Marketing in today’s competitive business world has moved on from the tried and tested traditional methods of showrooms, outdoor and print advertising to also include the digital medium. This medium, if used cleverly, can help a company understand its customers’ mindset and capture their loyalty. Digital marketing of one’s company or brand, if properly Search Engine Optimized, helps one to track the journey of its customers, thus giving an insight into customer behavior and preferences.
Customer journey is a roadmap that is formed through market surveys, interviews, and interactions that details the following:
- How customers become aware of one’s brand or product
- Their interactions with the brand
- They’re complete experiences while interacting with the brand as customers
Any time a customer comes in contact with the brand, it is known as customer touchpoints, such as advertisements online and offline, websites, social media, feedback surveys, store visits, interaction with store employees. To map the customer journey and analyze it, one has to keep the following points in mind regarding the customer and his behavior:
Customers have moved from passive receivers to empowered decision-makers today due to the competitive digital space. They have become more discerning because of all the information they have access to. This is the reason why being aware of a customer’s journey is so important. The customer journey map visually displays the customer’s interactions with a brand. This gives insights into the customer’s behavior and choices. This is what the business owner can use to his advantage and work out how to create better customer experiences and improve his brand image.
There are 7 steps to a customer journey map:
- Set Targets: Setting targets and goals helps one form a clear idea of what he wishes to achieve. He can then focus on the most efficient way to hit that target audience. But first he needs to understand why he is making a map and from what perspective. And of course figure out what experiences he should factor in.
- Create the Image of an Ideal Customer: One has to carefully choose the customer segment that might be interested in the seller’s product and brand. He must take into consideration that segment’s background, lifestyle, demographics, personality, shopping preferences and its sources of information. Market research tools like surveys, questionnaires, interviews can help one.
- What motivates / discourages a customer: Understanding the reason behind the customer’s reactions can help the business owner work out strategies to use his brand.
- Map the Buyer’s Journey: There are 3 important points to keep in mind here
- Awareness: If buyers are coerced into identifying challenges, how important is the challenge for them.
- Consideration: In this stage the buyers look for solution to the challenges
- Decision: In this stage the buyers have reached a solution and are now looking for the best option. So how does the business owner’s brand fare in providing that solution?
- Maximize The Brand’s Touch Points: Touch Points are the various channels that provide information to the buyers regarding the brand. One has to make the right impression. The solution has to be looked at from the buyers’ point of view and one should use both digital and traditional methods.
- Earning Trust: The whole idea behind making a buyer’s journey map is to find ways to earn the customer’s trust, how to stand out amongst the competition and above all how to gain his loyalty to the brand.
- Update: Customer experience is a continuing process, so one must keep updating and upgrading the customer journey mapping.
If one spends time understanding the customer’s journey and documenting it, one can make improvements to enhance the customer’s experience and make it a positive one. It is the road to a brand’s success.
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