The traditional consumer journey has evolved over the years, and eCommerce has changed the way consumers buy online. While we have often heard the phrase that “consumer is king”, it’s truer now more than ever. With brands competing to win larger customer shares, consumers can make a choice from thousands of brands for similar products. Around 20 to 30 years back, the consumer journey would start by either identifying a need or seeing an ad on billboards, newspapers, radio and or TV. Consumers would learn about the products and go to purchase it in store. However, it is no longer a single journey but rather an amalgamation of many small journeys that lead to a purchase. It has now evolved in a multichannel way of shopping. Hence, this makes it vital for brands to have a prominent strategy across all channels.
Evolving Digital Touchpoints
The Moment of Truth (MoT) was a concept introduced by Jan Carlzon in 1981 and later modified by P&G. The first moment of truth is when the customer is looking at the product whether in-store or online, and the second MoT is when the customer buys the product and uses it. The third Moment of Truth is similar to advocacy when consumer share whether they liked the product or not. Google coined the term Zero Moment of Truth of (ZMOT), with the internet being widely accessible, consumers increasingly begin to research products before purchasing them. It is based on the findings from a study that showed that 50% of shoppers researched the product on search engines, 38% compared the prices and review, and 31% read the online recommendations.
The brand is responsible to give the consumers the right information at the right time, using the different channels that consumer interact with. If content is the king, context is the queen.
This is also of key importance for strategic planning and attributing budgets based on the best performing channels. Consumers may discover the brands through various channels, whether it be a search display network, social media or in store. The search for products conducted via voice search, smartphones and or via desktops. Consumers before purchasing the products also see the reviews and ratings, and the purchase itself can be through different channels. One can buy it in store, from marketplaces or from the online shop. Modern day consumers even want various options when it comes to delivery of the product. Thus, reiterating the importance of cross channel marketing for brands.
Modern Consumers and Cross Channel Marketing
So, you may be wondering how your brand can adapt to the modern consumer?
Firstly, give consumers the liberty to consume the information that they want at the right time- perhaps after they have interacted with your brand, or a product is the right time to target them with either retargeting ads or email marketing campaigns. Ensure that you have your brand’s presence on multiple channels such as website, marketplaces and social media and outline the different objectives these channels are going to solve for. Your brand strategy should be focused on exploring and improving the retail footprint. Consider whether it is vital for you to have presence at a retailer level or not. For example, Bose decided to close all of its stores in Japan, US, Europe, and Australia. They will now sell online and via retailers only in an effort to adapt to the change in consumer needs. It is not always necessary to have a physical presence, especially if a brand has very strong brand awareness in the market already such as Bose. You can read more about their decision here.
While the modern-day consumer journey has evolved, it has also increased competition for brands in getting visibility and standing out amongst thousands of similar products. Optimisation of a brand’s multi-channel marketing strategy, and their shipment strategy becomes key. This is the new sweet spot for brands to stay competitive and relevant today.
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