At that point in time, there was a lot of talk about the demise of the purchase funnel, the "4 Ps" and other conventional marketing approaches. In fact, there had already been a lot written about the changing funnel. One interesting piece I found went as far back as late 2006 when ResourceInteractive, a leading digital agency, published a paper entitled "Decoding the Digital Millennials" in which the "old purchase funnel" is revised to more of a "purchase fish" shape, with the largest part of the new funnel, the fish's body, representing "engagement".
And the debate and discussion continues. Just today, Marketing Profs posted an article entitled "The Funnel is Dead, Long Live the Measurable Customer Narrative" which focuses primarily on the effect that social media has had on the traditional funnel. But enough about funnels.
What made it easier to write the book was the consensus I found amongst my interviewees. There were some fairly unanimous views about how everything is converging in the marketer's world - brand, reputation, the power and importance of all audiences (not just consumers), and increasing globality. Every organization was very different - I included B2C and B2B and organizations that did both. I spoke with CMOs of very large organizations, like GE and IBM, and with some smaller organizations such as the Pac-12 and Old Navy. And I included some CMOs from outside the US such as the British Olympic Association and Nissan. While the CMOs I spoke with had very different org charts, they had a remarkable amount in common in terms of their points-of-view and approaches, and that, in turn, made my job a lot easier in terms of setting out perspectives and drawing some conclusions.
I still can't believe that was just only one year ago today. Thank you to all my interviewees!