Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Ltd. developed a campaign, years ago, that coined this phrase: “Life’s a Journey, Enjoy the Ride!”
The campaign received a lot press in its day, and also tapped into the consumer imagination about buying a car. It wasn’t just the goal to sell the vehicle but to imagine the journey (or fun) one could have with said vehicle. Today, this doesn’t seem like such an innovative idea, but at the time, this campaign tapped into the consumer emotion and provided thoughts of escapism by owning a brand of vehicle.
The “journey” marketers find themselves in today could be seen as, “How to positively influence the consumer purchase cycle?” This purchase cycle has truly become a journey. The length of the consumer’s purchase cycle can vary depending on the product/offering. However, let’s explore a few vital drivers to keep at top of mind:
The Customer is First
All plans should start and end with the customer. This includes ensuring that after the sale is completed a mechanism in place to follow-up with that customer.
You want to be sure that the customer is satisfied to encourage repurchase or purchase of ancillary product offerings. Use of email, mobile, and social media campaigns can assist with this task
Consumers are always online. Therefore, your points of contact need to be omnipresent. Think 360-degree customer experience by safeguarding at every point of contact the customer is engaged with your brand and product offering.
Such engagement can involve marketing, sales, product delivery, service, and loyalty programs. The idea is to keep them so connected to your brand that the consumer automatically defaults to you first before visiting any other competitor.
The latter point means, internally, all aspects of your business need to be button up. Having the best marketing plan and sales team would mean nothing if the service team (for example) does not pursue the same standards of excellence.
All of the above impacts the consumer’s intent to repurchase and their desire to be a brand advocate via social media. Today, the advent of social media has empowered consumers.
While social media has been a liberating experience for those who believed they didn’t have a voice, it has paralyzed businesses, in some instances, on how to best use this medium. Do not underestimate the impact social media can play in your marketing plan. Personalization of messaging can also assist in driving brand affinity.
In today’s setting, every sector within your business can potentially impact the consumer’s purchase cycle. Businesses having the greatest success are those who are able to deliver on the right product via the right channels and create an optimal experience for customers.
Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years experience, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying” (self-help advertising guide); available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: email@example.com