Despite what some may think, there is no such thing as a definitive customer journey. It’s not that the customer journey itself is irrelevant — only that the way in which marketers previously understood it (as linear and consistent) is far from the truth.
Before the advent of social media, advertising was previously almost exclusively in the hands of a brand. Yet platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, have allowed both satisfied and dissatisfied customers to create nearly as much brand-related media as the brand itself. Often media that a marketer has absolutely no control over.
While one consumer might follow the traditional path and engage in awareness and consideration stages via a brand’s own advertising, another might skip straight to buying, having seen all they need in a video posted by someone else.
This, importantly, requires visibility of customers no matter where they are in their customer journey and the ability to communicate with them, across channels, while maintaining their experience.
This demands something I call cross journey communication.
This is the idea that the behaviors and interactions that the customer makes on their journey are able to influence other journeys. Effectively, altering the terrain as the customer progresses along their path to enable them to get where they need to be – rather than pushing them to where you want them to be. Cross journey communication ensures that a customer does not ‘fall through the gaps’, or have their journey conversation broken as they move from one channel to another. In this age of the customer only brands that are customer obsessed, listening and watching what their customers are doing along their journeys, will survive and marketers that are still obsessing over their linear campaigns will die.
So, if the power to dictate the customer journey no longer rests solely in the hands of a brand, then marketers must develop a keen awareness of what aspects of their relationship with their customers they can and cannot control. Marketers are now less the drivers, more the sat nav.
So, stop trying to steer the car and think more about creating the simplest, smoothest and least problematic route to your customer’s destination.
Customer journey optimization is not just about stepping in at the right time, or delivering contextually relevant content. It’s about maintaining a ‘global conversation’ across the entire journey ecosystem.
This eBook aims to answer questions you might have, including:
- What does a customer journey consist of and why is it not linear?
- How do you measure customer intention?
- Why do you need customer microsegments?
- What are the benefits of cross journey communication?
- What is required for effective cross journey optimization?