Why the Hourglass Funnel is Key

This article originally appeared in Insider LATAM, written by Gabriela Prado, Director Andean Community at ShowHeroes Group. Read the original article in Spanish here.


In the dynamic world of digital marketing, flexibility is critical to success. Today’s consumers are more sophisticated and demanding than ever before, and their shopping habits have evolved significantly. No longer is it simply a matter of seeing an ad, going to a physical shop and buying a product; now, the decision-making process is much more complex and measured.


In this new paradigm, the hourglass funnel is an essential tool that brands and advertisers need to understand in order to effectively connect with their audiences and generate tangible results. Unlike the traditional funnel (the AIDA model), which focuses solely on conversion, the hourglass funnel recognises the importance of the branding & awareness and consideration & engagement stages in the pre-purchase and post-purchase process.

1. Increasingly sophisticated users demand a holistic approach


Today’s user, before making a purchase, becomes a meticulous researcher. They search for information on the internet, compare prices and functionalities, check reviews from other customers and analyze different options. In other words, the decision-making process has become longer and more complex, requiring a holistic approach from brands.

2. Branding & Awareness: the basis for conversion


Today, the stages of branding and awareness are vitally important. It is essential that brands build a strong and memorable image, generate recognition, and create an emotional connection with their audiences. Only then can they lay the foundations for consideration and engagement, and ultimately conversion.

3. Consideration & Engagement: nurturing user interest


Once a brand has achieved user recognition and attention, it is time to nurture interest and guide them towards conversion. This is achieved through consideration & engagement strategies, such as the creation of relevant and engaging content, participation in social media and direct interaction with consumers.

Performance without branding: a missed opportunity


Advertisers that focus solely on performance without considering the branding and awareness stages miss opportunities to maximize their results. By neglecting to build a strong brand and connect with audiences, they limit their reach and conversion potential.

The hourglass funnel: the key to digital marketing success


In short, the hourglass funnel offers a more complete and effective view of digital marketing, recognising the importance of each stage of the buying process both before and after the purchase is made. By adopting this approach, brands and advertisers can connect with their audiences more deeply, generate greater engagement and achieve tangible results. It’s time to leave the traditional funnel behind and embrace the new paradigm of digital marketing: the hourglass funnel.