How Marketing Helps In Perfecting The Consumer Journey

Consumers today look for personalised, bespoke services. They go for brands which they can relate to and when these brands fail to satisfy their expectations, they call it quits. So how can we understand them better?

In one of our previous posts, we briefly mentioned about McKinsey’s consumer decision journey. The consumer’s decision journey is made up of five different stages, which essentially tells us what goes through their minds before, during and after making a purchase. While it isn’t too hard to understand these five stages, it might not be easy to touch base with customers at every stage. With that, we hope to provide some pointers on how you can use effective marketing strategies to connect with your consumers during their journey.

Stage 1 Awareness

For starters, if you want people to know you, you need to be there; everywhere.
There are a number of ways to increase your brand visibility. You can combine your offline marketing efforts with digital marketing to get more exposure. For example, you can engage in guerilla marketing offline and share it on social media to create buzz. Once people are talking about your campaign and your brand, you can then proceed to target them.

Stage 2 Familiarity
Once you’re in the minds of your target audience, you need to get yourself into their consideration set. Google introduced the idea of micro moments – where consumers reflexively turn to devices to search for information. Indeed, when people start to gain interest in something, they seek more information to understand it better.

This calls for SEO and SEM. If you’ve been following us closely, you would already know the prowess of search marketing. By bidding for relevant keywords and variations and indexing your web pages with quality content, you will be able to raise your search rankings. This provides much convenience to consumers as they expect to be able to reach your website within seconds of typing your company name or product in the search bar.

Stage 3 Consideration
Now that your consumers know your brand and understand your offerings, they are going to evaluate you against your competitors.

To win this race, content marketing is key. A well optimised landing page that gives them answers to what they are looking for is essential. Provide consumers with assurance that you can deliver what you promise. On your website, include useful and valuable information for them as well as any certifications and accreditations attained to show your capabilities. It’ll also be good if you can get past customers to write testimonials or reviews for you.

Stage 4 Purchase
With your efforts done in the previous stages, hopefully they would end up buying your products or engaging your services.

During the buying process, make sure that everything is kept simple. Convenience is of utmost importance. Have support systems put in place to answer their queries, or troubleshoot issues for them. If you have physical stores, make sure that your staff are well-trained. This will ensure that customers have a great experience purchasing from you.

Stage 5 Loyalty
If you think that’s all you needed to do, think twice. Marketing doesn’t just stop at the point of purchase.
Following their purchase, you should take the chance to learn more about your customers. You can collect information about their purchase habits and preferences to provide the with more personalised services in the future. Remember to also collect their email addresses to build your customer list.

Regular email newsletters can be sent to let them know about your products and upcoming events. You can also send them surveys to facilitate feedback so that you can improve your products or services to cater to their preferences.

Once these customers are satisfied with your service and offerings, they will become your loyal customers and come back for more. They will also help spread positive word-of-mouth for your business.

As you can see, marketing is integrated. All these little efforts at every stage of the consumer journey make up the experience felt by customers in the entire journey. As different aspects of your marketing strategies fit well together to provide customers with an awesome experience throughout their journey, you will be able to stand out against your competitors. And this is precisely the reason why your customers would choose you over other brands.


References:
http://www.smartinsights.com/marketplace-analysis/customer-analysis/customers-purchase-journey/
http://www.smartinsights.com/marketplace-analysis/customer-analysis/consumer-decision-buying-process/

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