This post is by Beate Duesterwald, Senior Consultant at TrinityP3. Beate has over 18 years experience in helping clients to translate their business objectives into compelling digital marketing strategies.
From marketing funnel to customer decision journey
I was working on a presentation recently where I referenced McKinsey’s Customer Decision Journey (CDJ) model. If you are not familiar with the CDJ model here is a graphic that illustrates the difference between the classic marketing/sales funnel and the more iterative customer decision journey model.
The CDJ model reminded me of an established method that might assist marketers in better understanding their target audience’s decision-making journeys.
The CX (customer experience) and UX (user experience) disciplines use Customer Journey Mapping (amongst other methods) to capture user journeys and the experience a user makes along the journey with a business, product or service. It’s an insightful and efficient method to better understand your target audience and their engagement with your business, product or service, especially when the mapping is conducted as a group exercise (e.g. with other stakeholders and/or management).
Customer engagement is more than a series of interactions, or getting people to visit a website, “Like” something on Facebook, or download a mobile app. Genuine engagement focuses on how your organisation, product, service or brand fits into your existing and prospective customers’ lives.
Customer Journey Maps
So, what is a Customer Journey Map?
It is a visual interpretation (think ‘infographic’) of the overall story from an individual’s perspective of their relationship with an organisation, service, product or brand, over time and across channels. The method is ideal to map user journeys in preparation of a digital initiative, as it looks at multiple channels that influence the interactions and user behaviour in the digital channel.
Here are some benefits of creating Customer Journey Maps to define or re–refine digital initiatives:
- The maps provide a holistic overview of the paths, interactions, touchpoints and experiences that a user or customer makes with your business, product or service
- The maps identify the emotional experiences that the user/customer makes at various touchpoints. This is a great way for all stakeholders to project themselves into their customer’s/user’s shoes
- You can identify those ‘moments of truth’ that can be turned into a great experience for the user/customer.
Ultimately the Customer Journey Maps assist you in defining what might convert a user/customer into an advocate for the business, product or service.
Customer Journeys and Personas
Ideally you create a Customer Journey Map for each of your key Audience/User Personas.
Creating user/audience Personas is another method commonly used by CX and UX practitioners e.g. for a digital initiative. If you don’t have or use Personas it may be time to consider it.
Audience/user Personas are a powerful way to capture more qualitative insights of your target audience segments.
Wikipedia describes a Persona as:
“A user persona is a representation of the goals and behaviour of a hypothesised group of users. Personas are usually captured in 1–2 page descriptions that include behaviour patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and environment, with a few fictional personal details to make the persona a realistic character.”
What are the benefits of developing audience/user personas?
Personas assist to ensure your product, service and content meet your audiences’ needs and at the same time contribute to your business goals.
Personas can be a powerful addition to the standard marketing segmentation as they focus on the qualitative insights such as the audience’s needs, attitudes and behaviours that can span across age groups. Most likely this captures user segments more accurately and meaningfully when planning a digital (or other marketing) initiative.
In a nutshell the benefits include:
- providing a human “face” to an audience segment that is otherwise defined by demographics.
- helping team members share a specific, consistent understanding of various audience groups. Data & demographics about the groups are placed in context and this makes it easier to understand and remember
- proposed solutions for a product or service that can be guided by how well they meet the needs of individual user personas. Features or services can be prioritised based on how well they address the needs of one or more personas.
Customer journeys and data
So, how does a Customer Journey Map fit into the mix with other data about your users/customers, such as insights from Google Analytics?