Every marketing campaign needs multiple ways in. The consumer decision journey gives us a framework for identifying the channels a group of people (i.e., a consumer segment) may be likely to tap to evaluate a brand or its offers. Likewise, research methods like monitoring, surveys and analytics on the quantitative side, plus in-depth interviews, focus groups and interaction design studies from the qualitative playbook shed light — if not real insights — into consumer behaviors in the early stages of the journey.
Interestingly, the gamification trend shows us that once they’re in, consumers may want something more than a sample, a coupon, a demonstration or a few moments of entertainment.
My theory is that the Conversation Cloud™ that envelops the consumer during active evaluation is a chaotic mess. There are options all over cyberspace from which you’ve got a roughly equal chance for getting totally lost, completely distracted (“Oh look … a butterfly”) or terribly misled (presumably by misinformation that’s posted and reposted by unofficial sources). However, when a brand publishes brand-specific materials across the vast expanse of digital outposts, the value of its participation in the “chaos of the Conversation Cloud™” provides guideposts (“points of light” is an old metaphor, but I’ll take it) that may attract the consumer’s attention.
… More to come … (Still working on this post, but gotta go. BRB.)