The customer journey is a key part of the purchase cycle and every marketer strives to get a better understanding in order to drive more sales conversions. Whatever marketing strategies you adopt; from social media communications to ad placements on SERPS and email marketing, if you do not put the customer journey at the centre, you could be missing something significant.

According to James Cummings of DailyPosts, no matter the industry you serve, it is important to understand how consumers engage with your digital content. Likewise, marketers, media companies, agencies and publishers can gain more from using their data to influence the customer’s online journey.

The following lessons are relevant for shaping your customers’ online experiences.

  1. Give audiences the ad format they want

Many brands continue use the traditional display ad formats even though such formats have contributed to zero growth since 2007- almost a decade of poor performance. In recent times, brands have opted for different alternative, a move from banner advertising to more native, editorial-driven experiences, like in-feed.

Our marketing must come from an approach that places consumer-friendly attributes as a priority. What will work more effectively is great content complimented by a non-linear ad experience. Although, not every display ad is bad, it boils down to strategically creating a value exchange between the consumer, brand and publisher.

At key stages along the customer journey, your ad must:

  • Be smart with minimal interruptions
  • Give consumer option to interact or opt-out
  • Provide bundle offers and empower consumers with various options

  1. Let the ad blockers inform your content

Ever since their introduction, ad blockers have put publishers and advertisers at loggerheads with ad-block advocates. But in spite of the ‘noise’, only about 6% of netizens worldwide are using them. However, the number is still growing albeit at a slow pace. The truth remains your creative is still visible to a significant part of your consumers.

Don’t bother about consumers who don’t want to see your ads, chances are they might not convert anyway. Instead, aim to produce smart creatives and a more uniform approach to advertising efforts across your content streams. As long as your creative ads are relevant and non-disruptive, potential customers will find them useful and a seamless experience.

By filtering the minuscule demographic that use ad-blockers, you’ll be serving your creative content to customers along the purchase funnel who are more likely to convert.

  1. Focus on 95% of consumers who make emotionally-driven purchase decisions

According to marketing scientist, consumer behaviour is governed by two patterns of thinking:

  • System 1
  • System 2

System 1 is a fast, automatic and emotionally-driven pattern that research has shown to account for 95% of decisions we make in life. While system 2 is the more logically-driven but slow pattern of thinking.

This is important to know because, it challenges the marketing persuasion model we have grown to accept as a typical default. This is the technique where we target consumers with our ad messages and attempt to help them rationalise why our products are best for them.

However, the deal is this: the more they feel, the more they buy.

Instead of rationalising our content to potential consumers all the time, let us put some feeling into the creative and appeal to their system 1 pattern of thinking. Your content marketing efforts will be better for it.