Consumer Decision Journey: What It Is and How To Use It

The consumer decision journey is a concept widely used in marketing and consumer research to understand the process by which a consumer decides to purchase a product or service. It is important for marketers to have a deep understanding of the consumer decision journey to be successful in their outreach. Through a deeper understanding of the consumer decision journey, marketers can develop and tailor campaigns to address consumer needs and preferences.
The consumer decision journey is composed of various stages and can be broken down into several steps, including the need recognition, search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behaviour. Each stage of the consumer decision journey involves the consumer considering different factors and making decisions based on those. The consumer decision journey is a complex and dynamic process that marketers must be aware of to effectively reach and engage their target audience.
This blog post will explore the different stages of the consumer decision journey and how marketers can best use the consumer decision journey to reach and engage their target audiences. We will discuss

McKinsey Consumer Decision Journey

How do consumers make purchasing decisions?

Consumers make purchasing decisions based on a variety of factors. The majority of consumer decision-making processes begin online, where customers peruse blog reviews and social media recommendations. Those considering making a purchase also think about a brand’s values and whether they coincide with their own. Consumers go through a series of steps when purchasing an item or service to help them determine which business best suits their needs. The steps of a consumer decision journey include:

1. Trigger: When a person realizes they have a problem and need a company’s product or service to solve it, this is referred to as a stimulus or trigger and the consumer decision journey is launched.

2. Initial consideration set: When thinking about a purchase, a person considers their initial consideration set, or the brands that come to mind right away because of brand awareness.

3. Evaluation: Consumers decide which brand has what they want or need by researching various sources and reading reviews.

4. Purchasing: After the consumer narrows down their options using the knowledge they gathered during the evaluation stage, they select a brand and begin the transaction.

5. Ongoing exposure: Following a purchase, the customer develops expectations from the post-purchase experience to inform their choice to make a subsequent purchase.

6. Loyalty loop: A customer’s satisfaction with a brand and its offerings will determine whether they remain a loyal customer and promoter of the brand.

What is the consumer decision journey?

The McKinsey Model, created by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, depicts the customer purchasing process as the consumer decision journey. This framework assesses the methods by which marketers can affect consumers’ purchasing decisions. This model can be used by marketers to assess their main customer contact points.

The traditional purchase funnel model was replaced by McKinsey & Company in 2009 as a result of a change in consumer purchasing behavior and the rise of digital company research. The circular process of the consumer decision journey emphasizes increasing client loyalty and fostering advocacy. It charts the steps a consumer takes from becoming aware of a product to developing a strong relationship with a brand.

How to use the consumer decision journey

When using the consumer decision journey, follow these steps:

1. Get to know your consumers

Identifying a company’s consumers and their motivators is the first step in incorporating the consumer decision journey into a marketing strategy. To figure out how to market to your customers, you can also consider their recent behaviors and past interactions with your business. By getting to know your customers, you can assist them in making decisions and comprehend their needs. For instance, one approach is to organize a focus group to create a buyer persona.

2. Create brand awareness

After getting to know your customers, concentrate on spreading the word about your business to them. Increasing brand recognition can make your business more visible during the initial consideration stage. This is crucial to keep up with contemporary marketing trends that focus on developing relationships with customers rather than having one-way conversations. By supporting events or sharing content on social media, you can raise awareness of your brand.

3. Tailor messaging

Create a message that addresses the company’s vulnerabilities in the process area where there is the most room for improvement, such as the initial consideration. As an illustration, a car manufacturer launches a marketing campaign that offers consumers financial protection by enabling them to return their cars in the event that they lose their jobs. This marketing initiative reaches potential customers who were at first reluctant to invest in an expensive purchase.

Additionally, businesses can tailor messages to reflect the customer’s stage in the journey. Companies can send pertinent messages to customers at the appropriate times by paying attention to where they are in the customer journey. In order to effectively communicate with customers and provide them with a tailored experience, personalization is crucial.

4. Offer discounts

Offer consumers limited-time special offers and promotions in order to entice them to make a purchase. This can help them feel more confident about their decision to buy from a business and stop people from leaving their shopping carts unattended. Personalize the discount to match the item they are purchasing. You can accomplish this by sending them a discount for the particular item they were considering purchasing but left in their online shopping cart.

5. Keep your messages current

Continue to give your customers accurate and timely information on your websites, social media profiles, and other relevant channels. Make sure your information is simple to find to entice customers to return. Produce material that your audience will want to share.

6. Invest in the right channels

Pick the channels your customers already use when choosing your marketing channels. For instance, post updates on social media if your customers use it. Participate in their conversations in order to influence their purchasing decisions.

When should you use the consumer decision journey?

The consumer decision journey is typically used by businesses to determine how to empower customers and promote purchases. This model enables businesses to comprehend how their marketing strategies can change to meet the expectations of their customers. The consumer decision journey aids businesses in determining and enhancing their touch points. Building your brand’s presence in the community and across various channels is crucial because the consumer decision journey starts even before the buyer is aware.


What are the four stages of the consumer decision journey?

The customer journey spans a variety of touchpoints by which the customer moves from awareness to engagement and eventually to transaction and retention.
  • Stage 1: Awareness. A potential customer first enters the awareness stage.
  • Step 2: Engagement. …
  • Step 3: Transaction. …
  • Step 4: Retention.

What is the customer decision journey?

The circular process of the consumer decision journey emphasizes increasing client loyalty and fostering advocacy. It charts the steps a consumer takes from becoming aware of a product to developing a strong relationship with a brand.

What are the stages in the consumer purchase decision journey?

Explore the five main customer journey phases and what consumers need to know in each one.
  • Awareness phase. The majority of potential customers begin during the awareness stage, when a user has a problem or need and searches for a solution.
  • Consideration phase. …
  • Purchase/decision phase. …
  • Retention phase. …
  • Advocacy phase.

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