How to Support a Modern Day Buyer’s Journey

You’ve certainly heard of the traditional marketing funnel – consumers start with a set of products, narrow the choice to one, make a purchase, and later decide whether to stay loyal to that brand. To influence this buyer behavior, marketers typically focus their attention at the top (brand awareness) and bottom (repeat business) of the funnel.

But have advances in technology, such as online shopping and two-way communication between marketers and consumers, affected this model?

The answer is yes.

Caption: Image courtesy of McKinsey and Company.

In its published study, The Consumer Decision Journey, McKinsey and Company report that a modern-day consumer’s decision-making process has changed. Today’s marketing model is more of a circular journey with four potential opportunities to win sales:

  • Initial Consideration
  • Active Evaluation
  • Moment of Purchase
  • Post-Purchase Experience

Caption: Image courtesy of McKinsey and Company.

What Does This New Model Mean for Marketers?

Our biggest takeaway from McKinsey’s research is that more consumers are waiting until they are in the store to make a final purchase decision. This, of course, puts a lot more emphasis on point-of-purchase marketing.

Marketers must reconsider which touch points they use to influence consumers. Instead of targeting top of the funnel and bottom of the funnel activities, they need to be present in stores to influence consumers as they move from initial consideration through active evaluation to closure.

Here are three tips to help marketers stay competitive.

1 – Focus on the moments of maximum influence.

To reach consumers in the right place at the right time with the right message, McKinsey suggests investing in packaging and in-store activities. Innovative signage and interactive displays that capture attention and educate buyers have the most power to influence.

2 – Invest in consumer-driven marketing.

Consumers want to be empowered. In response, brands need to look beyond funnel-inspired push marketing and start providing consumers with information, support, and experience to help them reach a decision themselves.

Simple, dynamic tools, including robust product websites, programs to foster word-of-mouth, and point-of-purchase displays that allow customers to learn more and even see the product in action, are powerful examples of consumer-driven marketing.

3 – Give shoppers something to look at.

Today’s consumers are highly influenced by the visual dimension. According to McKinsey, “Up to 40 percent of them change their minds because of something they see, learn, or do at this point—say, packaging, placement, or interactions with salespeople.”

This makes in-store merchandising, packaging, and point-of-purchase advertising more important than ever.

The Key to Attracting Modern-Day Customers

Although today’s consumers are less brand-loyal than ever, that’s not necessarily bad news. Marketers shouldn’t view this as a loss of power, but rather as an opportunity to be in the right place at the right time.

To win the sale, brands must re-align their marketing activities to give consumers the information and support they want. We recommend a combination that includes great packaging, informative signage, and an impactful point-of-purchase display.

Comments are closed.