Back in 2009, McKinsey came out with a key insight for marketers – death to the sales funnel and the rise of the consumer decision journey (2009 McKinsey Article). After years of observing and validating this shift as a researcher and consultant, I am excited to see the new approach that David Edelman and Marc Singer from McKinsey have revealed based on new research (2015 McKinsey Article). The 2009 journey took into account the ubiquitous search process that consumers use for online research and in-store reviews before purchase. Today’s consumer journey takes into account the impact of firms that leverage big data to customize/alter the journey for specific customers.
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER – Understanding the needs and drivers of the customer and the steps in their process is the basis for providing relevant content along their decision journey.
KNOW YOUR SELF – Clearly defining the job/benefit your product or service fulfills for the customer enables you to speak directly to them with points that assist their decision journey.
KNOW HOW TO LEVERAGE AUTOMATION – Consumer’s power along the decision journey is great, but with automation, timely, personalized content can be directed to point the path the customer is on toward you.
A crucial first step to gain the ‘KNOW’ledge that you need is to conduct market based research on your customer. Social listening, direct interviews or online surveys are all options to take the first step in defining your customer’s needs and drivers in order to leverage the automation that helps move leverage along the customer decision journey back into your hands. Let me know your thoughts about this shift in the consumer decision journey. #researchcanvas.