In a post-digital world, a new customer path is being defined, it moves from being a very personal path, where individuals determined what they thought about brands – to those people being much more heavily influenced by the ‘community’ surrounding them. Not only that, but loyalty has shifted too – once defined as retention and re-purchase, in this new model, it’s now defined by a willingness to be an advocate – for example leaving a TripAdvisor review, or tagging a favourite brand in an Instagram post.

Like AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) however, it’s nice and easy to remember – it’s the 5 A’s; Aware, Appeal, Ask, Act, Advocate. The trick for us marketers is to create impact at every stage. For example, using interesting thought leadership content to get on the buyers long list of brands at the AWARE stage, creating WOW factors that APPEAL on a personal level and ensuring relevant information is easily available for the ASK stage. Engaging customers at the ACT stage and make sure their user experience is positive and memorable. And, finally encouraging and incentivising them to become ADVOCATES who tell your story for you. Something which is often more powerful than any other marketing tactics.

Think about: Carefully consider the channels you use at each stage linked to the buyer’s preferences. Use a combination of digital and physical – for example social media and blogs are great for AWARE but your buyer might want face-to-face contact with sales at the ASK staff.

Hilary Salzman
Director & Head of Value Proposition Development