The complicated local path to purchase: 7 marketing tasks to do yourself and 7 to outsource
Consumers weave their way through more media and platforms than ever before to find local information, making marketing to them more complicated. Columnist Wesley Young recommends which marketing tasks can be DIY and which should be outsourced by local businesses.
Today’s consumers have lots of options to find local businesses, and they use them all. There’s no fixed path to purchase — customers each travel a different route through their favorite apps, media and websites to find and select where they will spend their hard-earned money.
The Local Search Association (LSA) conducted its annual Local Media Tracking Study of more than 8,000 consumers in 2015 and found that consumers started their search for local information most commonly with search engines, but only by a plurality — 40 percent.
The rest of consumers turned to a variety of other media as their first source, including company websites, directories, review sites, newspapers and mobile apps, as illustrated below.
LSA data also reveals that consumers’ choices flatten out away from search engines as they venture deeper into the path to purchase.
Typically, when consumers are ready to make a purchase, or they make one last visit to a media source, they choose the types of media that provide more direct contact with a business. These include company websites and directories, or those that help people confirm their prospective decisions, such as ratings or review sites.
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