This article was originally published on reverb, Drake Cooper’s reflections on advertising, creativity, and trends. Read more.

Demystifying Social Media

When it comes to marketing there are many times to use the famous Purchase Funnel to organize messaging. The Purchase Funnel, of course, takes into consideration the consumer purchasing path from Initial Awareness to Credibility to Preference to Inquiry to Trial, etc. It’s a widely used idea that we’ve found to also be extremely helpful for separating the roles of a marketing department versus a sales department.

And yet in social media the Purchase Funnel has been posing a bit of a dilemma. The first reason for this is that social media is far from a linear process. But more problematic was the fact that a significant portion of social media’s consumer value comes after purchase as Advocacy for the product or service begins and grows.

Is it possible that when it comes to social we need a new consumer path? Most likely and the Consumer Decision Journey recently released by McKinsey makes a lot of sense.

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They key difference here versus the standard Purchase Funnel is that this consumer journey is ever-evolving and it certainly doesn’t end with Buying. In fact, buying is only the midway point. McKinsey does a nice job quickly explaining the idea here.

When using the Consumer Decision Journey model an organization should look to do four things to manage it properly: Monitor, Respond, Amplify and Lead. It’s nice that all of that aligns together in this handy chart…

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For more on this idea, or to find some brand examples on its use and measurement, please click here.