Brands Pack for “Customer Decision Journeys”
Digitally empowered consumers are once again reshaping the buying experience and boosting expectations. An emerging new reality is upping the game for brands that must evolve from “always on,” to “always relevant and responsive to buyers’ increasing desires for pinpoint delivery,” says a recent report from McKinsey & Company.
As search technologies continue to mature, social media sharing grows and mobile devices add a “wherever” dimension to the buying environment, on-demand marketing will become ever more routine to buyers. Noting that the technologies needed to enable this scenario are available now, McKinsey analysts say consumers will soon be able to search by image, voice and gesture, automatically sharing their experiences with others as they discover new ways to use devices to augment reality (as Google glasses).
Consequently, brands will turn to their own technologies, tools and techniques to aid them in gathering the right data across the “consumer decision journey.” They need to know the entire story of how individuals encounter products and services, and the steps they take to evaluate and buy. This will include watching them shop, going into their homes and finding the triggers and motivations that drive buying behavior. Yet, things could get tricky as Nordstrom found out recently after announcing plans to track customers in its stores via their smart phones.
- Almost four in 10 adults (38%) say they’d be likely to use a smartphone app offered by a fast-food restaurant. (National Restaurant Association; 202-331-5900)
- Almost half of consumers who follow retailers on social media (46%) feel that where they shop reflects their lifestyles. (Motista; 877-966-8478)
- 67% of customers prefer customer service assistance via the phone and 56% prefer email. Only 6% prefer to contact a company’s customer service department via social media.(Exact Target; 317-423-3928)
- Almost three in 10 U.S. adults post questions, pictures, or ideas on brands’ social networking sites. (Ipsos; OTX 212-524-8200)
- Brands respond to only 32% of consumer questions posted on Twitter. (Socialbakers; 847-415-9333)
- Two-thirds of U.S. consumers (66%) do not want to be contacted by marketers via phone. (ClickFox; 303-951-3494)