Source: Working the web: Finding your digital marketing mix – Richmond Times-Dispatch: Learning Center
The customer journey tells the story of the customer’s buying experience: from discovering their pain, to researching solutions, entering the sales process, and eventually into a relationship with your business.
There are four components that make up the journey: persona, properties, path and purpose.
Persona marketing begins with detailing, in a very specific way, to whom you are marketing.
You start by creating a fictional character based on common traits and then target your marketing accordingly.
Persona traits include a combination of demographic information, motivations for buying, and typical day-to-day behavior.
A well-detailed persona should take up a full sheet of paper. It not only lists their characteristics but tells a story about who they are and why behave the way they do.
This characterization of your customers focuses your marketing efforts. Instead of trying to market to the masses, you focus on a few distinct individuals.
Because these individuals represent a much larger population, what speaks to them will speak to your entire market base.
About 70 percent of the buying process occurs anonymously, and it takes place on a combination of different web properties.
Properties are all the places a customer can research and discover your brand, product, or industry online. This could include your website, a mobile app, social media page, YouTube, or customer review site.
Businesses need to know where their customers go to obtain information and to find solutions.
The path details the sequence, or the order, in which people interact with you leading up to a purchase.
Studies show users visit your website several times via multiple marketing channels (such as email or social media) before they engage with you.
Social media and email marketing bring first-time visitors back to the website a second or third time. Branded search (searching your brand name in Google) or going directly to your website are used just before making a purchase.
Knowing which channels are used at the beginning or end of the customer journey could influence how you value and prioritize them in your marketing.
Determine the purpose of each property in the customer journey, as it relates to the buying funnel.
The buying funnel represents the sequence of steps a buyer takes before making a purchase. It begins with becoming aware of their problem, then a consideration of available options, developing a preference, and ultimately through to purchase.
Does the property help the customer during their opinion and consideration phase? Does it convince them that you are the best choice in the market during their preference and purchase phase?
Different messaging works better, depending on where someone is in the funnel. Promotional messaging is ineffective early in the customer journey, but it becomes more effective the closer someone is to purchasing.
Every property in the consumer path has a purpose that fits in this buying funnel. When those properties successfully deliver on that purpose, you sell more.