A customer journey map is a visual representation of the experience customers have with your brand. A customer journey is not as simple as you offering something and your customers buying it. Customer journeys are complex and in today’s integrated and technology-focused world customers come into contact with your business in a multitude of ways and from many different starting points. Customer journeys might start from an ATL campaign, referral, search, social media, customer service enquiry, direct marketing campaign, in-store, banner advert, the options are endless. Companies need to ensure that every customer’s experience is a good one, as today’s customers are fully informed and switching between brands is easy and fast, and leaving a bad review on a brand has the potential to reach thousands in seconds.
Therefore it is vital to map out every possible experience and touch point customers may have with your brand. A customer journey means stepping into your customer’s shoes and seeing and experiencing it from their point of view. This will give you the knowledge of how well you are actually servicing your customers, and highlight points which need improvement.
Customer journey mapping allows brands to develop product roadmaps, assisting them in deciding what’s next. When you map out how your customers explore your products, it becomes very evident where they hung up and what they are missing. You start to see what they see, and from there you see the holes. Customer journey maps makes it easy to identify the low hanging fruit and the easy wins, and can help you decide what enhancements you could make. Customer journey maps help us bring different teams together for a common goal: the customer experience. This is essential in customer centric organisations.
There are many reasons why customer journey mapping is vital for your organisation. Here are a few of these reasons:
- It provides valuable information about your customers:
Customers are the livelihood of your business, they are your bread and butter, and without them your business cannot exist. Therefore, it is very important to know who your customers are, where they came from and what they are trying to achieve, why they made certain choices and why they abandoned others. It helps you to accurately define your target market, smooth out your sales process and identify the sweet spot where the customer’s need is met by your offering.
- It improves your competitive position and encourages brand advocates, who share their brand experience
A positive customer experience is important in that customers are savvy and have the power choose between competing companies. A bad customer experience will not only cost your business a sale, it could result in bad publicity. Customers talk, they rate your business, leave a review and read up on other customer’s reviews. Customers’ opinions hold a higher power than the brands own voice – in fact 67% more effective! According to research by Nielsen, 67% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase a product after a friend or family member shared it on social media. Word-of-mouth is not only the strongest sale tool and does not directly cost your business much money.
Furthermore, a satisfied customer is more likely to return to your brand rather than use a competitor product. A recent study by White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that 80% of consumers would pay more for a product or service to ensure a superior customer experience.
- It improves customer satisfaction
According to Ross Beard, customer experience is the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions for the purpose of meeting or exceeding customer expectations, thereby, increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.
A report by Mckinsey (2014) found that companies focused on maximising satisfaction, with regard to the entire customer journey, have potential to increase customer satisfaction by 20%.
A good customer experience will be a point of differentiation from your competitors. Creating an experience that truly impresses customers and exceeds expectations ensures that they will want to continue doing business with you. After all, 80% of your company’s future revenues come from just 20% of your current customers.
- It creates customer stages
To determine what the behavioral stages your customers go through when getting to know your product, service, and brand. If you know how your customers move through the sales funnel, you will know where they leave the sales process, where they experience difficulty, where and why they abandoned the process. This helps determine what works and what doesn’t. This will not only ensure you give your customers a better experience but also achieve you more sales. It will not only identify where and why customers dropped off, but also offer you the opportunity to fix this and resulting a higher sales achieved.
Traditional customer journey model
Becoming customer centric means ensuring all customer facing functions provide a consistent seamless experience. Journey mapping helps bring customers stories to life. It challenges preconceptions, and can help change perceptions, acting as a call to action and contributing to a culture change. The insights that it generates can help shape strategy and policy, leading to a better customer experience and more efficient government. It can transform businesses into customer centric businesses giving them competitive advantage and longevity.
The big question then, is how do you apply this in your organisation?
Join us next month, as we explore How To Create Your Journey Map!
