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How to win the modern consumer

Navigating the modern customer journey

By understanding behavior, habits, and psychology, marketers can build strategies and tactics to support today’s consumer decision-making journey.

Decisions, decisions, decisions

If you had to guess, how many decisions do you think you’ve made today? Depending on the time of day, it could easily be upward of 20,000 decisions—some large, some small, some repetitive and simple, others arduous and complex. Studies estimate that the average person makes about 35,000 decisions on any given day with different levels of consideration requiring varying degrees of cognitive load.

If you had to guess, how many times have you been exposed to marketing and advertising messages today? For your consideration: Modern consumers are exposed to approximately 10,000 marketing and advertising messages every day. Of course, your mind ignores some of these, but it’s a significant number of additional stimuli added to your already decision-heavy days.

If you cross the scenarios above, it’s easy to see there are a lot of things requiring and vying for attention at any given moment. If your marketing and advertising is trying to break through and create a connection with people, it may seem like a daunting task to get the right message to the right person at the right time at the right spot along their journey.

That’s where The Modern Consumer Decision Making Journey comes in. By mapping a modern approach to the decision-making journey, this article will help highlight how the landscape has shifted and discuss how these shifts have affected consumer decision-making and behavior so we can use these learnings to create opportunities throughout the strategic planning process.

The modern consumer: Decision making journey

Everything is changing, and so are consumers

Look about the physical world and think of how many new stores, shopping experiences, and services there are today. Think about the digital world and how quickly a plethora of new technologies, platforms, and channels come to life. A lot has changed, and a lot is still changing, including:

  • Modernization, digitalization, and globalization: Technological advances and an ever-growing marketplace are providing people with increased choice, access, and availability.
  • Expansive engagement opportunities: An influx of marketing and advertising networks, channels, touchpoints, and platforms has paved the way for different and more frequent communication and engagement.
  • Nonlinear and interconnected journeys: The marketing funnel, although still applicable from a broad-stroke perspective, is unable to capture the full spectrum of activities available. The decision-making process is no longer linear; people can (and do) move back and forth throughout their journey, or they may skip certain portions entirely.
  • The shift to a customer-centric landscape: Because consumers have more options available in both the physical word and the digital world, customers are in control; marketers and advertisers should focus on supporting and influencing people from a customer-centric point of view.
  • The importance of experience over everything: Customer experience is more than a single touchpoint; it’s the accumulation of what customers see, what they do, and how they feel—and people are making decisions based on those experiences now more than ever before.

With change comes opportunity

Even with all these changes there is a constant: People. We are always talking to real people with real preferences, desires, aspirations, and passions—all of whom make decisions based off their feelings, perceptions, and experiences.

Our opportunity is this: If we can better understand our customers, dive into how they think, recognize what their actions are, help them along their journey, and assess how they make decisions in the modern age, we can then complement and influence the decision-making process—ultimately elevating their experience.

So what do we do next?

At the end of the day, we’re all customers too, and we’re all riding these waves together.

Think about how your own behavior has shifted over time, and you can begin to see just how dynamically the decision-making process has evolved.

Let’s dig deeper into how the landscape has changed, how consumer thinking and behavior has changed, and how we can use these changes to elevate the decision-making journey for the benefit of our consumers.

But first, let’s start by asking one simple question: How do you shop?

— By Mark Koscierzynski, Deloitte Digital

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