Journey to Online Purchase - an interactive widget by Google
Google recently launched a very interesting little tool that shows the role that different online marketing channels play in the purchase journey (from 'assisting' to 'last interaction'). If you've read any of my previous blogs, you'll know that I am pretty obsessed with the online customer journey (See From Stranget to Lover: How to Do Digital Marketing in 2013).
Google's new tool lays out all of the major online channels on a scale from awareness through consideration, intent and finally 'last interaction' or purchase. It allows you to flip between different industries and see how the role of different online channels can vary.
While I think this is a very insightful tool, I would just warn you as you use it to not look only at the channels that are far to the right. What I mean by this, is that if you look at this widget quickly, it tells a pretty concise story that paid/organic search is likely the best channel to focus on as it is consistenly in the area of 'last interaction' and 'intent.' This is of course true, due to the nature of people seeking for information and being in a more ready state for purchase.
This does not mean that the other channels (including social media & email), do not play an important role in online marketing. Social and email can capture people that are perhaps not quite ready to buy yet, but may be ready in the future. You cannot igonore these people as they are your future pipeline. One important takeaway regarding search is that you should definitely make sure you have your organic search in tip-top order before spending too much time on other channels.
The reason I love this widget, is that it challenges how you should focus your efforts online and how your tactics should vary by channel. Online marketing is far too advanced these days to focus on only search or only social. There are more opportunities than ever to connect with your audience, so take advantage of a variety of channels in a way that makes the most sense given the mindset of your audience.
What do you think of the tool? Is it useful for your online media planning? What do you think of display advertising being WAY to the left?