The Customer Journey

Understanding how they move and what the path is to the final purchase of the product by potential customers is essential for a company. Consumers unaware of the brand or product being offered at an early stage can often become important allies for the company itself at a later stage: that is, loyal and loyal customers capable of promoting the product among their acquaintances. Therefore, it is very important to understand what the Customer Journey is and how it works.

Definition of Customer Journey

The Customer Journey is the path a customer takes during his or her relationship with a company. This path includes both online and offline stages. The Customer Journey, then, is nothing more than the story of the bond between the customer and the company. This story begins the moment a potential consumer seeks a good or service from a company to satisfy a need of his or her own, and then ends up buying it. Therefore, it is very important to understand what the Customer Journey is and how it works.

The stages of the customer journey

One can divide the route into stages that are different from each other:

  • Awareness
    In this do the goal is to make people aware of you, you move from a stage where you are not aware of the brand or product to precisely a stage of awareness. We talk about outbound marketing.
  • Consideration
    The goal is, after awareness is achieved, to get the ready or service purchased; this is the stage when the customer becomes interested. We talk about Inbound Marketing.
  • Purchase
    It is a watershed moment between the previous two stages and the next, the step leading to purchase is crucially for the path the customer takes but it is not the final stage.
  • Loyalty
    The next step after purchase sees the goal of making the customer become a fan, that they like the product purchased as well as the brand itself. This is referred to as CRM (customer relationship management).
  • Advocacy
    It is the last stage, the one where you bring the customer to speak well of the product spontaneously, if before it was simply suggested now it is recommended. The customer becomes an evangelist and the strategy of WOM (Word Of Mouth) i.e., classic word of mouth is used.

Mapping marketing strategies

To understand which marketing strategies to use at each stage, the chart in the video shows us different types divided by color: in orange we find the paid media, those for which payment is required (e.g., display advertising, DEM…); in dark green, the owned media, those that the company owns; in light green, earned media, those that have been earned (the media reached by the press office).

Here are what strategies it pays to activate at different stages of the Customer Journey:

  • Awareness

At this stage, it is useful to work from an SEO perspective and also use display/ RTB advertising, DEM, social and engage influencers; for the traditional side, you can launch TV, radio or print campaigns.

  • Consideration

At this stage, web engaging and native advertising actions are activated, which can also involve retargeting, DEM, content marketing, etc. Expo, events and sponsorships, on the other hand, can be useful for traditional marketing.

  • Loyalty

Brand and product loyalty is activated through social caring, surveys, contests and loyalty programs.

  • Advocacy

It is reached through social engagement: intensive press office work that can also involve program experience and influencers.

The Customer Journey, then, is a model for understanding what means and actions to activate based on the stage that most interests the company at a specific time, so as to keep track of and be able to manage users in the best way possible. Care and planning are, in this case, crucial.

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