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The Journey to Purchase

Marketing has traditionally been a complicated approach to a reasonably simple problem – get more customers. It’s not unnecessarily complicated, though. Enticing new customers, or securing the loyalty of existing ones, is an ever evolving challenge that seeks to connect with an increasingly sophisticated target consumer.

Whether a company is selling bubble bath, auto insurance or steel fabrication services, they are at some level aiming to increase their market share, which means they’re trying to become more prominent in the purchase decision process of whoever their consumer might be. Mothers, teenagers, yuppies, purchasing managers – all go through the same basic process. As time goes by, our media touch-points proliferate, and our potential information sources multiply exponentially, and it’s no longer a question of just having the most eye-catching advertisements.

Above, you can see two models that visualize that purchase decision process. On the left, the traditional model most marketers are familiar with, the sales funnel. On the right, a newer illustration that envisions a cyclical process with more considerations, called the McKinsey Loop. This loop is more in-line with the decision process most consumers go through today, most notably highlighting how consumer-driven the information exchange is. Rather than seeing these potential customers as a passive audience which businesses need simply broadcast to, this loop accepts that for most purchases, it’s a two-way street. For some very interesting considerations on this new understanding of the consumer decision journey, see this blog post.

What this all makes very clear is that marketers must be present in the pull-stage, when consumers are seeking information and interaction. Global Coupon, as a broad-based platform, allows companies to maintain a presence, reach out to their customer base and provide brand offers and incentives, hitting on multiple points of that purchase decision process.

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