Your Customer Journey Strategy
According to a recent report from LinkedIn and Salesforce, “The State of Marketing Leadership” (free download here), 86% of senior-level marketers surveyed agreed that it’s critical to create a cohesive customer journey — yet only 56% of enterprise companies have a customer journey strategy.
Let’s take a step back, and discuss what exactly a customer journey is beyond just a hip buzzword. It’s the concept that customers expect something beyond reaching the destination (i.e., the purchase of a product or service) — and that more emphasis needs to be put on the many touch points that occur far before it’s reached. It’s about timeliness, relevance, and tailoring the digital customer relationships across channels and devices, and as the report indicates, in real-time and long-term ways. And it has an enormous impact on how we, as marketers, conduct our business — at a time when measuring and proving ROI is paramount.
Where To Get Started
Like the old joke about eating an elephant one bite at a time, implementing a customer journey strategy needs to be designed and implemented in a logical fashion: There are no shortcuts, and there is no one way to do it. If yours is among the 44% of companies that doesn’t yet have a strategy, here are a few links that I found helpful, and hope you do, too:
- Harvard Business Review: “Using Customer Journey Maps to Improve Customer Experience” — Good tips on creating a framework and using research.
- Ad Age: “The Customer Journey Officer Is the New CMO” — As if the average CMO didn’t already have enough on his or her plate! Four questions marketers need to answer about the customer journey.
- Forbes: “The Blossoming Relationship Between Marketing and Engagement in the New Customer Journey” — The blurring boundary between marketing and customers, and its implications for CMOs and CIOs.
As always, all the technology investment in the world won’t matter if you don’t account for the human aspect in the equation. Today’s customers expect a lot, and a lot more than just a fancy interface. The more we can get inside their heads and understand their motivations and emotions, as well as the barriers that get in the way, the closer we get to providing the seamless experience it’s clear they desire.
In the comments: Does your company have a customer journey strategy? Is it formal, or informal? Has it continued to evolve?
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