Rethinking Marketing Funnel Logistics: Understanding Adaptive Engagement


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Little do most people know but the idea of marketing has been around for centuries. Although marketing techniques such as advertising and branding on packaging and labelling existed since antiquity, modern-day marketing orientation didn’t emerge until the mid-20th century.

Relationship-oriented marketing starting taking shape in the 1990s. Relationship-oriented marketing focuses on building long-term relationships with consumers.

According to this philosophy, both parties work together to create a more efficient and eco-friendly process.

However, marketers and brands have reached a new phase in the long history of marketing: adaptive engagement marketing.

What Is Adaptive Engagement Marketing

In the beginning, marketing was more or less passive. But as companies entered the 19th century, things changed and marketing gradually became more assertive. Then it went from assertive to straight in the consumers face.

In-your-face marketing strategies may have had their place in times past but marketers are operating in a new environment.

Consumers are looking for more out of the brands they choose.

This fact has led marketers from all around the globe to learn more about consumer psychology, a specialty involved in studying the feelings, beliefs, perceptions, and thoughts that influence consumers.

To better understand more about this field of psychology, the formal definition describes it as:

“Consumer behaviour involves the study of how people–either individually or in groups–acquire, use, experience, discard, and make decisions about goods, services, or even lifestyle practices such as socially responsible and healthy eating.

“As an evolving phenomenon, one should not be overly dogmatic about this definition. Numerous alternatives, each taking a slightly different angle and emphasizing different aspects.”

The first hint of marketers attempting to figure out the psychology of consumers started with the marketing funnel (also known as the “purchasing funnel,” “sales funnel,” or “conversion funnel”).

One of the earliest and most notable works written on this subject is a book entitled Bond Salesmanship written by William W. Townsend in the 1920s.

How the Traditional Marketing Funnel Has Changed Over Time

As for the history of the traditional marketing funnel marketers know of today, its history began in the late 19th century with a man named E. St. Elmo Lewis. However, since marketing in the sense as we know it didn’t exist back then, it was termed the “sales funnel” instead.

The sales funnel consisted of the following characteristics:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

Many marketers use the acronym “AIDA” to refer to this classical version of the sales funnel.

Since many big companies were usually without many competitors, the sales funnel worked for most in the marketing sector back in those days.

All that had to be done was to make consumers aware that the product existed, make them interested in the said product, spark desire in them for it, and get them to take action.

Pretty simple.

Today, marketing professionals need to consider things such as consumer decision-making, motivation, and social persuasion to better comprehend how buyers make their choices and what they’re looking for in not only a product but a brand.

This consideration has led to an adaptive engagement strategy called a “conversion funnel.” One Australian-based startup focused on the conversion funnel ideology is Convincely.

By incorporating the AIDA strategy with cutting-edge technology, Convincely markets itself as a tech company capable of “optimizing” the marketing funnel in a way that allows brands to never miss out on turning a lead into a conversion.

“Yesterday’s Marketing” No Longer Refers to Print Ads and Billboards

Once upon a marketing time, professionals in the field would refer to print ads and billboards as “yesterday’s marketing.” Saying that now would be similar to saying Atari is “yesterday’s gaming.”

Like gaming or any other subject involving technology, marketing trends are moving at the same speed as developments in technology.

Further, technology has a lot to do with how consumers think, what their motivations are, and how they react to brands.

With things moving at such as fast pace, it’s imperative for marketers and brands alike to stay on top of marketing aspects like “adaptive engagement” and consumer psychology.

If they don’t, they can expect to find themselves yesterday’s brand.

Philip Piletic
I have several years of experience in marketing and startups, and regularly contribute to a number of online platforms related to technology, marketing and small business. I closely follow how Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud and other rising technologies grew to shape our everyday lives. Currently working as managing editor for a UK tech site.


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