In a nutshell
Customer Journey refers to the path taken by consumers in discovering a brand or service through a series of touchpoints that can influence their purchasing decision-making process. In short, the consumer journey is not a Jules Verne novel, but a valuable tool for improving customer acquisition and retention strategies.
Customer Journey phases
Customer Journey vs Digital Strategy
First of all, it is worth making one thing clear: customer journey is not a fixed and obligatory path. It is correct to try to map the customer journey, but users will always be free to move as they wish. Hence, customer journey is the most accurate approximation possible of the behavior we think the user will have.
A digital strategy, on the other hand, concerns all those measures we implement to try to get users to take certain actions and thus move them from one stage of the customer journey to another. This means that digital strategy is chosen by the company, but it only has the power to influence the consumer.
For example, if the user is in the “Consideration” stage, the company might try to move them to the next stage through a tactical activation with a 20 percent discount. If the user responds positively to this action, they will move on to “Purchase”. But if they don’t respond, at least the company has done its best.
Customer Journey Ideal Steps
Ideally, the journey originates from a consumer need and ends with the purchase of a good or service. The customer journey can be broken down into 6 important successive stages:
1. Awareness: The consumer’s first contact with the product or service.
2. Consideration: The potential customer compares the product with other similar products based on features and price.
3. Purchase: The actual purchase of the product.
4. Usage: The customer uses the product or service and decides whether or not they are satisfied with their purchase.
5. Loyalty: The customer develops a relationship of trust toward the brand.
6. Advocacy: The customer, satisfied with the interaction with the brand, becomes a voluntary testimonial of his or her positive experience.
• Marketing: The customer journey is a marketing model that enables companies to understand and improve the overall consumer experience and perceived competitive advantage.
• Advertising: One of the touchpoints through which the potential consumer comes into contact with the product. A good advertising campaign becomes the gateway to a large number of trips.
• CRM (Customer Relationship Management). CRM strategies accompany the consumer journey to obtain information regarding potential customers’ preferences and consequently increase purchase frequency.
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• Customer Journey in CRM software
All Apple users have an Apple ID, a profile that allows access to the various services offered by the brand. The account contains all personal information about the user: the music he or she listens to, the books he or she reads, the apps he or she downloads, and so on. For the company, it is a way to collect and keep up-to-date data on customers, offering them services in line with their preferences and needs.
• Customer Journey in marketing automation
Opsview is a software company that offers management and monitoring services for IT infrastructure. The original goal was to distinguish two types of leads (potential buyers): those who were already satisfied and those who might be interested in purchasing more content. Opsview resorted to marketing automation to classify leads from the “website” touchpoint by subjecting users to a questionnaire and scoring them according to their responses. Needless to say, this enabled the company to increase customers and consequently revenue.
• Customer Journey in support of website performance monitoring
Google Analytics is a free platform that allows you to monitor the performance of a website or application. It tracks and records web traffic by providing comprehensive statistics on the previous path of visitors and their interaction patterns. The platform then allows the characteristics of the site’s target “audience” to be drawn up based on customized metrics. The collected data can implement advertising, social and digital PR campaigns, as well as to measure the ROI (Return on Investment) of activated web marketing campaigns.
• Customer Journey in support of advertising
Another software that fits into the consumer’s path is Google Ads. It allows advertising space to be placed within Google’s search pages. The ads are displayed above or below the search results and are selected by an algorithm that monitors the keywords the user searches for. Google can then show advertisements relevant to the user’s search, generating traffic toward the page of the company that invested in the service.
• Customer journey in support of SEO Specialists
UberSuggest is a partly free tool that allows you to track the keywords that allow a website to rank among the top results in the Google SERP or other search engines. By identifying the main terms used, one can guess what information, products or services users are looking for on the web and attempt to rank among the top results.
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