Messy Middle: From consideration to purchase | by Karsh Kunwar | Mar, 2024

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Breaking down Google’s “Messy Middle” for Product Managers

Google’s “Messy Middle” research sheds light on the complex decision-making process between considering and making a purchase. This stage is filled with consumer uncertainties and a plethora of choices, challenging traditional marketing models. The study explores how consumers navigate this chaos, emphasizing the importance for product managers to understand and influence this critical phase. In this article, I delve into Google’s insights on the “Messy Middle”, and discuss the implications for product managers in an increasingly intricate marketplace.

What is Messy Middle?

Google calls the intermediate stage between the initial trigger that prompts a person to consider making a purchase and the actual completion of the purchase as “Messy Middle”. Messy Middle research is one of the biggest research projects that Google undertook. For those, who are interested in the full report, you can find it here

Their research shows that the “Messy Middle” is characterised by complexity and unpredictability, as people navigate through multiple options, gather information, evaluate alternatives and ultimately make decisions. The purchase journey from the trigger to purchase is non-linear and involves multiple iterations before making a final choice. The complexity in the ‘messy middle’ is compounded in the internet age. What once relied on brand reassurance and…

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