It’s vital for marketers to understand how and why customers progress from one stage of the buying journey to the next. What moves someone from considering a product to buying it? How do you connect all the data points in between?
The reality is that a customer journey is made up of moments. Research has found that a car buyer can have 900 digital interactions before purchase. Nevertheless, we like to look at the customer journey broadly as taking place in stages, including awareness, purchasing and advocacy.
Understanding the modern customer path
First, there’s awareness. You don’t need to tell the whole country about your product – just the sliver of the population likely to be interested. Thanks to data-based targeting, marketers can identify likely users by looking at existing customers and then seeking out lookalike audiences. Video in particular has proven effective in raising awareness.
The decision to purchase comes next. Consumers express interest in something by searching for it, and the marketer’s job is to keep that desire top of mind. Retargeting ads perform this function. If you’re searching for snowboards one day, it’s reasonable to think you’d be interested in seeing ads for snowboards during the next week or so.
Finally, there’s the advocacy stage. Marketers can use platforms like Turn to study perceptions on social media and foster relationships with customers. If done right, this isn’t the end of engagement with customers, but the beginning.
Jonathan Gardner, Vice-President of Communications, Turn