Every time we want to engage consumers, the first thing comes to our minds maybe the several steps of the consumer pathway. We firmly believe this is the best way to attract potential consumers and interact with our existing consumers. However, the consumer pathway, which was developed by Elmo Lewis in 1898, changed a lot in the past several decades. Let’s take a look at several biggest variations of the consumer pathway.
More Information, Less Contact
Nowadays, as the technology improves, we can get information from others at any time. Even an ordinary housewife can receive dozens of emails every day. As the result, people won’t concentrate on the content in email or message too much, which makes the contact between consumers and companies less effective. My own experience is a good example for this.
The picture besides is the business part of my email, you can see every 15 minutes I will get an email. This starts at 7:00 am and ends at 11:00 pm every day. So, for most of these emails, I only look at their titles to see if there is any discount and then sign them as “read”. In fact, not only me, most of people will do so to the numerous emails. In this way, marketers can’t convey their messages and concepts to the consumers effectively. Therefore, it’s an important task to come up with a proper strategy to stand out in plentiful emails.
As for other social media like Facebook and Instagram, there is the same problem. But because users can see the pictures and videos in their timelines directly, marketers who are able to create interesting videos and fascinating pictures can still attract plenty of consumers.
Of course, doing interesting activities and promotions is also a good way to engage consumers and enhance the relationships between them and company. A good example is the Coke Telephone Booth. The laborers who can’t afford telephone expenses in Dubai can use the bottle caps of Coke Cola to call their family members at Coke Telephone Booth. This strategy is very successful and have increased Coke’s market share a lot in Dubai.
More online shopping, Less Loyalty
Another change of the consumer pathway is the rapid development of online shopping, which makes consumers less loyal than before.
According to Google Trends, we can know the online shopping became more and more popular in the past 12 years. However, at the same time, the consumer loyalty decreased drastically. Although this result is so surprising, it’s kind of reasonable. Today, people can compare things on the Internet to ensure the items in their cart are relatively cheap. It’s almost impossible to keep consumers without a competitive discount. For example, you, a big fan of Saks Fifth Avenue, want to buy a sweat whose price is $100, but suddenly Barneys sends you an email to give you 50% off for the same thing, would you insist to buy it at Saks Fifth Avenue. The answer is obvious. After all, the only thing you need to do is opening another website.
So, how can we solve this problem? Well, it depends on your consumer groups. For the consumers who have money to burn, you need to give them the best experience when they purchase, such as providing friendly help when they need and offering drinks at the rest area of the store; for the middle class, you need to give them a comfortable shopping environment and provide some proper discounts; for the consumers who only want to save money, don’t care about the service too much, the only appealing thing is a low price, such as the Last Act of Macy’s. In such a convenient period, marketers should concentrate more on strategies for different consumer groups. Only in this way can they make the marketing successful.
More Mobile, More opportunities
We also have to focus on the mobile marketing, which brings more opportunities for marketers. Today, the equipment people use the most are their smartphones.
The chart above reflects the average hours people spend on their mobile devices each month. It’s amazing, isn’t it? We spend two to three hours every day on our mobile phones. Besides phone call, they use phone to watch TV, listen to music, etc. So, it is a big opportunity for marketers. They can put ads on social medias like Instagram and Youtube. They can also pay some celebrities to do product integration. Anyway, put your ads and messages on where people like to be.
For example, BMW cooperated with Iggy Azalea to make a song called Fancy. In the MV of this song, Iggy and her friends drove a BMW car to avoid a horrible accident.They post it on Youtube and made a success. In the following weeks, this MV gains millions of views. During the same period, the sales of BMW increased a lot and its stock price increased from $79 to $93. According to Quora, 61% people who watch videos on Youtube use their mobile devices instead of desktop computers, which means the mobile devices contribute the most to the success of this the campaign. BMW would not have gained such a huge benefit if they have used billboard advertising because no one would have cared it. In the epoch dominated by mobile devices, using the right strategy to reach the right consumers at the right place is very vital for any company.
In sum, the situations of the consumer pathway changed a lot in the past tens of years. To achieve success, we have to pay more attention to our content, strategy and channels. Only in this way can we stand out in numerous competitors.