As a marketer, you often consider the decision journey taken by your customers to reach you – determining what led them to need your products or services, how they found you, why they chose you and all the bits in between.
The Consumer Decision Journey
Court et al, 2019
Whilst we are putting ourselves in the shoes of others, have you ever stopped to analyse your own consumer decision journey? For me, that was a no, and it became way more complicated than I first thought. Especially when it came to a high involvement (potentially high value) purchase – finding the perfect wedding guest dress where I’ll ultimately meet the entirety of my other half’s family. Ahem, no pressure then…
As with any wedding guest dress purchase, the trigger was obviously the invitation…although, for me (and hopefully many others!) the response was a little a lot delayed. When you receive such an invitation it often seems moons and more importantly seasons away – and then suddenly it’s the week of the event and you’re none the wiser on what to purchase. It was one of those dreaded “I have a wardrobe full of clothes but I still have nothing to wear” moments. This does, however, set off the initial consideration phase and kick start the consumer decision journey loop (even if this a sudden and somewhat panicky start).
The Consideration Set
Now down to the nitty gritty, heavy theory, marketing jargon: simply put, the consideration set is a set of brands that we’re aware of. This could be through personal perceptions of the brand developed over time, recommendations from friends or family and more importantly, if we were recently influenced (whether aware or not) by a marketing touchpoint.
*Of course, there are many more than the above…radio, the side of a bus, billboard…the list could go on.
My consideration set was very much influenced by my ‘go-to’ brands (trusted with my clothes shopping emergencies and more than likely follow on Instagram for all that inspo) and those that were within walking distance of the Ministry of Fish offices:
During this early stage, I found myself narrowing down the number of brands based on a criteria that fitted my dire definitely not stressful situation:
- With the looming date of the wedding, I realised shopping online was not an option – there was no time to order, wait for it to arrive and find out that it either didn’t fit or made me look like a baked potato (my bad!)
- I was shopping within a budget – and definitely didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress plus any other accessories (shoes, bag etc. you know the drill)
- I wanted to find something that reflected my usual style but was still considered wedding appropriate (preferably something black…and not a dress)
So, that left me with brands I could visit, were within my price range and preferably I could go in-store on my lunch break to try on possible outfits (this included taking reinforcements for that all important second opinion – again, preventing a “baked potato” scenario). Just a side note, I can’t thank Debby enough for this!
So now it was time to actively evaluate options in-store, make a purchase and of course, hope all went well on the day. Get ready for part II to find out if I found “the dress jumpsuit” or gave up all together…
References: Court, D., Elzinga, D., Mulder, S. & Jorgen Vetik, O. (2019) The consumer decision journey. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/the-consumer-decision-journey. [Accessed 05.09.19].