Image Cover for Article RIP Funnel: Welcome to the Marketing Tornado!


Digital marketing changes daily, driven by the never-ending algorithm, updates in the race between Google, Meta, Amazon, and TikTok. This fact, combined with consumer buying shifts, means your ‘funnel’ is Dead. ⚰️   

What was a predictable, linear journey for customers has transformed into a wild and unpredictable🌪️ tornado. Gone are the days when your customers followed a neat path from awareness to purchase. Instead, they’ve evolved and darted in and out of your marketing efforts like leaves caught in a whirlwind.😵‍💫

This new reality is shaped by rapidly changing technology, social media, and shifting customer expectations. Customers crave personalization, engaging content, and seamless experiences across all touchpoints. They don’t want to be led down a rigid path; they want to explore and discover, only engaging with you when they’re good and ready.  And as a marketer, you must adapt to this tornado-like customer behavior or risk getting swept away into obscurity.

Marketing Gurus and their funnels


Alec’s Takeaways 💁

😵 The marketing funnel is dead, replaced by a chaotic and dynamic customer tornado

🤩 Adapting to this new reality requires engaging content, personalized experiences, and data

📉 Utilizing data, fostering retention, and testing are CRUCIAL to thrive in this ever-changing landscape

The Dead Marketing Funnel 👋🌬️

The marketing funnel is deader than a disco in a tornado! That’s right, you can say bye-bye 👋  to that linear process you’ve been following for ages. You know, the one where potential customers magically slide down the funnel like a child in a playground? 

In this unpredictable tornado of a world, the rigid AIDA model (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action) just doesn’t cut it anymore. Your customers aren’t standing patiently in line, waiting for you to fill their brains with ads and information. They’re dodging flying cows and tractors, and they need you to show them the way to a product that doesn’t get lost in the wind. 🌬️

What Your Competition Doesn’t Know

It’s not all scary. The marketing funnel’s eternal slumber can be a competitive advantage for you. As your competition runs traditional campaigns unsupported, in this new world, you can build relationships, listen to customer needs, test, and get involved in their wild ride instead. 🎢

RIP Funnel - Pivot

Why a Customer Tornado?

Gone are the days of predictable customer lifecycles. Instead, you’ll find loops upon loops, where customers just can’t seem to stop spinning. If you spend any time doing user testing, you will see that your customer pogo sticks in and out of YouTube shorts, Instagram, email, PPC ads, and blog content, blasting through several touchpoints in the blink of an eye, then come back around for more. It’s enough to make your head spin. 😬

What Makes a Tornado Different from a Plain Old Funnel? 🤔

Well, for starters, it’s anything but linear. Imagine a vortex swirling around at breakneck speeds, creating chaos in its wake. That’s what the new customer journey looks like.

What can you do to adapt to this whirlwind of change? 

1️⃣ First, embrace the chaos. Accept that your customers are unpredictable creatures, always ready to be swept away at a moment’s notice. 

2️⃣Second, get creative with your marketing approaches. Keep them on their toes, just like a tornado would.

The Art of Riding the Tornado: A New Strategy 👶

Whether we like it or not, we’re firmly in the age of tornadoes! The tornado is unpredictable, much like the marketing world today. Customers don’t always follow a straight, linear path, so your strategy must be as dynamic as this powerful windstorm. 

First, it’s time to rethink your methodology. It’s no longer about casting a wide net and hoping for the best. You must be intelligent, innovative, and daring as a tornado rider. Dive into the world of data-driven marketing, tailoring your messaging and tactics to reach your target audience most efficiently by answering two questions:

RIP Funnel - Riding the Tornado

It’s time to get creative with your content. What are the best ways to do this?

1️⃣ Use eye-catching visuals and 

2️⃣Engage your audience with humor

Dare to be unique; but always remember to stay true to your brand’s superpower. 

Don’t forget to combine this with testing.. often, YOU are not your business’s target audience. 

Reverse the flow test via ads first and then scale what is working. Let the power of the algorithm tell you what your audience wants. 

RIP Funnel - Let the power of algorithm tell what people want.

Next? Automate! It will be your lifesaver. 

No marketing team EVER has enough time and resources. I use a simple Eisenhower Framework for Marketing to help focus on the actual value-added areas vs. what Chat GPT, Zapier, SEMrush, and other digital marketing tools can help with. 

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Trust the Process 

And with that, you’re ready to ride the tornado! 

Just remember:

🫡 Be adaptable, 

✅ Embrace automation and 

🥰 Stay true to your brand. 

Soon enough, you’ll master riding this marketing tornado like a pro, and your campaign results will follow. Trust the process.

