Visualizing the Consumer Path


Jun 15, 2012 - by Indra Gardiner Bowers
Visualizing the Consumer Path

Couple of months ago I wrote about the challenges of measuring social media and the terrific new tools Google is developing, like Multi-Channel Funnels, to help marketers track a consumer's path toward purchase. I kept thinking about that consumer path and what it looked like. Research tells us that on average consumers are using up to 10 sources to make a purchase decision. So I enlisted the help of the talented Kelly Day to make the image in my head something I could share. Here's what we came up with for someone making a travel purchase -

By following the dark orange signposts, we can see all the steps an integrated marketer needs to take to ensure that when a consumer is researching or thinking about a purchase, their brand is visible. Because we live in a digital, Google-centric world, there are a number of steps you could be missing if you aren't thinking about a well-rounded marketing approach.

Here are some key things to think about:

  1. Have we dug into our keywords lately to see how they are tracking and their relevancy for our brand today?
  2. How robust is our content strategy?
  3. Are we tagging content and links properly so we can track what people are clicking on, where they came from and where they're going?
  4. Do we have a media relations program that supports our positioning and keeps our brand fresh in people's minds?
  5. Is our advertising - traditional or digital - in sync with our other marketing efforts?
  6. When I look at this consumer path, where are the holes in our execution?

This visual is not exhaustive by any means. There are many other ways people get information that influences their ultimate purchase decision. And yes, that is a bit exhausting to think about! But the path is being traveled everyday and it's our job to be on that road wherever it may lead.


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