How today’s marketers are using journey management to extend their vision and impact to the context of the full customer journey
Think about the last time you researched a possible purchase. You may have started by Googling options on your PC, after which you were then served with targeted ads in search results and across social networks, some of which looked interesting. Perhaps then you popped into a physical store so that you could touch and feel, all while comparing other sellers’ prices on your mobile. You then reached out to a friend for an opinion and eventually ordered something online. Sound familiar?
The reality is that the modern customers’ journey is chaotic and unpredictable. What’s more, research has shown that buyers are almost 60% of the way through their buying journeys before most businesses know they’re a prospect1. Today’s shopper is self-empowered, creative and multichannelled. Their buying journey is a choose-your-own-adventure exercise.
What about the traditional marketing funnel?
The funnel needs a rethink. The traditional marketing funnel illustrates how customers move from being aware to making a purchase, to hopefully becoming a loyal advocate. The funnel suggests that our path is linear and we progress towards a business goal. Even worse, it only focuses on acquisition and divides everyone into two: pre and post-purchase.
That’s why Gartner call the funnel an outdated concept2. It’s a linear lens on a non-linear customer. Customer journeys are unique and look more like pinball than anything else – we bounce from touchpoint to touchpoint with varying intensity, often ending up back where we started. So how do brands market to the New Customer?
Marketers, increasingly, need to extend their vision to the context of the full customer journey so that they can extend the impact of their efforts. Customer centricity is essential, but so is visibility.
So, how do we reimagine the marketing funnel?
Start with the customers’ goals
Begin with the people, not a platform. What are your customers trying to achieve and what are their steps? How are customers feeling while they’re doing this? All customers start with different intentions and context, and once goals and sentiment are understood then the business will know how to help them.
The good news is that your customer data is your competitive advantage. If you connect the dots between all the things your customers are doing, saying and feeling, then you can visualize actual customer journeys with emotional context. Missing some insight on how your customers are feeling at some points? Reach out and collect it in real time.
Make it holistic, and then personalize
Remember – the customer is multichannel, bouncing between devices and channels. Holistic, consistent brand messaging ensures that the brand experience is unbroken. Consumers need to see the same brand no matter where they are or what they’re doing, agnostic of platform.
Personalization is the next essential layer. Customers need different things, even when their goals are similar. Some customers may be stuck because they lack information, while others may need an incentive or a conversation with a friendly agent. Your first-party customer data will give you insights into who needs what, and when, so that customers can be personally nudged towards conversion.
Finally, address the when. Your customers need different things at different points in time, and we respect their time. Once you have a view of who they are, what they’re doing and what they need, personalized, AI-powered interventions need to be triggered in real time.
Stuck in a loop and need some information to progress? Here’s the info you need – immediately.
Lost momentum or getting distracted? Here’s a little nudge based upon things you value.
Confused and considering your options? How about a quick call? You’re valuable and we know you appreciate interpersonal contact.
Take the next step
At inQuba we’ve seen how CX professionals are being relied upon increasingly for insights into the customer journey. Marketers need a view of opportunities and pain points throughout the marketing funnel that weren’t previously visible, and Customer Journey Management provides the essential approaches for journey discovery, optimization and conversion.
We invited international guest speakers to help us share an approach for marketing and CX in the New Economy.