Last month we discussed Customer Segmentation Marketing –
The act of organizing and identifying a group of customers by sets (and sub-sets) of individuals who share common demographic traits or fit into common marketing categories.
This marketing approach requires detailed Customer Personas to be referenced when crafting marketing messages, personalized content, or any strategic interaction with the targeted group of customers.
However before diving into content and messaging development, it’s a good idea to step back and look at your customer’s overall path-to-purchase. Review the varying situations and opportunities customers have to interact with your brand; from website activity to in-person experiences. This way you’ll be able to pinpoint where and when to apply your segmentation marketing content.
For each of your brand touchpoints, consider how different customers might be having different experiences; or perhaps they are left wanting different experiences based on their unique preferences. By outlining these points at which customers interact with your brand, a roadmap starts to reveal itself enabling your team to gain control of how customers move through the sales cycle. Furthermore, you’re able to have a closer look at each individual touchpoint to see what is working and what needs attention.
This process of outlining and visualizing a customer’s path-to-purchase is called Customer Journey Mapping.
“A Customer Journey Map is a diagram or several diagrams that depict the stages customers go through when interacting with a company, from buying products online to accessing customer service on the phone to airing grievances on social media.” –www.techtarget.com
There are a variety of ways to approach Customer Journey Mapping. Just as with anything else, there are benefits and drawbacks to each different approach. Over the years we have developed a series of 6 steps that we find successful across all markets and industries.
1) Identify, list and outline all existing branded touchpoints.
Get started by creating a list of all the different ways a customer can interact with your brand. The more detailed and specific you can be with this list, the more detailed and specific your Customer Journey Map will be.
Online – Website
Online – Social Media
Mobile – App
Phone – Customer Service
Phone – Company Directory
Advertisements – Digital
Advertisements – Print
2) Choose your target customer persona.
Whether it’s a demographic trait or purchase behavior, narrowing your focus and clarifying who your brand wants to reach will provide a framework to build around. Selecting a customer persona will humanize the customer and encourage a personal touch at each step. Your team will also have a consistent point of reference throughout the journey mapping process.
First Time Buyer: Female, age 18-34.
3) Understand your customers’ goals.
In order to strategically move customers along the path-to-purchase, understand what your target customers are hoping to gain with each brand interaction. Review the list of touchpoints you created during Step 1 and brainstorm possible reasons your target buy persona might be interacting with your brand through that channel.
Online – Website: Review general information about the company
Online – Social Media: Learn the brand’s personality and relationship with customers
Mobile – App: Browse pricing or purchase details
Phone – Customer Service: Ask specific, detailed questions
4) Visualize and map out the customer’s flow of interactions.
This is where the customer journey starts coming to life. Carefully review your target customer persona (our example being: First time buyer – Female, age 18-34) and begin placing your Step 1 touchpoints along a linear path working toward a desired goal or outcome. Typically the ultimate goal is a purchase; however the customer’s journey can extend beyond the purchase through steps of relationship building and nurturing loyalty. Think of this step as a rough draft that can be altered and adjusted as all the pieces start coming together.
5) Prioritize your brand’s touchpoints – by interaction frequency or level of influence.
Take a step back and review the big picture keeping in mind your target customer persona. Consider where they are most likely to spend their time, the most influential points of contact as they move along the path-to-purchase, and where your team can make the biggest impact in terms of strategy or content development. The ultimate goal of this Customer Journey Map is to improve the overall flow between your brand’s touchpoints. This is accomplished by referring to the journey map and one-by-one examining customer interactions with the intent of continually improving. Start by addressing points of immediate impact and then move on to the rest.
6) Revisit, review and update your Customer Journey Map as needed.
As you begin making adjustments and improvements to your branded touchpoints, you may see fluctuations in customer interaction. Adjustments in one area might reveal opportunities in another area, so regularly reviewing and assessing your Customer Journey Map will ensure your brand is ahead of the game. Furthermore, the competitive market is always evolving so maintaining a current understanding of how customers are interacting with your brand is a vital step in remaining relevant and competitive.
For over 30 years we have partnered with top tier brands who want to offer their customers the best experiences possible. Our strategic approach to Customer Journey Mapping is tailored to fit the unique needs of each partner brand because each brand, market and customer is unique.
Are you ready to improve bottom-line growth and offer best in class customer experiences? Then we’re here to get you moving in the right direction.