It’s a fact: the consumer journey as you know it no longer exists.
There is no straight path from awareness to action in the marketing funnel anymore. In fact – the consumer journey no longer looks like a funnel at all! No two paths are the same, and consumers often widen and narrow their consideration set multiple times before making a final purchase decision. Because today’s consumers have so much more to choose from, and so much more information available to help them make a decision, it leads to many unpredictable and unique actions taken along the way. Consumers can now find answers and solutions to any problem within seconds with mobile devices. Every time we do this, Google considers that we are “expressing intent and reshaping the traditional marketing funnel along the way.” So what does this mean for business owners and how we market our products? Let’s dive in to learn more.
To start, it’s still important to understand the basic “sales funnel,” because the main principles still apply.
When a customer first becomes aware of your brand.
When the customer knows about you and is interested in you or what you have to offer.
This is when the customer knows about your brand, has begun to understand what you have to offer, and is considering doing business with you.
This is when the customer knows about your business and is ready to take action.
Many people forget about this step in the consumer journey – this is how you or your business interact with the customer once the action is completed.
While it all sounds very logical, marketers can no longer utilize strategies solely based on this linear journey.
People are still taking these actions, but the “steps” are no longer as predictable because of digital. This digital journey is becoming very unique to each person. As marketers, we no longer have control over the journey – consumers do. However, brands can (and should) be there for people across all stages of their purchase decision.
When making marketing strategies, you must now be there to assist people through the entire process.
Consumers today expect to be assisted and have an easy experience in the path to action. According to Google, mobile search for “__ for me” have grown over 60% in the past two years. And no decision is too small – people are turning to search to help inform every purchase decision they make, regardless of cost or category. Every time someone turns to digital for assistance, they are signaling intent. In order to be there for your consumer, you must have strategies in place to predict and interpret intent in a way that truly helps you understand their needs. What do they like/dislike? What are they searching for in the process? Does their mobile experience make it easier or harder? Once you begin predicting intent, you can tailor your marketing strategy on how to best reach your customers every step of the way.
One thing we know for sure: today’s digital-first customer is making decisions at every step of the customer journey, and that’s here to stay for awhile. It’s your job to be there throughout the entire process. Predict their true intent, and become a partner and trusted resource for your customers, and you will stay top of mind when they’re ready to make a decision.
Brew Agency is a full-service branding and advertising agency based in Baton Rouge, LA that provides strategic marketing solutions for every stage of business. We understand that every organization has unique needs, which is why we customize our approach for everyone, from start-ups to mature businesses looking to evolve and grow. Discover everything we do, or contact us to learn more!