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If you have not familiarize yourself with the five discovery paths of your target consumers then keep reading! In Marketing we often refer to things like the buyer’s journey or stage: A consumer’s relative position to a buying decision, as well as how they discover your brand, product, or service off or online. Their “discovery path,” and in this case their digital discovery path is how a consumer will “discover” or find your content, brand or offering online.

The Five Discovery Paths Defined

The search path occurs when the customer is “searching” for a company, product, or service online. The most common search behavior is often referred to as “just googling it.” A consumer simply will search the Internet in order to find more information about a question they have, a product they want, or a service needed.  

2. Review/Recommend/Trust

The review/recommend/trust path is based on “trust indicators.” In it, the customer already created a list of vendors he might use, but he is researching “whom to trust.” In this path, he might use the “reviews” or “stars” on Yelp or Google as “trust indicators” for determining what product, service, etc., are the best to purchase.

3. eWOM/Share/Influencers

The share path occurs when a customer loves the product, service, or experience with enough passion to “share” it on social media – be that via electronic word of mouth (eWOM), a share on his or her Instagram, or a viral video on YouTube. Others find out via shares from their friends or influencers online.

4. Interrupt

The interrupt path is often considered the “bad boy” of marketing, both online and off. Interrupt marketing occurs when you want to watch a YouTube video, but before you can, you must view an annoying ad. Or that non-skippable ad or video before you can read a new article online. It is also a paid discovery path online search, recommend, share, etc. Interrupt marketing requires placing paid digital ads.

5. Browse

The browse discovery path is all about getting your message adjacent to what a person is reading or viewing. In it, you’re looking for something, reading something, or watching something, and alongside comes something else. These are the banner ads, sidebars and in-feed ads you see while consuming other content online. It also is a paid form of online discovery.

Without the discovery paths consumers will not find you online. Therefore connecting your digital marketing strategy as it relates to your target consumers’ individual buyer’s journey stage to a discovery path is vital to your marketing success. Lean more about how to reverse the consumers search here: Reverse Engineering the Search – End User Approach to Digital Marketing

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