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Be A Sucker: Time To Rethink The Marketing Funnel

The classic marketing funnel illustrates the customer’s journey to making a decision—purchase, vote, etc. The funnel illustration I typically use goes like this: Awareness leads to consideration, which leads to trial, which leads to loyalty, which leads to advocacy. You’ll find other variations out there, but you get the gist.

The problem is very few companies have the resources or patience to properly feed the funnel. In order for the funnel to work, you must cast a fairly wide net and that can be expensive and inefficient.

Consider the siphon tube.

If you are like me, your introduction to the siphon process was to suck gasoline out of a car’s gas tank into a gas can. Usually the “sucker” winds up with a mouthful of gasoline. That’s why he’s the sucker.

A siphon tube is used to move fluid from one receptacle to another. In order for the siphon to work, the container receiving the fluid must be lower than the container providing the fluid. Once the fluid begins to transfer from one vessel to the other, it flows steadily and without additional sucking (thank goodness). I won’t bother you with the hydrostatic principles involved here… mainly because I don’t fully understand them. Just know the siphon technique works.

How does this relate to business? Think of the gasoline as your brand advocates and the siphon as the means to direct their behavior. Rather than casting a wide net, go directly to the people who love you and provide them with whatever they need to evangelize your brand. Give them a little push (or in this case a pull). They are your most important customers and your best sales people.

Eventually you’ll need a wider siphon tube and that’s the whole point.

The siphon tube is direct, focused, efficient and effective. It’s time to start sucking.


This guy figured out how to siphon gas without sucking! Same principle; better technique. So, maybe you don’t have to suck after all. You are welcome.

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