human lifecycle

The consumer life cycle – Purchase Funnels

By Paul Morris
Image copyright: Michael Bergt

Article by Paul Morris

I love funnels/ conversion. My previous posts on this very blog testify to that fact.

My funnel understanding was further developed though after reading a detailed post on the McKinsey site concerning ‘winning the consumer decision journey‘.

As a result I thought it pertinent to put a post together about sales and engagement funnels.

We can all visualise the traditional purchase funnel hence there’s no real reason to include it here however what I would like to show are developments in how the customer journey is pictorially presented.

1/ Decision making cycle

decision making cycle

A great diagram showing the hub and spoke relationship of ‘influence’ over the decision wheel

2/ Purchase Funnel

 sales funnel cycle

I lied, above, when I said that I’d leave the purchase Funnel alone.

…The above diagram, produced by, is the best version I have seen adapted to the digital environment hence its inclusion.

3/ The Consumer Decision Journey

customer journey mckinsey

And the original reason for this post.

Firstly we need to remember that “if marketing has one goal, it’s to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions”.

As consumers have become more savvy the traditional sales funnel does not fully showcase the multitude of touchpoints that influence the consumer. Hence the circular journey you see above has 4 primary phases (in the case of McKinsey) where you can influence: initial consideration; active evaluation/ research; closure, when consumers buy brands; and postpurchase, when consumers experience them.

…Or you can split this out into 5 more defined stages of 1/ Consideration; 2/ Evaluation; 3/ Buy; 4/ Post Purchase/ Experience; 5/ Advocate.

What I particularly liked in the McKinsey article was McKinsey’s description of loyalty.

Not all loyalty is equal in today’s increasingly competitive, complex world. Some consumers are active loyalists whilst others are passive loyalists. Some shout from the rooftops (well twitter, facebook et al anyway) and tell their friends whilst others (lazy? not fully bought in to the brand? confused at the dizzying array of choices hence they simply stay with you out of apathy? No relevant network to tell about your specific product? Embarassed? Not a product to boast about?) passively sit there. And they either sit there and simply consumer without telling anyone or wait for the competition to gobble them up with messages of reasons to switch.

This might be obvious however it really made me think of how you gain more, and encourage, active loyalists.

The above 3 diagrams complement my own work on funnels, lifecycles and influence: 

4/ Digital Marketing Mix

digital marketing mix standard

Copyright: By Paul Morris 

Essentially this model should help you with planning, optimisation and measurement of your digital marketing activity; for more information visit my ‘Digital Marketing Mix on Steroids‘ post.

5/ Paid Owned Earned and the Customer Lifecycle combined

customer lifecycle standard

Copyright: Paul Morris 

This should again help with your customer lifecycle planning; for more information visit my ‘paid, owned earned + customer lifecycle = amazing planning and engagement‘ post