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By: Jeremi Karnell, CEO

Yesterday I had the pleasure of reading Brian Solis’ post titled “Social Media is about Social Science not Technology” (which subsequently resulted in me buying his book “The End of Business as Usual“).  For several days now, I have been trying to conceive of a new infographic that would illustrate how social customer’s make purchase decisions.  I think there is little doubt that the classic ‘interest to intent” funnel is dead.  However, landing on what the new model looks like has been difficult as there are so many competing points of view.

I was originally leaning towards the Consumer Decision Journey (CDJ) illustration that David Edelman’s published in his Harvard Business Review article titled “Branding in the Digital Age” (December 2010).  My challenge was that I thought it did not present enough detail.  Then, whoala! Along comes Solis and his Decision Making Cycle of Connected Customers illustration.  Here was the detail I was looking for.  I took the liberty to make some minor modifications (primarily around simplifying the influence loop) and created a version below:


The above purchase cycle highlights that social customer’s really emphasize “the input of those who define their interest graphs”.  Solis went on to state that social customers “evaluate the shared experiences of those they trust, and expect business to respond to their socialized questions”.  As a consequence, these customer’s follow an elliptical pattern, vs a linear approach, in their decision making.  “Their next steps are inspired by the insights of others, and their experience are, in turn, fed back into the cycle to inform the decisions of others”.

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