Digital marketing strategy

The consumer decision journey

 Consumer moves through different stages in their purchase journey. Let us examine this stages and how digital marketing can be mapped to each stage. The AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action) model can be applied to digital marketing. There are successive stages in the buying process as follows. 

Awareness at this stage, all of the marketer is to create awareness about the brand. By reinforcement communication, marketer tries to get to the top of the mind recall. Awareness is the first step in the brand building and the most important one as without awareness, consumer will not consider the brand for purchase at all. Digital marketing aims to first create awareness. Some channels of digital marketing – the awareness are more apt for it, display advertising on website, social media Facebook, Instagram LinkedIn and YouTube.

Interest it is not enough that a consumer is made aware of the brand. Consumer must be interested in the brand. Just want to know more about the brand, intrigued by it. This is also known as consideration stage. For consumer to consider the brand for purchase, it must be first included in their consideration set. In the funnel model the interest stage has a large number of brand. Consumers consider the brand they have heard about in traditional channel or on social media or have seen their friends using it. Clutter in the initial consideration is possible. Interest can be Spark by running highly creative campaigns that break the clutter and stand out. Resting post highlighting the unique benefit of the brand can also Spark interest. Highly Emotional messaging can also create emotional connect triggering interest. Can use intent platforms to capture the intent such as search engine, analysis or tools for cognitive analysis such as blogs economic value calculations or ROI calculator.

Desire new media make it easy for consumer to evaluate competing choices using inputs from reviewers, the peers, retailers, influencer, specialist marketers and competitors. Marketers can use credibility platforms to build credibility for the product or services were thus helping consumer take the leap of the faith. Credibility platforms including online PR, celebrity endorsement, influencer marketing feedback review and ratings. This can help consumer make Purchase Decision. 

De Beers for example educates consumer about what criteria to look for while selecting diamonds. It emphasis on 4 Cs – Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut. Based on evaluation of different brands, consumer develop preference for certain brands and they become part of the choice set, this set has much fewer number of brand than the awareness set.

Action at this stage, consumers purchase the product that they Desire and preferred. This stage generate revenues for the brand – an outcome every marketer Desire. Easy of locating retail outlets or online purchase facility spur the consumer to make the purchase. The website should have smooth navigation so that consumer can easily find product that they are looking for at that right time for the right price. Marketers can use transaction platform such as e-commerce, aggregators, cashbacks and offer to encourage consumer to complete the transactions. Consumers may drop off at any stage for various reasons, like they may not like the design of the site, it may be slow to load, they may not find the right variant of the product, they may be seeking discounts or payments may not be going through. Marketer must ensure that all such hurdles are removed. In digital marketing, marketer have a plethora of channels to choose from – search engines, websites, blogs, social networks, mobiles, application and forums.

Depending on the stages of the buying cycle, marketer can choose the most appropriate channels. Marketers have traditionally put more emphasis on awareness and consideration stage of the journey. In this process, the end up allocating more resources for building awareness through advertising and developing preference with retail promotions. Traditional a model has only four stages as marketer have not given importance to post purchase, but with the advent of digital marketing, the advocacy stage has become important in influencing other consumer and building loyalty. Hence, it is the fifth stage in the consumer buying funnel. 

Advocacy consumers experience either satisfaction or dissatisfaction after purchase. They may share their experience on social media and spread word of mouth. If consumers are highly satisfied, they may develop a bond with the brand, become loyal land purchase repeatedly or in large quantity. Social media is most apt for advocacy and word of mouth post purchase. Marketer must proactively collect feedback so that consumers do not vent out their dissatisfaction on social media.

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