David Edelman for McKinsey
@davidedelman) post on HBR is still my favorite discussion of the new conversion funnel. Turns out the new "funnel" is more filter than funnel. Edelman explains how buyers move through cycles.
Each cycle tightens (or loosens) loyalty and buying intention. The other thing Edleman's article got SO RIGHT is how the "funnel" doesn't end with a purchase. I love how David explains how purchases begin a new and almost more important buying phase - advocacy.
Most marketers build campaigns to achieve the sale. David points out that kind of thinking is old school and dangerous. In a connected and social time a sale should be the beginning of a much deeper and more rewarding relationship (for both parties). Think of conversion as a series of loops that don't END as much as intensify.
Also read David's Aligning With The Consumer Decision Journey (CDJ) to get the full force of these important ideas:
Regular readers of my content will recognize another proof in David's work. Faith Popcorn's, "People don't BUY brands they JOIN them," has never felt more true. David's CDJ illustration (above) shows purchase = advocacy.
As Internet marketers we need help. No one climbs our new marketing Everest alone. We need the advocacy of others in the form of links, likes and shares. Even if you HAD enough money to force your products and ideas on others, and no one does anymore, spending that kind of money would NEVER be called for or pay for itself.
Advoacy comes when your customers "join" your brand and continue Edelman's loop. String enough of those "magic loops" together and you win :).