A most recently published study by search engine giant Google reveals some interesting insights behind the ever growing complexity of travellers’ web-journeys. Online purchase decisions are a complex construct, in which a customer might interact with a brand through different online channels and multiple media devices. Google has analysed accumulated data from 36.000 analytics accounts in 11 different industry sectors (incl. travel) to understand the role played by the different channels in the purchase decision making process.
NATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN MARKETING CHANNELS
In the purchase path of consumers the study generally differentiates between two types of marketing channels, namely
- Assist interaction: Assisting interaction are channels that play a role in the early stages of the marketing funnel, i.e. during the formation of awareness, consideration and intent
- Last interaction: Those are the channels that act as the last point of contact before a purchase is carried out
In the travel industry, social media is mainly an awareness channel, email marketing works well in the consideration stage and referrals and paid advertisement are channels that are most likely to convert customers. However there exist interesting differences on a country basis. For instance in Brazil Email marketing is a pure awareness channel and social media assists customers during the intent stage. On the contrary in UK display click advertisements work as an awareness tool and and in Japan email marketing bears no relevance at all. Thus, the study highlights the importance of the national differences in the role and functionality of online marketing channels.
LENGTH OF CUSTOMER JOURNEY
The study also provides insights into the length of customers journeys, that is how many days or steps the customer needs to move through the sales funnel to making a purchase. It is no surprise to find that in most countries surveyed, the customer journeys in travel are considerably longer than the overall average. This is due to the fact that travel after all is considered a high involvement product.
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