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Dark Funnel: Uncovering the Hidden World of Customer Acquisition

by Annastacia | May 10, 2023 | Growth Marketing

Business owners and marketing professionals often concentrate on comprehending customer behaviour, making assumptions about customer journeys based on the data they can access. However, a significant amount of information may remain hidden, known as the “dark funnel.” In this article, we’ll discuss the dark funnel, its purpose, and the importance of pursuing it. We’ll also explore how to implement the dark funnel concept in your business and provide examples that can still be valuable.


Dark Funnel: An Introduction

The customer journey is complex and often nonlinear, with elements that aren’t immediately apparent. These hidden aspects are what we refer to as the dark funnel.

For example, if a potential customer views your ad, takes a screenshot and forwards it to an online community with thousands of members, there is no digital attribution software in the market today that can give you this information.

The dark funnel represents the hidden aspects of customer journeys that marketers might overlook. While digital marketing tools offer valuable insights into customer behaviour, certain actions, such as visits to other websites, screenshots, third-party research, community engagement and social media influences, might remain hidden.


The Purpose of the Dark Funnel

The dark funnel’s purpose extends beyond mere data collection—it’s about understanding people. By examining dark funnel behaviour, marketers can better comprehend how consumers interact with brands, make purchases, and remain relevant through marketing planning, content creation, and distribution decisions.

The dark funnel provides a supplementary perspective for marketers, granting them additional insights into customer behaviours and motivations. This deeper understanding can help make more informed decisions in strategy, messaging, and content creation.


Implementing the Dark Funnel in Your Business

To incorporate the dark funnel mindset in your business, consider the following steps:

  1. Create and distribute valuable content, such as social media posts, blog posts, videos, ebooks, and podcasts that are relevant and interesting to your audience. This way, your audience can share this valuable content with their network.
  2. Be innovative and let your content evolve over time, creating new demand.
  3. Engage with the community around you by actively participating in social media sites, building relationships, and joining conversations.
  4. Pay attention and listen to what people say about your brand, both positive and negative, to gain insights into customer behaviour.
  5. Engage in one-to-one interactions with your customers, listening to their feedback and addressing their concerns.
  6. Be consistent in your approach, as this is not a short-term strategy but a long-term investment in your business and brand.

Embracing dark funnel actions can significantly contribute to your company’s growth and success. For instance, by focusing on referrals, LinkedIn, and podcasts, you can create a powerful strategy to acquire leads. It’s essential to consistently produce valuable content, actively engage with your community, and attentively listen to feedback. Although these efforts may not be easily tracked, they have been proven to effectively generate revenue and establish a loyal customer base.


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