As we come to terms with the “New Normal”, marketers are realizing that the attention span of customers are slowly but steadily reducing. As the pace of everyday living starts to pick up, people’s ability to focus on things beyond a few seconds reduces.
In such a scenario, it is very important for brands to give their existing and new customers the right information, in the right manner and in the right time.
Customers have learnt the ability to sift through what is real and what is not. Any communication that seems too good to be true is most often ignored and they have now started to focus more on information coming from their trusted sources – family and friends.
Brands need to be able to connect meaningfully with customers and by leveraging the power of customer advocacy.
This is possible by understanding how people buy through the Five A’s of customer journey.
Advocated by Dr. Philip Kotler, the 5 A’s of customer behavior framework is used to describe the process that customers go through when evaluating products and services.
- Awareness – This is the first stage where a new customer comes to know about the brand.
- Appeal – Once the awareness is established, the product or the service needs to appeal to the customer. Brands must be able to create a curiosity around the products they are selling or the service they are providing.
- Ask – Kindled by the curiosity, customers start researching on the brands. They seek out more information from multiple sources. These could happen online or offline. So it is important that brands choose the right medium depending on the offering. Some brands might need an multichannel approach while some can do with just a limited digital presence.
- Act – When the customer is satisfied with all the information, they will decide to act. Do remember that once a customer purchases a product, brands need to pay attention on what they have promised and ensure customers problems and complaints are sorted out in a timely and effective manner.
- Advocacy – In the previous stage, brands must pay extra attention to ensure that customers become loyal customers. A loyal customer is one who helps to spread the word. They become brand ambassadors and help in generating more awareness through word of mouth and recommendations online.
Not every brand will go through these 5 stages in a straightforward way. With some brands, customers might skip one or two steps. With every step that a customer takes in the journey from a stranger to becoming a loyal customer, trust grows and the responsibility of the brand also grows.
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