As you may or may not know, I emigrated to Australia from the UK and joined Reef around three months ago.
After the basic necessities were in order, like finding an apartment, opening a bank account etc, I turned my attention to the non-essential purchases. A TV and a PlayStation 4. Some might argue these are equally essential and I totally get that!
I’d never been to Australia before moving here (I love it so the risk paid off!) so I was completely unaware of which brands even stocked these items, who had the best range and who had the best value proposition.
Working in marketing I immediately thought that this was a great opportunity to document my own consumer behavior right from the start which is what inspired this blog post.
Awareness & Multi-Channel Is Crucial
I entered the market about a month before I was ready to buy.
Upon arrival I was 100% certain that I was going to purchase these items but not for about three to four weeks. I was however very receptive to marketing communications.
As I was walking around Sydney I started to notice physical stores that sold electronic goods. JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith and Harvey Norman being the three brands that started to make an impression.
I also started to search online and it’s important to note that despite the vast majority of my research being carried out online, my mind was set on eventually purchasing from a physical store. I did have a browse around the stores but didn’t speak to any of the staff members and chose to carry out my own research.
No surprise that Google was the search engine of choice and I searched various keywords a few times per week using both mobile and laptop. Sometimes I’d have time to focus my attention on the search and other times I’d have a quick search on my mobile (Iphone) while watching TV.
When I was searching I was trying to achieve both product and brand awareness. For the TV I was researching the best models available for my budget as well as which brands seemed to better cater to my needs. For the PlayStation I was trying to find the best package deal (PS4 plus games, control pad etc) as well as which brands offered the best deals.
Once again we have Dick Smith and JB Hi-Fi. Due to the high street presence, I was already somewhat familiar with these brands and the fact that I was now seeing both of them appear again increased my level of trust and brought me closer to making a decision to purchase from one of them.
Over the next few weeks, I found myself searching Google for TV brands, sizes and models as well as product and brand reviews. I would usually click on anything that was interesting and relevant and this could be organic search results, blog posts, social ads, category pages, product pages, review sites and more.
I was carrying out all this activity online with no intention of purchasing at that time. All this activity was however, leading up to my eventual purchase.
What was happening is that the same brands were appearing time and time again as I progressed my buyer journey closer to conversion.
They were successfully reaching me early in the buyer journey across multiple channels and devices so that when I was finally ready to buy, they had done all the hard work as I already knew and trusted them and had already built up a perception in my mind of the two stores and their position in the market.
For a competitor that wasn’t active in the upper funnel or across multiple channels, to try and get my custom at the point when I was ready to buy, would be extremely difficult.
I already knew the two brands that I had been exposed to multiple times over the past couple weeks. They were everywhere so my perception was that they must be reputable and safer than brands who have little to no presence or are only present in the buyer stage trying to get me to buy their products at that time.
I would be happy to pay a bit more and buy from a brand I know and have some trust in. Also I’m more likely to buy from them again providing I get a good experience.
I noticed they also stock other items I will need at some point in the future like cordless telephones, modems and electric toothbrushes! They will also no doubt add me to their email list after purchasing meaning they can follow up and attempt to sell more products which will increase customer lifetime value.
Someone that has bought from you previously and had a good experience will be much more likely to buy from you again so this is definitely worth doing.
“Takeaway: It’s important for brands to be active in the upper funnel and across multiple channels wherever your customers are and not to place all the emphasis on getting the final conversion. Creating awareness and reaching buyers early will ultimately lead to higher conversions.”