-centric data you need to succeed, investing in a CRM solution is likely to be one of the best investments you will ever make.
In the Information Age, customers are truly in the driver’s seat. As such, one of the most important attributes you can have as a business is the ability to adapt. The right CRM will allow you to do just that.
At Workbooks, we offer innovative CRM and Marketing Automation products and solutions that empower businesses across industries to get under their customers’ skin and understand the type of engagement they have with their customers, gauge the content that resonates with them most at every phase of the digital demand funnel. You can access invaluable analytics, track performance, generate dynamic content, and improve your lead generation initiatives easily and quickly.
If you want to boost your business prospects and embrace the undeniable power of the digital age, please contact us.