The Consumer Journey – How Advertising Really Works

February 15, 2017
7 Steps of the Consumer Journey

7 Steps of the Consumer Journey
Your customers embark on a journey every time they have a need to fulfill. They navigate along steps of a journey, from product awareness to searches and the final step of becoming a brand or product advocate.

How can you be sure they make it?   How do you get them to find and acquire your solution to their problem?

You need to be there. You need to guide them through each step of The Customer Journey. The steps help teach your customer why and how your product or service is going to change their lives. Bringing an audience along the path from potential customer to repeat customer starts by knowing the obstacles and making sure you’re prepared to be there at every crossroad. That’s where The Consumer Journey comes in. Here are its 7 steps:

  1. Brand & Product Awareness. This is where you set the stage! Your customer needs to know who you are long BEFORE they even start on their journey. A strong online presence is key in helping to engage potential customers through awareness. 80% of buyers are more likely to evaluate solutions from the brands they follow on social media.
  2. Eventually the day arrives when your potential customer needs your products or services. You need to make sure you’re there to answer their questions and engage their search. That means great ads and tons of information in a variety of media formats. Local searches can help in this, 4 out of 5 local searches on a mobile device end in a purchase!
  3. Potential customers explore online reviews, product pages and call businesses to compare their options. They may also subscribe to your social media pages, email marketing and your other online informative resources. 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying.
  4. This is a great step to use transactional marketing to focus on a single “point of sale” transaction. The emphasis here is on maximizing the efficiency and volume of individual sales. 80% of the buying process is expected to occur without human-to-human interaction by 2020.
  5. Now, the customer has your product in their hands or they’re using your services. Get them excited about the choice they’ve made! Having lots of content for your customer to read and engage with helps them understand how great your product or service really is. Train them to use it properly and they won’t be able to contain their excitement. 95% of buyers prefer brands that provide content throughout the buying process.
  6. This is one of the most important steps of The Customer Journey. Not only is your client satisfied with your product or service, they’ve also come to know and trust your company. Your client is now a loyal follower and has purchased from you repeatedly. He consumes content from every channel available to him. Make sure you’re keeping it fresh. New products & quality content is key! 3X more content is sought by a buyer than what is created by an average business.
  7. Brand or Product Advocate. Your customer is now out there actively advocating and promoting your brand. Social media posts, Google reviews, and recommendations are just a few of the ways that they’ll start marketing for you….for FREE! 91% of consumers say their buying decisions were influenced by online reviews, so this is key.

It’s important to find your industry’s optimal marketing mix for this process. Each part of The Customer Journey is different for every industry.  Finding the perfect mix of marketing strategies is key in guiding your customer along.

Testing different marketing combinations could get costly.  Luckily, Google has published a great tool, based on massive amount of data, that can give you a great head start in your marketing efforts, click here to access the Google tool.

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