Among the lingo of marketers is the word “funnel.” This term was coined to describe the purchase process of consumers.


The customer goes through the following in the purchasing cycle: awareness, intent, desire and action This construct, AIDA, is called the purchase funnel to track consumers as they progress from not being aware of a brand or product, to intending to purchase, to deciding on the brand they prefer and then finally to act on the purchase.

Another term in the marketing lexicon is “churn.” Churn and attrition occur when consumers switch from your brand to the competition. The aim is to keep them in the purchase funnel from the start to the finish (the sale) and not churn.


One industry that experiences much churn is utilities—gas and electricity providers. Consumers are always shopping for better prices in a very competitive field. One such case was a natural gas utility that determined what drove customers to churn. With this knowledge, the company improved their service areas and reduced long-term churn rates from 5% to 4%. The result? A huge gain in overall revenue.

For more on consumer acquisition, retention and churn behavior, sign up for a launch discount copy of the newest book, Marketing Machine, by Guy R. Powell, founder and president of ProRelevant.