Customer Journey through the marketing funnel.

Today’s customers have ever increasing ways to interact with brands and businesses through multiple touchpoints, so it is more important than ever to ensure they have a seamless experience of your brand.

Mapping out your customers likely touchpoints during the different stages of their customer purchase journey, is the best way to ensure you are effectively targeting prospects and customers with the most relevant messaging using the most appropriate media to reach them.

By taking the time to carefully map your customer’s journey from awareness through to purchase and repeat purchase, you will better understand what type of information they are seeking at different stages. From the customer journey map you can then work out the most appropriate contact strategy with relevant messaging to answer the questions they are looking for at each likely marketing touchpoint.

Let’s explore the customer (or buyer) journey that they take towards purchasing a product or service, turning them from a prospect to a customer. A multichannel approach is most effective, within this we’ve also added examples of how direct mail can be used as it is proven that direct mail can boost marketing ROI when used as part of the marketing mix.

Customer journey.

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The complex nature of today’s customer journey, with touchpoints across multiple channels and devices make creating a seamless experience a real challenge. The modern CMO and Marketing Manager acknowledges the need to consider the entire journey from discovery and awareness, education, trial, purchase and advocacy.

Developing awareness of your product or service.

You’ve identified your target audience and those who are most likely to be interested in buying your product or service, but these prospects haven’t discovered you yet, so you first need to make them aware and educate them on your brand offer. Your focus at this stage is to build brand awareness, let them know your product or service exists and provide them with useful tips and advice that adds value or helps answer key questions they may have.

It could be that you are a new flower shop or clothes shop in an area or perhaps you have a new service you want to draw attention to, so a door drop postcard announcing your arrival or a launch event could help raise awareness and your profile.

Interested in your product or service.

Once your target prospects have discovered you, you now need to nurture their interest and provide them with strong reasons as to why they need your product or service. How can you position your brand as the perfect solution to the problem they have – at this stage you are still educating them on your brand, highlighting your brand story and what the key benefits to them will be through purchasing your product or service.

At this stage of their journey you should be keeping in touch with relevant content. Many customers at this stage will have questions, but they aren’t quite ready to pick up the phone or book/order online. Support them instead by showcasing your customer testimonials and case studies, write content that answers frequently asked questions. A dental practice might send a mailing on top tips for keeping your mouth healthy, or a gym might want to provide a quick guide to leading a healthy lifestyle.

Evaluating against competition.

When your target prospects enter the consideration phase, they will be evaluating your brand against your competition, so you need to educate them on how your product is different from the competition. Positive reviews and testimonials, case studies and brand values are all influencers at this stage. People like to see the proof that your product or services has benefiting other people like them, and to see that you are trustworthy.

Making a final purchase decision.

After evaluation comes the opportunity to drive them over the line to purchase, convert them from a prospective customer into a purchasing customer. It is now time to give them a final sales nudge to convert them to buy. This is where promotions, first order discounts and clear call to actions play their part. For example if this were a gym try sending them an introductory offer such as a discount on membership, free trial of the facilities on your first visit, or first month free membership.

Repeat purchase and loyalty.

Success! They have placed their first order, now efforts turn to repeat purchase and building relationships. The after purchase experience is vital now to turn a one off purchase into a loyal customer advocate, persuading customers to not only repeat purchase but also refer friends, family and colleagues to your brand.

Ask for reviews, offer friends and family discounts, send them exclusive offers, and cross-sell or upsell them to new products or services. And most of all don’t forget to thank them for their custom as surprising and delighting customers is the easiest way to encourage repeat sales and loyal advocates.

If you think about your favourite brand and described it in a sentence it is likely that every interaction you’ve experienced had a closely aligned customer experience – a cumulative effect of multiple touchpoints over time.

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