The Many Touchpoints of a Customer Journey
The customer journey is a confusing and complicated puzzle every marketer dreams of cracking. A few years ago the influence loop was the talk of the marketing community. My issue with the influence loop has always been that it is not easily applicable. While it demonstrates the many stages of a making a decision, it disregards one of the most important things to marketers – the marketing channels. To me what makes marketing such a fascinating puzzle is the sheer volume of options we have at our disposal – websites, blogs, seo, billboards, mobile apps, social media, social media ads, digital ads, native ads, tv, radio, print…and the list goes on. To make the customer journey useful we need to start thinking how those marketing channels connect across the different stages. To do so I simplified the customer journey and focused on mapping the possible channels that would be useful at each point of the journey.
This is the part of the journey the customer is first introduced to you or your product. Whether they were actively looking for something specific or just window shopping, they saw you. The reaction you want them to have during the first glimpse is “Ooo. What is this? Looks cool!”.
In order to be successful here it is crucial to understand your target audience needs and pain points. What problem are they trying to solve? What lifestyle do they want to have? What attracts them? Utilize that information to gain higher rankings in search and to develop creative that is appealing to them. It doesn’t have to tell the whole story; all you are trying to do is get them interested enough to click through to the next stage.
So you got their attention. Now it’s time to prove yourself! Customers are smart and cautious so having a landing page isn’t good enough. Strong chance that they will look up reviews and competitor options, evaluate you on price and guarantee, debate whether they really need you or not. Help them do their research by making it easy to explore your owned properties and see relevant content. It is up to you to make sure that everywhere they look they are seeing a consistent message and coming to the conclusion that, “Yes! I need this!”
You got their attention, you’ve proven your worth, but your work isn’t over. Now it’s time for them to complete their purchase, or whatever else you were aiming for them to accomplish. Having a good clean journey up to this point isn’t enough if the customer has a hard time connecting with you. They say “the proof is in the pudding” and if your checkout process is ridden with bugs, or you are asking pages upon pages of questions to complete a registration, you’re increasing the chances for your prospective customer to abandon you. Please, please, please make sure that before you market and drive traffic anywhere, that there is an action that can be completed seamlessly. If you see a lot of traffic is falling off at this point, figure out why! Assuming everything is running smoothly, you will have a very satisfied customer who will be celebrating and telling their husband, “Checkout what I just purchased, honey!”
Would be nice if you were off the hook at this point, but you’re not. At least not if you want to be a truly great marketer. If the customer completed their purchase or registered with an account, they’ve given you the information needed to connect with them, so you better follow up! In an ideal world they are so happy with their experience that they will be touting your praises all over social media and to their friends saying “This is awesome! You need to try this!”.
However there are ways to engage even the less social bunch. Amazon asks you to write reviews after your buy from them, not just in hopes of getting more feedback, but it’s a way to stay in touch with you. Follow up with a blog post, say “thank you”, or run some retargeting ads to get them involved with your brand further. This is where you can start to exponentially increase the value of one single customer.
So there you have it. My interpretation of the influence loop/customer journey mapping it to the marketing touchpoints. To me this is really crucial because you start to realize you don’t need to engage each and every channel for every campaign. Key thing is to ensure you have trackin on every stage so you can see how the journey progresses and where you can improve. More on that later.