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AdAge just released an article that states that the CMO that will survive in today’s world must be able to own the customer journey.  That begs the question, how do we go about doing that?

They suggest a four-fold approach.

  1. Do you know your customers?  I recently wrote about how B2B businesses can go about knowing their customers in my article How To Create B2B Buyer Personas.
  2. Do you know where they are at in their journey? Today I’m looking at how to define the customer journey, which starts by first understanding all the potential customer touch points that they may have and being able to get at that information as to where they may be .
  3. Do you have a strategy to move customers along in their journey?  If you know what the journeys may look like to customers in various segments, then you can go about creating content and strategy for a more personalized approach.
  4. Are you able to measure the business impact?  The goal here is to be able to see in your data not only how many people are in what stage of their journey, but whether the strategy you’ve employed has moved anyone from the stage that they are into the next stage.

Iin order to know where people are at in their journey, we must first understand what the various journeys are and all the touchpoints that they may have with your business.

Before purchase touch points:

  • Website/emails – testimonials, promotional emails, home page, product pages, emailed online surveys, website collector surveys that collect responses from people who visit a page of your website, eNewsletter sign-up pop-up box or page, microsites
  • Internet – Social media presence, online reviews, advertising, public relations, whitepapers, blogs by market influencers, remarketing campaign, Amazon presence, eBay presence,
  • Mobile phone – text messages, mobile-enabled website, app design and functionality
  • In-person – word of mouth, community involvement, tradeshows, conferences, sponsorships, networking events, focus groups, car/van graphics, business cards
  • Catalog – regular mail, pick-up locations, in-catalog advertising and messaging

During purchase touch points:

  • Retail store – signage, parking lot, greeter, product displays, wall color, carpet design, countertop material, lighting, checker, POS system
  • Website/emails – search results, checkout page, contact us form
  • Phone system – Sales team or other staff, hold music and messaging

After purchase touch points:

  • Retail store – POS system receipt, plastic/paper bag
  • Website/emails – thank you page, confirmation email, billing statement, marketing emails, online help center, post-sale survey
  • Phone system – account receivable team, , customer service team, technical support team, sales or marketing team follow ups

Once we understand what all our customer touchpoints may be, narrowing down this list, we can then start to understand how they work together.  Examples may be,

  1. Customer received an email – they went to the product landing page – they closed the window without purchase – they were added to a remarketing campaign that followed that customer around with ads within the retailer’s ad network for that product for the next 7 days – customer returned to the website – they receive a pop-up with a special offer.
  2. Customer downloaded retailer’s mobile app – as the customer moves around the retail store the app sends a text message to the mobile phone with a special offer – the customer can then tell the app whether or not they are interested in that product thus creating a closed-loop experience.

Did I leave any important touch-points off this list?  Let me know in the comments at bottom of the page.

Do you want to own your customer journey but don’t know where to begin in developing buyer personas?  If so, contact us to talk about how we can help. We’re flexible to work with you wherever you are at in creating an inbound program.