How? ACTIONABLE Examples for Mastering the Tornado 

We’re for Action-Oriented Marketers 😇

‘TOTO’: Harnessing the Power of Content Marketing

You might be living in a tornado today as things are swirling around, so buckle up and dig into how we might master TOTO, or Top of the Tornado!

Let’s use content marketing as an example. You need to remember that it’s all about creating value for your audience. Focus on crafting engaging, informative, and relatable content for your target demographic. Here is our process:

1️⃣ Pick a box from your Brand Framework (Need one? > Download)

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2️⃣ Combine it with a column or two from your Content Matrix (Need one? > Download)

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3️⃣ Research user intent of the persona and Framework box for what ranks well in Google / Social / Amazon (platform & algorithm of your choice)

4️⃣ Write an Outline (for example, for a Blog post for SEI one H1 and then H2 and H3’s plus any FAQs / Resources)

5️⃣ QA and Edited (by someone else!)

6️⃣ Pick or Produce Images

7️⃣ Distribute (Email, Social, Ads, YouTube, etc)

8️⃣ Measure: What worked and Why?

You might be asking, how does TOTO work? As you send your intriguing content soaring through each channel, you’ll notice a whirlwind effect taking place: brand awareness will increase, and potential customers will start to trust your brand more. This is the essence of TOTO: using content marketing to create a tornado of attention to sweep your target audience off their feet and guide them toward your products or services. 🚶

Your brand might be swirling around in today’s marketing tornado, but with TOTO in your toolkit, you’ll have the power to harness the winds of content marketing and reach the top! ⛰️

Action Force: Converting Prospects 👉 Customers in ‘MOTO’ 

Hold onto your hats.👒 We’re deep in the tornado now. Let’s talk Middle of the Funnel ‘MOTO’. Here, you’ll use your wits and charm to address any concerns your potential customers may have. 

📩 Email Marketing

First things first: fluff up those sales cushions by harnessing the power of email marketing

It’s the #1 ROI activity for MOTO vs. renting attention via Ads. With over 5.5 billion email accounts worldwide, your message will reach its destination, if you play your cards right. ♣️ Relevance and staying true to your brand’s voice will speak volumes to your target audience. 

Try whipping up some unique emails and sending them to your prospects’ inboxes. As you smirk at your own humor, you’re nudging those mid-funnel leads closer to making a purchase… How can they resist?

💅 Lead Nurturing

If you are on the B2B side, it’s called lead nurturing. It’s time to sprinkle that extra attention, care, and humor to build strong, unbreakable relationships via email sequences with those precious leads. Show them that your vision is as clear as the eye of the tornado, and they’ll be converted before you know it. 

🪃 Retargeting Ads

For the stragglers struggling to convert? Retargeting ads. Like a comedic cowboy, lasso them back to your business with equal parts enlightening and entertaining ads. Now watch as those mid-funnel prospects are reeled back in, ready and eager to make a purchase.

💡 Don’t Forget: Your CTA

And let’s not forget about the pièce de résistance, the most essential ingredient in our conversion cookery: the call to action. Tempt, tease, and tantalize your prospects with customized offers, sneak peeks, new for you, and on-brand promotions. 

So, dear MOTO warrior, remember – it’s all about balancing your brand superpower with testable marketing tactics. Email marketing, lead nurturing, and retargeting ads, are just three trusty sidekicks in this vital stage of the customer journey.

Securing the Bag in ‘BOTO’ 🛍️

You’ve gotten this far and so heard the rumors: marketing funnels are on life support, and BOTO marketing is the cool, fun way to get customers to hit that “buy now” button. You’re living in a tornado today, and BOTO is your sturdy shelter in the midst of the wild digital marketing storm.😶‍🌫️ 

Social Proof = Your Most Powerful Conversion Tool ⚒️

In this chaotic marketing world, case studies, reviews, and social proof swoop in like a gust of fresh air to help customers make informed decisions. They give credibility to your brand by showcasing the accomplishments of others who like your products or services. So, flaunt those before-and-after tales, and let the golden rays of success light up the path towards conversion.

Make Your Customers Feel the Urgency

As the tornado rages on, offer some shelter to your customers with irresistible promo codes, coupons, and non-discount tactics like early access, sneak peeks, and limited editions. These are like an irresistible oasis in the BOTO world, where they can find a moment of calm in the storm of indecision.

Remember, my fellow storm chasers, the marketing funnel may be nearing its end, but BOTO is here to stay. With case studies, reviews, testimonials, promo codes, limited editions, and coupons in your tornado-proof toolkit, your customers will buy in the blink of an eye.

