How To Put The Customer Journey At The Heart Of Your Marketing

by Duncan MacRae

Just how important is it to ensure the customer journey is the focus of your digital marketing strategy? And how can it be done? We asked a selection of industry leaders, due to give presentations at our Digital Marketing Conference on July 14, for their top tips. Here’s what they had to say:

Franco de Bonis, head of digital solutions at Red Hot Penny

Putting the customer journey at the heart of your marketing plan is everything! You can’t dominate in just one channel and expect to be successful. These days it’s about Omni-channel marketing. You can divide your budgets equally across all the relevant touch points and be relatively successful, but the key to true success, in terms of ROI and Profit, is ensuring that you understand the mix that applies to your customer base. There’s no magic here. If you don’t know, you simply test and measure until you dial it in. You also need to have a laser focus on the data and look beyond the initial numbers. For instance, you could run a PPC campaign, which on the surface looks really poor in terms of conversions. However, if you then look at assisted clicks, you might see that a massive number of organic conversions actually started life as paid visits. So killing your paid campaign would dramatically reduce your overall conversions. The same goes for mobile vs desktop and a host of other decisions on channels.

Jenna Tiffany, lead digital marketing strategist at Communicator

It’s hugely important! A key aspect to any digital marketing strategy is understanding a customer’s journey with your brand – it’s only through mapping the customer journey that a digital marketer will be able to truly understand the experience they receive from every channel, online and offline. It’s by understanding this that you can provide truly relevant and tailored experiences and communications, which will ultimately improve your performance and ROI. Brands can start to ensure their customer journeys are centric by starting to map them out, in order to identify their customers’ experiences and interactions.

Agi Langford, account director at Chalk Social

The customer journey is absolutely key. Consumers should always be at the centre of all our planning and strategy, ultimately our goal is to convert relevant consumers into customers. Brands need the customer journey to be an easy experience, that they want to repeat over and over driving incremental revenue to the brand. It may sound boring but like many things within the digital sphere, listen to your consumers and what their data is telling you. Are 50 per cent of users dropping off at the same point? Change it.

Carol Strachan, marketing manager at Unified Solutions

One of the main challenges we come across as a digital agency is to ensure the websites we create are based on sound knowledge of the clients online ‘user experience’ or customer journey.  Only by getting to the heart of the individuals perception, motivation, thoughts and responses to a particular product, service or system will you be able to garner the insight required into the what, when, where and why of the customer online purchase process. Customer data comes from a wealth of digital sources and to ensure the customer journey is always at the heart of the digital marketing strategy, it’s vital brands invest in not only the software to analyse the data correctly but the analyst who will make sense of it all. By analysing trends and patterns and creating models that will predict future customer behaviour, the analyst’s role is to help the brand make business decisions that will enhance the entire customer experience.

Andy Bolter, creative partner at Yes & Pepper

Customer journeys most often fail because of a limited combination of paths to purchase. Embrace chaos and accept that, despite research providing predictive modelling, customers will and do approach our offerings in often unexpected ways. Today’s path to purchase is unpredictable. We serve our customers best when we don’t try to funnel them into any particular path but enable individual journeys by working towards true omni-channel delivery. The best tool for brands to achieve and understand this is collaboration.

Richard Summers, CEO at CrowdCat

Think back to the magic moments of your childhood; they were not defined by big gestures or expensive things, but by a special moment of connection. Our communication is only really powerful when consumer feels connected to us through a personal bond, and in the digital universal that bond is created by demonstrating you understand that consumer and are keen to offer value in a personal way. People understand personalisation intuitively, we do it every day in our relationships. If a technology platform allows marketers to encode their intuitive skills easily into digital touch points, they will innately be skillful and motivated to produce personalisation and build powerful conversations with their customer.

You can view the full details of our summer Digital Marketing Conference here.