What Is Your Customer Journey?
According to Demand Metric, almost 90% of participants in a recent study indicated it’s important to influence buyers earlier in their journey.
As a marketing person for 35+ years I get it that buyers don’t want to be interrupted, stalked or told what to do. These steps don’t answer buyer’s questions or address their areas of interest. Customers are looking for information about a company like yours and they are searching on their phone during a quiet moment to find hard information.
So, what does your customer’s journey look like, sound like and feel like?
What is the Buyers Journey?
At the beginning of your buyer’s journey, your customer is probably unaware of two things: they have a clear, easily identifiable need (even if their not clear what it is yet) and your company has a solution. (they just don’t know how awesome you are yet).. They may have messaged friends for opinions or they may feel overwhelmed by too many search engine options. Let me explain the critical journey points:
Your buyer’s journey is the process people go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new service or product .. Depending on who you talk to, the buyer's journey can have anywhere from three to fifteen steps. However, there are three widely accepted stages that marketers use to describe the average B2B or B2C buyer's journey: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage.
THE JOURNEY IS A THREE-STEP PROCESS:
- Awareness Point: The buyer realizes they have a challenging problem.
- Consideration Point: The buyer defines their problem and researches options to solve it.
- Decision Point: The buyer chooses a solution.
The graphic below illustrates a sample buyer’s journey for most purchasing decisions:
HERE’S AN EXAMPLE OF ONE OF MY CUSTOMER’S JOURNEY:
Awareness: Jill was planning on using her existing trade show booth for the upcoming convention in two months when her boss calls her into a meeting and drops the bomb, “You ARE planning on having a new booth for the show this year, aren’t you?” Panic sets in… “Sure thing,” she replies as the room goes blurry.
Consideration: Jill does a quick search in a panic researching “quick trade show booths” and it points her to several companies that can handle her request.
Decision: So now Jill needs to decide which three companies she should contact to get some bids going quickly. She checks out specific vendor reviews and ratings and identifies three vendors have good reviews, are trusted service providers, and are offering timeframes that meet her needs.
When you're planning out your marketing strategies, you need to map out this process for each of your buyer personas and produce content that will be useful for those personas at each stage.
CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPPING
A customer journey map is a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your company’s products, online experience, retail experience, or service. Seems understandable, right?
The more touchpoints you have, the more complicated the customer’s journey maps become. Sometimes customer journey maps include first engaging with a customer through advertising, websites, or blogs (like this one), gathering information about services offered, then buying the service they require.
The service is then carried out and they tell other people about the experience (at a meeting or in social media. Then the cycle begins again with their next need with you or someone else.
So before your customer’s do another lookup on a company like yours get your customer’s journey map in focus.
Hope this helps clarify for you.