We’re all consumers. And in this regard, we each travel a similar path when we need to make a purchase. Make the effort to understand the sequence of cross-channel interactions between your customers and your brand (customer journey mapping), and you can learn how to deliver an appropriate message at each stage of the process.
This is one of those cases where a small business is at an advantage over large, complex organizations. At the enterprise level, the underlying technology needed to produce effective and trackable results from journey mapping is complex and expensive. But for small and emerging businesses (think greater agility and fewer moving parts), targeting specific segments of the conversion process with specific messaging can be a relatively simple and cost-effective way to make your product or service dramatically more relevant to your prospects.
At their core, all customer journeys share similar characteristics. Traditionally, the journey is comprised of five stages:
|Problem Recognition||Information Search||Evaluation of Alternatives||Purchase Decision||Post Purchase Behavior|
Originally conceived of as a linear process, the journey is now more often visualized as a recursive loop. After their first purchase, customers retrace these steps but in a different, more brand-aware context.
At each stage, the consumer displays behavior that’s specific to their current short-term goals. When we align marketing messages and product info to the needs our prospects as they progress in their journey, we witness an increase in engagement and improvement in overall conversions.
Here's an example. One of the simplest ways to realize this strategy is within paid search. As people progress toward making a purchase decision, their use of search keywords becomes longer and more granular. Corresponding ads should be aware of the user’s current short-term goal, and address that need. Someone in the Problem Recognition phase will be more likely to click an add which allows them to ‘learn more,’ rather than one that urges an irrelevant action like ‘buy today’.
Acting in accordance with your customers’ goals can really improve the effectiveness of your business. And like all journeys, it begins with a single step: call Dave at 603.727.2050 to get started today.