Winning the consumer decision journey

The funnel is dead. The new consumer decision journey

October 18, 2012


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Here is a graphic I use all the time to describe the consumer decision journey (CDJ). I like to say that the funnel is dead, because it’s outdated. Today’s consumer takes a much more complex iterative path thru and beyond purchase. The classic funnel shows an ever-narrowing array of decisions and choices until purchase, when in fact the channel-surfing customer today often is expanding the set of choices and decisions after consideration. Just as importantly, treats the post-purchase process with the same level of importance as the pre-purchase journey.

It’s a pretty simple concept really but clients like it because this visual highlights and isolates the most important aspects of the journey.

  1. Consider: What brands/products do consumers have in mind as they contemplate a purchase?
  2. Evaluate: Consumers gather information to narrow their choices.
  3. Buy: Consumers decide on a brand and buy it.
  4. Post-purchase: Consumers reflect on the buying experience, creating expectations/considerations that will inform a subsequent purchase
  5. Advocate: Consumers tell others about the product or service they bought.

This visualization of the journey helps focus conversations on where to spend money, where the opportunities are, what sorts of people and processes you need to deliver on them, where you’re weak and your competitors strong. It’s incredible the conversations I’ve had where clients realize they’re over-spending in one stage of the journey or under-spending in another. The CDJ approach helps clarify the issues that are undermining your brand, or where your brand has an opportunity to grow. You can read more about it in this article.

What part of the consumer decision journey is critical to your brand?

Marketers need to understand the iterative and circular consumer decision journey so they reach consumers in the right place at the right time with the right message



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