Traditional business-to-business marketing focuses on pushing information to customers. The aims are to build awareness and to produce familiarity, so that customers will consider purchasing a good or service. The situation is now changed.
Customer Decision Journey
A whole new way of looking at the customer decision journey was developed based on a major research from McKinsey & Company . Instead of the traditional funnel analogy where customers systematically narrow down options to make decisions, the research shows a decision-making process nowadays is more likely to be a circular journey (refer to graph below).
The circular journey consists of four primary phases: initial consideration; active evaluation; purchase and postpurchase (the customer experiencing the good or service).
The switch from funnel to circular is basically because of the change in relationship between marketers and customers. What used to be a one-way communication is now a two-way conversation.
Brand awareness and Pull Marketing
What marketers nowadays have to focus on is brand awareness. Faced with numerous options, customers tend to choose a limited set of brands, which they recognize. Brands that customers already know are up to three times more likely to be purchased eventually than brands that customers are not familiar with.
‘Push’ marketing used to be completely driven by companies through traditional advertising. However, currently customers are actually seizing control of the product placement process, performing ‘pull’ marketing where they spread information about products they have purchased online or in the marketplace. Nowadays, customers write their own reviews on the Internet, write Facebook posts recommending products to their friends and family, post updates through their smartphones about store experiences while they are there.
Marketers have to increasingly learn to influence customer-driven touch points, such as social media sites or mobile apps. This involves reprioritizing marketing spending, tailoring messaging to specific consumer groups, focus on fostering positive word-of-mouth and have an integrated customer service strategy.
Oskar Lingqvist, Candace Lun Plotkin, Jennifer Stanley. The B2B Customer Decision Journey: The Route To Increased Sales. (2013).
Moving from ‘push’ marketing to ‘pull’ marketing: marketers have to be increasingly focused on tapping into the potential of customer-driven touch points.
Email our Chief Experience Designer for a demo on how our app designs can be an active agent in your customers' decision journeys.