Social Path-to-Purchase

Understand the relative influence of different types of social behaviour (both online and WOM) on your consumers’ brand beliefs and purchase decisions.

In the days of brand-driven information (ads, leaflets, brochures) we used standardised sales funnels to plan messaging and activities against the various states of behaviour consumers followed on their journey towards a purchase.

Universal adoption of the internet, and the accompanying rise of social networks, has made it easier for consumers to access customer-driven information (blogs, forums, reviews, ratings) resulting in more complex, non-linear consumer purchase journeys.

In the absence of a clear understanding of how social behaviour influences consumer purchasing decisions, most brands have pursued ‘mass noise’ strategies, hoping to use social channels to spread their message to as many people as possible.

As a result ‘impressions’, ‘likes’ and ‘engagements’ have become the prevalent social metrics.

The value of these measures is difficult to understand in terms of leads, sales and spend and, despite considerable investment, there is a notable lack of social ROI case studies.

Our Social Path-to-Purchase model provides an audited map of social behaviours with detailed information about the relative influence of different types of social behaviour (both online and WOM) on consumer brand beliefs and purchase decisions.

We cluster behaviour into four social influencer categories (Grassroots, Experts, Crowd and Inner Circle) and identify their impact on three key purchase journey states (Discovery, Research and Decisioning).

Using the insights derived from our model enables marketing teams to develop more targeted strategies and activities focused on the phases of the consumer buying journey where social has most influence, leading to improved campaign performance.