There is no linear sales and marketing approach, no matter what the current Marketing Funnel experts says. There is not anything new in these processes except for the tools being used. Elmo St. Lewis developed the funnel in 1898, it is still the same basic philosophy.
Today’s marketing is about being there. Being in the space of your customer and responding to current trends and opportunities as they are presented.
Let’s get real. Marketing is not deterministic. There is not a linear progression towards root cause. In fact, most of the time when you use traditional problem-solving approaches the customer has moved on by the time you get there.
Seldom is Marketing about the tools; it’s about the conversations you create. Through these conversation you conceptualize these pockets and then generalize them to include a wider audience.
Building Funnels of Opportunities: https://business901.com/funnel-of-opportunity/
Mapping out a plan in a brainstorming session is a great exercise, however, it rarely withstands the first contact with a customer. Anyone can come up with a great marketing strategy, and in the same vein, anyone can come up with a marketing idea. As long as you build plans, websites, and develop strategy in isolation of customers, your chance of success is minimized.
Creating a marketing plan from scratch assumes you can calculate correctly what you and the prospect know and in addition other factors that are completely unpredictable (competition, environment, decision-making, misunderstandings).
Good marketing is about the ability to test often and quickly. As the old saying goes, to have a good idea, you need to have a lot of them.
When you create a marketing experiment (campaign) do you provide the right structure to capture feedback?
Data-Driven Marketing is a Stupid Term. People still buy and as Dan Pink says, To Sell is Human.
When used and practiced in many companies we dehumanize the sales process putting it in the hands of mathematicians and data-scientists. Companies start thinking they can manufacture customers. One of the worst start-up practices is building unyielding processes and funnels without a single customer. When they finally get a customer, if they ever do, they start “iterating” often based on misleading data samples – Galls Law (see in comments)
The inspiration from this post is a result of a similar term used in the book, Innovate Inside the Box by Couros & Novak. Written for the education field they replace data with evidence having a chapter heading of Learner-Driven, Evidence-Informed. This way evidence can be compiled to include qualitative study such as behavioral interviewing.
That terminology has some merit for Sales & Marketing; Customer-Driven, Evidence-Informed.
P.S. I am not saying data is useless.
Many times we just push our messages out without designing the needed structure to gather data or evidence. We just measure what is measurable. It is typically the fault of not developing a hypothesis or a focus question at the beginning.
Properly designed marketing experiments seldom are failures; they are learning events.