Why it’s so hard to track and trace a consumer journey?
In the previous post, The Four Steps Of A Consumer Journey we discussed the theoretical consumer journey they teach in textbooks and content marketing blog posts: demand creation, consideration, purchase, and reaction.
But, in reality there isn’t a clear delineation on how consumers actually connect to brands. There are a few reasons for this:
- Brands don’t have direct connections to consumers in many cases
If a brands sells at brick and mortar retailers, it doesn’t have direct access to consumer data, relying on channel partners instead.
- Many different people have many different motivations, and needs
Two people may buy the same Hershey’s chocolate bar. One buys it for themselves. Another buys it for their family. Another buys it because they just came off a diet and they want a reward. Another buys because they have an unhealthy junk food addiction.
- The product fulfills on different value propositions for different types of consumers
For one family a Hersheys chocolate bar serves as a product that is an affordable treat for good behavior from the kids. The kids see this as recognition for being on good behavior. For a single man, at college, far away from home, maybe they have a bad day, miss home, and that Herheys chocolate bar fulfills in them a need to connect to their family’s love because they are homesick, and when he was a kid that would be the treat of choice. For a mom with a four year old throwing a fit for the third time today, this time at CVS, the chocolate bar is a pacifier for mom’s frayed nerves, and the child’s temper tantrum.
Both buy the Hershey’s, but for vastly different reasons.
- It’s really hard to understand how consumers interact with brands since consumers, a lot of times, don’t realize themselves, how they connect with brands
So, brands must do a lot of sleuthing around to really hone in the most important elements of the consumer journey. We can’t know every consumer’s unique journey, but we do have the ability to map out commonalities across consumer journeys, and control the parts of those journeys that will have the greatest impact on sales.
In the next few posts we’ll take a deep dive into two types of journeys that brands have to deal with: low consideration purchases and high consideration purchases.