The Loyalty Loop
We've modified a few steps within the McKinsey "Loyalty Loop" model.
- Consideration - Consumers consider an initial set of brands based on perception and touch points (Google ads, links, social media). Touch points are where web traffic starts their buying journeys. Google ads, shares on social networks by trusted sources, links on review websites, and email campaigns are a few touch points.
- Evaluation - Brands are added or substracted as consumers refine what they want.
- Purchase or other Buying Action - Consideration and Evaluation lead to a conversion such as a purchases, subscriptions, or shares.
- Expectation - Consumers anticpate delivery forming expectations.
- Loyalty - When expectations are met or exceeded customers reward with loyalty, future purchases, subscriptions, and shares.
We prefer Mckinsey's loop to the old staged conversion funnel because loyalty as expressed by conversions, subscriptions, visits, and shares defines today's consumer journey.
" We developed this approach by examining the purchase decisions of almost 20,000 consumers across five industries and three continents. Our research showed that the proliferation of media and products requires marketers to find new ways to get their brands included in the initial-consideration set that consumers develop as they begin their decision journey. We also found that because of the shift away from one-way communication—from marketers to consumers—toward a two-way conversation, marketers need a more systematic way to satisfy customer demands and manage word-of-mouth. In addition, the research identified two different types of customer loyalty, challenging companies to reinvigorate their loyalty programs and the way they manage the customer experience." (emphasis ours)- The Consumer Decision Journey
Two Way Communication
The old funnel analogy flattens a dynamic process - the consumer buying journey. Touchpoints, those ads, word-of-mouth recommendations, or shares by trusted influencers buzz around consumers like bees. Dissonance, at any point, can kill momemtum and change a customer's intent. So when trusted sources such as Jacques Slade start a conversation becoming a touchpoint for an expensive sneaker purchase, it's a good idea to share his take, comments on his reviews prompt, or other user-generated content. Of course, it's best to ask permission and share links back before using influential UGC, but the more your site sounds like them (influencers and real customers), the better. Let customers sell each other. Your job is to create the platform where Mckinsey's "two-way conversations" happen.
Conversion Is More Than Money
Purchases aren't the only approval metrics to watch. Newsletter subscriptions, time on site, pages viewed, and unique visitors are a few "approval metris" to add, evaluate, and watch. Remember tiny improvements in metrics such as time on site or pages viewed represent BIG movements one way or the other.
1 -9 90 UGC Rule
A tiny portion, 1% or less, of visitors will actively contribute user-generated content (UGC). Another important group, about 9%, will share content they believe, trust, and have experienced. Readers, 90% of a website's traffic" make up the most significant visitor group. Finding ways to reward and cherish contributors is crucial. Contributors help make website communication two-way conversations. Ways to reward contributors vary from publically saying thanks to asking key contributors to play a more prominent role. Providing reasonable material compensation to key contributors is a legitimate reward, but let your audience know when moving a previously unpaid contributor into a paid position.
Trolls and Spam
Trolls and spam are problems McKinsey's new customer journey doesn't address. It's almost impossible to use open comment forms anymore. Black hat bots fill comment forms with annoying and dangerous words and code. If you use comment forms, use tools such as captcha and active monitoring (before publishing). Write and publish rules of use for your website. When someone violates those rules, warn and prevent them from abusing others.
We love widgets. We aren't programmers, but widgets help our websites include code well beyond our expertise. Embedding widgets may also help your pages load faster. What are your favorite widgets?
We love ReachOut.com's five tips for dealing with trolls.
What do you think of the McKinsey Customer Journey?
e: martin (at) martinwescottsmith.com