An infographic focused on women, both in terms of Online Behaviours and Shopping Behaviours. Learn about the online woman and understand the consumer to benefit your business. Here’s some insights on the South African female market.
Perhaps you’ve heard this joke: Married women spend 85 cents out of every family dollar, children spend 15 cents, and men spend the rest. According to Martha Barletta, author of Marketing to Women, women are the primary decision-makers for consumer goods in 85% of households. They make 75% of decisions about buying new homes, and make 81% of the decisions about groceries. They influence at least 80% of all household spending. In most cases that woman is usually a mom. Mothers are therefore the gateway to sales, she is not just buying for herself; she’s also buying for the baby, the toddler, the teenager, her spouse or partner and the house. Women run their households, and are usually the decision-makers in their households and control the family budget. Their purchases are not limited to just toiletries, food and clothes, they buy the furniture, final decision-makers on homes, cars, schools etc. According to business guru, Tom Peters, women are the number one business opportunity: “They buy lots of stuff”.
The purchase decision process of women is very different to that of a man. Women are usually more detailed, spend a lot more time second guessing and researching and are more emotional and feelings based shoppers. According to a study conducted at the University of California, Irvine, men and women’s brains are very different. Men’s brains have approximately 6.5 times more gray matter than women’s, and women’s brains have nearly 10 times more white matter than men’s. Gray matter characterizes information processing centres and white matter facilitates the connections among those centres, hence why women excel at tasks that call for assimilating and integrating disparate pieces of information. The typical man, in other words, is mission and task-oriented. Shopping is specific, straight-forward and speedy. The typical woman, on the other hand, is a discovery-oriented shopper. Women are open-minded, and adjust their initial shop based on price or alternatives and doesn’t mind taking a little longer. Men are thus more brand loyal and stick to what works, while women are more open to trying alternatives if the marketing, price and quality is right.
Interesting things to note when marketing to women:
Moms love e-commerce, not only do they buy online, they also browse, compare and read customer reviews. American moms made almost 90% of their overall purchases online in 2015. The primary reason is the time and convenience of online shopping. Moms today are busy juggling jobs, children and household chores, so being able to buy products online really helps. Online retailers also offer better deals than you would normally get in store.
A moms preferred device are their mobile phones. Moms are constantly on the run between work, schools, shops and home so mobile is more convenient. A recent surveys suggest that American moms spend an average of 2.3 hours per day on mobile devices, compared to just 1.4 hours a day watching TV and 1.4 hours a day using desktop computers.
More than 70% of women own smartphones. According to a Brand Watch Blog: Men vs. Women: Who Is More Active on Social Media?, By Iris Vermeren, women use social media to share more personal information than men, they are more vocal, expressive and willing to share. More than half of women use social media to show support and access deals or promotions from brands, compared to just 36% of the men online. Moms are active on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and enjoy Blogging. Facebook is still the main social media channel and captures a mainstream audience, while Twitter targets more affluent, tech-savvy moms.
Women talk, read up and comment on topics of interest, they value the opinion of other women and moms more than that of brands. They follow, trust and value comment from . Women sign up, follow and get involved in blogs.
Women and moms also enjoy rewards programmes. They collect coupons, discount vouchers, free gifts, collectables and shopping points. Reward-programmes linked to social sharing work very well with moms, think of Checkers tiny products for tiny people.
Lastly moms spend a lot of time with their kids, and therefore adverts targeted at moms should be kid friendly. Moms enjoy sentimental adverts that relate to their lives and that of their children. Moms get nostalgic and get very emotional and involved.
At Prana we are not only an organisation that understand marketing, but we also understand women. Our mantra is that people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it. People buy much more than just a product or brand, they buy a feeling an experience.
Prana is a Marketing Outsource Company, run by women in the Baby, Beauty, Health and Wellness Industries. Our business principles strongly relate to the Harvard Business Review principles of the “Think. Feel. Do.” Principles. This highlights the concepts of working to individuals strengths, be it strategy, creative concepts or executions – and we strive to work in this manner.
