Think about the last time you booked travel plans, bought a new computer, or settled on a big financial package (like a mortgage payment). You probably went through a series of steps that included multiple decision points and milestones as you reviewed, compared, and considered your options before making a decision.
Verto Analytics arrived at the OIROM market research conference in Moscow in October to speak about these issues, and to offer insight about how purchases or conversions actually happen.
We spoke to hundreds of people in Russia and Europe.
The conference itself provided many interesting opportunities to speak with local Russian brands, big multinational CPGs investing in Russian businesses, and a number of local market research companies. It seems there’s lots of demand for information solutions and market research applications on top of Verto’s single-source, cross-device, behavioral data platform!
The Big Flaw in Consumer Tracking Models
In my presentation I highlighted our recent work around consumer journeys, and showed the methodological background we use. I also showcased practical examples from the journey studies we’ve done with enterprise, global customers.
One of the core ideas in our presentation was that the model of tracking how consumers move from search engines, to the e-commerce platform (or from clicking a digital ad and ending up at the brand’s destination site) do not reflect the full breadth of how and when shoppers choose to purchase.
Identifying Relevant Events
Consumers are today increasingly cross-device. They do not operate in a mobile-only or web-only world anymore. This means it’s important for companies to:
- Quantify, map, and take action based on cross-device consumer journeys.
- Understand how different digital and offline touchpoints (sometimes quite far apart in terms of spatial time, locations, and the chosen device), can impact the consumer’s decision-making process.
- Acknowledge that consumers don’t just “click”—they make decisions through complex journeys (exploring, discovery, interest, research, shopping, buying). In fact, such journeys can be anywhere from two to eight months long, and involve multiple touchpoints!
Consumer Journeys: What Questions Can Be Addressed, and How?
The Most Important Consumer Touchpoints
The most common, important touchpoint categories we use in these journey studies include:
- Review sites
- Social media
- Brand apps/sites
- E-commerce platforms
- Price comparison engines
Consumer Journeys Are Not Linear
Today, consumer shopper journeys are not linear and involve many digital touchpoints. By looking at a single set of touchpoints or a single platform (e.g. just the role of Google search apart from e-commerce, social media, ads, product review sites, price comparison engines, and brand sites), one can only build a partial picture of the journey.
By contrast, using longitudinal panel-based metering, with holistic telemetry/clickstream data, we can tackle the gaps in traditional analytics/attribution products. This means our customers can get a full and clear view of the consumer journey, and accurately track their behavior along multiple touchpoints and across multiple devices. As we told the audience, several kinds of teams are benefiting from using our tools, including brands, marketers, and media companies. Here’s how that’s happening:
- Brands can make better decisions for advertising planning and targeting with all cross-device touchpoints.
- Marketers can assess partnerships and prioritize them by ranking them against KPIs around influencing consumers.
- Media companies can help their clients by positioning their services to brands (sales) with journey KPIs.
It was a great audience, and we had good discussions with the participants. It was particularly interesting to see how the local Internet giants, led by Yandex and Mail.ru, have expanded their reach—Yandex, for example, is like Uber and Amazon combined, and Mail.ru is a bit like Facebook and Yahoo/Oath under the same roof!
If you’d like to learn more about how Verto’s tools can help you accurately map the digital consumer journey, contact our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org.