It’s that time of year again. Daylight hours are noticeably waning. There’s a chill of fall in the morning air. Labor Day weekend is upon us! Which can only mean one thing. It’s time to start planning this fall and winter’s indoor home improvement projects! Next up on the list around my house is a complete bathroom remodel job. This weekend is the first of what may be many demolition days. I. Am. Excited!

With any new home improvement project, I always take stock of tools and evaluate needs to move forward. This time around, I decided that my power tools was in need of both upgrade and expansion. With a large purchase like this, I’ve thrown myself into full research mode. Pulling reviews of brands I’m considering, reading user reviews and seeking out the best deals before I make a decision and make my purchase.

Yes, that’s correct. I will conduct all of my research online and make a decision on which products I will buy before ever setting foot in a store.

I’m in the 81%.

The 81% of consumers that conduct online research prior to making big purchases (Retailing Today, 2014). This has turned me into a digital marketer’s dream. Do you ever wonder who still clicks on banner ads? I do, especially when I’m being remarketed to. But for this product research, I wanted to turn my marketer brain off and just go through the process as if I was any other consumer. If I was distracted by a banner ad, I clicked it. If the first Google ad that popped up was relevant to me, I spent some of the advertising budget. If the YouTube pre-roll video had to do with home improvement, I watched it.

What I gained after taking a step back and thinking on this, was a refreshed view of how consumers interact with digital marketing. Yes, to be sure, the products I purchased are a world apart from opening a new checking account or applying for a home equity loan. But the research process is no different. And because I viewed this as a major purchase with a large investment to make, in turn I invested a lot of my time. Just as financial consumers do.

It’s about the path of least resistance.

The easier we make the user experience – the less resistance a user encounters when getting the information they need or the path to conversion – the more successful our strategies become. Unfortunately, testing this out for ourselves is not always an easy exercise to complete.

That’s where virtual focus groups come into play. When analyzing and measuring a client’s user experience, we’ll employ the use of virtual recording technology to “film” random consumers attempting to accomplish a goal online. By watching the tape, figuring out the pitfalls and gaps in your process can easily be seen through the consumer’s eyes.

Where are the pitfalls in your digital marketing? Where could the process be improved? Not sure where to start? We can help!


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