Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has recently suggested that the rise of the social and the digital is causing the collapse of the purchase funnel.
Until the mid 2010s the purchase funnel described quite a linear and relatively predictable process: from brand awareness to the intention to buy to the purchase.
Nowadays such process is happening in a much faster and unpredictable way. This fact is causing distress to companies and firms, which need to be able to be there any time potential customers and consumers feel they are in their shopping mode.
Today’s technological developments are forcing businesses to develop adequate strategies and tools to capture and retain customers. While this is true, the downside of such developments is some sort of ‘hypertrophic communication’.
Posting fancy pictures and videos to be able to attract as much likes and followers as possibile is becoming more important than communicating relevant information about a product/brand.
In this way, communication is conceived apart from marketing strategy and is becoming increasingly detached from both the product to be promoted and the audience to be targeted. Rather than being a means to an end, communication is being turned into an end in itself.
As a marketing function, communication is primarily about building two ways relationships between a product/brand (the what) and customers (the who). Its aim is to show how and why a given product is able to satisfy specific sets of needs and wants, while at the same time providing to customers valuable information about the benefits that a product is expected to deliver.
These are the 5 elements communication needs to be based on to be sales-effective in times of purchase funnel collapse.
- Communication campaigns need to be designed in the context of a precise marketing strategy.
- Communication needs to be product based. It needs to provide valuable information about the product, service or brand by: a) focusing on the ability of a product to deliver specific benefits; b) making customers understand what such benefits are.
- Communication needs to be customer-oriented and explain how the customer needs and wants are fulfilled. This also explains the reasons why customers need to buy the product.
- Every post, image and piece of advertising needs to express the brand’s values, mission and philosophy.
- Communication needs to be able to elicit an emotional responses in the targeted audience based on the brand’s values, mission and philosophy.