Major Facebook Changes…What does this mean?Facebook has recently made major changes to their algorithm impacting any posts from businesses, brands or media being delivered to the public . The change
Consumer journey mapping should form a big part of your digital strategy to ensure you are talking to your target audience at every stage, and not just when they are buying. This may result in a multi-channel marketing strategy, or identify a single channel that follows your consumer through the entire journey.
Let’s first take a look at the basic stages of the consumer purchasing journey to help you understand more on this topic…
Many consumers will be unaware of your brand, or the fact that they actually have a need for your product or service. Therefore, it’s very important to start building awareness and engagement without directly selling. Did you know that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying?  Reaching them at the right moment, and on the right platform, is critical at this stage.
The consumer has realised the need or desire and will start with a number of potential brands or service providers in mind, this is when you need to be specific with your targeting and influencing their decisions. In order to do so effectively you need to identify the best channels and most appropriate content to reach your target audience. The research phase varies across industries but on average consumers spend an average of 79 days gathering information before making a major purchase 
The consumer has moved down the funnel and has now entered into the active purchasing stage. At this point, you should be driving further consideration for your brand with helpful content that focuses more on the advanced benefits and features of your product. Nurtured leads produce on average a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads 
You now have a new consumer but the journey is not complete! Here you must focus efforts on driving customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is 7 x more costly to attract new customers as it is to retain an existing customer .
IDENTIFY YOUR CUSTOMERS
Who are your customers, what are their needs and what are their pain-points. Then you can identify the opportunities. This information should be compiled from insights and fact otherwise you are in danger of creating an ‘inside looking out view’ of what you think your customers need rather than what they actually want.
TYPES OF CONTENT
Your content and messaging should play on user thoughts and emotions and reflect the stages in the consumer journey, be that brand, product or transactional. Once you’ve established your messaging you must then identify the relevant channels.
Each stage will have a number of touchpoints. Consider these carefully and make sure to use the appropriate channels that match your consumers’ profile, tailoring the content to suit the chosen channel.
Align all stakeholders to ensure that every message about your product or service is consistent across every touch-point or channel.
To be truly successful it is essential to start measuring and mapping out your consumer journey responses and behaviours. This will help you improve your interactions and build stronger profiles of your customers to keep you relevant and engaging amongst your audience.
To conclude, your target audience sits at the heart of all your content and channel decisions. Set the tone and remember to address all of the stages in the buying journey. Map out your consumer responses and behaviours so that you can learn from them and create more meaningful and engaging interactions that convert and accelerate your business.
If you would like to learn more about your audience, or would like help crafting your business journey then get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to help!
 DemandGen Report
White House Office of Consumer Affairs