Your marketing plan needs to speak to women, it needs to not only what women want, but how women think. Successful marketing plans will make women the center of the campaigns and ensure their marketing message is evolved around women. If you get women to buy into your brand/ product or idea its already sold to men.
Transparency is vital, women want to know everything there is to know about what they are buying. They will not only research your product, but will ask difficult questions, read up on customer reviews and compare prices.
Remember an unhappy women will tell 10 more women. But so will a happy woman!
So you’ve put aside some of your hard-earned cash in the hope that it will create some more. But where do you even start to ensure that you can create the maximum amount of awareness and attract the maximum number of customers per rand spent? The key to a powerful marketing campaign lies in six tough questions. Hopefully, we’ve made them a little easier for you:
① Define your Ideal Customer
Your business can’t afford to approach everybody, and in any case – you don’t want to. You’ll get the biggest response, for every cent you invest, if you begin by approaching the right people. Start by imagining a person who represents the people your product/service is designed for. Give him/her a name, a pay check, a lifestyle, interests, hobbies. How old are they, where do they live? Allow all these factors to come together. Visualize your Ideal Customer in day to day life. What brands do they wear? What do they read? What catches their eye? What do they value? The answers to these questions will give you invaluable information on how to reach the people that matter.
Now that you know who to talk to, what message do you have for them?
② Define your unique selling proposition
Aren’t the best campaigns the ones that speak to you? The ones that answer questions you already have?
Continue imagining your Ideal Customer’s day. When do they come into contact with a problem your product/service can solve? If they don’t, you may need to redefine your Ideal Customer, if they do, use this opportunity to create a powerful selling proposition, stating explicitly how you can help and why you can do so better than a competitor. If your advertising speaks to this proposition you will set your business apart from others and communicate the real value consumers can expect from your product /service.
③ Specify your Budget
Finances are definitely not the most exciting part of marketing but understanding how much you have to invest will simplify the next two decisions.
④ Choose your Medium
All mediums are effective but some are more effective than others in particular situations. Keeping your Ideal Customer, selling proposition and budget in mind, choose the best channel out of the following to suit you.
TV advertisements are incredibly expensive to air and produce but have a broad reach and millions of viewers. The programs you choose to intercept, can help you target your ideal customer through interest and set up an environment of quality around your advert. Images, sound, movement and narrative make these ads very strong and captivating and perfect for product demonstrations.
Radio campaigns are used for similar reasons and are especially good at creating a sense of immediacy. This makes them brilliant for advertising sales or events.
Outdoor posters are also often used to advertise events. These have the bonus of being up 24/7. Large billboards can reach many potential customers and can have a very strong impact especially if your message is bold and simple.
Although often found on the same shelf, newspaper ads and magazine ads offer very different advantages. Unlike magazines, newspapers have very short shelf lives which also makes them ideal for immediate advertising. Setting your advert in this environment can make it feel credible and familiar but it can also easily get lost in the clutter of headlines and other advertisements. Whereas newspapers can target demographics, magazines target interests. Like TV, magazines offer an environment of quality.
As the world moves away from tangible paper items, it is absolutely necessary to have your business online too. The web places a whole new spin on advertising. It requires much maintenance and special content to stand out from the clutter but it boasts amazing benefits. Both production and distribution online is inexpensive. Targeting becomes even more refined as you are able to market to certain keywords and remarket to customers who have taken an interest in you before. Online mediums allow you to interact with your customer in real time which builds your brand a personality that can be approached and trusted. Online advertising can be in the form of pop-ups, website banners, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, emailing, apps and blogs.
Remember that online marketing is about content and engagement. Your posts should inspire encourage and interest your target market. Your focus should be on building brand awareness. The worst thing you can do online is try to push sales.
