With the digital space forever evolving and changing, we are always looking for ways to extend our service offering and provide even more value to our clients. Bang Digital are excited to welcome Geordie to the team as our new Customer Journey Strategist. Geordie comes with 8 years of experience in digital marketing after previously working in a range of digital roles for well-known and respected companies in Western Australia. As a Customer Journey Strategist, Geordie will be working with clients to gain a better understanding of how customers interact with their website and develop conversion rate optimisation plans and strategies to meet their business objectives. So what is a customer journey and how can it help your business? What is Customer Journey Mapping/CRO and why is it so importantCustomer journey mapping and conversion rate optimisation are two very distinct yet connected elements of understanding and maximising a customers experience with your brand.Customer journey mappingJourney mapping is essentially the identification of how a customer interacts with your brand. This can include a number of different stages that span the lifetime of the customers engagement with the brand. As marketers, we have evolved in our understanding and approach towards achieving our business objectives. In the dark ages we would focus strictly on pushing messages out via print or TV and hoping that someone, anyone, saw it and got in touch. Now we understand for every purchase that a customer makes, big or small, they go through a distinct journey both before and after they buy. This is generally a non-linear process and is different for each business and each customer, but there are commonalities between these customer experiences that we can focus on.By mapping out that journey we can identify the customers objectives along each stage and tailor our marketing approach to maximise the relevance and in turn results.An example of utilising customer journey mappingA very simple example of this might be if a customer was thinking about buying a new car. If a car dealership was to advertise to this customer with a call to action of ‘Book a test drive today’ it would likely perform very poorly regardless of how well made the creative is or how well crafted the message. This would fail because the customer is in the awareness stage of their journey, meaning they have identified a problem that they want to solve (buying a car), and are looking for further information. They are not yet ready to test drive any car as they haven't decided what they want.A better approach aligned with a customer journey map might be to create content around how to choose the right car for you, and focus on SEO and AdWords. The objective here is not to capture leads, or test drive appointments, but to add remarketing cookies to the customers browser so we can continue along with them as they progress along their journey. If we are able to capture an email that is a bonus, but it would not be used for a sales call, but to put the customer in an email automation workflow that aligns with the awareness and research stages.Conversion rate optimisationBroadly speaking conversion rate optimisation (CRO) describes any efforts to increase the conversion rate of a businesses key objectives on site. Essentially trying to turn more visitors into customers.CRO is absolutely critical in any business that has any sort of digital presence. It is the cornerstone of your business and yet is often overlooked. Not getting enough sales through your website? Many agencies will just suggest upping the marketing budget, but before that happens it's critical to make sure that the visitors who do go to your site are able to achieve their goal in the easiest way possible.A fundamental tenet of CRO is testing and iteration. The idea is to not make changes to your site because you or your boss think that it's a good idea, but rather let the customers guide you. This is a multi-step process that looks something like this:
Tests can range from the very simple (button colour change) to the very complex (multi-page, multi-variant) but for most businesses it's important to start small and focus on basic issues customers have identified.For me, CRO is far from just testing buttons - it is looking at the entirety of the customer journey and optimising each and every touch point they have with a business to maximise their experience. The better the customer experience the higher the conversion rates.What clients need to know before engaging with an agency on CJThe biggest thing that I would say is customer journey mapping isn’t a standalone piece of work, or a once off campaign that you just set and forget. Once you go through an in-depth journey mapping process it has the potential to radically change how you do business and how you measure success.It can often be a real challenge to transition from being driven by traditional business objectives to customer objectives. That's not to say that business objectives are put aside, in fact, it is quite the opposite. The focus on the customer journey enables a clarity of what they are trying to achieve and an alignment with business objectives. Customer journey mapping will unlock a great deal of opportunity for any business who hasn't gone through it before and will almost certainly improve the effectiveness of your marketing spend, on page conversion and brand awareness overall.Key challenges clients might be facing that should indicate that they need to speak to us about the serviceHere's an example of a few questions that if you can't answer easily can indicate a business might need to go through a customer journey mapping exercise:
This is just scratching the surface of insights, and that's just for one stage of the customer journey!The reality is that most businesses don't have the time to go into such depth with their customer analysis as they are busy working on the business itself. This is an opportunity that is often missed but if invested in it can drastically increase the performance of the business and decrease the work required to generate sales.What you predict for the futureThe thing about mapping out a customer journey for a business is that what the customers are trying to achieve at each stage will stay relatively the same. For example, if you are in the market to buy a house, you are always going to do a significant amount of research as it is a big purchase. Technology won't change how much research we do in order to get to the point of buying a house, but it will change how we do that research.Consider 30 years ago researching a house purchase would be scouring through newspaper ads and driving around to all the home opens in the area you were searching. For the past 10-15 years the internet has enabled directories of homes to make the search easier. The next step will be using augmented or virtual reality to view the inside of the homes before buying. So the amount of information required to progress to the next stage of the customer journey, and indeed purchase, will remain relatively the same. The opportunity comes in how technology will enable us to deliver that information in a manner that is personalised to the individual customer, via a channel that they want to receive it, and at a time that they want to consume it.That is the great thing about mapping out your customer journey - unless you go from selling cars to cargo pants, the journey, and therefore broader strategy can remain relatively constant, while perpetually testing and optimising the best way to help the customers achieve what they want.If you are interested in developing a customer journey for your business, get in touch with Geordie at Bang Digital to get started today.