Conversations are the new conversion
It is often stated that marketing is part art and part science. This is just as true within the digital environment. With modern web technologies and their ease of use and access, aficionados of both camps can easily go wild in pursuing their passions, whether artistic or scientific. Throughout my working years, i’ve had the chance to meet both types, in good and in bad. Creative agencies have presented us concepts involving rockets, bellydancers and a midget (don’t ask), while in other occasions i’ve sat in meetings for hours observing data obsessed people convinced that everything can be explained through numbers.
Marketers often rely on the purchase funnel data as a source for measuring the overall performance of a particular intiative. This way of measuring provides an overall view of the volumes and conversion rates across the different stages from awareness down to actual conversion to sales. A while back, Forrester released a revised version of this funnel and highlighted it’s distinct nature within the digital landscape. What is quite evident is that the purchase funnel in the digital landscape needs a re-think as brands can no longer control all media touch points. Fundamentally, it marks a significant shift in where value is created. The linear purchase funnel assumes that the value exchange happens in the actual point of purchase, in which money is exchanged for a product that adds value to the consumer. Broadcast media delivers the high level message of why the product adds value and the consumer goes and buys. (you can have any color car, as long as its black…)
Technology has fundamentally disrupted this chain as consumers are increasingly in control and have more access (and voice) than ever before. Smart brands embrace the notion of co-creating social practices with customers and listen carefully to when these come to life in specific usage contexts of a particular product. These conversational conversions are the future for brand success as they are fueled through advocacy. Conversations are thus the new conversion metric smart brands will start to measure.
Together with the search & social team at Nokia (Dan, JP, Anssi) as well as friends on the agency side (Teemu/Esko) + (one self employed social guru), we got together to put some thoughts down on the topic. These can be seen in the slideshare below. We’re now spreading the message across the company and tweaking it as we go so all thoughts are more than welcome. We’re tired of broadcasting, we’re tired of shouting. We wanna listen, we wanna co-create social practices. We don’t have all the answers, but we’re determined to make this come to life. Together with you.