Dealing with customer engagement has never been easy – especially today when customers are all inter-connected and receive all kind of information from all kind of media. This is why the rules that apply to old media such as TV and press can not work with nowadays consumers.
McKinsey devised a model, the Consumer Decision Journey (CDJ), whose simple four steps can be applied to companies belonging to different fields, retail too. Its implementation is not easy but as stressed by McKinsey, rewards can be worth the effort.
But let’s get into the four CDJ steps a little deeper, quoting the McKinsey study which can be fully downloaded on their website.
“Align: Invest marketing resources where consumers spend their time. In most cases, this will involve shifting resources from the “consider” and “buy” stages of the CDJ to the “evaluate” and “advocate” stages. Many companies will also have to shift their investments from paid media (channels owned by other companies, such as print or online newspapers) to self-owned media (such as the brand’s Web sites) and earned media (customer-created channels, such as communities of brand enthusiasts).
Link: Make sure that your messages reinforce each another. Given the proliferation of channels, this can be challenging and many companies have been disconcerted to discover that information about their products— including model numbers, descriptions, images, and promotions—isn’t the same across online channels and even within their stores. Coordinating your message might require new techniques. Apple, for example, took steps to eliminate jargon, align product descriptions, create a rich library of explanatory videos, and institute off-line Genius Bars to ensure consistency, accuracy, and integration across touchpoints.
Lock: Keeping your customers’ attention is key. To do so, companies need to develop direct, opt-in channels, such as e-mail promotions, Twitter and Facebook feeds, and apps. One good example comes from Nike, which progressed from simply exhorting consumers to “just do it” to helping them act on its motto. Nike+ gear records and transmits customer workout data, holds global fund-raising races, and provides customized online training programs. For its part, McDonald’s has enticed millions of Japan’s mobile-savvy consumers to sign up for mobile alerts with discount coupons, contest opportunities, special-event invitations, and other brand-specific content.
Loop: Mine content created by consumers and experts for insights into customers and the brand, and use data collected about customers to create content that will engage them. Consumer-generated content is particularly valuable because it reveals their wants and needs. A classic example comes from Amazon, which allows customers to rate products, and makes these ratings available to shoppers. Amazon doesn’t stop there, though; it also uses this data to decide how it presents its products. This creates an information-rich loop—from data to content and back to data—that strengthens Amazon’s value chain and contributes to product development and customer support. Data loops can also help companies personalize communications, thus deepening the customer relationship.”