Activity: The European river cruise
Mary and Brendon have been married for 27 years, they have two children both have jobs, and both live at home. As long as Mary can remember she has always wanted to go on a European Cruise.
Routinely, she reads the travel pages in newspapers, buys travel magazines from time to time, is a regular viewer of travel shows on TV, and increasingly searches the web on her devices. Her husband Brendon is also keen, and they have decided to visit a local travel agent that specialises in cruises. Mary and Brendon are careful consumers and have saved for many years. Mary and Brendon have arranged to have long service leave in 6 months. The time for the European cruise is within reach and the search has begun.
As we can see from the above vignette Mary has begun her search – it is self-directed and much of her search has been independent of any organisation and they know what they want before the first touch-point with the travel agent.
With the availability of on-line information, the search behaviour of Mary and Brendon is very common and presents a challenge for marketing practitioners to think of new ways of intercepting the customer on their buying journey.
It is unlikely but not impossible that Mary and Brendon will make a decision on their first visit to a travel agent. Knowing this, the travel agent should have objectives and to initiate information rich two-way conversations, with regular contact [perhaps – emails, newsletters, informal evening presentations].
Software for marketing practitioners can help automate many of the communication tasks and track the customer along the salespipeline.
Consider this from the perspective of consumers searching for the product that best satisfies:
Consider this from the perspective of an organisational competing for business: How an organisation could employ technology within the salespipeline to attract, retain and enhance the relationship. What tools and tactics could be employed? How could these be employed to populate the salespipeline? For this market segment and this type of product what events would assist the consumer to make a decision? How could software be employed to increase the likelihood that of repeat custom.