It’s Official: The Marketing Funnel Is Dead

Posted by | July 01, 2013 | | 7 Comments

Written by Troy Burk, published by on July 1, 2013.

The marketing world is in a state of transition. Traditional marketing tactics are giving way to a smarter and more agile digital marketing process. With social media and the accessibility of information, customers can find what they’re looking for anytime and anywhere. Buying is no longer a linear process.

That being said, it’s time to make a bold statement. The traditional marketing funnel is dead—100%. It’s an outdated way of doing business, and anyone left clinging to it will be left behind.

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Troy Burk is the CEO and founder of Right On Interactive. He is a recognized thought leader and speaker on the topics of lifecycle marketing, marketing automation, lead scoring and nurturing, and email marketing. Troy earned his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and three children where he serves on the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce’s Membership Marketing Committee and is involved with youth sports.

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  • Leslie Cocco Alore

    Maybe I’m missing something, but the marketing funnel has evolved to be exactly what this post describes as ‘Lifecycle Marketing.’ Funnel movement is based on engagement, scoring, and where the individual prospect is in their journey with your brand. The funnel is simply a way of tracking and measuring that journey so marketing and sales can engage in the right ways.

    • James

      Anyone that claims the marketing funnel is ‘100% dead’ is just trying to get page views. People say that cold calling is dead, but if that is true then how am I picking up new clients all the time from it?

      I think you are spot on with the statement that the marketing funnel has ‘evolved’ to what is spoken about here. We just have a new form of measurement to add in to the quantification strategy.

      The marketing funnel is simply a way to model the cultivation of a relationship between humans. It will never go away, unless the basic principles of human psychology magically change overnight.

  • Larry Dorfman

    This is a most elegant twist on words. Simple semantics to create a seemingly “new” thought process. All this describes is the addition of analytics to the evolved, not “dead”, marketing funnel and anyone who wasn’t using analytics in their relationship management processes wasn’t succeeding anyway.
    Awareness and credibility (someone you would buy from) are started in marketing and reinforced by a well trained business develop team with clear objectives. This allows the relationship to be better developed (and the number of touch points significantly increased) as we move thru the funnel to choice. We still have to become a viable, desirable CHOICE for the individual. Everything described above is actually a PART of the considerably alive “Marketing Funnel”.

  • b2b marketer

    Suggesting the funnel isn’t dead and that it has evolved vs. it has been replaced by a life-cycle is just a semantic debate. Who cares how we describe it, the author is spot-on in that the engagement model and the path to conversions has changed. Analyst firm Forrester Research has several papers (an entire playbook) on Life-Cycle Marketing (yes this is the term they use). While somewhat over simplified, this is a very good/concise explanation of this evolution.

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