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Customer journey

Get close to your customer, really close.

Get close to your customer, really close.

"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well, the product or service fits [them] and sells itself."

This quote from Peter Drucker, business consultant, educator and author, is a great place to start when considering your customer journey, not least because it’s true, but because it gives marketing a deeper purpose than just talking about features and benefits.

Your customer is often faced with a multitude of choices and messages when it comes to deciding exactly which product or service to buy to fulfil a particular need. Marketing teams can deliver the right answers and guidance to help customers meet those needs, rather than just trying to persuade them to change their mind.

But, in order to do that, you need to get up close to your customer and start thinking of what they need and want, not just when they purchase from you, but all the way back to when they start just considering that they might need something like what you have on offer.

This closeness is best represented as the customer journey and, when you put it in place, the impact it can have on your marketing content can be transformative. The first step in building a customer journey for your brand or product (we’ll use ‘product’ as a term to represent both products and services) is to get a handle on the most common customer journey stages.

However, before we get into the nitty-gritty, one of the key factors to get your arms around is that there is no “one size fits all” solution to a customer journey - your customers will interact with you in a way that is unique to your brand and product.

Therefore you need to take the time to really understand and map out the customer journey stages that are relevant to your brand and customer because if your stages are wrong at the very start of the mapping process it simply isn’t going to align to your actual marketing needs.

While each journey is unique, there are commonalities across different industries and business types; whether you’re B2B or B2C, offering high-value professional services or low-cost mass products to market, there are customer journey examples out there to help you kick-start this process.

For example, an e-commerce behemoth like Amazon would have a customer journey that looked like:

Whereas a tourism-driven organisation like Tourism Australia (example above) would have a very different customer journey.

While the stages themselves might seem the same at first glance, when you look into the detail the experience that the user goes through is very different. To give you a foundation to work from we have used our own customer journey map at Cooperate as a working example for you, this is simply intended to give you some bearings from which to create the journey that is unique to your brand and customer.

This article is an excerpt from our ebook: 5 Big Questions to Map your Customer Journey which you can download here.

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