target-your-customers

3 Critical & Consistent Elements in a Customer Journey Framework

  |  October 2, 2013   |  Comments

The customer journey is unique to each brand, product and service; however, these 3 critical, consistent elements will help you better empathize with and understand your customers.


target-your-customersPart of our job as marketers is to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers. One of the most important ways we accomplish this is through the delivery of exceptional customer experiences.

Creating above average digital customer experiences is a key challenge for many organizations, especially given the myriad of platforms available to consumers. However, the reward for getting it right can be a long lasting relationship, with the maximum lifetime value of your customers realized.

One key component in improving the consumer's digital experience is an accurate idea of the customer journey. This illustrates a customer's path through their shopping experience and how they interact with your brand, platforms, and products. Developing a customer journey model helps brands pinpoint their key moments of value, opportunity or friction with consumers.

Customer journeys are unique to each product or service. However, there are consistent elements to each customer journey that marketers must consider to ensure they receive the most value for their efforts:

  • Empathize with your customers,
  • Provide a high level of utility, 
  • And provide relevant context.

Empathize with Your Customers

Leverage emotional cues to convince consumers to take an action or move to the next step. In Mark Ingwer's recent article, "A Call for Empathetic Marketing," he argues that trying to move a consumer only towards a sale is short-sided and misses the deeper role emotion plays in the marketing mix. I agree. As you consider all of the potential actions a consumer could take on their journey, a sale is obviously important, but certainly not the only intended action.

When we think critically and consider each of the potential needs of customers throughout their journey, our results are likely to be more impactful.

Provide a High Level of Utility

Utilitarian marketing has permeated into digital experiences recently, especially with the pervasive focus on mobile. Mitch Joel, one of the proponents of utilitarian marketing, said in an HBR Blog Network article that, "Marketing should no longer be just about messaging and brand loyalty. Brands can provide a high level of utility that enhances a consumer's daily life."

Using an array of digital tools, marketers have the ability to make a positive impact on consumers. Ensuring that each step in the customer journey provides tangible value might be incredibly challenging, but it's paramount.

Context is (Almost) Everything

We are GLUED to our screens. Based on Google's "The New Multi-screen World Study," we spend an average of 4.4 hours of leisure time in front of screens each day. Our choice of device used to consume media is typically driven by several things: the time we have to spend, our location, our attitude and our goals.

In the context of a customer journey, it can be powerfully informative to map accompanying behaviors with the context of how consumers use various devices to experience your brand. This is key in identifying new ways to further enhance your relationship with them.

While there are many important elements to developing a customer journey, these three are most critical, as they make you consider:

  • The customer's perspective
  • Ways that a brand can create real value for the customer
  • The context in which your consumers are making their decisions.

Using this information and perspective to help inform your decisions will pay off in the long run, as you develop a relationship with your customers and more effectively solve their problems. 

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Sept 5 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrea Fishman

Andrea Fishman, VP of strategy and a partner at BGT Partners, leads BGT's Chicago office and has extensive experience in marketing and management consulting. She and her team drive value to BGT's clients through the development of behavioral marketing programs, web analytics, measurement programs, industry benchmarking, competitive assessments, and the design of integrated marketing programs.

Andrea has been with BGT since 2003 and is credited with strengthening partnerships with such clients as ADT, Sony, ADP, and Avaya. Prior to joining BGT, she served as global vice president at divine, inc. She's also held strategic positions within marchFIRST, The Lewin Group, and the office of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy.

A graduate of Brandeis University, Fishman was awarded the Wasserman Scholarship for academic achievement and was named a 2010 Stevie Awards Finalist as Best Executive in a Service Business. She is a frequent judge for the eHealthcare Leadership Awards and is involved with the Special Olympics and Chicago Cares, a community service organization.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Resources

Jobs

    • Digital Marketing Analyst
      Digital Marketing Analyst (GovLoop) - Washington D.C.Are you passionate about audience acquisition? Love effective copy and amazingly effective...
    • Product Specialist
      Product Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreDescription: The Product Specialist is hyper-focused on the customer experience and ensures that our...
    • Partnerships Senior Coordinator
      Partnerships Senior Coordinator (Zappos.com, Inc.) - Las VegasZappos IP, Inc. is looking for a Partnerships Senior Coordinator! Why join us? Our...