“This‘is not on the destination. This‘s on the trip.
You‘I’ve probably heard this corny and misattributed quote when planning a road trip or a hiking adventure. Planning a marketing strategy might not be as sexy as a Pacific Coast vacation, but this quote rings just as true for us advertisers. In any road trip, choosing your destination is the easiest part: “I want to arrive in Denver on Saturday. The same goes for marketing strategies: you simply choose the result you want to see from your consumers: donations, sales, downloads, etc.
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What requires more careful planning is exactly how you‘will go to this destination (ex: stop to refuel, lunch break, shifts, etc.). When it comes to your business, The James Agency recommends creating a consumer journey map. This will get you in the mind of your target audience and help you understand their thoughts, frustrations, and how to best move them forward on their conversion journey.
The result: a marketing foundation that your internal teams can rely on for perfect alignment across all consumer touchpoints.
It can be hard to know where to start, but don’t‘Don’t worry ! We‘I’ll walk you through exactly how to complete a customer journey map. Consider the following questions as you complete each section:
emotional state: What is my consumer thinking and feeling at this stage? What has changed since the last stage and what makes them feel this way?
Consumer action: What does my consumer do in response to their emotional state? What sources of information do they consult?
Company objective: What do you want to see happen for your business at this point?
Touchpoints: Based on these goals, what marketing tactics/channels can you connect with your consumer?
Opportunities: What can you do to improve this experience for my customer?
Step 1. Awareness
Once our consumer needs something, make no mistake about it: it‘I will research their options. With an estimated average individual receiving anywhere between 4,000 to 10,000 brand messages per dayit’s important to identify how we can spark their curiosity and drive them into our marketing funnel.
Example: Let‘let’s say we decide to open a lemonade stand. Kelsee, my consumer, needs a refreshing drink to help her cool down. She immediately searches for nearby options on her phone or while she‘s conduct. We want her to discover our booth through Google, social media and traditional ads, so we‘I will run targeted brand awareness campaigns across multiple channels: paid search, social media influencers and on a nearby billboard.
Step 2. Consideration
Once our target audience knows we exist (hooray!), they‘re going to explore our business further and see if we‘re a good fit for them. Now‘This is our opportunity to educate our consumers about the product/service, highlight the benefits and answer any questions they may have.
Example: Kelsee wants to know more about my lemonade stand. She visits my website and social media to review aspects of my business like proximity, pricing, flavors and on-site experience. We‘I will answer their questions and concerns by including content like menus, pictures and reviews from happy customers.
Step 3. Comparison
Although similar to consideration, the comparison is slightly different. Once our consumers know us, they‘ll compare our business with competitors. This‘is important that we distance ourselves from the dreaded “sea of sameness” and our brand is consistent across all channels. If there are any inconsistencies, our consumer may become confused or doubtful and choose someone who‘it’s better.
Example: Someone just opened a lemonade stand across from mine. Rude. Kelsee ain’t sure about my brand, so she‘s researching his options. She‘s read reviews, compare social media accounts and search for special offers. To stand out from my new competitor (in a good way), we‘I will use public relations to capture media attention and provide an objective, third-party opinion on my lemonade. We‘I’ll also be giving Kelsee a discount on her first purchase if she signs up for my emails!
Step 4. Conversion
This step could be considered the “destination” for your consumer, but the experience‘doesn’t stop at winning. In many cases, this can be seen as an important validation of your service/product. Your goal should be to empower your consumers‘ positive experiences and build loyalty to retain them. The conversion is different depending on the sector and can extend beyond a single transaction.
Example: Kelsee just bought a tall glass of my lemonade. At this point, she‘I feel excitement and relief knowing she made the right decision. Her conversion was simple: she bought a drink. But she‘I will also interact with my staff and sit on site to experience the experience. We‘I will reinforce his decision by ensuring that his experience matches my promise. If Kelsee has signed up for our emails, other campaigns for specific promotions (i.e. new flavor launch, holidays, etc.) will drive more conversions into our funnel.
Step 5. Advocacy
With all the time and attention that we devote to accompanying our consumers throughout the journey, it‘It is important that we retain our customers. Even better: we encourage them to become defenders. Advocacy helps bring more like-minded consumers into the funnel, facilitating steady business growth. Word of mouth has always been a powerful business driver and in a digital world, our reputation matters more than ever.
Example: The relationship with our lemonade consumers is strong, so their satisfaction is reflected in their actions. They‘sharing their refreshing experiences with friends, posting reviews and tagging our brand photos on social media. After Kelsee‘s experience, she posts a photo of her delicious lemonade on Instagram with the brand‘hashtag. We‘I will amplify his message on multiple channels like Facebook and Twitter as near real-time proof that our lemonade is the best there is.
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And here we are‘have successfully mapped a consumer‘travel ! We‘I’ll let you in on a little secret: The James Agency does this for a living and we’d love to help you define one for your real audience. That you‘re running a small lemonade stand or a five-star hotel, we‘I’m here to look from your potential consumer’s perspective and help you grow your business.
Author: Garrett Frierson is Partnership Development Coordinator at The James Agency, based in Scottsdale. Garrett graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northern Arizona University, earning a degree in strategic communications with a double major in advertising and public relations. After graduating, he joined TJA and immersed himself in all new business as an intern. Now Garrett‘The coordinator’s role is to connect business owners and marketing managers to all of TJA‘Services. He is responsible for uplifting a potential client‘s experience and continuous optimization of internal sales processes. Learn more about www.thejamesagecy.com.