The Internet has made and continues to make a big difference in the way consumers research and buy products. It’s always difficult to explain the magnitude of what is happening, especially on the local level. I ran across this graphic from a blog post at Screenwerk.com and thought it was worth sharing.
The author, Greg Sterling takes credit for the pretzel image but attributes the concept and words to Walt Doyle, the former CEO of WHERE and now the head of PayPal’s Media Network.
As Doyle said in his post announcing the re-branding of Where Ads as the PayPal Media Network:
A consumer may begin their purchase journey in a store, on a phone, at their desktop, or on a tablet, then engage with the same brand or product across a multitude of different mediums and devices to discover, research, price check, etc. . . The boundaries between the physical and digital world have disappeared and the purchase funnel has become a purchase pretzel! No longer is there e-commerce, offline commerce, m-commerce – there is simply commerce
Remember when all you needed to describe the purchase process was a funnel? The pretzel is a much better image to describe the way it happens today.
Now think about retail advertising and merging your local dealer’s message with your brand message. Providing customization for newspaper ads and radio spots in your marketing portal for dealers just isn’t enough anymore. You need a local digital strategy and the tools to let retailers build landing pages, Facebook tabs, banner ads, e-promo pages and more to reach today’s consumer.
The good news is that the technology is here now that can address the pretzel path to a sale and the ROI is much better than traditional media. The real challenge is to admit that you have to change and then spend the time to think through the process. The sooner you start the better.