Basically, if you aim to advertise to a large amount of people in a wide area, TV and radio work well. However, trade magazines and websites work better if you are targeting businesses, local newspapers, directories and outdoor work well for small areas, and magazines and subscription TV channels are best for targeting niche markets.
⑤ Choose your time frame
Map out a calendar that suits your product/service, budget, medium and message.
⑥ Double Check
Just before you start rolling out, grab a couple of people who have qualities of your Ideal Customer and ask them what they think of your choices so far.
⑦ Track and Measure responses
Finally, your adverts are airing or trending and in this step you get to watch your investment make a return – while keeping an eye online.
The truly magical thing about the online world is the goldmine of free research. Customer clicks and comments create immediate feedback that can be used to measure campaigns strength or perceptions about your brand, business, and product/service. Online platforms also give you the opportunity to respond to and rebound from negative publicity. (Even if you don’t say what customers want to hear, they enjoy immediate responses!)
❶ Don’t be afraid to mainly target people who will give you the greatest return.
❷ Make sure your core message is consistent with your customers’ needs and the value you offer.
❸ Pick an appropriate budget.
❹ Choose the medium just right for you.
❺ Set a time-line.
❻ One last check.
❼ Watch, learn and earn!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHq-i9q_JW8, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn2mmMHen6c, www.timezone.com/2014/09/media-choose)
Kyla has experience with investor relations companies in South Africa and internationally. Moving from IR to PR was a natural progression, as the reputation management of brands, along with the communications strategy seemed a logical step.
1. What is your view on the evolution of PR?
Gone are the days of pure publicity – what is needed is effective communication strategies for clients which, in turn, positively impact on their bottom line; only integrated communications brings a focus on meaningful, relevant and strategically placed messaging to benefit organisations.
2. Give us an example of an online campaign, that you thought broke the barriers of tradition.
Marmite have announced a limited edition “clear Marmite”
A spokesperson said: “The psychological benefits from eating a clear or lighter coloured spread simply cannot be ignored. Fifteen years in the making, Marmite Clear is our most innovative new product development to date. We are delighted to bring it to market this April and hope all Marmite fans will be utterly transparent in their feedback of this exciting new variant.”
Tweeting: Proud to introduce the newest member of the family… Say hello to #MarmiteClear everyone!
Marmite has developed into a fun brand with the ‘’love it or hate’ it campaign resounding with many. The brand has also indicated that having seen how successful the experiential activity has been, in terms of getting consumers to engage with the brand and adding a real ‘talk-ability’ element, they will definitely continue this thread.
FYI, As a Marmite lover I did enjoy the April fool’s joke that Marmite did this year. It was catchy and had a high talk-ability influence.
3. How can businesses use PR to drive demand and ultimately revenue growth?
Providing clients with integrated communication strategies linked directly to achieving their business and marketing strategies has resulted in high return on investment figures. Very few businesses seem to share their business strategies with their agencies. Without the business strategy whether it be quarterly / annually or even a three year plan, I don’t believe that PR can do its job effectively.
Additionally, understanding the relationship between a company and its external stakeholders is part of the key, BUT internal stakeholders (as per King III) are becoming increasingly relevant. Engaging with internal stakeholders (often one of the most difficult audiences with whom to communicate) using a variety of tools to significantly improve the effectiveness of communication of the brand / organisation and its culture, can certainly have an impact on the bottom line.
4. What are the typical mistakes made when choosing a PR partner?
Most clients employing PR consultancies on a retainer basis, usually sign up for something along the lines of two press releases a month and one status meeting. The consultancy then simply produces the requisite amount of articles, pops along for the meeting – so there’s regular “coverage”.
Clients need to think about WHAT they want their PR to do, after all PR is a tool, just like a sales team. If one of the key objectives of your marketing strategy is to impact directly on sales and your PR consultancy’s initial engagement doesn’t require the presence of your sales team or asking for key information about sales, maybe you need to re-think your supplier. Similarly, if you’ve hired them specifically to assist with stakeholder relations and they don’t start off wanting to do some sort of climate survey, you’ve not got the right team on your side.
