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38 The Marketing Funnel Is Broken

Marketing podcast with Joseph Jaffe (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

Marketers have used the metaphor of the marketing funnel for decades. The idea being to draw lots of leads into the very big open end of the funnel and communicate with them in ways that drove a few of them through the tiny customer end of the funnel. This model may have been useful in the days when broadcasting messages to drive leads was an effective approach, but today’s prospect must be generated in a much different fashion.

I’ve written for some time about a funnel replacement that I call The Marketing Hourglasssm as a way to demonstrate the focus on building know, like and trust with the ideal prospect and then turning that into total customer focus to expand try, buy, and refer.

Joseph JaffeIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast I spoke with Joseph Jaffe, author of the book Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones.

Jaffe takes the approach that by focusing on existing customers instead of obsessing over acquiring new ones marketers can actually find more success while spending less in the process.

In Jaffe’s words: When you consider customer acquisition for your business, think about this question for a moment: how much of your sales come from repeat business versus first-time customers? Now contrast that against how much money you spend against each segment. If you are embarrassed by the gaping disconnect, don’t worry; you are not alone.

While the examples Jaffe cites, including Comcast, Apple, The Obama Campaign, Dell, Panasonic, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Johnson & Johnson, and Coca-Cola, are large organizations, the ideas in Flip the Funnel are very applicable to the smallest of businesses. A good customer experience leads to referrals and that concept is universal.