The classic marketing funnel has changed forever with the advent of digital marketing and social media.

The old marketing funnel went something like this:


At the top of the funnel, you have ‘awareness’ and ‘interest.’ Historically, these qualities could be achieved with traditional marketing. Today, that includes branded content and social media.

The lower part of the funnel is all about creating demand and desire that drives purchasing and repeat business. These aspects of marketing require a different approach, including search engine optimization (SEO), Google ads (PPC), keyword rich text, maps, directories, etc. to get found by potential target customers.

Lead generation is critical to marketing, as is knowing who is reading your content. This helps to collect data which is used to fuel your marketing strategy. Building community and relationships can only get you so far. Today consumers are looking for brands to have transparency, which makes it doubly important to actively work to build trust, credibility and loyalty.

Think about whether are you cutting through the clutter or just adding to it. There is an avalanche of content out there, including a growing amount of fake news and questionable content in terms of quality. In fact, there is a whole lot more junk flooding our inboxes and newsfeeds than good stuff on a daily basis. Brands are tossing out white papers, e-books, infographics, and articles just to grow their email list without providing value. Then they use this personal data to spam their list, which in turn, makes it harder for the rest of us to entice users to read out good content because they are inundated and start to tune out. This form of marketing is on auto-pilot and although it may work for some brands, for most, it can have the reverse effect. Whereas the concept of exchanging something with value (your email or address) for something else of value (information, an experience, an opportunity, etc) makes sense, consumers can be so burned out that downloading or clicking to open a file has lost its appeal.

They may wonder if it is really worth the trouble to get blasted with sales pitches. This why targeting is so vital now so you are not wasting time and effort to grow a list that has little value for your practice. It’s all about meaningful relationships built on trust; not just a bigger, better, broader customer list.

Put out information in the right channels where they want to receive it to ensure that your target audience gets something beneficial from it. Engage with them in their preferred channels. If they read emails, go for that first. If they are really into spending time on Instagram, create some stories and invest in an ad spend to reach them.

Once you get to know them better, you need to measure the impact of each marketing tactic to know what is working and what gets ignored to maintain the trust of your audience.