How consumers make the decision to purchase a particular item has changed dramatically over the years. A decision to purchase a particular item or service is no longer as simple as a billboard or bus advertisement. A dedicated science has gone into learning about the consumer journey and the best ways to make this work for you.

What is a Consumer Journey?

A consumer journey can be described as the path a consumer takes from consideration to purchase. It involves the factors that triggered the decision to purchase a particular item right to the factors that consumer used to decide on the exact item to purchase. For example, an adult decides to purchase a new pair of running shoes. This initial thought was triggered by an outside factor. It could be a television commercial, it could be seeing a friend in similar shoes, it could be that they already use a particular brand and are in need a of new pair. If they are looking to repurchase the same pair or purchase from the same company, this consumer is already in another section of the journey. In short, most of the work to bring the customer to you has already been done in the past. If you are trying to bring a new customer to you that has never purchased your brand of running shoes before, then you are trying to turn their customer journey towards your company or brand to influence their final decision to choose your line of shoes.

From Start to Finish

This type of marketing is an intricate process that starts at the beginning of the consumer journey: the trigger. Your first task towards a successful sale is to set a trigger that puts the consumer on the path towards the purchase of your sales or service. The nature of your business will depend directly on the type of trigger that will have the most success for you. For example, how do you plant the idea in a person’s mind to purchase a funeral plot? Once you have successfully triggered an idea, the potential consumer will start to explore his or her options. They will research companies, talk to friends, and read reviews on similar products or services. At this point in the journey, your goal is to direct their interest towards your company. Again, your type of product or service will directly determine how you do this.

The End Result

If you are successful in funnelling a consumer’s decision-making process to your company, then the next step in the consumer journey is convincing them to purchase your product or buy your service. Once the consumer uses your product, their own personal level of satisfaction will determine if they fall into that loyalty cycle where they continue to purchase from you, or if that is their only purchase. Their satisfaction will also determine whether other potential consumers now consider your product or decide to shop elsewhere.

A consumer journey is not just as simple as placing an advertisement on a bulletin board. A combination of social media, digital advertising, and a new generation with new ways of thinking has changed how companies need to reach out to consumers. Understanding the consumer journey and how to make it work for your company is a key factor in long-term business success. It is extremely important that companies understand that change is necessary if you want to continue to complete in today’s market.

Kelton, a market research firm in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and London provides actionable strategic plans with a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies like brand tracking, consumer journey ( KeltonGlobal.com/Consumer-Journey ) market segmentation, copy testing, omnibus surveys and many more. Visit KeltonGlobal.com for more info.

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