By G. Benichou - Chief Operating Officer
The Marketing funnel, still a panacea?
Embracing 360tovisit’s product is the first step towards creating a resilient marketing strategy.
Think back to marketing 101 and the must have A.I.D.A. (awareness, interest, desire, action) funnel, used almost systematically to create customers out of simple prospects. Effective, but increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Not necessarily in content, but certainly in form.
Indeed, today’s customers are more connected, often well informed and more empowered than ever. In fact, customer centred marketing strategies are progressively making their way into the retail world. But does the aforementioned funnel concept still work? Is it as efficacious in today’s high-speed HD world?
World leading marketers all agree that the purchasing process is no longer linear, or as linear as it has been to date. Prospects don’t just enter the front door of “awareness” any more, they penetrate from the side windows of information, interest and desire, i.e. at any stage of the marketing funnel. What’s more, they are also more than happy to jump the queue and get straight to the front by jumping steps in the normal process. Or even move back and forth within the funnel. A phenomena which needs to be understood so it can be apprehended by modern-day marketers.
Under the influence of e-commerce, the chronology and temporality components of the process have been shaken to the core as it might only take a few clicks and a few seconds to go from awareness to purchase, once again something which would have been almost inconceivable only a decade ago.
People do their own research now. It’s a fact. Prospects are walking themselves through your processes, and through your online store, and resistance is futile. The corollary to that is that if they walk through your door, they are ready to buy.
360’s products help leverage social media for your business’ benefit. It is much easier to share a link with friends to a website proudly displaying a High Resolution virtual tour than it is to physically meet up and make a day visit in a store. At least at the discovery/awareness stage. And we all know how friends’ recommendations can impact purchasing behaviour. By helping the recommendation become more viral, the purchase decision increasingly comes from advocates who themselves want to share their experience quicker than before.
13 MAY 2014
And it’s all about visuals.
If marketing only has one purpose, it is to reach out to customers and their feelings. Consumer electronics companies go out of their ways to ensure that televisions in stores display vivid high-definition moving pictures. So why should your online store be any different?
The marketing funnel has been distorted and is now itself in 360º. It has become circular. It flows a lot more than it used to. No top, no bottom, no standard starting point. It can be accessed from any gateway on the 360º panorama.
Improving marketing psychology
Because people are people, they are subject to the innate craving for Maslow’s humanistic need for self actualisation. In simple terms, this means that the journey is often just as important as the destination. In marketing terms, the path that led to the final action of purchasing is just as important as the sale itself, for a customer’s stand point.
360tovisit products move the focus away from the transaction itself, if only for a moment. It allows retailers, real estate agents - or anyone wanting to leverage the power of their precious venue - reach out to the e-visitor and say “look, we are offering you this experience, just because you have come to us”. It is a way to give. To create an emotional connection. We are proud to have made a new currency out of an emotional connection.
That is how even non customers can become advocates. That is the true power of 360tovisit’s breathtaking virtual tours. They are a new way to make prospects experience your brand. That relationship helps shift the customer’s paradigm from decision-making process of purchasing to engaging with your brand.
With stunning visuals and precise rotational display of your products, the product markets itself. The marketing process and the product become one, as opposed to being segregated, just like in the marketing funnel concept. Prospects become users before they become customers, seamlessly. A less abrupt modification of status leading to easier acceptance. The transaction is embedded and a natural outcome, not a forced one.
Pushing this thought process further and in closing, 360’s product help only amplify a natural process thus moving away from active persuasion concept. They acknowledge the multi-dimensional nature of social perception, the all azimuth paths to a purchase. They give you not just customers but also advocates that are not even customers and give your business a new soft image because the focus is on the relationship and the experience, not the transaction.
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