My twelve year old daughter is buying a watch. She is using her own money to get it and although it’s not a big purchase, it’s a big deal to her. Talk about research. I’ve seen her check out eBay and Amazon for ‘girls’ watches’. I’ve noticed a rash of photos on her Instagram account of her friends’ watches so she has obviously asked them to take a quick photo and send to her. I’ve noticed her jump on my Pinterest account and do a quick search there too. She tells me she is just getting ‘ideas’. She has also asked me if, next time we go to the shopping centre, she can browse in the shops. I’m talking about a purchase which is going to be no more than €20 perhaps, but I’m guessing that for her the risk is not about cost but about ‘cool’. To a twelve year old kid, that’s the bit you need to get just right.
Goodness knows where she will end up buying but when she does, she’ll certainly have done her homework. Compare this to when I was her age. I lived in the countryside so when we needed special items like this, we went into the nearest big town or perhaps to Dublin. There was a set time frame in which to go into a shop, (two if you were lucky), have a look around, see if there was something you liked and could afford and buy it. Job done.
I’m telling you this because it struck me just how much more complicated the shopper journey has become, even for a ‘simple’ purchase like a kids watch but look at all the opportunities it gives us along the way to help with that big decision.
As marketers, we can help my daughter on eBay, on Amazon, on Instagram, on Pinterest or in-store. Compare that to trying to reach me as a twelve year old. If you were lucky enough to be a big brand and could afford TV and radio, then I might have heard of you and gone into the shop looking for your brand. But even then, despite knowing about the brand, if your products weren’t in stock in that shop on that particular day, then all the advertising in the world couldn’t influence my decision. I had to choose there and then from what was on offer or else leave without my beloved purchase until the next time. No blissful sigh and ‘ah well, we can always get it on-line’ for me in those days.
So yes marketing is more complicated these days now but isn’t it exciting too?