Does the world of digital marketing make you uncomfortable? You know you should put digital elements into your brand, but you don’t know where to start. You hear noise about leading potential clients down a funnel, but you have no idea what that means. Well, there’s good news. A couple of years ago, Social Media Examiner CEO and digital measurement expert Nichole Kelly declared that the sales funnel as we knew it was dead. In her article, she noted that buyers had 24/7 access to information from a wide variety of digital platforms and sources with just a click of a link that, when coupled with distractions and laziness, had destroyed the traditional sales funnel marketers relied on for years.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we look at the world of digital marketing and how to deliver the most effective moments for your clients that don’t require a funnel.

In a recent post, digital marketing and social media expert Robert Caruso suggested that, to better serve consumers in the digital experience, brands needed to stop trying to lead consumers down a path and instead focus on the trifecta of timing, position and content. Within that focus, Caruso advised that brands needed to better understand some of the significant moments that occur at some point in the consumers’ digital experience, including these four:

1. Inspiration: The most informal of the moments, inspiration today typically comes through trusted sources, like friends, colleagues, family, social media or trusted blog experts. A Deloitte Digital study notes that 70 percent of consumers are now finding purchase inspiration and interest outside of brand marketing, while only 30 percent say their purchase interest comes directly from brand marketing. Caruso advises that brands find ways to get these trusted channels to share support for their products and services.

2. Research: In this phase, prospects gather information on the product or service. Deloitte Digital says that while 76 percent of consumers use the company’s website for research, 61 percent also use search, making organic search engine optimization and paid search marketing important when coming up positive in these moments.

3. Selection and Validation: While selecting and validating a provider, consumers rely not just on price and specs, but also heavily on the brand story and the experiences of others. Deloitte Digital notes that 76 percent of consumers say they investigate consumer reviews in these moments. Caruso advised brands to create experiences and stories that connect a prospect to the brand, helping them imagine the positive feeling they would have when buying from that brand.

4. Purchase: Whether online, offline or a combination of the two, successful navigation of the prior moments ultimately leads to purchase.

Instead of being intimidated about creating a digital experience for your potential customers, inform them in multiple ways with interesting and informational content. Your brand story will go a long way to stimulating your clients’ interest.

Source: Recognized on Forbes list of top 40 social media marketers, Robert Caruso is a social media, digital marketing and technology professional with more than 20 years of creating, planning and executing strategies within various industries. Caruso was the co-founder of Bundlepost and holds multiple internet technology patents.