Originally, businesses created a traditional sales funnel where the company was in control and got to push the prospect through the sales grinder. That original model is dead now that a new model has emerged. The main difference in the new model is that instead of businesses working toward a “close,” both customers and businesses alike are starting to see the funnel as the beginning of a deep and valuable relationship with each other. The new model was coined Pirate Metrics by Dave McClure because of its infamous acronym: AARRR! This stands for the five key metrics that McClure believes map out the lifecycle of the customer: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral and Revenue.
AIDA vs. AARRR
The original AIDA model has been around in the marketing world for ages. The lifecycle went like this:
A is for Awareness, or attracting the customers’ attention.
I is for getting the Interest of the customer.
D is for getting the customer to Desire your product and convincing them it will satisfy their needs.
A is for Action, which is leading customers toward the actual purchase.
While its principles still have some value, it is now pretty out of date. The main difference between AIDA and AARRR is that McClure’s followers start with acquisition of customers instead of Awareness building, according to Sean Ellis. From there, it goes on to extend the life of the client-relationship with the retention phase.
Data Driven Analysis and The Funnel
Consumers don’t follow a linear path through the funnel any longer. Much of the journey relies on digital engagement. For instance, consumers often check out product reviews on websites and across platforms, look at their social media accounts and then make purchases online. All of this information is tracked and available for us to analyze. The split-funnel attribution model takes advantage of this data-driven insight into how each part of the funnel boosts conversions by tracking impressions, clicks and conversion info. In turn, this data-driven analysis helps you to create more personalized content that drives acquisitions, leads and revenue as well.
The Acquisition Phase
In the new marketing funnel, you place a lot of emphasis on your first contact point with your customer. Your initial marketing efforts worked and you have their attention. They’ve probably visited your website and some of them have even taken an interest in your content. These numbers serve as the starting point for analyzing which of your marketing channels are working. You can see which types of content are holding people on your site and which ones are trickling down and out. Breaking this into stages helps, such as who signed up for your mailing list, who signed up for your Beta list and how long their engagement with certain aspects of your site was. The ones who are subscribing are the ones in an advanced stage of acquisition – these are the ones you want to push forward with your Activation steps.
In today’s connected world, the conversation doesn’t end when the sale is ‘closed’. For example, Halloween is confined to sales during September and October. However, the conversation doesn’t abruptly stop after the 31st. Technology allows for companies to have a continuous conversation with customers, make them continuously feel appreciated, and increase their lifetime value as a customer.
Traditionally, it was hard to monitor when customers were talking about a brand and required more resources to focus on retention vs. customer acquisition. In the modern era, we have technology such as Oracle’s new image recognition software designed for brands to ‘listen’ for when customer post photos including recognizable brand attributes. These tools make it easier to focus on increasing the lifetime value of customers through engagement with the intention of increasing their individual net promoter score as well.