3 Parts of the New Consumer Journey

3 Parts of the New Consumer Journey

A consumer’s journey today starts with an awareness of a personal need, then moves on to the consideration of available options, and finally culminates in the consumer’s decision to buy. Not so long ago, sellers stimulated the traditional consumer journey through a combination of marketing techniques that included television, billboards, and online campaigns, such as display ads on websites.

With the arrival of fresh innovative marketing technologies, some of those classic advertising channels experienced an increase in their impact on consumers while others have seen their influence wane.

A primary example is TV ads. The TV may be ubiquitous in modern homes and the screens larger than ever, but TV lost its advertising effectiveness when potential buyers gained the ability to skip through commercials. Nielsen estimates that 56% of TV ads are never viewed because potential viewers skip them on the DVR.

New technology defines the new buyer’s journey. There are three major components to the new marketing technologies and only one is really new:

  • Radio
  • OTT
  • Social Media

Let’s take each of them in turn to analyze their effectiveness.


Radio is remarkably effective for small business marketing. Reflect on the following five reasons:

  • Massive audience. According to Nielsen’s 2017 report, 250 million Americans listen to radio each week. And those are Americans age 12 and over, the ages of the consumer public. Radio also has the advantage of repeating the seller’s message many times during that listening week. That keeps the seller’s message uppermost in the listener’s mind where, when they consider buying a particular service or a product to fulfill a personal need, they think of the seller’s ad.
  • Local targeting. To make the most of radio advertising, marketers need to understand the target market and how that dovetails with the listeners of specific radio stations. Radio presents the opportunity to reach out to those people who are most likely to buy the business’s product.
  • Listener Loyalty. On average, listeners spend 104 minutes each and every day listening to their favorite radio stations. Radio is in the background of their lives, whether they are on the treadmill at the gym or driving to work. Advertising on a business’s potential customers’ favorite radio station can reap rewards.
  • Listener/Personality Relationship. Let’s be honest, many radio listeners bond with their favorite personalities almost as if they are personal friends. In practical terms, that means that the listeners value the opinions of their favorite radio personalities. An endorsement by one of those same personalities provides marketers the opportunities to clinch the buy.
  • Affordability. Because radio has such a massive reach, advertisers benefit from its lower cost per 1,000 listeners. Radio is affordable especially for small businesses and gives them a way to reach a large audience, build brand awareness with consumers, and grow the business’s influence with their consumer base.


OTT is the acronym for over-the-top advertising. The term refers to advertising that nabs the target audience while they stream movies and other digital content on their smart TVs and gaming consoles. The audience is more open to actually watching ads especially in exchange for free digital streaming (think IMDb TV and TUBI).

OTT marketing offers the following benefits to augment your marketing strategy:

    • Granular Targeting. With OTT, businesses can zero in on consumer attitudes and desires at the household level. This is possible because granular targeting with OTT utilizes geolocation, demographic data, and specific device information.
    • Personalization. The targeting features described above allow OTT marketers to aim relevant ads to those inclined to buy their products.
    • Advanced Analytics. Marketers can direct their decisions on later ad campaign buys using analysis of the metrics unearthed from ad exposure and consumer engagement.
    • Cross-Marketing. To succeed, advertising across the various channels implemented in a marketing campaign must not only target the right audience but also provide consistent messaging across all channels. So your OTT ads should include the same sounds, messaging, visuals, and calls to action as the radio and digital media ads.
    • Retargeting. OTT allows you to identify those consumers who encountered your ad on radio or while browsing online but who did not take action to buy. Retargeting those specific consumers will reinforce and emphasize the connection between a brand and its products/services, making future brand recall produce the wanted results.
    • Personalization. Targeting relevant ads to a specific audience creates personalization. Personalization converts more leads to customers, enhances customer engagement, and gets results. To do this successfully, businesses need to define the target audience, maximize OTT’s targeting tools, and use the tool’s analytics. When businesses define the ideal customer and target ads to their needs and desires, the ad campaign is more efficient and reaps a higher ROI.

Social Media

According to PEW Media, 68% of American adults use Facebook spending at least one-half hour each day. That’s less than the 2 hours people spend listening to the radio but social media platforms, like Facebook, can promote the same messages as the radio buys with even greater personal impact.

Social media platforms interact with ad campaigns on more of a one-to-one basis than either radio or OTT. Targeting a focused segment of the ad campaign on social media brings the consumer closer to the action. Social media users are familiar with ads targeting them for specific products after they’ve searched online for information related to that type of product. Such personalization also takes the form of asking consumers questions or asking for their input or even inviting them to participate in contests and certain promotions.

Social media permits timed ads. If a business runs an early bird dinner special, the marketing campaign can target an ad buy in the early afternoon to bring customers in for that night’s dinner. The same targeting tool applies to special events like festivals, community events, or store openings. This type of engagement drives consumers to the event.

Learn How the Parts Work Together.

Our discussion provided a basic understanding of what OTT, Radio, and Social Media marketing channels do and how they can work to a marketer’s advantage in the new consumer journey. The understanding of how the parts of the new consumer journey all come together to create a singular journey is outside the scope of this post. We hope that you are interested in learning more about how the new customer journey works as a whole, and so we invite you to download our e-book entitled “The New Consumer Journey: Using OTT and Radio”.

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