PartnerHacker Daily #61: The Funnel Is Fictitious

Rethinking your funnel

We've got flywheels. We've got loops. Both improvements on the funnel metaphor for your buyer journey.

But both still organized around how your company functions and what can be measured more than around the patterns and lived experience of real-world buyers.

Ecosystems thinking is a needed shift!

The funnel is fictitious

The buyer journey you meticulously map and track isn’t real.

The real buyer journey is almost impossible to attribute, at least under the current models.

Check out this post from Chris Walker on LinkedIn. Forgive the length, but it’s so good, we had to share it in its entirety:

Here are 25 things B2B buyers do all the time that NEVER get tracked by attribution software:

1. You read this post on LinkedIn

2. You commented on the post & we have a short back-and-forth discussion in the comments

3. You click on the link in the comments & listen to the podcast

4. You are hooked on the podcast & binge listen to all 237 episodes

5. Episode 183 is your favorite so you share it in your #marketing Slack channel

6. Your co-worker brings up the episode to your CMO in your next Marketing strategy meeting
7. Your CMO sees an ad on LinkedIn, screenshots it, and shares it in your company’s Leadership Slack channel

8. Your CEO sees it and starts considering where to prioritize solving this

9. Your CEO is attending a virtual event and hears a speaker talk about how they use that product  

10. Your CEO talks to the speaker afterwards to get more details

11. Your CEO invites the speaker to present their work to your company next week for a virtual event

12. The speaker comes to your company & shares 1-hour of exactly how their having success with that product

13. Your CEO asks your VC firm and they send their top 3 recommendations to you

14. You watch a full 3 minute video ad on Instagram about the product but don’t click

15. You tag a few of your friends in the Instagram post to see what they think

16. Your friends comment back & give positive opinions about the product

17. You ask in the Pavillion slack community what people’s experience has been with these 3 products

18. 36 people that you trust respond to your post with insights

19. You want more opinions so you post it in Dave Gerhardt’s Facebook group

20. You get 21 comments in the Facebook group from peers that you trust

21. One of the comments sends you to a video on YouTube where an expert is reviewing the product

22. You comment and ask a question and the expert replies to your comment further endorsing the product

23. You’re on a Zoom meetup with your CMO friends and they start talking about the product

24. You text your co-worker from a few years back & ask what they did to solve this business problem

25. You read a Forbes article about how this company is changing the game in the space


These are the most valuable touch points in a modern B2B buying journey and they NEVER get tracked by attribution software.

Because B2B buyers trust their peers more than anything else. More than Gartner. More than Google. More than vendors.

This year, smart B2B companies will completely rethink how they do attribution. They need to. Because there is no other way to evolve your marketing strategy for what actually works today without re-thinking attribution.

Welcome to B2B buying in 2022. Welcome to the dark social era.


p.s. It ain’t about single touch vs multi touch

Either way all these super valuable touch points aren’t getting measured by software-based attribution

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