The traditional purchasing funnel defines the consumer journey as Awareness > Interest > Preference > Action > Sale > Repeat Customer. From a media perspective, the most common approach is to use performance networks and relevant contextual placements to drive users to the brand’s website/store to convert to a sale. But do consumers really take that journey? To see an ad, visit the website, and make a purchase.
Probably not always the case.
Even more so if it is a high involvement purchase.
The traditional purchasing funnel is not dead, it just needs to be updated to recognise users that engage in active research. Using search to seek opinions, reviews, and feedback from a community in forums / blogs / twitter. SEM can only provide limited help to drive users to the product’s website… but does not help users fulfill it’s current need for research before purchase. What are other people saying about it? Who buys this product? “Because if I can trust the maker, I can buy it now and worry about it later.” – The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier
If we don’t understand our consumer’s journey, spending big $$$ campaigns, fancy creative messages, and site optimisation will only limit a brand’s potential. Alice is just not going to fit into the rabbit hole.