Distribution Of Online Medias In The Purchase Cycle

> combining e-marketing levers for your e-commerce project

This week-end I had fun creating this visual document below to dissect the distribution of online medias in purchase cycle :


First let’s consider the online purchase cycle in question can be divided into 4 phases :

  • Notoriety > when a customer is looking for a specific product online, he/she first may first get acquainted to your brand, your products and/or your services. This step is also referred to as “branding”.
  • Reflection > the customer will need to search for further information concerning the product he/she wants. At this time he/she compares offers and prices, checks on delivery details, looks for other users opinions, etc…
  • Purchasing > when having collected all the necessary info the customer is going to take action and make the purchase.
  • Loyalty > when a user became a customer, then the challenge is to make him/her turn into a loyal customer, as part of the basic online customer life-cycle.

Therefore, my document shows all the online media levers that might be used for each phase of the previously described cycle :

  • In red – Paid > online advertising (display ads, pay per click search ads, sponsorship).
  • In blue – Owned > media, content and assets that the brand controls.
  • In purple – Earned > brand presence within media without having to advertise.
  • In green – Shared > brand social web participation and interaction with consumers.

As you can see an effective online marketing strategy might combine several channels – each e-marketing lever might not stand alone as an isolated media, but instead they all might be complementary to one another. And this is particularly true for e-commerce websites since their goal is to sell products or services.

To conclude I’d say e-marketing no doubt has to be thought on a “360 / 365″ basis* :

  • 360° > think multi-channel : as I said brands should use a combination of several online medias for their strategy.
  • 365 days > think 24/7 : brands should be always connected to ensure and manage their digital fingerprint as well as a continuous conversation with their customers.

For sure your mission is to determine which levers are a priority for your project in order to create an effective online presence and to satisfy the needs of users during every step of their purchase process, from discovering your brand to becoming a loyal customer with repeated purchases.

* source : Jean-Marie Dru, head of TWBA Worldwide network, 2009.

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