Redefining Consumer Journeys in the era of Citizen Journalism

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Recently, as you may have been aware, it is so hard for us to find out clear and understandable Consumer Journeys in many product categories.

4-5 years ago, when we started the investigation on Consumer Journeys on global markets, we could observe definitely clear sequential usages of several information resources like TVC to owned sites, owned sites to review sites, reviews sites to storefront and comments from store guys. These kind of flows were so apparent on decision processes of rather expensive consumer products e.g. Flat-displays, PCs, Digital cameras, automotive, etc. Based on these observations in conjunction with hypothesis, we could develop effective and efficient communication designs in those days.
- It can be said some kind of Funnel model has not been dead at least 4-5 years ago. -

But, the situation has been drastically changed by emerging Citizen Journalism.

Consumers armed with social networks started to talk loudly and frequently on their experiences about products' designs, usages, services and the decision processes. According to our global surveys, around 5% of purchasers mentioned their experiences on the Internet after their purchases of products.

For many of consumers, the experiences of advance troops are the most creditable and authorized information. Actually, on many matured markets in Europe, North America and northeast Asia, the buzz on the Internet and comments on review sites dominate the position of most effective and utilized information resources.
- On the other hand, developing markets like India and mainland China, we might go with TVC for 2-3 years, hopefully. -

Consumer Journeys have already DECOMPOSED in matured markets.

We are no more able to go with sequential communication processes. Instead, we have to find out maybe one or two key element(s) in the purchase decisions. It may be a comment on a review site, merely a recommendation from a friend, even a glance of a user in Starbucks.
- Actually, one of our survey shows the most crucial information resource on purchase of headphones is seeing friends wearing the headphone. -

We, as the communication strategists, have to redefine the Consumer Journeys. Again, we can't rely on sequential processes but the key Elements on the ocean of immense information. We have to find out the keys that could push people or indicate their intention. For that, we have to establish another kind of marketing platform.

Holistic Attribution Management with insights and hypothesis is now needed.

Holistic Attribution Management may seem like communication management based on Big Data. Whereas it should be more lean and more customized taking deep consumer insights and hypothesis on consumer behavior into account. It should be constructed from carefully selected data but not from all data around communication. It may be constructed from the exposure of TVC, search frequency and daily sales. Or it may be constructed from the output of weekly simple questionnaire survey, the viewership of footage on YouTube channel and online sales on owned shopping site.

The big advantage of Holistic Attribution Management is Agility. With this Agility, we could manage our new type of Consumer Journeys on daily or hourly bases effectively.

For developing Holistic Attribution Management, we need to be keen about the mechanism behind purchase behaviors. Also, we have to consider the characteristics of touch points. Interesting to say, every touch points have their own roles symbolizing consumers' feelings about the brands. For example, Searching shows the proactive attitude on consumers and finally it relates the premium-ness of brands.

We have to be more and more smart. Smart enough to find out new type of Consumer Journeys with key touch points in communication, managing them with Holistic Attribution Management. Wisdom must be our weapon surviving through the era of Citizen Journalism.



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