An important element in all marketing activities whether they be online or offline, in newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, billboards, leaflets and the internet – which sub divides into myriad digital channels and platforms.
One thing overarches and underpins all of these things and the understanding and mapping out the customer journey is what makes all marketing hang together.
If you are someone who has used an agency in the past and had less than a great experience, it is because somewhere along the way; the customer journey and the user experience of your products and services were out of sync.
The key to making all marketing efforts work, the foundation on which it is all built is the mapping of the customer journey and then the sequenced synchronisation of the user experience so that those two factors are in alignment over a multi channel all inclusive marketing strategy. Simple eh? It will be.
This article aims to enable you to see the wood for the trees as in digital marketing there is a lot of talk about media. Media is from the latin. It is the plural of medium and means simply “middle ground.”
You will no doubt have had conversations all about media, about websites and the things that websites are made out of. Website Design. Code and syntax and templates and management systems like WordPress and SquareSpace and Magento and Shopify and Duda.
And all that.
Will that solve the problems you face in generating leads and growing a business in a competitive capitalist society where billions of people around the globe make rational decisions based on serving their own interests?
The fact that Duda in one of their adverts claim that using WordPress to build a website is like carving a chicken with a saw, like drying your hair with a leaf blower, or using a baseball bat to swat a fly?
More talk about media and not really marketing.
Same as “I work with a coaching mentor and they are experts in marketing property training courses. They tell me that LinkedIn is the perfect place to build the right audience to buy into what we do”
Linkedin is the same as Facebook or YouTube or Instagram or TikTok, they are all media. They are all a middle place between producer and consumer. They are not the roadmap. They are not even the milestones. They are, though, part of the bat-utility belt that digital marketers wear; the tools they have to work with for example through Social Media Marketing.
And all of that “Duda great, WordPress bad. LinkedIn great, Google bad” is like hiring a plumber who comes and stands in your kitchen, knee deep in cold dirty water and starts talking about how great his Snap On pipefitting tools are and that anyone using Stanley tools is never going to get the job done for you.
So, customer journeys.
First of all we need to discuss the sales funnel and the customer journey and how when in alignment can make for a successful marketing campaign.
To do this you need to take a look at the experience of a customer from their point of view. From having never heard of you to being made aware of you. To then achieve “brand recall” so they can remember your name and recall / remember your logo. Coca Cola and McDonalds champion this as we can all recall and visualise their branding.
There has been a lot of buzz around the topic of click funnels over the last couple of years and even though the buzzwords change from time to time, the way that we buy things doesn’t. And that is a process which is known as AIDA.
It works on a couple of different levels and can be applied to both the buyer journey and an on page user experience.
Attention – One of the first things we need to do as marketers is get the attention of the predefined audience / ICPs. We can do this with billboards and bus shelters, radio and TV, print advertising, newspapers ads, flyer drops and shouting it from the market square like a town cryer of old.
The objective is all the same.
Get their attention and start the customer journey down the funnel from unawareness to awareness.
On social media we can really target people much more specifically than many of the other channels so for niche products and services it works really well, and also for local companies we can serve ads to a postcode, town, region, nation or worldwide.
And the more specific the audience the easier it is to get their attention. For example if we were to market a particular kind of live music event, “90’s Indie Fest” for which we could serve ads to men and women within a five mile radius of Matlock who are 40 to 55 years old and like the Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays and James. Once you send the right message to the right audience, then they pay attention.
So now they are brand aware. Great. We have an audience and we have their attention.
Now we need to add some more information, such as the date and location of the event and a line up of bands that they are likely to like .. and now they are interested.
Once they are interested you need to get them to desire the product / service / event in this case and make the transition from “I like this” to “I want tickets to this”
This is done by adding more benefits and perceived value and some scarcity and a timebound offer .. early bird ticket prices to instil some healthy fear in them will then give them all they need to click on the call to action “Get Discounted Tickets Today” button and they have then gone from being unaware to aware, to interested, to desiring it and then to buy it.
So it that where it ends?
Not a chance. After that there is the stage where the real work begins known as “the loyalty loop” and this is where they then enter into buyer’s remorse and wonder if they should have just brought that and will look into whether than can cancel and just get a refund.
At this stage then the right thing to do is to really (really) service the customer journey on their way around the loyalty loop and ensure that they now enjoy the ride, so they will receive their booking confirmation and parking passes, their camping reservation is all under control and everything is all taken care of for them. All they need to do is be aware of how many great bands, food stalls, craft ales, artisan pizzas and a crowd of amazingly cool like minded people who are all getting ready for a great experience so be sure to join the facebook community and invite other like minded cool people who you think might also want to be a part of this.
And then the customer journey is complete when they are making repeat purchases and / or recommending you to others.
Because as powerful as all these forms of media may be, the oldest is still the best.. and that is word of mouth recommendation.
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