Create Your Own Tornado With This Week’s FREE Resource 👇🏼

Download For Free Here

Screenshot 2023 10 10 at 19.22.25


Data Debris: Utilizing Information for BETTER Strategies ✅

You’ve heard the phrase “flying debris” associated with tornadoes? In today’s marketing world, you’re living in a Data Debris tornado, with the move to Google Analytics 4, privacy law changes, and the relentless battle for accurate user data. 

As the wind of data whirls around, feeding you with knowledge of customer preferences and behaviors, it’s vital to make sense of this whirlwind without getting caught up in it. Your goal is to navigate these gusts and make informed decisions. Picture yourself as a modern-day Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, where the tornado has dropped you in a land brimming with insights. 👀

Context 👏 Context 👏 Context 👏

Remember that old saying, “context is king”? (Okay, it might be “content,” but bear with me). The trick in this tornado is to put all this data in proper context while you cling onto your marketing hat. No matter how much data you have collected, it becomes useful only when you understand your customers’ intent, motivations, and patterns.

During these swirling data bits, testing ideas regularly will help you stand out. I would rather see you regularly test one channel/item/format than over-commit and do it only once.  Channel your inner creative genius and use the plethora of data points swirling around from Google, Facebook/Instagram, your website/mobile, and email. 

Is there an insight into purchasing habits hidden in the cloud? 

Use that to tailor your message for each season. 

Did the tornado reveal unexpected demographics drawn to your product? 

Adjust your targeting. 

This is a marathon, and the unexpected changes ARE the constant. 

So don’t let the Data Debris tornado carry away your marketing. Embrace the gusts of information and turn them into actionable insights that empower your strategies… Just don’t forget your ruby slippers and a good sense of humor.😉

Retention Power: Holding on in the Tornado 🍃

So you’re inside this swirling storm of customer engagement. How the heck do you help your customers stick around in this world of utter chaos? 

First, let’s address the retention issue. You’re not just trying to keep a kite afloat in this tornado—you want to turn your customers into repeat purchasers, which, as you know, is the secret sauce of success. But this is very, very tricky in a world where my lab, Atlas, has most customers beat for attention span… 

Authentic Wins Against The Algorithm 🏆

Start by making them feel like part of your brand’s family. Authentic wins against the algorithm. Use your brand Superpower to build a moat between you and the challenger brand/mark on your heels.

Charles Who? Advocacy is King 👑

Now, let’s move on to the next challenge: advocacy. In this tornado, word of mouth spreads faster than ever. You need your best customers to become your brand’s die-hard fans—nay, superheroes if you will! To achieve this, encourage them to share their experiences on social media, personalize their emails, give them access to exclusive content, and provide incentives. Flattery will get you everywhere.

So You’re a Funny Guy, Hey? 😂

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of humor, even in the retention game. Laughter is a universal language; believe it or not, it can create more substantial bonds than any tornado. Use wit and humor in your communication with customers, and don’t be afraid to be cheeky occasionally. Just like in a gripping novel, the memorable moments resonate with readers and keep them returning for more. In this crazy world, humor is SO refreshing.

Next Steps? 

One thing remains clear amid flying cows and debris: the traditional marketing funnel is dead, and the winds of change are upon us. Well, we’re in them.

As you cling to your trusty broomstick (metaphorically speaking), the marketing landscape has shifted beneath your feet. It’s no longer about stuffing leads into a funnel and hoping they pop out as loyal customers. It’s about adapting to the consumer decision journey, a dynamic, loop-based process that considers the entire customer lifecycle.

As the howling winds of digital evolution blow, you must embrace new marketing strategies or risk being swept away. Forget the linear, outdated funnel – it’s time to engage with your audience through integrated, omni-channel efforts.

So, as the clouds part and an oddly familiar rainbow emerges, it’s time for you to venture forth, armed with newfound knowledge and irresistible humor in your marketing arsenal.

You don’t need to be in Kansas anymore to tackle today’s marketing tornado!

Until next read,


Marketing Alec

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Tornadoes Replacing Marketing Funnels?

Absolutely not! Just like AM Radio, they will live on and date the practitioner to a simpler time when the world was flat. We just suggest you leave them behind and join us riding the storm.

How Does the Tornado Differ From the Funnel Model?

The Tornado may seem chaotic and uncontrollable, but your marketing process is something you can adapt and optimize. In other words, don’t let the whirlwind of the Tornado distract you from making the right adjustments through testing. 

How to Ride the Tornado Wave and Succeed in Marketing?

Riding a Tornado sounds like an extreme sport, but it means adeptly embracing the changing landscape via surfing trends and algorithm changes to succeed in marketing. Stay informed with MarketingAlec, get creative, and don’t hesitate to TEST!

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