How Digital Marketing Is Influencing The Way Consumers Make Purchasing Decisions


If I am to look back on my personal experience, I would remember how it was back in the 90’s – a time where being cool meant having gigantic mobile phones with antennas, toyota corollas, VHS and her buddy the rewind player, cable-subscribed tellies, any object that had immense shades of rainbow in it, and last but not the least… Shopping malls. The bright magical kingdom that “has it all.

During that time (or decade, even) shopping malls were very limited and sparse – people would literally need to travel two to three hours just to get to the nearest mall within their city or area. Believe it or not, this was exactly how shopping was done – worldwide.

Back in the 90s, the only kind of ads and product placements were those that could be heard or found via the radio, newspaper, yellow pages, magazines or the telly. This was how companies connected with their mass audience and consumers – place an ad, let consumers try them out and buy them personally, if it’s good – then they’ll keep on buying and recommending it to others, if it’s bad – then the company loses a consumer. That was it. But now… The ‘consumer buying process’ has completely evolved.

The Zero Moment of Truth

Coined by Google in 2011, The Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT is about how the modern world and digital channels such as social media are able to influence or impact the customer’s decision journey. This term encouraged companies to start considering “buzzwords” such as SEO and many digital marketing agencies like Contevo saw an opportunity to help businesses maximize the potential from these platforms.

However, in 2009, a new model popularised by McKinsey gave marketers a more up-to-date view of how to think about the modernised customer journey that has been created by new technologies. Medium.com states that under the traditional marketing mindset, customers start by becoming aware of the product and brand. Then, they go through several steps to purchase one and become a loyal customer.

In each of the stages, customers may “drop off” within the linear funnel. The marketer’s job is to prevent these drop-offs by optimising their messaging in each step of the funnel.

This paradigm changed when technology and digital practices evolved, modernising every step of user behavior and the business model. Today, if a user is in need of something, all they need to do is go online and hit search. They can do it for pre-product research and price comparisons, or use it to find an online store and purchase exactly what they were looking for.

Inc.com states that this kind of reach has transformed the business model down from its traditional and linear path towards a constantly moving target – with search and digital marketing at the very core of it all.

Adapting to Change

Over the past decade, digital marketing has soared and grown rapidly – raking in revenue, profit, conversions, business exposure and outstanding E-Commerce sales. According to Inc.com’s sources, an average of 3 million advertisers now use Facebook to reach their customers – with 93% of total purchases made by online shoppers influenced by social media. 77% of customers also prefer reading online reviews before proceeding on a purchase – making honest and unbiased comments become transparent pillars for customers to freely write on.

Every business or brand in this present time should learn how to adapt and expand to online or digital marketing. Local SEO, for example, is one of the most important factors for such businesses. 59% of users access Google every month to find reputable businesses that are nearby. (Source: Inc.com) By putting your business out there, you are making yourself SEEN – and therefore, become acknowledged by the entire online community.

According to Agility PR, “organisations that know how to make the most out of their inbound marketing efforts create useful content and attract back links that will get the rankings that they need to move forward the competition. The better a company’s ranking is, the more likely they are to generate sales. After all, customers believe in the concept of hierarchy.”

This is a ‘bigger than the picture’ kind of opportunity that has the ultimate potential to make your business go viral and be well-known. Establish your rightful place in the industry and continue to strive for that number one spot!

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