McKinsey’s consumer decision journey can help to model how your customer comes to the moment of purchase and discover what makes them buy from you.
Based on research in 2009, McKinsey & Company, it was suggested as an alternative to the traditional purchase funnel. In the traditional funnel, consumers start with a set of potential brands and carefully reduce that number to make a purchase.
For example, this follows the standard process of:
McKinsey & Company’s research was founded on interviews with over 20,000 businesses in the USA, Germany and Japan, where it was recommended a loop model instead of the normal straight-line approach was more beneficial.
McKinsey & Company’s research showed that the loop model produced a decision-making process, which is a circular journey with four phases:
Consideration – customers consider several brands in the hope that they can fulfil their needs.
Active evaluation – they assess the brands considered by accessing several information databases. The number of brands is reduced depending on their pros and cons.
Buy – customers decide to go for the one brand that meets their requirements and make a purchase.
Post-purchase experience – this stage explains what happens after the customers perform the purchase. At this point, the customers can use the product and gather experience. If they are fully pleased, they may rate and recommend the product to others.
This is word-of-mouth marketing which forms the core of the loop in McKinsey’s consumer decision journey. Positive or negative feedback affects the evaluation phase and purchase decisions that customers make.