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Classic Purchase Funnel vs. the “New” Social Media Purchase Funnel

The Classic Purchase Funnel includes three phases in the decision to make a purchase.

Classic Purchase Funnel

Classic Purchase Funnel

1. Awareness

At this first stage, people aware of your brand whether they are interested in making a purchase or not.  This awareness comes from paid media messaging, traditional public relations, word of mouth or independent discovery.

2. Consideration

When a consumer starts thinking about a purchase they begin to pay more attention to the media messages they see and hear, plus they begin to do research on the various brands/products/services that will fill their need.

3. Purchase

Consumer makes a Final decision on the brand and product they wish to purchase. They then make that purchase; either online or in a “bricks & mortar” store.

The “New” Social Media Purchase Funnel adds three more levels to the purchasing decision.

Purchase Funnel with Social Media

4. Use

At this stage, consumers put the purchased product or service to the test.

5. Form Opinion

Through this use, consumers form an opinion about the product or service. Did the product/service meet their needs?  Does the quality meet their expectations?  Is the product/service a good value?

6. Talk (Social Media)

Using multiple Social Media Channels, consumers discuss their purchase/product experience with their social network.  Through online reviews, posts, text exchanges and other online mediums, consumers just entering the consideration phase of the funnel glean information about the product and service from these social media posts – information that is trusted by consumers more than information provided by the companies themselves.