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The Goal but Not the End: The ‘Buy’ Stage of the Customer Journey

by Amobee, August 11, 2016

This is the second post in a series on the customer journey, the ever-evolving model of how people are using technology today. For more, see the intro post and the first stage of the journey, awareness.

The most important metric for any marketer should always be sales. However, if there’s anything we’re learning from modern consumers, it’s that the path to purchase can be incredibly complex.

The journey is far from linear, as we see on a daily basis. For instance, when examining responses to an automaker’s ad messages, Turn noticed customers looked at ads from local dealers first.

While conventional wisdom dictates consumers are ready for direct-response ads after they’ve been primed by national ads for a new car, we found customers wanted to know first what the price point was, so they could determine whether the vehicle was in reach. Regional ads alone didn’t do much for conversion rates. The most effective sequence was regional first, then national.

How can a marketer gain insight into how and when to influence the customer decision to buy? Through data.

The Importance of Reminder Ads

Customers can signal when they’re nearing the buy phase of the purchase funnel. They could do a search or visit a website. They could fill up a shopping cart and then decide not to purchase at that time.

At that point, a proven approach is personalizing messages. Dynamic creative lets advertisers generate messages on the fly and personalize ads further by taking into account variables like the weather and location. For example, if a consumer recently priced tickets to Hawaii but hasn’t followed up on that query, an ad on a cold day beckoning her to pull the trigger on that purchase can be quite effective.

Presenting consumers with reminder ads is based on the same principle that many retailers have used for decades. The reason that supermarkets stock necessities like milk and vegetables at opposite sides of the store is that research has shown that the more time consumers spend in a store, the more likely they are to buy more and varied items. Similarly, the more time consumers spend thinking about a product, the more likely they are to buy it as well.

Sequencing Strategy

The relationship between branding ads and direct-response isn’t always clear-cut. However, it’s often the case that branding ads prime the consumer for a purchase and then direct-response ads close the deal.

That was the case with a holiday campaign we ran with a luxury retailer. Ads in November were designed to generate awareness beyond the brand’s traditional audience. In December, armed with fresh audience and media data, the retailer launched a direct response campaign that delivered product-focused ads to gift-givers who had seen the awareness ads. (If a consumer checked out a scarf in November, she might see that item resurface in an ad the next month.) That campaign led to a 171% increase in global revenue and a 29% increase in global ROI over the previous year’s holiday season.

Expanding via Lookalike Audiences

As explained in our first post on the customer journey, data-based targeting and lookalike audiences make it possible to reach a market niche effectively, quickly and in a scalable way – and set the stage for the purchase.

Once a target audience has been identified and moved through the consumer decision journey, what’s next? Find more of the right customers. That’s the thinking behind lookalike audiences. For example, during a campaign with 3 Day Blinds, we were able to extend their customers via lookalike modeling and reach new users that had a similar behavioral persona to those who converted. The results? A 57% increase in CTRs, a 79% decrease in cost-per-appointment and a 140% increase in value per lead.

Making the Most of Your Media Spend

When someone buys a product or service, he or she should immediately be removed from a targeting segment so they don’t keep seeing a retargeting ad. This way, the customer has a better experience, and the brand doesn’t waste media dollars. This is possible when leveraging a platform that provides the flexibility of using a DMP and a DSP in an integrated fashion. Brands can get signals from the consumer and act on those signals in real-time, taking the guesswork out of campaigns and ensuring the best messages get in front of the right customers. This requires accepting a paradigm shift away from dropping a campaign and passively waiting for the results to a more active approach of constantly engaging with the consumer until the messaging is just right.

See the final post in our customer journey series on the advocacy stage here.


About Amobee

Founded in 2005, Amobee is an advertising platform that understands how people consume content. Our goal is to optimize outcomes for advertisers and media companies, while providing a better consumer experience. Through our platform, we help customers further their audience development, optimize their cross channel performance across all TV, connected TV, and digital media, and drive new customer growth through detailed analytics and reporting. Amobee is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tremor International, a collection of brands built to unite creativity, data and technology across the open internet.

If you’re curious to learn more, watch the on-demand demo or take a deep dive into our Research & Insights section where you can find recent webinars on-demand, media plan insights & activation templates, and more data-driven content. If you’re ready to take the next step into a sustainable, consumer-first advertising future, contact us today.

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