In the study of mythology, there is a concept called the “hero’s journey.” Even if you’ve never heard of it, you’ve seen it in action. Just about every film or book about an adventure or personal growth follows this structure: a young, naïve protagonist leaves home, meets a mentor, enters a new world, encounters specific challenges, experiences some sort of transformation, and returns home with new knowledge.
There’s something about this kind of story that resonates in the human psyche across cultures and time periods. Writers go back to it again and again because it works.
The same could be said of the customer journey in marketing. Every customer goes on a similar journey when shopping. They search for a product, discover the right brand, come to trust the brand, eventually make a purchase, and hopefully become loyal customers. If this isn’t happening for your business, mapping the customer journey is one way to discover where that journey is coming to an end and how to nurture customers all the way through to the end—and on to their next purchase.
Customer Journey Defined
The customer journey, like the hero’s journey, is a story about an imaginary person that stands for the experience of many people. It tells the story of a customer’s experience with a brand, starting before they even decide they need a product and continuing past the point where they make the purchase.
Also like the hero’s journey, the protagonist of the customer journey is an archetype: a bundle of characteristics called a buyer persona. This is an ideal customer created from your own ideas about who your product will most benefit and data about who is actually buying your products.
But there’s no one-size-fits-all customer journey. It’s not a template that can be applied to every business in the same way. That’s because each business operates in its own niche, with its own type of customer and its own goals, its own touchpoints (when/where a customer comes in contact with your brand) and pain points (problems that arise that might prevent them from continuing).
Mapping the Journey
Werx.Marketing has developed a highly effective customer journey mapping process that we guide our customers through. The process focuses on what actions customers take at every phase of their journey with your brand, beginning with the customer becoming aware of your brand and ending with nurturing customer loyalty after they make a purchase.
We envision the customer journey as a process rather than a linear journey. That’s because customers discover a brand in different ways, and they don’t always progress through the parts of the customer journey in a linear fashion.
The mapping process we use results in a unique-to-you list of marketing and selling strategies that can be developed to help customers find your brand, understand your value faster, and move from discovery to sale faster.
Every purchase is at least as much an emotional decision as it is a rational one. You need to not only sell a good product but be able to form a bond with a potential customer and address any fears or concerns they have along the way. And how can you form a relationship with someone if you don’t know who they are? Mapping the customer journey allows you to explicitly understand these emotions and tailor all of your marketing materials, messaging, and branding to the needs of your archetypal customer.
This approach to the customer journey creates brand consistency. When you consider the emotions your customers are feeling every step of the way, and the emotions you want to elicit, you can create a more consistent experience across sales channels. Customers are greeted by the same voice (one that speaks to them, in their language), the same graphics, and the same overall vibe whether they find you in ads, on any social media platform, on your website, or in your physical location. This becomes possible when you know who your customer is, how they think, what they want, what their concerns are, and how they make purchasing decisions.
Mapping the customer journey is also beneficial to business owners as a way to better understand their own business. A customer journey map will give you a more complete picture of what customers are doing, and what is going through their minds, at every stage of the process. This allows you to further differentiate your product and offer your customers the personalized experience they are looking for.
There are a ton of variables that can turn a prospective customer into a loyal one. Thinking about it all can seem overwhelming and abstract. By mapping the customer journey, you discover who your customer is, what they want, how they interact with your business, how they make decisions, and what can keep them from choosing you.
Are You Ready to Do Better Marketing?
WerxMarketing is all about performance marketing. That means giving you the tools you need to connect with customers, enable your sales efforts, and turn leads into loyal customers. Ready to learn more about how we do that? Book a free consult and bring your questions. See if you like working with us on our dime, and get some good advice in the process.