It is a common complaint of marketing departments that teams work in silos and I always feel sad when I hear this. As the key to driving more impact comes from that ability to zoom out and to connect the dots between marketing disciplines to ensure all activity is complementary to the customer journey.
When we get too engrossed in a particular marketing activity, without meaning to, we can actually disrupt a user journey and therefore cause a negative impact to that person stopping them from enquiring or buying from us. So zooming out is key - but how do you do this?
Our process when we onboard a new customer is to take them through a customer journey mapping session. Allowing us to map the key routes that a customer might follow from trigger through to enquiry/purchase. This can be based on a number of insights from gut feel, to analytics data - looking at referring traffic, for example, Google trend analysis and keyword research through to interviewing customers to ask about their experience.
Once we have this mapped alongside the audience personas - which for us include a bit of information about the user but most importantly their motivational drivers we can then start to get into the detail. For each point in the journey, we consider where the user is spending their time, what they are trying to achieve - any pain points, opportunities or insights, and importantly for search, we consider what they would be searching for. Off the back of this, we can then start to think about what channels we should be using, what content we need, what message we need to convey and what the call to action should be.
This is the eureka moment! This is when we start to be able to visualise how our different marketing channels play together. This is where our campaigns get supercharged as we can build in activities such as remarketing and email automation to help bridge the gap between one point in the journey and the next. We can also intelligently plan our keyword strategy across SEO and Paid to ensure we’re paying for the right traffic and aiming to achieve the right rankings from an organic perspective.
From this journey map, we also start to uncover some of our blindspots. Google call this part of the marketing funnel the ‘messy middle’ and they are totally right! It is sometimes really hard to understand exactly what goes on in the messy middle, but the more we can the better coverage we can ensure we have. Some of our blindspots won’t be possible for us to influence, but others are only impossible when we don’t know about them. The power is understanding the full journey and the many questions your audience is asking between trigger and purchase so that your strategy can cover as many of these as possible - Google calls this ‘the power of showing up’. When you are not there to be found, you can’t influence the situation and your brand can easily be forgotten whilst the user buys from somewhere else.
This process sometimes feels like a hindrance from just getting on and driving traffic but it is so needed to ensure a strong strategy that builds on every user visit and interaction. The danger of not doing this is that you are just driving traffic without properly understanding their intention and therefore not delivering on their needs and wasting the effort you put into getting them to your site in the first place. We look at part of this process as conversion rate optimisation on-site but also off-site - how can we continually optimise the journey to help pull the user back to our owned channels throughout their research and for their final enquiry/purchase.
Without doing this right, if you just keep driving more visits you will no doubt continue to lose more traffic in your blindspots or by presenting them with misaligned content that damages your relationship. When you get this right you start to create a well-oiled marketing machine with everything working together and you can start focusing on the micro-interactions to build a stronger bond with each user and to build a lasting relationship.
If you’d like to know more about our customer journey strategy then please get in contact today.
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