Below is yet another example of how the path to purchase is no longer a sequential or linear journey. The purchase funnel is dead, long live the Mobius Cycle™
Lucy is aware that her dishwasher is old. She suspects its performance is declining; glasses seem a little spotty, a little filmy, and she hasn’t changed detergents. It could be that her husband and daughter are loading the machine poorly or, more precisely, that they are overloading it, as they often do. But, given the appliance’s age, Lucy doubts that’s the whole story. She’s worried about her dishwasher now though, if pinned down, she couldn’t tell you exactly when the worry started. In Mobius terms, she hasn’t reached the conception stage and is nowhere near consideration. Various influencers have given her impressions of some brands. Of course, in the case of the brand she owns, she’s in the experience phase. Brand/product is out there, for the various makers, as it always is.
Lucy begins to pay more attention to dishwasher advertising, on television and in magazines. She takes more notice of brands and models she sees in her friends’ homes. She asks one friend, specifically, how she likes the model he owns. In the store for something else, Lucy decides to walk through the appliance section ‘just to take a look’. She is accumulating influencers.
Then, one breezy Sunday morning, the night after a dinner party, Lucy’s dishwasher breaks down. It stops functioning. It looses water all over the kitchen floor. This is a conception moment, for certain, but in terms of instigating the purchase of a new dishwasher, it’s not a done deal, not yet. Lucy’s called a repair service, just to get an estimate. Maybe it’s a cheap, simple repair and she won’t have to replace. She spends Sunday in consideration, accelerating her research into new brands. She emails a couple of friends, seeking their recommendations (the friends are in experience phase). She goes online to read reviews, finds a staggering variety of sites on which she can do this. She’s taking into account design, availability, all sorts of factors. Influencers are coming at her, almost faster than she can process them, changing her perceptions of some brands, hardening her perceptions of others.
Monday, the estimate comes in, high but not too high. Lucy’s still not sure whether to repair or replace. She asks for, and receives, a recommendation from the repairman as to what brand she should choose, if she replaces. His recommendation sends her back online, searching, as does the recommendation of a colleague with whom she’s shared her dilemma.
To re-cap, it’s Monday afternoon and the brand/product is out there, influencers from all the various brands are piling, Lucy is in full-blown consideration, despite conception still not being 100% resolved. Lucy figures she has two days, three at the most, before everyone tires of washing the dishes by hand and/or eating out.
Sometime late on Tuesday, various influencers, including the products of others’ experience, gathered by Lucy in her consideration, finally kick her into full conception. She decides to replace and, perhaps with the aid of a purchase accelerators and direct response drivers, makes a purchase.
Is this the end of this considered purchase cycle? No. Mobius never ends.
Lucy, having made her purchase, has entered into an all-new experience phase. Influencers like post-sale service and other communications from the manufacturer, will shape that phase (as, of course, will the actual functioning of the product itself). She will, when asked, comment on her new dishwasher to friends and colleagues. She may write a review or post something on social media, contributing influencers to other consumers who, having had their conception moment will take those influencers into consideration. Eventually, this next tier of consumers will make their purchases, enter into their experience phases, and contribute influencers to still another round of consumers who will take those influencers into consideration and . . .
See? Mobius never ends. The considered purchase cycle never sleeps. And neither can marketers, not in this modern, multi-media environment.
Brand/Product. Influencers. Conception. Consideration. Purchase. Experience. It’s a lot to manage, enough to seem overwhelming at times. At Williams Helde, we break it down into these six segments. And we break these six segments down into still finer components; understandable, fine tune-able components. All of these components, all of these segments—managed, measured, and fine-tuned—form one comprehensive, holistic marketing strategy, built for you, to lift your brand/product above the competition.