However, research by Google reveals that the customer journey is changing. The path to purpose is becoming increasingly well-trodden.

Experience of the brand

Customers are spending more time than ever on research.

And not just about brands or products but on the experience of these brands and products. They want to know how a purchase could affect their lives – both positively and negatively.

In other words, they want to know everything about their potential customer experience before committing to even visiting an organisation’s website, let alone actually opening their wallet.

For instance when buying insurance, one of the most popular searches is ‘how long does it take to fill out the application form for brand X’. When choosing a restaurant a key Google enquiry is, ‘how long will I wait for my food’. For retail goods, searches include finding out what delivery company is used.

What this means for brands is that brand curation is absolutely key.

It’s all about enhancing the customer’s experience of the brand before the brand experience has even happened!

People are evaluating brands and considering how they might interact with them much earlier than before. This means that brands need to be incredibly savvy about how they are communicating with prospects.

They need to have an understanding of potential brand barriers and work out how to eliminate these. So, for instance, going back to the insurance example using form fill technology to reduce application time. At the same time, brands also need to have an appreciation of what motivates these individuals.

It is through this level of customer understanding, much earlier in the process, that will enable true one-to-one marketing and create much more sophisticated and enhanced customer experiences.