KERN developed the Modern Buyer’s 10-Stage Journey based on rapidly changing human patterns, the accelerated adoption of online searching and sharing, and the proliferation of social networks and always-on communication abilities. In this weekly series, we take a deeper look at each of the stages in this journey, what each means for brands and takeaways to act on each stage. We will follow Tara Technology, a 35-year-old elementary school teacher, as she moves through our 10-stage journey during the process of buying a new laptop.
Stage 1: Distraction
Distraction is the first moment a consumer’s brain allows a new thought into consideration. This initial thought may be the result of viewing a news report, receiving an email or a conversation with a friend, among many other experiences. According to a report by bizjournals.com, consumers can see 4,000 ads per day. Knowing this and that the lives of consumers have become more complicated, KERN identified that the former “interruption” stage had evolved into distraction. The modern consumer pays more attention to something when they’re distracted by it, rather than they would had they been interrupted by it.
Tara is researching new styles of lesson planning on her phone while watching TV. She finds a format that she really likes and switches to her laptop so that she can try it out. When she makes the device change, the time it takes her laptop to start up, load and allow for simple tasks is noticeable. She hasn’t purchased a new laptop since college and this is the first time she notices its underperformance and considers its age.
- Thinking: This computer is slow and dated—powering up alone is taking so much time. It’s going to be expensive and time-consuming to replace this laptop.
- Feeling: I have some money saved up, but do I really want to use it on this? I’m worried that I’ll spend the money that I might need for something more important.
- Experience: My current experience is a bad one. I want to become more efficient with a new process and the speed and capability of my computer is holding me back.
- Expectation: I expect to spend a lot of money that I hadn’t planned on spending.
- Consideration: Is the money worth the reward of the improved experience I’ll get by switching to modern, up-to-date technology in a laptop?
In this stage, the customer was distracted enough to pause and consider the current state of the laptop. While many of the triggers during this phase aren’t controllable, there is a big opportunity to cause the distraction through awareness campaigns. By targeting your customer through your pre-determined personas, marketers are able to communicate their message in the locations their target audience frequents and communicate the benefits of their product or service to take advantage of a recent distraction.