The New Social Media Decision-Making Process
We all know the old school decision/making process right?
- Need Recognition and Problem Awareness
- Information Search
- Evaluation of Alternatives
- Post-Purchase Evaluation
This model is important for anybody making marketing decisions. It will help the marketing to consider the whole buying process and not just the buying. This model implies that customers pass trough all the stages in the buying process. Even though – in the case of more routine purchases – people often skip one or two of the stages. This is old school right?
The new decision model
So how does the new decision marking take place when we talk about Social Media. I came across this awesome decision making cycle of connected customers. This is the new funnel: The Decision Ellipse (www.endofbusiness.com).
This is not a straight forward model. You have to earn your customers trust, you have to involve people, you have to get into the conversation on the social media.
First make your Formulation – what are you selling, get the customers awareness, attention, trigger.
Then the Pre-Commerce where your customer will consider and evaluate your product. The consideration is a circle going round with Brand Strength, Brand Interruption and Reconsideration. How strong is your brand.
Now you have the Evaluation. Here you have a circle of Brand Engagement, Reviews and Words of Mouth. What are you friends saying, what are other people saying about your product.
After your evaluation you will do the commerce. The purchase will show the customers self/expression and the customer will do the buying.
When the customer gets the product he or she will get into the post-commerce. Get experience. The customer will (hopefully) enjoy the product, and if we are lucky (and do a great job), the customer will be more loyal. And in the end we will get a bond to the customer.
The Influence Loop
And in the middle of all this there is the Influence Loop – Word of Mouth, Advocacy and Influence. What are the customers friends saying, what are the networks and the groups saying about your brand? What is the reputation of the brand?
The buyer is not doing the purchase alone. He will use his network, friends, family, groups, word of mouth in the social network. He will still use his close friends and family and colleges. But theses days he will make good use of the social media.
The good part of all this is, that we as a company can take an active part in the process. So get the social media for your company started. Get into the conversation. This is the new marketing.