Some of us grew up with the traditional marketing funnel:
In the good old days you used push advertising on TV to create awareness and maybe if you're really good you achieive differentiation, which drives traffic into your stores, and newspaper advertising to create urgency to buy. Ok, it's slightly more complicated. P&G won the war on purchase insight with the first and second moment of truth: the first moment takes less than 7 seconds and that's how long it takes to make a purchase decision at the shelf. The second moment is when you first use a new product...which, according to urban legend means the buyer becomes a promoter of the product if everything goes well. But that description, along with the marketing funnel are just sooo yesterday.
Two tsunamis: search and social media. Fleishman-Hillard found that 89 percent of consumers turn to Google, Bing or another search engine to find information on products, services or businesses prior to making purchases. And social media: 62 percent also research on Facebook before buying. Add in the demise of newspapers and with it a 75% decline in newspaper advertising, and you have the whole picture of the death of the traditional sales funnel for B2C.
The fact that so many buyers first step in the purchase journey is a search led Google to declare search the ZMOT, or the zero moment of truth because it precedes the purchase decision at the shelf. Here are some of the common steps consumers take during the Zero Moment of Truth(see slide #6):
You could make a case that the combination of search, reviews, and social media on line accelerated the shift in buying to e-commerce and resulted in less traffic in stores. Haley Rushing, chief purposologist at the Purpose Institute, a division of Austin-based Ad Agency GSD&M, makes a great point that retailers need an intelligent strategic weapon to combat this situation:
At Shelfbucks, we think there may be more turns on this idea. Specifically we think there may be three phases of evolution in the shopping experience, the first of which is described above, and the representation of these phases is this:
For a brief discussion on how to plan the pilot phase and the rollout, refer to these blog posts: