The digital marketing customer journey
I just attended a two day digital marketing train the trainer workshop at IBM in Vienna.
There was a big focus on knowing your audience and where they are in the customer journey; reiterating what many marketers have been saying since the beginning of advertising.
Know your audience!
Who are they?
- Where are they consuming information?
- Where do they fit in the buying cycle?
- What is important to them?
- Why is it important?
- What will help them?
- How can you move them along the buying cycle?
- What time are they consuming information?
- How can you use real world relationships or other traditional methods?
Most people realise to leverage the use of content you need to create high quality relevant content and seed it in front of the key buying influencers. Whether that be the mother or friend of the purchaser in the case of a new watch or other consumer item, or in front of the CEO of an airline to inform his CDO, CCO and CMO about the existence of your product or service.
Your content needs to be contextual to your audience giving them value and must be delivered at just the right time for them to gain as much benefit from it as possible.
As marketers we need to always think about the customer journey, putting ourselves in their shoes is key to figuring out their wants and needs, then we seed the correct content in front of them at just the right time to maximise the chance of them reading it.
Bad news or good
Apparently we ignore between 3 and 5 thousand advertising messages per day! A lot of these will be poorly timed and not targeted enough so leaving most of us marketers to scratch our heads still.
John Wanamaker “I know at least half of my advertising budget works…
…I just don’t know which half.”
Bridging the data silo gap
It is key to bridge the gap between the “data driven” world of the digital marketing customer journey and more traditional methods of customer service and old school marketing techniques.
Marketing departments need to work very closely with chief customer officers, chief data officers and chief digital officers. If this gap is bridged correctly it is a game-changer for the businesses that embrace data driven insights first.
According to Cap Gemini “digital businesses are on average 26% more profitable than the non-data driven counterparts.”
An example from my recent trip to IBM in Vienna
From luxury retail I know the first “real” face to face touchpoint for your brand is crucially important to consider when planning your marketing and customer loyalty programmes.
Setting off to Gatwick in the back of a cab with my phone and an email from the office with a link to the booking information.
I was worried that checking in could be a pain on my phone from the car, overlooking the small slightly annoying problem with the back button and the text that disappeared when I tried to input my name, the process took about 3 minutes.
Upon arriving at the airport I was greeted by my one of my fellow digital marketing trainers, he waited for me whilst I checked my bag.
Bridging the gap between the C-Suite and Customer Experience
When I hit the British Airways desk the lady was very polite and courteous but she could not scan my email barcode and was ill informed of the reasons to sell me the concept of using the BA app for my return journey. (Stopping BA marketing from hitting me with messages or offers to my app).
This is one of the reasons that it is important for the marketing team to visit the people on the ground and think of ways to encourage and explain simply how to sell the mobile app concept to the customers.
For retailers deploying the resources to educate customers on the benefits of using their app will be worthwhile to build loyalty with their customers.
I for one am very worried about a number of brands if this isn’t done correctly, as a marketer remember the old adage “with great power comes great responsibility”. If you don’t involve the entire business with the entire digital marketing customer journey it could be a disaster for your brand. Yes you can do split testing and pick the most digitally savvy customers but if you want to ensure loyalty an entire culture change program is needed for your business.
Of course this is dependent on resources and the type of business you are in, this is just where segmenting your customers and potential customers is key. For example you will have potential customers that are more likely to take you up on offers, based upon their previous behaviour patterns on social media.
Sense checking your efforts fit into the wider picture of your business strategy is key and many social media marketers and communications departments are not involved with this on a strategic level. Bridging the gap between all the departments that interact with the customers is key for business growth and will unearth all sorts of innovations
Don’t forget these crucial points –
- Who are you looking to target
- How can you really add value?
- Where are they located
- What job do they have?
- What do they love to hear about?
- What is the best time to contact them?
Then if you are going to create lots of useful content for them to move them through your sales funnel you need to ensure you cater to all the buying influencers and stages of the buying cycle.
I will be expanding on this topic in future blogs and would be interested in any comments you may have or specifics you would like to learn about.
Please comment below or tweet me @NatSchooler or email me nat @natschooler.com
Thanks for the picture Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/christophebenoit/