This video defines a decision journey so you can understand its importance, how it connects your brand with customers and differentiates you from competition.
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- A top priority of marketers and their agencies is the customer experience. According to a global survey of over 7,000 marketers and e-commerce professionals, 24% of respondents ranked the customer experience as the single most exciting opportunity ahead. And, 78% agree that the customer experience creates brand differentiation and competitive advantage. You can create a great customer experience for your brand by thinking from the customer's perspective to create an insight-driven customer decision journey.
Some people call it a decision journey, while others may call it a path to purchase. I prefer decision journey, because not every decision ends in a purchase. For example, causal marketing for an animal shelter, or a political campaign for a candidate. People make decisions all the time, but that decision may not always result in a purchase. A Customer Decision Journey is a visual representation of the customer's mindset as they progress through various stages of the decision process. It represents their point of view, what they're thinking, their needs and emotions they feel.
A customer decision journey shows the whole customer experience from initial brand awareness through purchase, and importantly after the purchase to reach customers at the moments that most influence their decisions. It identifies micro-moments, which Google defines as intent-rich moments when a customer wants to learn, go, do or buy. With this insight, you'll know which marketing touchpoints to use, such as search, a website, online banners, or a magazine ad, and you'll know what kind of messaging to communicate in each of those touchpoints to engage your customers.
So, you can focus your resources in the right places and share the right information to be most relevant to your customers. Decision journey insights differentiate your brand from competition. Understanding customers needs, perceptions, and motivations will highlight opportunities, such as how to differentiate your product or service, or identify any issues customers may have during their decision process to be a better choice than the competition. This insight will help you leap ahead of your competitors.
Now, there are two ways to develop a customer decision journey, the customers current state, or the customers future state. A Current State Decision Journey is based on known facts and knowledge about how customers currently engage with your brand. This is a great starting point if you're developing a decision journey for the first time. A Future State Decision Journey is hypothetical, it focuses on customer's desires or wishes. This approach works really well for product or service innovations that are focused on a vision.
You may need to conduct new customer research to understand where your brand has credibility to focus on in the future. It may sound like creating a customer decision journey takes a lot of time and hard work, and that's definitely true, but let me share with you why it's worth the investment. A study by Harvard Business Review shows that companies that have captured the full customer journey by integrating multiple sources of data are generating up to eight and a half times higher shareholder value, and take a look at these numbers.
Companies with a customer decision journey management program have strong business results than companies that don't invest in a customer decision journey. An insight-driven customer decision journey will engage your customers, differentiate your brand from the competition, and grow your business.
- How the decision journey has evolved
- Defining and using buyer personas
- Developing insight-driven journey stages
- Choosing touchpoints strategically
- Aligning messaging across the brand's touchpoints