We digital marketers are obviously pleased about the proliferation of ways we can get in touch with potential consumers. But with these increased points of contact comes the need to track these movements more efficiently to see how to optimise campaigns and marketing channels. Needless to say, its getting ever more complex as marketing channels increase in number and offering.
86% of companies recognise that understanding the customer journey can lead to profitability and increased revenue. However, that doesn’t mean they’re doing it right. So how DO you do it right?
Understand that data is the key to understanding the consumer journey
There are many ways you can collect data. One great way to collect data is to collect customer feedback. You can do this from reviews, call centres and in-store feedback forms. You can also track and monitor customer behaviour through digital analytics platforms.
To make the most of these analytics platforms, you’ll want to break down various online channels to determine, first of all, whether you use them primarily for acquisition or retention. These channels can include paid search, display, SEO, retargeting, mobile, push notifications, social, SMS and email (to name just a few). Once you know whether you use these channels more for one or the other, you can start to understand how a customer might move through interacting with your brand, from first touch point to purchase. You’ll want to define the typical stages a customer goes through on their journey, and then drill down in to a touchpoint.
For instance, a customer might start off by needing or wanting a new pair of shoes. They’ll start to research, more than likely across multiple channels (or touchpoints) – Google, word of mouth, in-store. From there, they’ll start shopping around and cost-comparing, perhaps through search and display ads, blogs, social and email promos that lead them to sales landing pages. They’ll make a buying decision and purchase (or not).
To make the most of these analytics platforms, you’ll want to break down various online channels to determine, first of all, whether you use them primarily for acquisition or retention.
But data is just one part of the pie
Your staff, every single one, should understand the end user. Whether you sell clothing or computers, your consumer’s concerns, objections, needs and habits should be instilled in your employees so they can have understanding and empathy with your customers.
Focus on post-purchase behaviour
Lots of companies miss potential opportunities for brand loyalty and repeat purchases. How? Overlooking post-purchase behaviour. Over half of companies focus on pre-purchase lifecycle behaviour while just 17% look at any post-purchase data.
With a mapped consumer journey, you can optimise more easily
We don’t need your optimisation will be done in the snap of a finger. What we do mean is that your work will not be based on intuition, and therefore you’ll end up making less changes, because you’ll start to see results quickly. For instance, in the above example, if you notice that you get people on your website from email advertising more than any other option, you’ll throw more juice behind that, and increase your ROI. With a customer journey, you changes are data-motivated and therefore much more powerful.