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The consumer decision journey - McKinsey Quarterly - Marketing - Strategy

If marketing has one goal, it’s to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions. That’s why consumer electronics companies make sure not only that customers see their televisions in stores but also that those televisions display vivid high-definition pictures. It’s why, a decade ago, began offering targeted product recommendations to consumers already logged in and ready to buy. And it explains P&G’s decision, long ago, to produce radio and then TV programs to reach the audiences most likely to buy its products—hence, the term “soap opera.” Marketing has always sought those moments, or touch points, when consumers are open to influence. Interactive Exhibit 1 In the traditional funnel metaphor, consumers start with a set of potential brands and methodically reduce that number to make a purchase. Enlarge We developed this approach by examining the purchase decisions of almost 20,000 consumers across five industries and three continents. Exhibit 2 Exhibit 3

Decoding the Consumer In the 1950’s, on the children’s live-action adventure Captain Midnight, the Secret Squadron was chartered to combat evil. Squadron members used special decoder rings to decipher messages that no one else could understand. The secret decoding power provided a competitive advantage that allowed the Secret Squadron to triumph over their opponents. Wouldn’t it be great if you could slip on a special marketing decoder ring to decipher your prospects? Alignment with the Consumer Buying Process The customer experience is influenced by all touch points people encounter from moments before they are aware of a need until they have fulfilled that need. 1. 2. 3. 4. Decoding the Future … Search – Social - Mobile As consumers attitudes and expectations change towards the companies they do business with, linkage between the customer experience and the consumer buying process becomes more crucial.

Angry Customers Are Gifts Moments of Truth “I’ve been with the Bank X for 12 years, but they made a mistake a while ago. When I called their 800 number, the customer service rep was unhelpful and blamed the problem on me. When I complained to a supervisor, she just said ‘That’s the way the system works.’ I told them I would be closing my account and posting my complaint anywhere I could …and they still don’t care!” Hey, we all make mistakes. Handle these sticky situations well and you can turn a disgruntled person into someone who runs around singing your praises as a customer for life. As noted in The Profitable Art of Service Recovery, “Even the best service companies can’t prevent the occasional late flight, burned steak, or missed delivery. “Banks must reexamine their service recovery processes if they are to address the lapses that turn disgruntled customers into former ones.” — Marukel Nunez, McKinsey Quarterly Being a Hero Instead of The Villain So what can you do when you make a mistake? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The Best Way to Map the Customer Journey: Take a Walk in Their Shoes | SurveyMonkey Blog How do you know what your really customers want? Sales, quality products and services, good customer service–sure. But what happens when you think you’re offering your customers the moon (and more) but they still shop with your competitors? The best way to figure out what you’re lacking is to go through a transformation (or makeover if you’re so inclined). What is the customer journey? Think of the customer journey as a roadmap detailing how a customer becomes aware of your brand, their interactions with your brand–and beyond. The customer journey is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand. Phew. Getting to know the customer journey is about nurturing the customer experience So often, when customers purchase a product or service, they’re anticipating that a pleasant feeling will accompany the purchase. To get a better sense of the customer journey, let’s get inside the customer mindset. A customer journey example Yikes!

Your Competitive Advantage Is Your Customers Buying Experience | The Customer Collective We have all been through a “buying experience” that was anything but pleasant. For some it was purchasing a car from a stereotypical “used car salesman” or an over-the-top pushy life insurance salesperson. For most of us it was not the features or the uniqueness of the product service that lead to purchasing, as it was the experience of going through the buying process. It is a well known fact that companies who create a superior buying experience are able to truly differentiate themselves in the marketplace. 70% of customer’s buying experiences are completed before the first contact with a salesman is made (Sirius Decisions). A great example of this is Disney. Now, consider the experience your prospects receive when they looking to buy the product or service you sell. When done correctly, creating an elite buying experience for your customer base will be difficult for your competitors to imitate. Connect: Authored by: Andrew Hunt See complete profile

HOW TO: Avoid a Social Media Disaster Clay McDaniel is the principal and co-founder of social media marketing agency Spring Creek Group. Find him via @springcreekgrp on Twitter. If there’s one thing that keeps social media marketers up at night, it’s the ever-present threat of a PR disaster. By now, every marketer is well-aware of how quickly dissatisfied consumers can turn to the social airwaves to vent about a brand. Nestle, BP, Domino’s, Southwest Airlines, and many other brands have witnessed the unbridled power of social media as a platform for disgruntled consumers to rally around an anti-brand cause. You can never fully “control” what your customers say about your brand on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and forums — nor would you want to. Here are five tips to give your brand the best possible chance at avoiding a social media PR debacle, and strategies for quickly handling problems if they arise. 1. What’s not tolerated in conversations about your brand. 2. 3. 4. 5. Learn from Great Examples

Branding Strategy As Your Secret Marketing Weapon Image source Marketing without branding is like fishing without a hook. You’ll be distributing your message, sure. In an ideal world, a solid brand should precede your marketing. Branding is About Experience Humans aren’t spurred to purchase because of a really catchy slogan. Related Resources from B2C» Free Webcast: The Success of Visual Brands: How to Measure the Value of Instagram Expert Steve Manning believes that a brand can be the difference between a commodity and an experience. By defining a 360-degree view of who your company is, you’re able to integrate more sensory experiences in your marketing messages that reflect your core values, mission, and essence. Brand Positioning Matters Image source Every well-written brand strategy should include brand positioning. 1. 2. 3. 4. Is it possible to market without establishing these factors, or to determine these each time you create a piece of content? Branding Creates Evangelists Recommended Reading

Toyota Owners To Get a Private Social Network Toyota has teamed up with to create Toyota Friend, a private social network for owners of Toyota cars. The network will be accessible through PCs, tablets and smartphones, giving Toyota customers the ability to connect with their dealerships, cars and Toyota itself. For example, your car could send you an alert when its battery needs recharging, and you would be able to connect to your dealership to get maintenance tips and service information. Mix modelling muddles marketers I think econometric modelling is over used in marketing. And routinely produces misleading results. Let me explain... Warning: people who make their living from such modelling will not like what I have to say. Astrology, like econometric marketing modelling, has many fans, many of whom are very intelligent capable people. I think econometric style modelling is over used in marketing. How your marketing mix affects sales is an important question, so I don't blame marketers trying something that offers a solution. Here are some of the problems with econometric marketing mix modelling: Firstly, such statistical modelling works on variation in the dependent variable (eg sales or share) and the independent variables (advertising spend or SoV or exposures, pricing, media strategy, timing, point of sale, sales team emphasis etc). And some important sales drivers, like distribution, change very occasionally (new stores/channel) and often in different ways every time.

SETTER | 4 Examples of Brand Strategy Driving Organizational Success Social media, SEO, and mobile dominate today’s marketing discussion, with good reason. New media technologies require new thinking to capitalize on them. But, like radio and TV before them, new media are merely enablers, not solutions. The single greatest determinant of marketing success is, and has always been, brand strategy. Which customer niche should we target? This post shares stories of organizations I’ve worked with over the course of my career who have developed bold brand strategies to distinguish themselves, gain competitive advantage, and drive sustained growth. By the early 2000’s, Whole Foods had pretty much maxed out market share in the “organic and natural” customer segment, but were pursuing growth. Each ad told the story of a single item that exemplified Whole Foods’ “passionate pickiness” in scouring the globe for the best foods in the world. The result, in a fairly commoditized industry typically driven by the lowest bid?