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The consumer decision journey [Infographic]

Author's avatar By Danyl Bosomworth 07 Jan, 2015
Essential Essential topic

What influences purchase of your product or service?

Getting cut through is a key challenge for marketers today since there are so many online influences on purchase from search engines and social networks and from media sites to personal blogs and YouTuber vlogs.

So, to be effective in influencing purchase today, brands need to intimately understand the footprint of their brand communications through marketplace mapping and how this relates to consumer purchase decision-making.

To help you understand your consumers' decision journey we have created this new infographic which summarises the latest thinking on how to use online marketing to influence purchase.

Consumer Journey touch-points ZMOT McKinsey

Infographic: Today's consumer journey and the influences on purchase


Google's ZMOT is a key influence on our infographic since this helps show us how important search engines and social media are as consumers seek to find out about the options available through search and social media and so add new brands and buying options to their consideration set.

However, for us, ZMOT doesn't sufficiently emphasise the importance of the initial trigger or stimulus for generating demand, interest and awareness in a product or service. Traditional media like TV and print and word-of-mouth are still really important here. So you have to invest to press the right buttons to start the journey.

The infographic also builds on the similar McKinsey & Company Customer Decision Journey. We hope that our simple mash-up helps to combine the best of both.

All these models show us that purchases today no longer involves a simple linear funnel as we see evidence that people add and subtract both brands and products from their list through the buying process. So to be effective modern marketing requires a thorough appreciation of buyer behaviour prior to, during and after transaction. A 'promote and they will come' mentality is hugely assumptive.

Complex consumer journeys demand that brands think beyond a transaction goal, instead infusing themselves into the consumer’s community and across multiple touch-points, giving themselves best chance to be found and considered by being valuable.

Whether it’s a new Honda Civic or a can of Diet Coke brands create a footprint, directly and indirectly by the experiences that they engender in marketing, in-store and by virtue of the product itself in the marketplace. All this building influence on purchase - or not - over time, and at one or more touchpoints.

Understanding key influences on decision-making for purchase of your own products or services?

The theory is interesting, but how do you understand your influencers and use them increase awareness. To make this actionable, we recommend marketplace mapping as described in our 7 Steps guide to digital strategy and our guide to influencer outreach.

Do let us know what you think of the consumer decision journey today in the comments. If you'd like to download or print our other infographics, our marketing planning infographics are a free download for members.

Author's avatar

By Danyl Bosomworth

Dan helped to co-found Smart Insights in 2010 and acted as Marketing Director until leaving in November 2014 to focus on his other role as Managing Director of First 10 Digital. His experience spans brand development and digital marketing, with roles both agency and client side for nearly 20 years. Creative, passionate and focussed, his goal is on commercial success whilst increasing brand equity through effective integration and remembering that marketing is about real people. Dan's interests and recent experience span digital strategy, social media, and eCRM. You can learn more about Dan's background here Linked In.

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