Offering an extremely useful tool in digital marketing, customer journey mapping is a way of visualising the customer experience across various channels.
This user-focused strategy highlights the experiences that customers will have with your brand on each channel. It does not have to exactly represent each individual customer's journey, but rather it gives a general outline of the way that most customers interact with your brand online, make decisions and perform various actions. It tells the story of your customer's path to purchase in a clear, easy to follow way, allowing you to gain insight into how people become customers.
As the number of channels continues to grow, it's easy to feel a bit overwhelmed at the idea of trying to map out customer journey. With a clear map, however, it actually gets easier to see exactly where and how people interact with your brand. This, in turn, is very useful for crafting campaigns that can genuinely interact and convert on a deeper level. Essentially, the customer journey puts your customer experience at the top of your goals, in a way that helps you craft powerful digital marketing campaigns to improve this experience.
A typical journey may look a little something like this:
- Create Google ad or lead magnet on a blog post;
- Follow-up with a personalised email;
- Assign the customer to a sales representative through your CRM;
- Add the customer to your lead list;
- Create a nurturing sequence to take them through to conversion.
Why is journey mapping useful for digital marketing?
Simply put, it keeps your customers front of mind at all times, which is essential to create campaigns that convert. When you are focusing on sales or the benefits you provide to customers, you are not putting yourself in your customers' shoes. That means that you will struggle to know what your customers want and need, let alone how to meet those needs. Creating and mapping customer journeys and using tools to automate the process will help you perfect your campaigns while keeping customers at the front of your efforts. In this way, you will stay abreast of your audience's pain points, goals, needs and experiences.
Needless to say, better conversion is a major benefit of journey mapping. This strategy plays a vital role in lead nurturing. The happier the customer, the higher the chance of conversion. Knowing and understanding the journey that most customers take from the moment they arrive, to the moment they make that sale is crucial. It helps you nurture lead holistically, in order to craft and send messages at the right time, in the right way, through the right channel.
Mapping the Customer Journey in Digital Marketing
How do you go about mapping the digital marketing journey? Here are some tips to help you get started.
Go through the entire customer experience from start to finish
The first step in mapping your customer journey is to track their entire experience from start to finish. Which touchpoints do customers interact with at each stage of the process? These could be minor or major. A minor touchpoint could be something like landing on a website and reading a blog post or downloading free content. A major touchpoint could be something like booking a demo or clicking on an online contact form. Your map should cover the full journey from the initial digital marketing steps all the way to post-sale and customer retention strategies. Every single point where the customer typically interacts with your business is mapped.
Map multiple paths on a single touchpoint
Even a single touchpoint can have different entry paths. How did the customer find your business? Did they come in from your Google ad, Facebook ad, landing pages, mini site or email campaign? Once the customer contacted your business, did they call or email, and did they go through technical support or accounts? Be aware that this can complicate the customer journey map and try to stick to the most obvious entry points rather than trying to map every single possible entry.
Learn the difference between on-stage and off-stage
On-stage is any interaction that is visible to customers (ads, emails, mobile campaigns, calls or landing pages, for example), while off-stage is more behind-the-scenes (internal communication, lead scoring or any other strategy between marketing and sales team that is not visible to customers). Off-stage actions affect on-stage actions. They are often denoted in the map but can be just as important to consider as on-stage actions. It is always a good idea to keep customer experience separate from supporting actions.
Define touchpoint intensity
Another thing to consider is which touchpoints play a bigger role than others. Although every touchpoint plays a role in the journey, some may be more important than others. Certain touchpoints are the moment where people go from leads to purchasing customers. Both major and minor touchpoints matter and both will affect the overall experience. You could take an 80/20 view and focus mostly on major touchpoints while still counting minor touchpoints. This will allow you to focus on the touchpoints that have the biggest impact on customer experience.
Ask for feedback from all levels of the company
Your entire company should be involved in the journey map. Ideally, you want to get feedback from each department and key contact if you want to know exactly what happens at each point along the journey. How does your marketing team write their lead magnets? How does the sales person interact with customers? How can each department improve their interaction, and therefore the entire experience? You could use surveys to get feedback from each department. You can then use this information to improve your journey maps and help to ensure that customers get the best possible treatment across the entire organisation.
Customer journey maps are a great tool that can help you improve your campaigns as well as your customer service.
Contact us to find out how else you can craft a well-rounded digital marketing strategy that not only maps the experience but also improves it at every point along the way.