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Opinion: Reset to win customers on their path to purchase

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opinion Girish Upadhyay


With the changing consumer paradigms, Girish Upadhyay, CMO, Axis My India sheds light on the evolved consumer buying behavior and ways to garner their attention on the path to purchase.

If we look at the consumer buying journey and as explained by the various path to purchase models it has predominantly involved four major steps:

The consumer considers an initial set of brands, based on brand perceptions and exposure to recent touch points. Consumers add or subtract brands as they evaluate what they want. Ultimately they select a brand at the moment of purchase. After purchasing a product or service, the consumer builds expectations based on experience to inform the next buying journey.

The journey steps will remain the same but there is a change that is accentuated during any crisis time be it economic conditions or the current pandemic. The time & approach from awareness to purchase will change. Some of the changes to be highlighted are as follows:

Awareness

The stage is all about how to capture consumer attention, but it depends on few factors:

  • Changed role of media - TV, Print & Outdoor were considered to be the primary drivers of awareness. This might change from category to category. Digital will fast emerge as an awareness driver too and will not be just restricted to the bottom funnel. The success of OTTs during locked down has laid down its significance as an awareness builder.
  • Quality of content over Quantity - If earlier media was all about GRP is a GRP the environment where your content runs will become increasingly important. Some of the big advertisers are rightly saying they will prioritize its ad spend with “trusted” publishers to “clean-up” of online advertising. This debate will increasingly spread to other mediums too.
  • Trust in brand over anything else – From a brand story point of view focus would be on building trust with consumers over anything else.

Consideration

We were seeing that most of the key decisions were increasingly being made prior to visiting a dealership or store, this will further accelerate in a post covid world. In such a scenario what will help drive consideration:

  • Personalisation over massification – As consumers move down the funnel delivering targeted experiences will be the key to win. Create cohorts for deeper customer connect and then deliver personalised experience to these cohorts. Remarketing will have a major role to play in your digital strategy.
  • Experiential marketing to Digital experiences – Increased use of technology like AR/VR to solve the ‘touch & feel’ barrier. This will have to emerge not just for automobile or real estate companies but even white & brown good companies.
  • Social media the new influencer – Social Media is influencing paradigm shifts on how people connect and communicate with each other, on how they express and share ideas, and influence behaviour of others. Moreover, social media have become significant networks of consumer knowledge. The weightage of social media in your plans must increase manifold.

Also read: Opinion: Emergence of a low-touch economy during the pandemic

Trial/Purchase

Delivering targeted, seamless shopping experiences will be key to win.

  • Contactless commerce – E-commerce can’t just be a separate vertical in your marketplace strategy. Having a direct-to-consumer model, partnership with online retail partners will be critical.
  • Creating financial access – Financing options like easy EMI, use now pay later, spot loans will have to become a part of your marketing communication strategy. This can just be a single line at the bottom of your communication or a message in the last 2 secs of your TVC.

Retention

Opportunity to retain and develop brand advocates will be of utmost importance:

  • Repeat purchase & up trading – Repeat customers could give a vital competitive advantage to organization and loyal customers lower a firm’s acquisition cost. Hence marketing won’t just be restricted to getting the consumers but retaining them will be equally critical. Customised offers for up-trade or repeat purchase, incentivizing existing customers to become advocates and get new customers will have a major role to play.
  • Increased role of CRM solutions – Marketing & CRM teams will have to increasingly work together for post sales messaging.

The consumer path to purchase is getting reset, brands will have to adapt to this change to thrive and win. What can help is a better understanding of your consumer & a data-driven marketing approach.

This article piece is authored by Girish Upadhyay, Chief Marketing Officer, Axis My India, a leading Consumer Data Intelligence Company.

Guest post Reset to win customers on their path to purchase Opinion: Reset to win customers on their path to purchase Girish Upadhyay evolved consumer journey consumer journey Opinion