I read a marketing/purchasing theory article the other day talking about the ‘death of the funnel.’ Marketers have long held the idea that consumer purchasing is like a funnel, where the consumer starts with a bunch of potential products & brands and slowly narrows down the field, with the winner eventually popping out the narrow end with a purchase.

The writer pointed to a new diagram (also explained in more detail here) which emphasized the increasing reality that consumers are continually re-evaluating/talking about their purchases long after the ‘final’ decision. The writer was trying to make a big deal about how things have changed, but I found it kind of boring… investment decisions have worked this way as long as I can remember. In fact, investment marketers (and advisors, and fund managers, etc.) advocating ‘buy and hold’ strategies have perhaps been trying to persuade investors to work more by the classic funnel model – make the decision and be done with it! One of the realities of constantly re-evaluating our purchase decisions is that it’s not only more work for the consumer, but more work for the producer (advisor, fund manager). But of course, it also opens up more opportunities for touch points…