We speak often and rightly of the importance of understanding the Path to Purchase — about the need to creatively engage consumers at different points along the purchase funnel in order to
influence the eventual purchase decision.
This is, of course, a many-layered challenge that necessitates a reliance on robust and meaningful insights to media use at different times, as well as broader consumer behaviors that set the scene for message receptivity and action.
Where people are and how they feel is just as important as the media they are using at any given time. Increasingly, emotion and mood are becoming recognized as factors that require a deeper understanding than data available to date has made possible.
But while we think long and hard about how these things relate directly to the Path to Purchase, there are a multitude of other areas of consumer’s lives that do not directly involve purchase or conscious purchase consideration, but which are equally purposeful.
Collectively, these moments can be seen as referring to the Path to Purpose.
Most of what we do is undertaken in the context of one purpose or objective or another — to travel, socialize, pursue a hobby, relax. The pursuit and ultimate fulfillment of a particular purpose will typically be subject to patterns of behavior discernable through the analysis of appropriate data sets to reveal which emotional states most commonly predominate at those times.
Similarly, understanding which locations people are in while pursuing different purposes and who they are with helps to determine how messages should be shaped. It also helps to decide the media best suited to message delivery.
In effect, the notion of a Path to Purpose takes the consumer-centric approach to communications and adds a “purpose-centric” data layer to leverage context to its fullest effect.
It may sound like another layer of complexity, but in many ways, it actually strips away complexity to get closer to the heart of what should drive all successful marketing communications: the consumer in real life (not their life as we perceive it to be).