Rethinking the “Purchase Funnel”

Forrester Research logoA new report by Forrester Research suggests that marketers need to stop looking at the purchase process as a “funnel” and start thinking of it as a dynamic series of interactions.

Corinne Munchbach, who authored the Forrester report, encourages content marketers to focus on the “customer life cycle” (including social media interactions) during the four phases of a purchase: product discovery, exploration and research, purchase, and post-purchase engagement.

Online Product Information Crucial to Sales Process

Munchbach notes that during the “exploration and research” phase, a majority of online shoppers are using a combination of search engines, retailers’ websites, and manufacturers’ websites to research products. Only 42 percent said they’d visit a brick-and-mortar store for product information.

This demand for online product information means two things for manufacturers:

  1. Manufacturers need to make sure their corporate websites offer compelling and complete product information.
  2. Manufacturers need to develop a content strategy for all their major retail channels.

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