Your marketing efforts should start with a basic understanding of how customers shop. You can then target important phases to influence a customer’s purchasing decisions.
Published in June 2009, the McKinsey Quarterly introduced the consumer decision journey (CDJ). The CDJ maps out the process a customer goes through when shopping for products and services. Consumer behavior has changed and will continue to change over time.
Customers have a lot of choices and a lot of information at their fingertips. It’s important to know how to guide them to your door.
A customer begins with the companies they can think of off the top of their head. This includes any storefronts they’ve passed by, branded vehicles rolling through their neighborhood, postcards they’ve seen–any brand they’ve passively encountered.
This is the research stage, and it will most likely start online and on a mobile device. Customers will also reach out for information and recommendations from friends and online reviews.
Most customers wait until they’re in the store to buy anything. Sales interactions and pricing at this point are crucial.
Customers will advocate your brand through social media and word-of-mouth after the sale. It will have a greater impact if you have a social media presence so that the communication goes two ways.
The three phases where your marketing efforts will be most influential are Consider, Evaluate, and Advocate. Customers will not actually decide to purchase until they are already in your store so advertising won’t matter as much here.
When it comes to understanding where to begin in allocating your marketing budget, the five things to focus on are local search, direct mail, email marketing, social media, and third-party reviews.
Each marketing channel has their own components and can take time to set up and maintain. Customer Lobby can help boost your local search ranking, collect, and manage online reviews. Our Campaigns mail program can also help keep your business top of mind with personalized messages to a targeted group of past customers. Click here to learn more.