Rethinking the marketing funnel with Customer Decision Journeys

The traditional marketing funnel, starting broad at the top and narrowing down to buy was appropriate in the past but is becoming outdated. The way customers shop plus interact with brands has changed in the modern world, we see this with our client’ s customer journeys. The ‘ Consumer Choice Journey’ (CDJ) , as suggested by Edelman and Colleagues, supplies a practical framework for marketing in order to customers along this journey. It offers a framework to update the standard marketing funnel. This CDJ is exclusive to specific industries and a reasonable amount of research needs to be conducted to discover it. Let’ s look at the way we can apply it to crafting the contemporary digital marketing strategy.

The CDJ consists of four phases. The best way to understand it is through illustrations.

Buying a blender

I recently chose to purchase a blender. When I think to how this idea came into the mind, I recall that I noticed a blender at my neighbor’ s i9000 house, Ted. On noticing myself eyeballing his Nutribullet, Ted informed me that it’ s a fantastic food blender. I started the consideration phase along with just one brand and was inspired by a brand advocator who was happy with their product. As an advocator, Ted didn’ t even need to be asked, this individual automatically wanted to promote the product.

Still in the consideration stage, my next step was to mind online and learn more about Ted’ s Nutribullet. I started to see competing brand names and now I had created a basket of products in my mind that I believed had been similar.

I then inserted quickly into the assess stage where I discovered myself reading reviews on every blender and beginning to understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each type. I threw several blenders out of my basket inside my mind and added some others. We read many reviews on Amazon . com and even tried to compare them towards each other. In this case the comparison didn’ t work to well for me personally, but the reviews were critical. The moment I read one negative issue about any particular model this sent my head into a whirl considering “ this can’ t do well! ” At this stage I was mainly getting together with “ earned media. ”

I even found personally in a physical store shortly after where I found myself asking the particular advice of the store owner; I had been still in the evaluate stage great interacting with owned media.

I did move through to the purchase phase in the sense that I decided on a model I actually liked and started to look for sales/promotions. However , I never ended up producing the purchase. Although I am sure easily did, I’ d be studying and reading a lot about our blender after buying it, to place my mind at rest which i got a deal and that our blender is better than my neighbors!

Only with market research

Thinking about the funnel in this way enables you to realize that each journey is sector specific. Travel insurance, for example , takes a totally different path. On a possible journey, when the customer has booked his or her plane tickets, they will realize they need insurance. People likely be a lot of time spent on comparing plus investigating differences in insurances as well as prices. The point is that every industry & also every customer has an unique CDJ. Only through market research, a picture could be built up in each industry to comprehend it better and invest correctly in marketing to it.

Implications for digital marketing

The CDJ enlightens the marketing efforts. It makes us understand that marketing needs to be practiced holistically. Getting separate investment and strategy for on the internet vs . offline or for SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION vs PPC is outdated considering. These activities cannot be siloed, the particular CDJ forces you to think client centric rather than marketing activity centric.

When working with the traditional design, brands tend to invest mostly from two touch points: consideration and buy . Thought is where we generate brand awareness and buy is where the particular sale is made. In a CDJ design, for most industries, most of the marketing chance occurs at the assessment stage and the “ enjoy, advocate, connection . ” This is where the people are most actively researching and participating with your brand. All you need to do can be invest time and money to respond to them.

It follows that the very first step in considering the CDJ is relocating investments to these stages in the channel. I’ m talking broadly mainly because again this can be industry-specific, and researching the market is needed.

3 activities you can take from this

1 . Divert display network recruiting
Move investment far from display network prospecting. Now I are PPC guy, my bread plus butter is Google Ads, which frequently includes display campaigns, so I’ m the first to acknowledge that the reality hurts.

Display recruiting is designed to target the consideration stage. But most of the times that you’ ve purchased something, it’ h probably not because of a banner that educated you to it. Consider the blender illustration, I was influenced by Ted, our neighbor. Another example is the tent purchase. I knew I had been going camping in two months as well as the previous year I had borrowed the tent from a friend, so the thought to buy a new tent came from an excellent previous experience with a friend’ h tent.

Banners might have some subconscious effect on us, they will likely do prop up an existing brand names presence and dominance (think Cola and Nike), but their effects upon consideration is mild in comparison with the strength of a brandname advocator.

This shouldn’ t be confused with remarketing and other high intent display viewers that can be accessed on the GDN plus Facebook networks, many of these are effective and really should be evaluated separately.   Remarketing would sit further down the channel based on how the audiences are set up.

2 . Evaluations, reviews, reviews (and social proof). Invest heavily here
You can’ t underestimate the significance of reviews today. I would venture to state that 90 percent of all on the internet purchasers have read some kind of evaluation before buying. (I don’ t have got any evidence to back it up, it’ s my guess). This could be an overview on a third party site like Amazon . com, a review on the brand’ s web site, or even a comparison site. Comparison websites fall into this category as they are usually pitching the brands against one another providing the ability to review differences.

All of this research is happening in the evaluate stage, this is where opinion can be formed and this is where you should be trading. Some ideas as to how you can invest right here:

  • Setting up a procedure to encourage reviews after a customer has purchased.
  • Maintaining on top of negative reviews and using social networking monitoring tools.
  • Sponsoring advertising on comparison sites
  • Setting up Google or Facebook Advertisements that show customer testimonials inside them to spread social proof. This could be ideal as remarketing for somebody who has already come to your site.
  • Adding reviews and comparisons of the brand with other brands, on your own web site. Then targeting searchers with Search engines Ads that are searching for compare, greatest and review related keywords. Try to get them to your site where you control the particular message rather than a comparison site..

3. Take pleasure in, advocate, bond. Invest in your own articles
It’ s really worth focusing on this stage since it is really often overlooked. Many brands believe that after the purchase is made, there is no stage spending more money on the consumer simply because they have already made the sale. Yet you’ ll likely find that it’ s at this stage that the consumer is certainly most actively engaged with the brand name.

One of my co-workers bought a drone from DJI. Right after purchasing the drone, they invested more time on the DJI website taking a look at all the features and functions they had before buying. They also checked various other sites to make sure they made a great purchase to calm their feeling of regret. This is the opportunity to give a great customer experience, which makes the customer not only feel they bought an excellent product but also received great services, which can be as important, if not more.

Investing marketing dollars at this time to improve content, support articles, assistance chats and promote guides is crucial and will create word of mouth marketing to other people. Consider the difference between owned versus earned media and that owned mass media can be utilized far better to the ends of making strong advocators of the brand plus products which flows back to account far better then banner prospecting will certainly.

Let’ s start

Get your team collectively and start mapping out journeys. What’ s the first thing that brings your own product to a customer’ s interest? Following that, how they are analyzing your brand and products to choose if it is right for them. Map away these journeys and then conduct researching the market to see if your thinking was proper. Every customer has a different trip and you could be way off, or even there could be a lot of factors you hadn’ t considered.

After you have a good picture of where they will begin and where they are spending some time along their journey, work out in case your marketing efforts are aligned with this particular journey. Are you investing too greatly on one part of the funnel? Have you spent enough in ensuring after buy customers are getting a good experience plus engagement with your brand?

We’ d love to hear your ideas on the CDJ and whether you believe it could help your own marketing strategy.


Opinions portrayed in this article are those of the guest writer and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff members authors are listed here .


About The Author

Indicate is the co-founder of One Egg, an electronic digital marketing agency. He has over ten years of experience specialising in compensated search and digital analytics. Your dog is spoken at SMX and released a number of best selling courses on Udemy.

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