In yesterday’s post I explained why ACCEPT should replace AIDA as the acronym that best explains the consumer’s Pathway To Purchase.
ACCEPT stands for Awareness…Consideration…Consideration…Exploration…Purchase…Talk.
Having explained the reason for two "considerations” — unconscious and conscious — Exploration comes next.
Exploration is the acting out of conscious consideration.
The primary place the consumer does this is online. Remember, they have seen something – most likely an advertisement - that has allowed their perception of the brand to start to change.
Unbeknownst even to them, they have gone from unconscious non-consideration to unconscious consideration.
It is now possible for them to become consciously curious about the brand.
In other words, to explore more. And today, with over 60% of Americans being online while they watch TV, that has become easier than ever.
The brand is quickly Googled and the consumer ascertains if what they find online is in-line with their new perception of the brand.
If so, they have permission to continue down the pathway.
If not, they have permission to leave.
It’s surprising to me how often the TV and online executions differ emotionally. Which creates a cognitive dissonance in the consumer.
And, rightly so, they pass on delving deeper.
This exploration stage isn’t about reach. It's not about how many people visit the site.
Exploration is about depth. It's about how long those who come to the site, stay.
How far into the brand did the consumer go to see if it really could be for them or not?
Arguably, time spent with the brand serves as a proxy for purchase. The more time spent with the brand, the more likely it is that money will be spent on the brand.
Exploration is where the rubber meets the road in the consumers’ eyes.
Is the brand credible?
Does it speak in one voice?
Can I trust it with my money?
How your brand answers those questions will determine how many sales you will make.
The pathway to purchase has many potential exits.
Consumers are looking for those exits.
Unfortunately, most advertisers make them readily available.