The key question to ask and assess is the value gained from PR investments that the PR partner strategically recommends.
5. Please share your predictions on the evolution of PR.
We are all bombarded with information constantly, whether you request it or not! I think that not only is the message becoming more important, but the timing of your information is also becoming of vital importance. I also think that marketing (all types) and PR need to become more integrated and aligned. I think the more aligned or integrated, the more powerful the communication becomes. Of course, strategy and tactics are the backbone of any communication strategy.
As communication evolves particularly within the digital area, content also becomes strategic. The effective use of content, whether this is sharing ideas or stories from thought leaders or personal interactions, is paramount. It needs to be carefully selected to reflect the brand/organisation. This way each interaction becomes meaningful and each conversation becomes an opportunity to actively re-inforce or maintain the brand.
YOU need to be the custodian of your online content. By showing that you are engaging your market with valuable, meaningful and on-message subject matter you can make an impact. Communicate with passion and purpose and your voice will be heard.
by Kyla Derrick, as interviewed by Emiryl Paul
Email marketing has become a booming business solution for company’s strategic approach to direct marketing. We can now see the transition in traditional marketing through interactions in email, social media and analytical integrations. Email marketing has become the forefront of building effective customer relationships aligned with CRM practices.
Obtaining leads from your website and social media sites asking visitors to subscribe to your newsletters builds the platform for a potentially successful campaign. The more relevant contacts you have the better. Directing the right message to the right person can make the difference, when it comes to closing the deal. It is important to send out targeted messages to relevant groups of people to avoid unread emails and spam reports.
Starting an email campaign
Consumers are in control, and businesses need to step up their game accordingly. Email marketing has been around for a while with many bulk email services out there. Choosing your email service carefully is vital, primarily to choose a vender that can deliver and provide a range of email capabilities. Cloud email marketing solutions have become popular to manage campaigns efficiently. Intelligent marketing automation platform is what will make your email more engaging and ultimately successful.
The power of automation
Emails that are based on the understanding of each subscriber’s interest and behavior, is a start for a successful campaign. Conversational emails which are more personal can be automatically addressed by name, thus a relationship-oriented mindset is created with the consumer over time. Intelligent marketing automation allows behaviorally targeted emails to be sent, by triggers, group automation, and automatic subscriptions. Carefully coordinated emails are then consistent and progressive that can be measured to assess their effectiveness. This means for businesses, that a marketing automation system is able to streamline marketing tasks and workflows for increased operational efficiency and grow revenue quickly.
Use metrics to grow
Data analyzing of bulk email sending, reports click through rates and opened email rates which are both relevant data that can be used to plan your next step. You can identify issues with unsubscribing emails and look for trending subscribes. Thus growing your data base, keep your subscribers on board, and segmenting your lists.
Email marketing revolution
Email marketing is now a cross-channel, customer focused, automated and analytical tool. Informative and valuable content can be shared by optimizing and distributing it across digital channels using email, mobile, social display and advertising. This is an inbound marketing approach which uses available resources to communicate, attract, expand and engage visitors converting them to prospective buyers.
Effective email marketing
- An effective email provides awareness and interesting information, such as important articles, product information and whitepapers adding value to your campaign.
- Send value added messages
- Call to action driving targeted traffic to your website.
- Reach prospecting clients.
- Gain the trust of existing clients through communicating with them.
- Reach a wider audience by implementing social marketing applications and let your audience spread your message.
- Measure client’s metrics from the email campaign to measure overall success or failure.
Email marketing is an effective way of communicating your brand to the consumer and promoting your business to new leads. It allows free flowing communications between you and your customers. By achieving your campaign objectives, your email should build customer relations, retain and communicate with existing clients; turn leads into customers and consequently increases your business sales.