The predictable, solid and well-established sales funnel of the past has been replaced thanks to the digitally connected and empowered customer. Depending on who you listen to, anywhere between 60 and 90 percent of the consideration journey is completed before a customer ever engages with a point of sale or company representative. The customer has taken control of the top of funnel—which marketers once thought they controlled through activation, engagement and outbound campaigns—almost entirely as they instead choose to research in an ever-growing array of destinations, from corporate websites to third-party reviews and recommendations.
In reality, there is a divide in the focus of engagement campaigns and strategies with prospects and customers and the realities of today’s funnel. The truth is that marketers are struggling to achieve the agility required to accurately map and monitor engagements across the lifetime of a customer relationship. There is an even greater struggle on the horizon as marketers—who are looking to have a more customer-centric, data-driven approach to engagement—begin to realize that insights at the top of the funnel have become the most fuzzy view across the lifecycle. In a recent study from the CMO Council, when asked what stage of the engagement funnel delivered the most robust and rich data that could be used to inform and shape strategies, the majority of marketers pointed to the actual point of transaction and purchase, but only one in three had robust data as a result of discovery engagements, and less than half have access to robust insights from ongoing engagements.
So as the customer shifts to managing their own relationships with the brands they choose to discover, engage and do business with, where and how are marketers shifting the very definition of the funnel, opting to look at the lifecycle of a customer’s engagement rather than a single moment in time? To map and track this evolution, the CMO Council will partner with Right On Interactive to delve into key questions and issues shaping tomorrow’s engagement strategies. How has marketing automation evolved? Where and how are marketers scoring and tracking leads across multiple engagements? How are marketers taking these insights across the engagement lifecycle and redefining the engagement journey?