Millward Brown Digital in the US have produced a report titled, Demystifying the Consumer Journey, which addresses the fundamental challenge of delivering a seamless customer experience across multiple touchpoints. One of the key findings from the report confirms the importance of creating attitudinal predisposition before consumers even enter the purchase process, writes Nigel Hollis.
As noted in the report Millward Brown Digital’s Getting Digital Right study conducted earlier this year found that only 25 percent of marketers are confident that their resources are properly aligned to orchestrate a seamless consumer experience across touchpoints. The report demonstrates how analysis of the Compete desktop and mobile clickstream panels can be used to break down the decision process into three stages: category, brand and the role of the touchpoint.
Importantly, the report notes that there are multiple paths to purchase and that marketers need to identify and focus on the ones that offer the highest potential impact and value. The fact that the length of the consumer journey is affected by the category of the product being bought should come as little surprise, but the finding that really stood out for me was that people who are predisposed to buy a brand spend less time on the purchase process. That’s less time for them to be influenced by another brand’s marketing activity.
When I think about the value of attitudinal loyalty, I typically think of its influence on the probability of buying a brand or the willingness to pay a price premium. In categories like financial services, the influence of positive predisposition is seen in measures like lower cost of acquisition and reduced churn. The fact that predisposition also influences the search process is obvious once identified.
As the Millward Brown Digital report notes,“The decision-making process for a brand loyalist is significantly simpler than that of a consumer who is considering several brands at once.”
In the example cited for a consumer electronics manufacturer, where survey and clickstream data were collected for the same respondents, people who were brand loyal spent less time on the research process in total, devoted less cumulative time to active research, and took far fewer steps on their journey to purchase. In addition to continuing to build longer-term brand predisposition, the company also focused on capturing a greater share of semi-loyalists along their specific purchase paths.
So what do you think of this finding? What are the implications? Please share your thoughts.
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