Topic: Marketing and Advertising
Whether we realize it or not, the process of making the decision to purchase something can actually be quite lengthy and complex. That process of becoming aware of a brand or company and then making the decision to purchase from them is often referred to as the consumer journey. The consumer journey ( www.keltonglobal.com/consumer-journey ) is, essentially, a series of steps that consumers must go through before they make a purchase. If you want to maximize your business, both for you and your customers, it's a good idea to look at the concept of the consumer journey through the lens of your own brand to see what insight you can gain.
The Basic Framework of the Consumer Journey
Although there are differences in the way different people outline the consumer journey, the basic framework tends to be the same. Typically, the consumer journey includes the following steps : awareness, consideration, purchase, and loyalty. What this means is that the first step to a consumer buying from you is general awareness of your brand, even if they're not currently in the market for what you're selling. By successfully creating awareness, you will have a presence in the back of their mind for when they are looking to purchase. Awareness is created through effective marketing and advertising, as well as through word of mouth.
Consideration is when the consumer actively and consciously starts to consider your brand. It is at this point that they start interacting with your brand, and even though they haven't made their decision to purchase quite yet, it is still an important part of the consumer journey.
Purchase is exactly what it sounds like; it is the result of positive awareness and consideration of experiences. If the consumer is happy with their purchase, loyalty will likely follow. Now that you know the basics of the consumer journey, you can look at the potential barriers your customers might encounter in each step.
Putting it into the Context of Your Business
Though the consumer journey is basically the same across all businesses and industries, your individual business ( www.keltonglobal.com ) will provide context for how each step plays out for your potential customers. It is important that you consider each step of the consumer journey—and that you think about what each one might look like for the customers you are trying to target.
In order to create a consumer journey map that is unique to your business and your potential customers, look at each step of the journey (awareness, consideration, purchase, and loyalty), and for each step, ask yourself two questions: What am I doing to encourage this step? And what are the potential barriers to this step? For example, you might determine that you are encouraging awareness by running ad campaigns and maintaining social media accounts, but in making yourself look for potential barriers, you might realize that your ads aren't running in the best locations, or that your social media presence hasn't grown in a while.
By identifying your efforts and potential barriers, you have the information you need to make adjustments that will make the consumer journey faster, easier, and less complicated for your potential customers.