Marketers have loved their funnels, ladders, pyramids, and journeys ever since E. St. Elmo Lewis gave us AIDA in 1898.
AIDA is the framework of every “funnel” you’ve ever seen. Some take six steps, others nine, but the form is identical.
Everybody likes the “action” part. That’s when you get the money, honey. Businesses will do crazy things to skip to the end. They give away profits by the bucketful, make outrageous promises, and play dodgy shell games with their customers.
Like a horny college fratboy, they want to get straight to the “action.”
“Courtship is for nerds.”
Most businesses have an awareness problem. More accurately, unawareness. The distance from unawareness to awareness is like going from the moon to Mars, and just as daunting.
But the unkind science is: If you want more customers, more people need to know about you.
While that sounds obvious on the surface, it’s a brutal reality. In Byron Sharp’s pivotal book How Brands Grow, he demonstrates with cold math that the businesses that grow are the ones with deeper market penetration.
In other words, more people know they exist.
This flies in face of the oft-repeated myth “it’s easier to sell to current customers than getting a new one.” It might be “easier,” but it’s not profitable. The math doesn’t support it, because there’s a limit on how many times somebody can buy your product.
A hamburger…once a day is about the max.
A bottle of shampoo…once every six weeks.
A mattress…once every 7 years.
You want more business, you need more customers. You want more customers, you gotta tell more people you’re there.
They need to like you before they need you.
Courtship is important.
Don’t act like a horny fratboy.