Commentary

Is The Purchase Funnel A Myth?

Is the purchase funnel (a.k.a., the path to purchase) nothing more than a marketing myth? Well, despite being “a great mental image, it’s impossible to find any such thing,” according to Claudia Perlich, Chief Scientist at Dstillery (formerly Media6Degrees). Slightly qualifying her statement, she told attendees of MediaPost’s RTB Insider Summit on Friday: I’m sure [the purchase funnel] exists; I just can’t see it with [the data] I am given.” Added Perlich: “They exist once in a while, but to make it operational, that’s the part when everything falls apart.” Therefore, she and her colleagues would be “hesitant to say it’s something you can act on.” Separately, Perlich warned Summit attendees that the proper “incentive structures” is still not in place to help the marketing industry embrace big data, or at least in an honest way. As it currently stands, big expectations for the power of data will only produce “suboptimal outcomes.”

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