I love the saying that companies providing complete and smooth user journeys are a bit like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it...
The truth is probably that only a very few companies out there have actually managed to make a setup that really works; fully automated throughout the entire funnel. Engaging and lead generating.
Ideally, the customer journey mapping should be the backbone of your CRM process but for many marketers, it can feel a bit nebulous and it's difficult to know where to start.
Getting The Basics Right
In today's hyper-connected world it is very likely that consumers will become your customers through a multitude of touch points, both online and offline, and may well churn or go through periods of inactivity during their relationship with you.
There has been an explosion of consumer touch-points across their lifecycle with brands. From someone researching potential solutions to a given problem to a customer purchasing a new product, there are a plethora of touch-points - some of which you will have control over and others that you will have no control over. And even for the touch-points that your brand can control, some may well not be within your direct control.
The most important thing is to recognise that you need to map your customer journey. Then it's a case of breaking things down so that you can keep them manageable and make a start. Too often customer journey mapping can become an academic exercise or produces a deliverable that is difficult to get internal agreement on.
It’s easy to build a 1-dimensional map but make it too simplistic and it’s unlikely to help you. On the other hand, will too much detail probably make it too much an academic exercise. Be pragmatic. It’s a balancing act. Too much detail and you will spend forever trying to complete the project.
Customer experience is a continuum and it’s a mistake to not take a holistic view. It’s tempting but risky to focus on only one phase of the customer journey. A good customer journey map will help you optimise the whole of your marketing.
Let's avoid an academic exercise
Focus on your marketing objectives and what you want to do differently and then start the process. Not vice versa. Equally, your customers won’t distinguish between function silos – their relationship is with your brand regardless of whether the journey phase is owned by customer service, marketing or operations. In popular terms; Everyone is in the marketing department now.
This does not mean doing a mediocre job or producing a poor-quality product
At Maersk, we used a tool called LinkedIn Lead Accelerator. This is a simple yet excellent tool that allows you to build simple nurture streams. And we build a responsive beta site, set it up with Google Analytics and the LinkedIn tool. We did a whiteboard map of the possible user journeys and created a simple structure with 20 landing pages to start with – and then we turned it on. Each landing page was built for just one commodity. The purpose of this was to get to know more about our potential customers. If they clicked on e.g. "Shipping fish" we could start a smarter nurturing stream based on the assumption that they might be interested to know more about our refrigerated containers. Yes, you can argue that this is way too simple. But bottom line is that you can’t measure and learn if you don’t have anything to learn from.
The truth is success loves speed, and you are more likely to move forward faster if you get it done and get it out there
My best advice is to get started. Start out small. Make your customer journey mapping, find a tool that allows you to build nurture streams and focus on one or two social media platforms. Build, learn and optimise.