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Katie Campbell

By: Katie Campbell on February 15th, 2018

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Out with the Old, In with the New [Marketing Funnel]

marketing funnel

mailto:demo@example.com?Subject=HighRoad Solutions - interesting article

Nothing is meant to last forever. Expect maybe the term “Move them down the funnel”, which is timeless.



We often find ourselves focused on the purchase funnel (also known as the customer, marketing, sales or conversion funnel), as it exists today, and while it is familar to us from a structural stand point, we really find it hard to believe that the funnel itself, was proposed over 90 years ago!




Shocked? I was when I found that out. In an industry where new concepts and ideas are being brought to light everyday and implemented soon after – just think: a concept we learned back in our Business/Marketing 101 classes is from a time before color TV’s existed in America.


The New Marketing Funnel

That is, until the last few years; I’ve started seeing more about this “new marketing funnel” that has doubled in size, transforming from the standard 5-part funnel to an in-depth 10-piece funnel.



Image Source: customerjourneymarketer.com

This funnel has been a product of marketers finding themselves more deeply drawn towards the bottom of the original funnel and then asking, “what now?”. You want to know what your members are doing after they attended Annual Meeting - or one of your webinars last month. As the curiosity of any marketer would get the best of them, you want to know what happened after your members had made their way through the traditional marketing funnel and ended up purchasing. Then how to keep them engaged and participating in future campaigns you will run.

If you ask anyone, we’re at a day and age where personalization is key. No two members are going to go through the same linear journey as once expected with the 5-part funnel. In college, I had a professor who was adamant in emphasizing the importance of making sure your (member) hits every step in the funnel. Now, having firsthand experience with several different types of workflows across multiple associations, believe it or not, it's not a standard, cookie cutter process for all. Some interesting things to keep in mind today:

  • Members can enter at any pre-purchase stage
  • Members often do not flow through these stages in a linear fashion in this exact order (or any exact order)
  • Some members may not go through every stage
  • Your members' journeys WILL vary from member to member


What Does this New Funnel Mean to Me?

In understanding the layout of the new funnel, many have begun comparing the funnel stages to marketing. If you are still warming up to that phrase, familiarizing yourself with the different stages of the new funnel is a great place to start (or checking out this blog)! When looking at the new funnel you can see an entire MA workflow, with the stages you would use when producing a marketing automation campaign to promote your upcoming conference. This funnel will also have positive effects within your association when investigating the success of your past, present, and future marketing campaigns.

You will be able to identify were there are gaps in your current campaign process, and also where you are getting the most ROI for the campaigns you're running. When you expand the funnel to more than just the top of the funnel with engagements, and your campaign was a success if they make it all the way to the bottom and purchase something, it opens the opportunity to find out how your members are engaging with you post purchase.

HighRoad Solution's CMO, Suzanne Carawan built her own version of what the marketing automation funnel looks like specific to the association space. She commented on the stages of her funnel saying "Associations have mastered the bottom [of the funnel]. It's the top of the funnel that they are now working on. Helping associations understand and implement the different stages of the funnel overall is how we want to help them improve their members overall experience".


MA funnel

In the work of marketing, business, and technology, these are just the latest iterations of what we see as the member journey. What do you think of the newest stages in the funnel? Have you started implementing these or have you been implementing these stages all along?

Want some more information on how to best utilize a marketing automation workflow or campaign? Or have any questions on our Marketing Continuum? I’d love to chat! Reach out below to get in touch!


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