Unblocking Your Customer Journey to Superfandom
Believe it or not, many companies thrive without a repeatable operating framework. However, you can’t sustain growth when you don’t know what causes it. Your business can repeat wins when you optimize your customer journey.
Let’s face it. Your buyers desire a consistent and delightful customer experience with your brand. Randomness is a recipe for customer churn. Plus, it is difficult and expensive to optimize mass variations at scale.
In a nutshell, please don’t do it.
Instead, map out your buyer journey from the zero moment of truth to Superfandom.
What Is the Customer Journey?
Before you can optimize your customer journey, we need to define what it is. Authentic Customer Journeys serve the buyer with value to improve their situation. The more value you provide, the more conversions you can make.
As you segment your market, you’ll be able to create richer experiences for each audience. For example, B2B customers purchase differently from B2C buyers. Public Sector organizations have a different journey from privately held companies. Tune your customer journey to the audience segments to create more value.
What’s the Difference Between a Sales Funnel and the Customer Journey?
Sales funnels, by definition, are focused on selling. In contrast to sales funnels, the customer journey provides value in stages to enable buyers to achieve their goals. Funnels help the seller achieve her goals. Customer journeys help buyers achieve their goals.
Another important distinction is that funnels are terminal. Once the buyer completes the conversion, the funnel ends. Conversely, a customer journey is a loop that repeats over time. The goal of the customer journey is to create a value-based virtuous cycle map to the buyer’s needs.
The Journey Starts with Your Content Platform
You have to be known by your market to get customers. The best way to sustain growth over time is to build your content experience platform. Grow your audience with helpful, people-first content.
As buyers search for information to solve their problems, your content platform will be the magnet to attract your ideal clients. Your content strategy needs to map your high-value content to each leg of the buying journey.
Conduct a content audit to identify the gaps and opportunities to serve your audience with helpful information. Be generous. Your content platform must be the primary source of information for your tribe. When you control the story, you can accelerate the buying journey at each moment of truth.
Now, let’s look at how winning the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) drives traffic to your business.
Understanding Your Traffic Sources and Brand Touchpoints
Let me paraphrase a popular country song, “Where do they come from, where do they go?” The “they” in this context are your audience. Moreover, the “where” are the points of engagement until they convert.
Traffic sources are online and offline. The online traffic sources include:
- Organic (e.g., search, podcasts, and social posts;)
- Earned (e.g., books, guest blog posts, product reviews, and backlinks;) and
- Paid (e.g., search ads, social Ads, mobile ad networks, affiliate links, and display ads.)
Your offline brand touchpoints include physical stores, tradeshows, live events, out-of-home advertising, guest appearances, and more. You can leverage each touchpoint to drive traffic to your website.
Once you know and document all your traffic, you can discover what’s working through attribution.
Let’s take a look at how attribution works.
Leveraging Marketing Attribution for ROI
Marketing attribution distills the art of marketing into science. Once you know what works or not, you can effectively guide investments that drive conversions. Think of attribution as what traffic source or touchpoint gets the credit for the conversion.
There are three types of attribution methodologies you can use:
- First Touch: You give attribution (or credit) to the initial point the buyer engaged with your brand.
- Last Touch: You give attribution to the final point that the customer converted.
- Multi-touch: You spread attribution across each point in the customer’s journey towards conversion.
Customers rarely move from a first touch to conversion. The last touch method ignores all of the engagements that preceded it. The metric that highlights the most effective path is the multi-touch attribution.
The benefit of multi-touch is that you gain insight into your Superfan Persona. Your ideal buyers can take different paths to your products and services. The more you understand those paths, the more you can ensure you have mapped content to accelerate the journey.
Mapping the Buyer Journey and Duration
Data is one of the best things about modern marketing. We don’t have to guess what works or why. Marketing attribution illuminates the path our buyers take. Likewise, we can use that path to align our content experience to each journey stage.
At MADEGRANDBYCAM, our buying journey evolves over nine stages. We consolidated the buying journey into five phases for our discussion here.
Once you know the path, knowing how long customers spend at each point and why is crucial. Are buying decisions stalled because of a need for more information? Do customers fail to renew because they never implemented? Find the gap and fill it with content aligned to their needs.
Focus on the stage duration next. When you know how long the average buying stage lasts, you can forecast revenue accurately. Moreover, you can pull the levers that prompt behaviors and actions toward the next step.
Now, let’s take each step on the path to purchase.
Walk the Path for Pitfalls, Positioning, Products, and Personalization
Before sending your customers into your buying gauntlet, you must test it. You will need your Superfan Persona to test your customer journey. You won’t make money if your ideal client doesn’t complete the path.
Look for pitfalls. Are there areas where you need more content or better content? Is it accessible? Do you need to increase the variation in your touchpoints to be more persuasive? For example, should you use videos, webinars, chat, or email to engage with your buyer at this stage?
Do you need a different product or a variation at another price point? Binary buying options only have a less than 50% chance of winning. Provide choices to help buyers select what’s best for their needs.
Finally, tailor the buying experience. With automation, you can do personalization at scale. Use your audience segmentation and buyer behaviors to automate each engagement.
Examples of Journey Maps
Map each customer journey for your business. Your maps can be simple. However, they should be helpful in conversion optimization.
Here are some examples to help you map the customer journey for your products.
What Does an Optimized Customer Journey Look Like?
In a word, an optimized customer journey is predictable. That’s what you want. You want highly predictable conversions for each customer that takes your buying journey.
For example, if you know that 1 in 10 contacts that attend your webinar and see the offer end up spending $1000, then you can give a “Webinar attendee” conversion a value of $100.
Now, you can assign a monetary value to each stage of your customer journey relative to deal size. Marketing is not magic. It’s math.
Your Next Steps to Optimize Your Customer Journey
- Visualize your customer journey map. Whether you’re a solopreneur or run a large marketing team, you can only optimize what you can see.
- Segment your audience by market characteristics and your Superfan Persona.
- Build your content experience platform to attract your ideal buyers. Be the primary source for helpful information.
- Personalize the customer journey based on the buyer’s needs and behaviors at each stage in the journey.
- Optimize your traffic sources and touchpoints to make buying from you a no-brainer.
- Walk it out. Invite your audience into your buying experience to find and close the gaps.
- Remember, it’s a virtuous cycle. Map, test, optimize, and repeat.
Finally, we’re here to help. I want to see your business succeed beyond your wildest dreams. If I can contribute to your success, that is time well spent.
Godspeed in building your empire.