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Intelligence Briefs

Brands: build emotion into every touchpoint

Industry Contributor

Virginia Hyland
Founder and principle, Hyland

3 February 2020 2min read

Ten years ago, Mckinsey published the Consumer Decision Journey, a highly detailed breakdown of the path to purchase and the decisions people make along the way.

Key findings:

  • Consumers are moving outside the marketing funnel by changing the way they research and buy products.
  • The structure of the purchase pathway has changed because of the explosion of touchpoints and digital. No longer is it the big end of the funnel to the narrow sales end of the funnel.
  • The elements of marketing (strategy, spending, channel management, and message) should be aligned across an entire business to successfully reach consumers in the right place at the right time with the right message.
  • Marketing is increasingly important as customers pull information towards themselves.
  • Their research found that two-thirds of the touch points during the active-evaluation phase involve consumer-driven marketing activities, such as Internet reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, as well as in-store interactions and recollections of past experiences. A third of the touch points involve company-driven marketing.
  • Traditional marketing remains important, but the change in the way consumers make decisions means that marketers must move aggressively beyond purely push-style communication and learn to influence consumer-driven touch points, such as word-of-mouth and internet information sites.

My Takeout

We all tend to get lost in the science and cerebral decisioning when it comes to analysing data. We need to put more weight on the human experience. Human decisions are fuelled by emotion and we need to lean harder into understanding this area. The marketers and brands that will thrive in 2020 are those that will put emphasis on understanding the emotional journey of their potential customer when they are in the decision making process. Brands who tap into understanding audience emotions will be ahead of the success curve versus brands that just understand data touch points.

The Mckinsey report calls out an important consideration – that the attitude of the company from every touchpoint towards customers affects their success. How many times do we see beautiful uplifting inspiring ads (across many categories), only for the real experience to fall short of expectation?

Data from our Customer Viewpoint research across 14,000 purchases and 44 different categories has found that there is no one part of the purchase pathway that influences customer decisions more than 25 per cent. From before the time that a potential customer even recognises the need for a certain product, to starting to think about the need, exploring the options, buying and enjoying their purchase, each phase plays an important role in the ultimate sales success for products and brands.

Throughout each phase emotions play a role in the ultimate purchase decision. I think that 2020 is the year where we need to not only understand the data but to also humanise the data by becoming more mindful of the emotions we create through all of the communication touchpoints within a business.

There are four emotions that consistently arise that need to be supported through comms irrespective of category (cars, finance, FMCG etc). Those emotions include:

  1. Being Happy - that they are making the right decision
  2. Confident - that you are the right brand to fulfil their needs.
  3. Satisfied - that your product will deliver its promise
  4. Focused - that you have provided depth of information as they now control the decision at a greater level of depth.

Is it time to motion towards emotion across every business touchpoint?

Let’s go. What do you think?

Industry Contributor

Virginia Hyland
Founder and principle, Hyland

Virginia has built HYLAND from the ground up to become the largest independent media and communications agency in Australia. Helping global and local companies such as COTY – Tiffany, Gucci fragrance, RIMMEL cosmetics, Deliveroo, Etihad, Steggles, Lilydale, to develop compelling communication in the right media channel to challenge competitors and drive business growth.

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