Customers see an estimated 6000 to 10000 ads every day. One irrelevant ad could easily make you the annoying brand that’s just a click away from being marked “This ad is irrelevant to me.” Understanding and mapping customer journeys across multiple channels are critical to standing out amongst a sea of ads.
Why should you invest in mapping the customer's journey?
Your average customer today has multiple avenues to interact with a brand and make a purchase. This presents marketers with the challenge of tracking each touchpoint while mapping the customer journey. The pandemic-induced surge in adopting newer channels like self-checkouts and mobile apps hasn't made things any simpler. Despite the difficulty in tracking, these interactions are a treasure trove of insights for marketers. Marketers should consider every interaction and step the consumer takes as a potential draw-out for communicating with them. If you’re wondering whether this seemingly extensive process is worth paying attention to, here’s something to help your evaluation.
A Bain & Company study found that your customers are 50% more likely to refer your brand to someone after ten purchases.
A crash course in the basics of customer journey funnel
As marketers, the next step would be to start working on a framework we can build for our brand and start mapping customer journeys. Before we do that, it is of utmost importance that we understand the customer funnel and what we, as marketers, gain from each stage of the journey.
1. Demand Generation
At this stage, you’d want to do everything to induct your customer into your engagement funnel. First, by making them aware of your offering, then showing them relevant information to get the potential customer interested enough to consider your product when they buy.
2. Conversion Generation
The stage involves converting potential prospects into customers by having them take the first step. Install an app, subscribe to paid services, or make a purchase according to your business goals. Customers in this stage evaluate your product against competitors, showing specific preferences for your product and deciding to buy.
3. Relationship Management
Once your customer has taken the first step (Purchase, download app, subscribe, etc.), as marketers, we would want to further their engagement with the brand and become loyalists. Campaigns to upsell, cross-sell, and referrals can be launched in this phase.
You want your customers to become your promoters; you want them to bring in new customers because they trust the brand and have had a good experience with it.
What does a good customer engagement strategy look like?
Once you've mapped your customer journey, you can use this map to build a customer engagement strategy. This strategy is what will make your customers stick to your brand. And keep buying instead of just making one purchase during a Black Friday Sale or a clearance sale.
1. Customized strategy for each stage of the funnel
Mapping the customer journey facilitates building an effective customer engagement strategy. A framework that takes into account each stage that their customers are passing through.
Demand Generation Stage
In this stage, it is vital to invest in an omnichannel marketing approach. Hence, you can reach your customers with unified messaging across any channel they are present in. Since this will be your customer's first interaction with your brand, make sure it counts and stays in their mind. The way to do this is to create virality in your campaigns. Be interesting, controversial, or funny. A brilliant example of a viral ad is the one Just Eat’s ad featuring Snoop Dogg.
Just Eat’s ad featuring Snoop Dogg
Most brands spoke about the trauma from the pandemic and offered somber messages of hope and comfort. Just Eat, however, was able to put a perfectly timed finger on the nation's mood. The ad catered to the need for a lighthearted mood-boosting ad.
The brands reaped good benefits from the virality. The campaign garnered audience mentions throughout the year and a massive increase in their fame (backed by a YouGov survey, where 96% of the survey respondents recognized the brand).
This stage would have customers evaluate and compare your product against others. Hence, the goal of your lifecycle marketing plan here should be giving consumers as much information as you can about your offering. Insightful and consistent content can prove to be the all-important nudge for customers to choose your brand.
Marketers generally think that emails, messages, and ads are annoying to our consumers. A recent report, The Personalization Pulse Check, forces marketers to reevaluate this notion. What frustrates customers the most is inconsistent and irrelevant messaging when brands communicate with them, not the number.
This stage plays a crucial role in creating loyal customers. Once they’ve made the first purchase with you, you want customers to form a habit of buying from you. The first step to gaining a user’s loyalty is to make their onboarding experience smooth and easy. An intelligent and intuitive onboarding process is the key to get your customer to take the first step towards building a relationship with you.
Create loyalty programs to eliminate any hurdle customers may face shopping with you. For example, extra shipping charges, paying full price (exclusive discounts to customers who are part of your programs), out-of-stock products (exclusive availability of otherwise out-of-stock goods), etc. Propagation
Paypal’s referral campaign gave them a 7% -10% daily growth in their user base, catapulting them to over 100 million members. The idea was simple yet effective. They offered $20 for signing up and another $20 if they referred PayPal to someone.
Gauge what incentive would motivate your customer to refer your brand - don’t make the referral process too complicated. Uber does an excellent job at keeping the explanations and rules of their referrals simple.
2. Focus on micro-moment driven segmentation
Location, age, gender, etc., are effective segmentation options, but they’re not enough in today’s age of connected, cross-channel buying. Several actions or events precede a purchase. These intent-rich micro-moments can completely turn around the purchase decision.
A brand selling any product will notice customers having these moments move on to become macro conversions (purchase).
How micro-moments lead to macro momentsSo how do you identify these micro-moments? From the time they download your app or land on your website, every action is a micro-moment.
While mapping your customer journey, understanding what customers are doing before purchase will help build a personalized engagement strategy. It will help determine what channels you should be present on and what messaging will resonate with your customer at each stage. Use these micro-moments to create a connected and cross-channel experience for your customer.
3. Hyper personalization is key
Customers expect personalization from brands. Personalization isn’t a “good to have” anymore; it is a “need to have.”
Cocomelody, a bridal clothing brand, observed their customers dropping off at various stages of the journey. As a solution to tackling these drop-offs, they segmented customers based on the purchase funnel and looked at different stages such as 'App Open,' 'Product View,' 'Checkout' etc. and engaged customers across email, and SMS
We extensively spoke about what happens after customers purchase from you for the first time. Because good marketing should never end with the purchase, it has to go beyond, inspire loyalty and optimize your customer’s experience. Mapping your customer journey will help you understand specific moments that could prove to be the most lucrative. So you can put all your might there instead of pushing customers through a vague and theoretically functional funnel.
Note: Content credit MoEngage and Sanjeevani Kumar. Sanjeevani Kumar is a content marketer with a strong belief that storytelling and targeted messaging create business-changing content. When she's not busy writing, you can find her playing fetch with her dog or singing along to some good blues music.