The Consumer Decision Journey Begins With Search

How Consumers Interact with Brands on Social Networks – eMarketer.

People do what is easy and effective. I’ve called it “enlightened self interest.” Pushed too far, self interest becomes selfishness. But when we’re looking for a product to solve a problem or salve a discomfort, we just want something good.

How we go about finding these things, from low interest consumer goods to hot and sexy conspicuous brands, has changed (see Mike Troiano’s blog and read Sally Hogshead’s book — links in my blogroll). And discovery is a non-linear process. Still, the consumer journey needs to start somewhere.

I believe it begins most often with search. eMarketer cites several studies in today’s article (link and image above).

And why not?! Social networking has reached critical mass. So, search is beyond that. It’s normal to do what comes naturally for making good decisions for ourselves. Mostly, that leads to Google, Yahoo! or Bing.

So, brands need to pay closer attention to search engine optimization in order to improve rank, relevance and organic search results placements. To improve SEO, marketers and their agencies need to start caring about content strategy (Kristina Halvorson’s book Content Strategy is great, btw.).

Content strategy is a hard term to fathom. It lends itself to execution. Its practitioners want to be above all that. It’s a topic worth exploring in detail. Stay tuned.

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