The summary of the findings, with credit to McKinsey, were IMHO, as follows:
- Increased new channels and constant barrage of advertising, had led consumers to choose few brands/category than spends would suggest.
- When consumers are ready to start the decision process, ignited by a new need, they actively look for information rather than wait. Digital channels have primarily driven this change.
- The funnel now is circular rather than linear
- Being in the initial consideration set is no guarantee you will remain there. Your weakest link, is most likely to let you down and you need to have focused plays across stages of the decision journey
- Finally, it’s not a must a marketer needs to invest at every stage of the decision journey. Insights, budgets and brand’s priorities can be used to build more focus into the investments.
And more importantly, I have kept a track of how I am making buying decisions, and it’s not far from the truth.
The Consumer Decision Journey is a fascinating piece of research finding, if you have a McKinsey Premium membership. If you don’t, you the abridged version is a great start.