Consumer Decision Journey

The Consumer Decision Journey (CDJ) is a powerful marketing model introduced by McKinsey & Company in 2009. This CDJ is initiated with a Trigger whereby a consumer recognizes that he or she is in need of a new product or service. Most consumers then enter into a phase called the Initial Consideration Set. It is during this phase that a consumer evaluates some of its initial decision choices, and the options available to that consumer will initially be limited to the personal experience available to that consumer. Most consumers then decide to embark on the Active Evaluation phase of the CDJ. The Active Evaluation phase is a messy and complex phase consisting of information gathering, or the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), and a shopping decision known as the First Moment of Truth (FMOT). The FMOT in the CDJ is denoted as the Moment of Purchase. The Second Moment of Truth (SMOT) is the process noted as the Post-purchase Experience, and it is during this phase that a consumer evaluates to itself whether or not the chosen brand has fully satisfied its expectations. During the SMOT, consumers often share feedback to their family and friends in the form of referrals and many of these referral methods today are conveyed via digital social media. The final step of the CDJ is demonstrated as a Loyalty Loop. A brand which successfully delivers a quality product or service in accordance with the expectations of the consumer often benefits at the next moment that the consumer experiences that “Trigger” moment. Once a consumer builds loyalty to a known brand, a consumer will bypass the “Active Evaluation” process and take a short-cut to the “Moment of Purchase”.

This is an interesting cycle and simple to visualize with this graphic above. Why is this important to us here at KoolWebDezign.com and to you our customers? Because today, much of a consumer’s Active Evaluation process and Post-purchase Experience is shared via forms of digital communication, and, thus data can be collected, analyzed, and reported within our business operations in order to understand the effectiveness of our management decisions. First, we must understand that these forms of digital communications and our ability to collect data is quite messy. We have to get organized and grab control of this process. We must define the questions that we want to ask during the CDJ cycle and the metrics that might drive our quantitative analysis of this cycle.

ZMOT Is A Messy Period of Digital Communication

Trigger

Question: What creates the consumer need? – Of course there are natural moments that create consumer “triggers”, but display advertising can often create that impulsive “trigger” as well. When we create display ads on billboards, TV, radio, websites and more, we attempt to manufacture those moments and we wish to measure our effectiveness in many ways. Some of our advertising will immediate convert a customer through the “Loyalty Loop” shortcut, and some of our visitors captured through advertising will be lost to the “Active Evaluation” loop, where things get competitive and messy.

Method: Click-Stream Analysis – Yahoo! Web Analytics, Google Analytics, Piwik, Feedburner, Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools.

Digital Channels: Display or Video Advertising

Display Channel Metrics:

  • Impressions: The number times an advertisement is displayed to a customer
  • Click-Through Rate: The average number of click-throughs per hundred ad impressions, expressed as a percentage
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): The average cost per click on a displayed advertisement
  • Cost Per Visitor Acquisition: The costs associated with acquiring the new visitor
  • Cost Per Customer Acquisition: The costs associated with acquiring the new customer
  • Return on Investment (ROI): The gross profit earned from new customers as a ratio to the total advertising expense
  • Macro Conversion Rate: The number of sales divided by the number of visitor sessions
  • Events per Visit: Average number of pre-defined actions completed during a session

Video Channel Metrics:

  • Video Views: Full-length (complete) and partial (incomplete) views of the posted video
  • Play-Through Rate: The number of viewers who watch the video to completion, expressed as a percentage
  • Engagement Rate: The number of viewers who participate with the video by taking some defined action (ie. shared video, left a comment, “liked” or favorited, etc.), expressed as a percentage

Initial Consideration Set

Question: How do compete and stand-out in the digital marketplace? – prospective customers at this step in the CDJ have not immediately converted to you as your customer through the Loyalty Loop. This prospective customer has decided to start searching for information to help him or her make a purchase decision. You need to get found today on search engines, and most importantly, Google.

Method: Competitive Intelligence – Google Search, Google Adwords, Google MyBusiness, Google Maps, Website HMTL Audit, Mobile Responsive Website and Emails, Search Engine Optimization, Secure Your Website, AdWords Keyword Tools, Back-links, Brand Mentions, Social Shares, Twitter Hash-Tags, Email Promotions

Search Channel Metrics:

  • Keyword Strategy: Identify search engine keywords which can drive consumer search activity to your website and specialized landing pages
  • HTML Audit: A thorough evaluation of your website markup and validation that your HTML markup conforms to your keyword advertisinig strategies
  • Organic Search Position: Evaluation of your average organic search position for targeted keywords
  • Paid Search Position: Evaluation of the average paid search position for target keywords
  • Impressions: The number times an advertisement is displayed to a customer
  • Click-Through Rate: The average number of click-throughs per hundred ad impressions, expressed as a percentage
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): The average cost per click on a displayed advertisement
  • Cost Per Visitor Acquisition: The costs associated with acquiring the new visitor
  • Cost Per Customer Acquisition: The costs associated with acquiring the new customer
  • Return on Investment (ROI): The gross profit earned from new customers as a ratio to the total advertising expense

Active Evaluation

Question: Are my digital advertising strategies successfully converting to customer referrals and inquiries? – At this stage in the CDJ we need be able to plan and to implement effective marketing campaigns and we need to be able to measure our performance.

Method: Experimentation and Testing – HootSuite, Google Adwords, Google Trends, Google Correlate

Search and Social Channel Metrics:

  • Social Campaigns: Capture metrics related to the number of blog articles, tweets, etc that your organization is completing over time
  • Social Shares: Capture metrics related to the number of social shares, mentions, etc. and monitor over time
  • Social Membership: Capture metrics related to the growth in your social media following
  • New Customer Conversion Rate: The number of orders received from new customers as a percentage of your entire customer base

Moment of Purchase

Question: Do my sales efforts result in wins for my brands?

Method: Outcomes Analysis – Mongoose Metrics, ifbyphone, LivePerson

Post-Purchase Experience

Question: Do the experiences I deliver fulfill customer expectations?

Method: Voice of the Customer (Experience Surveys) – Qualaroo (formerly KissInsights), UserTesting.com, Loop11.com, Concept Feedback, Bounce, Google Consumer Surveys

Loyalty Loop

Question: Do customers advocate for my brand?

Method: Voice of the Customer (Brand Advocacy) – Qualaroo (formerly KissInsights), UserTesting.com, Loop11.com, Concept Feedback, Bounce, Google Consumer Surveys

Digital Channels: Social Advertising

Social Channel Metrics:

  • Audience Growth: Increase in the number of people following or liking digital content over time
  • Amplification Rate: Rate at which your followers take your content and share it through their network
  • Applause Rate: Rate at which your followers attach special recognition to your post (Likes, +1’s, Favorties, etc)
  • Micro Conversion Rate: Number of pre-defined goals achieved divided by the number of visitor sessions

Miscellaneous Emerging Analytics Tools

Method: Miscellaneous – Klout, AnalyzeWords, Topsy, TweetBinder, Think with Google

References

1. Kevin Hartman. “Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals: Marketing Analytics in Theory”. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. www.Coursera.org. Obtained online at Coursera.org on August 18, 2017.