Join Michael Becker for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the customer journey, part of Mobile Marketing Foundations.
The customer journey is the new evolution in the purchase funnel, and it's the best way to really understand your customers and learn how to engage them in their new behavior. The stages and steps along the purchase funnel and the customer journey are similar, but subtle differences exist. The purchase funnel is a linear view of the world through the marketer's eyes and the marketer's goals, while the customer journey is a non-linear view, with many interconnecting branches, many which double back on each other. It is a view of the world through an individual consumer's senses, and how he or she goes throughout their day, their week, their year, or their lives satisfying their wants, needs and desires.
In today's mobile world it is critical that you aim to provide consistent brand experience to your customers across all mobile channels that they choose to reach you through, or else you run the risk of missing the consumer and missing huge business opportunities. Here is a good example of the customer journey. To create your own customer journey road-map, you want to envision every online and offline means by which your customers may choose to access your business and interact with you. For example, will they see an ad you place in local media? Come to your website after searching on the web? Find your app in an app store? Or call your customer service department for help? All of these touch points need to be mapped out.
If you think this is too much work, just remember that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Start your customer journey map with a generic customer in mind. This could be any person. You first just want to get a broad outline of how someone might interact with your business. Ask yourself, "If I were a customer, "where would I look to buy my product? "How would I find out about it? "What problems would I be trying to solve with my product? "Where do I shop? "What questions will I have about the product or service? "Where will I go for help if I need it? "Will I find the help I get useful? "Where will I go to ask my friends? "Will I ask them in person, "or is there a social site that I frequent?" Once you've completed this step, you'll then want to start refining your customer journey map, by getting more specific as to who your customers are.
This step is referred to as building the customer personas. Customer persona development is a lot like creating characters for a play, where your customers are your heroes of the play, and you're the trusted guide or mentor. Start your customer persona development by asking and answering a lot of questions. For example, ask yourself, "If I was a customer, "or potential customer of my company, who would I be? "Who am I? "Am I a busy professional, "or am I a busier stay-at-home parent? "What are my needs? "How will my product help me fulfill my needs? "What is my demographic profile? "How old am I? "What is my gender? "What's my income? "Where do I live? "What are my interests, "and how are these interests influenced? "Are they influenced by media that I watch? "Games that I play? "By my friends? "What types of media do I consume? "Television; magazines; books; apps; websites? "Have I joined any email lists? "What is my behavior? "Do I go online? "If so, how often, and what sites do I go to? "Do I have a mobile phone? "Do I play games? "Read the news? "Watch movies? "Do I use social media? "How might I be exposed to my product?" Just keep asking and answering questions like these, until you've exhausted them all.
At the end you may find that the people you are trying to reach don't actually fit one nicely snug single segment. You may find you were actually servicing many different types of customers, in which case you need to develop multiple personas or multiple segments. Once you've identified the one, two, three customer personas, the actual number will vary by your business, you'll then want to use these to start marketing and reaching out to your customers. Here's a tip. When you're developing your customer personas and segments and understanding how your customers might interact with you throughout the customer journey, be sure to do your best to really think about your customers and who they are, and not necessarily project your own thoughts onto their behavior.
If you're an advanced user, that doesn't mean everybody is not an advanced user as well. Moreover, if you don't use a lot of mobile capability, don't assume that everybody else doesn't. While mobile has been adopted by the majority of customers, there are still very few superusers out there. Only about 13 percent of mobile users fall into this category. Most users are still trying to get familiar with their device. They use maybe up to five to 10 applications on average, will only use an app for about 30 days. It's really important that you look at your customers' behavior in great detail when developing your customer journey.
Also, keep in mind that different mobile capabilities tend to be more effective depending on how engaged the consumer is in the marketplace, and the level of loyalty they have with your business, so they may be a superuser, but if they're early on in the customer journey or purchase funnel, they may not want to interact with you via mobile at all, or they may be a novice user, but really use a lot of mobile experiences with you, because they're so enamored with your brand.
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- Understanding the mobile marketing purchase funnel
- Auditing your mobile readiness
- Testing your email and web performance
- Creating a strategy
- Establishing a basic mobile web presence
- Setting up a QR code program
- Building your mobile phone number database for an SMS campaign
- Planning a mobile app
- Setting up a mobile display ad campaign
- Understanding government regulations on mobile marketing