It’s 8:00 on a hot summer night, and you have a sudden urge for ice cream. You know what I’m talking about; the awareness that you really, really want a cool treat at that exact moment. So, off you go (spouse, children, or friends in tow) to the nearest shop. Walking in, you are greeted by a variety of flavors, and a (hopefully) helpful teenager behind the counter. You’re the indecisive type, and ask the server for his recommendation. The server offers a rundown of his favorite sundaes, and even gives you a couple samples. You settle on a banana split, a classic you’ve enjoyed before. Taking the first bite, you savor the sweet coolness (and mull over whether the addition of a banana makes this a healthier option). Satisfied with your purchase, you return home a few bucks shorter but considerably happier.
The Customer Journey
As commonplace as this buying process sounds, it is an accurate representation of a process we call the customer journey. In short, the customer journey is a series of interactions (the journey) that people go through when interacting with a brand. Usually, the journey begins with the customer’s awareness of a problem or need, and ends with a decision to engage with a brand or purchase a product. To arrive at this end result, a customer goes through unique stages along the way, depending on several key variables such as motivations, questions, and level of knowledge.
As you might have guessed from our stop at the ice cream shop, customer journeys can be short and relatively simple. However, the same stages a customer goes when choosing a frozen treat can be found in any number of important decisions: think scaling a business, updating a website, choosing an orthodontist, buying a home. With these decisions, individuals move at a slower, more deliberate pace through unique stages of the customer journey.
Using the Customer Journey to Market to Potential Customers
Knowing the customer journey exists, how do you effectively market to potential customers at each stage in the journey? At every point, individuals have different questions and evolving needs. Understanding the stages of the customer journey allows you to deliver the right content marketing at the right time – thus converting more leads into customers.
Contact us if you’d like help building your customer journey.