Tips: Researching Consumer Journeys

By Busola Boyle-Komolafe | 3 min read
14th December 2020
Tips: Researching Consumer Journeys

A journey of a lasting relationship begins with a single step!

Understanding the journey your consumers go through to purchase your product or service is essential.  This journey is usually not simple nor linear, it is full of twists, turns, challenges, and obstacles, but it is good to understand it so that you can build a foundation.

So what is this journey?

1) The first stage is actually becoming aware of the different products or services available to solve their consumer problem.

2) After awareness, they begin to learn more about the product or services in the category either actively researching or from word of mouth. At this stage they are building their consideration set; the products or services in the category they will consider purchasing.

3) After creating their consideration set, the trial process begins, they try the different products or services. To move on to the next stage, your product or service has to be effective in helping them solve their problem.

4) The next stage is the usage stage where they continue to use your product or service albeit not exclusively.

5) To become exclusive, your product or service has to be considered value for money in terms of its features and benefits.

6) Once consumers exclusively chose you, the next stage is advocacy, they should be so impressed with your product and service that they actively tell family and friends about you. And then these newly told family and friends add your product or service to their consideration set.

In Nigeria, this form of word of mouth is the biggest driver of sales!

Now that we know the different stages in the journey, how do we come up with conversion strategies, and what types of research will provide insights?

In the awareness stage, advertisements play a very important role. You need to ensure that your advertisements are remembered and can be associated with your product or service. You should conduct advertising research to ensure it is relevant, unique enough to stand out, and on channels/mediums where your target market can see them. Here is a step by step guide on how to conduct advertising research

In the consideration stage, you need to ensure that the information about your product or service, is accurate and up to date in the places where people go for information. For example, your website, social media pages, and google profile have to be up to date with information that is simple, straight to the point, relevant and favorable. The best type of research to do here is around colors, language, keyword enhancer, and search engine optimization.

In the trial stage, it is all about the product or service! Your product or service must-have features that help solve the consumer need. So in terms of research, product testing and user experience research are extremely important. It is when you get feedback (both positive and negative) about your product or service from your target market. Positive feedback can be used in your content while negative needs to be improved on.

For consumers to keep using the product, ensure you do not have availability challenges in your distribution centers or areas. Stay up to date on your numbers in terms of product availability and ensure you are in locations where your competitors also play. If you offer a service in a particular area, be consistent. To learn more about distribution centers that your target market buys from and where your competitors also play, you will need to conduct a retail audit.

Loyalty is all about ensuring your consumers exclusively choose you by offering value for money. We conduct brand research to come up with strategies to get more consumers to be loyal to us. By doing an audit of your brand as well as those that are in the usage stage, we are able to identify the ranking of your brand vis-a-vis competitors and the reasons why.  Here is a step by step guide on how to conduct branding research.

And finally advocacy, this stage can be answered by 2 survey questions; 'On a scale of 0 - 10, how likely are you to recommend {insert brand name} to your family and friends?' and 'Why did you give a rating of {insert rating from previous question}?'. With these 2 questions you can get an advocacy rating as well as the reasons for that rating. This type of research is called Net Promoters Score research.

One hundred people might be aware of your product or service, 75 people might consider it, 50 people might try it, 25 people might use it, 10 people might be loyal to it and 2 people might advocate it - you need to ensure you know your numbers and know which stage in the funnel you are losing the most people. Conduct research to identify the reasons why and come up with strategies that will turn the tide. 

Contact Versa Research your trusted research partners!



Busola Boyle-Komolafe
Busola is a Data Analyst, Market Researcher and Consumer Behaviour Specialist with over 8 years experience planning, designing and conducting research in Finance, Real Estate, FMCG, Healthcare, Education, Retail, Sustainability and Telecommunication sectors. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Health Studies, a Research Analyst Post Graduate Degree and Master’s Degree in Market Research and Consumer Behaviour from IE Business School. Having studied, lived and worked on 3 different continents, she is knowledgeable in 4 languages. Her time is split between running the Market Research company Versa Research and teaching at Orange Academy.
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