In an interesting article on Adotas.com, Daniel Laury points out that the “journey” consumers take toward making a purchase decision has gotten much longer. Consumers no longer make a decision while standing in front of the store shelf; rather, they have many more sources of easily accessible information, such as informational websites, customer reviews and social media, accessed through computer, smart phone and tablet.
As a result, Laury suggests we consider a longer purchasing cycle when planning marketing:
“As a marketer, instead of placing all your attention on a single moment, the last click, at which you try to intercept and grab your buyer’s attention, try to think of marketing as a longer purchase cycle. Successful advertisers in 2012 will take their customers from awareness to engagement to acquisition to retention. They will define a clear consumer engagement path that tells customers a story across multiple internet channels, complete with precise tracking and reporting that measures and lifts conversions and delivers increased volumes under the same ROI.”
Of course, taking customers “from awareness to engagement to acquisition to retention” works differently in different categories, but it’s worth heeding the overall point: marketers should consider the messages their customers receive far earlier than the “moment of truth” of the actual purchase.
Case in point: in recent focus group research we conducted, participants complained that they didn’t hear from a service provider until it came time to renew the service. Does this mean they want more ads? Not exactly. They want reminders of the value provided by the company. While consumers dislike communications perceived to be solely for advertising, they welcome information that’s valuable to them. Provide that kind of information over time, and the final purchase decision will become a no-brainer for your customer!
Find out what your customers and prospects value. Give us a call at (818) 752-7210.
Sources: “Redefining the Consumer Engagement Path,” Adotas.com, May 9, 2012; Bureau West research