Welcome to the world of “channel hop”

Remember the good old days of the purchase funnel?

Marketing channels were few and pretty straightforward–TV, Radio, Print, Direct Mail, Billboards–and you were in control of your message. Most consumers went about their decision journey in a linear fashion. The cost of gathering information was high.

Today, media channels have exploded. You are rarely in control of your message. The amount of information is, for all practical purposes, infinite. And often cheap. And available 24/7 virtually anywhere your potential customer happens to be with their mobile device.

More importantly, consumers can readily hop from one channel to the next. In your store one second, checking in to FourSquare the next, using their mobile device to scour product reviews seconds later. Moments later deciding to buy from Amazon because they don’t like your price.

Or maybe they get your catalog and that encourages them to go to your website to check your assortment and then call your customer service center to ask some questions. Ultimately they go back to the web to order and pick it up at your store.

Sticking to your channel or product-centric ways in the world of channel hopping is a recipe for disaster.

Embracing channel hop and creating a frictionless experience across all your touch-points does not guarantee success, but at least keeps you in the game.

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