A Buyer’s Journey

Mar 9, 2017

Today, you are exposed to an ever-increasing number of fragmented “business” marketing touch points across multiple mediums and channels. Your decisions and actions can be influenced by these touch points without you having any awareness of perceiving these messages or knowing how and why you are making the choices you make.

Simply put, the advertisements you see evoke emotions and good feelings that are relatable and build trust for the product/business you are seeing, which ultimately determines some of your decisions.

There are all sorts of marketing tactics that help you and I make buying decisions. Let me paint a picture for you:

Imagine you are driving to work and listening to the radio. After hearing your favourite song, a radio ad for Boston Pizza comes on; you’re immediate subconscious thought tells you, you could eat a pizza right about now. Later in the day, before you head home from your place of work, you decide to type “pizza” into Google search and push enter. At the top of the Google search page pops up a paid ad for “Boston Pizza”, below are other links related to pizza in your town.

You scroll down further and click on a “top pizza restaurants” review site (think Yelp, Trip Advisor, Open Table, random blogs) and while you scan over the website, you see an ad from a local Boston Pizza in the corner of the page but don’t click it. As you continue reading reviews, you notice one of them has a link that takes you to YouTube where people have made a funny video about the history of pizza, and since you are interested you click it.

Now that you are on YouTube, you also decide to watch a Boston Pizza Super Bowl commercial from earlier in the month that had lots of views and comments. After a few laughs, your day is done so you pack up your stuff and head home from work. On the drive home you notice a Boston Pizza billboard on the side of the road for the first time and think back to that funny commercial you just watched from the Super Bowl with Boston Pizza. You’re happy you found that link on the review website, and you plan to share it with all your friends when you get home.

As soon as you get home, you open up Facebook and see an exclusive offer for Boston Pizza if you sign up for GetintheLoop. You already have the GetintheLoop app downloaded onto your phone, but you know you can’t use the offer this week because you are busy. A week later you receive a notification from the GetintheLoop app that reads “50% off pizzas at Boston Pizza - today only”.  At last, you call to order pizza because it’s movie night.

What does this mean for businesses?

A radio spot prompted an online Google search that leads to a click-through on a variety of online mediums, that eventually ended up in a sale through an app.

The point is that there is often a lot of emphasis placed on the so-called “final click” or “final sale of consumer engagement”, but what is often missed is what initiated or created the desire in the first place.

As an advertising agency or business, these marketing touch points - radio, social, online articles and mobile apps - should not be treated as if they are working in isolation. They all contribute to the purchasing decision; one advertising channel “scores the goal” and the others “get the assist”.  Without the assist, there is no play, to put it in hockey terms many of us can relate to. This is our consumer journey in today’s ever connected media world.

With consumers like you and I using multiple platforms throughout the day (radio, TV, tablet, computer, smartphone) for entertainment, news, information and to help make decisions, having a presence on multiple platforms and channels allows your business to start a conversation, connect, engage and retain customers. As a business, this means you will be where people are consuming their content.

Traditional marketing such as radio presents a highly effective way to reach a broad consumer audience. On the other hand, digital and mobile channels can be used to create a relationship with the consumer that has a little more depth and relevancy. Mobile/digital allows for more personalized communication with consumers through different channels and on multiple devices, but by using the wide reach of radio to generate awareness, you then can drive consumers to the digital experience through social media, websites and apps.

The complementary benefit of radio and digital channels is the integration of the two. That is, driving people to your websites or social channels will make the radio work harder for you. As a result, the combination of online and offline (radio) advertising improves the effectiveness of both.

The beauty of cross-platform marketing lies in the ability to take advantage of the different engagement habits each channel provides. The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group is bringing GetintheLoop to Central Vancouver Island to enhance the mix of advertising available for businesses and to improve the experience for local consumers through exclusive promotions.

We see and hear these advertisements everyday, whether it's on radio, a web page, before a movie, in the middle of a TV show or on our apps. It's easy to say "they're just ads”; many of us have hard time accepting the idea that ads are manipulative because we would like to believe we're in complete control of our choices. But since these messages create feelings, the emotional response has a profound effect on the choices we make.

Therefore, we make many of our decisions based on the ads we come across on a daily basis, which marketers hope are improving your life and making your decisions easier.

- Matty