- Customer journey mapping is the documentation of the customer as they move through your sales cycle.
- Journey maps help organizations target their collateral toward customers based on their thoughts and motivations with your brand.
- Mapping the customer journey is the third actionable component of Iterative Marketing.
- Our model is based on Avinash Kaushik’s framework “See, Think, Do” and is expanded to include “Grow” and “Give.”
- While personas capture your target audience in a specific moment in time, customer journey mapping animates your persona as they move through the process of interacting with your brand.
Charity of the Week:
Six Actionable Components are the actions we take as marketers to implement Iterative Marketing. They don’t have to be implemented all at once. They are:
- Brand Discovery: Uncover how your buying audience feels about your product or service and how they rationalize the decision to buy.
- Persona Discovery: Document the individuals involved in the buying process in a way that allows us to empathize with them in a consistent way.
- Journey Mapping: Plot the stages and paths of the persona lifecycle, documenting each persona’s unique state of mind, needs and concerns at each stage.
- Channel and Content Alignment: Align every piece of content and marketing channel/activity to a primary persona and primary marketing stage, identifying new channels and content needs where opportunities exist.
- Experimentation and Optimization: Conduct thoughtful experiments designed to produce statistically significant business insights and apply the results to optimize performance.
- Reporting and Feedback: Report and review data and insights to drive decisions in content and strategy, as well as information to be used by the organization as a whole.
We hope you want to join us on our journey. Find us on IterativeMarketing.net, the hub for the methodology and community. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow us on twitter at @iter8ive or join The Iterative Marketing Community LinkedIn group.
The Iterative Marketing Podcast is a production of Brilliant Metrics, a consultancy helping brands and agencies rid the world of marketing waste.
Producer: Heather Ohlman
Transcription: Emily Bechtel
Music: SeaStock Audio
Onward and upward
Steve Robinson: Hello Iterative Marketers, welcome to the Iterative Marketing Podcast, where each week we give marketers and entrepreneurs actionable ideas, techniques, and examples to improve your marketing results. If you want notes and links to the resources discussed on the show, sign up to get them emailed to you each week at iterativemarketing.net. There you’ll also find the Iterative Marketing blog, and our community LinkedIn group where you can share ideas and ask questions of your fellow Iterative Marketers. Now let’s dive into the show.
Hello everyone and welcome to the Iterative Marketing Podcast, I’m your host Steve Robinson and with me as always is our co-host Elizabeth Earin. How are you doing today, Elizabeth?
Elizabeth Earin: I’m good Steve. How are you?
Steve Robinson: I am doing great. Getting ready to host guests for the first time in our new home, so that is exciting and as we try to figure out exactly what we’re going to shove under beds and into closets because it’s not really unpacked yet and see what we can make happen for this weekend.
Elizabeth Earin: Does your wife have a honey-do list for you?
Steve Robinson: I am more the keeper of the honey-do list than she is. I think I’m a little bit more aggressive about what I want to get done around the house and I never seem to get it all done. These houses are lot of work.
Elizabeth Earin: They are, they are for sure.
Steve Robinson: I kind of want to go back to renting. So, today we’re talking about customer journey mapping and I think it would probably be best if we started out with the definition. So, do you want to kind of throw out what customer journey mapping means to you, and what you think of when you hear that?
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah definitely. Before I do that, I think I want to hit on the fact that this is probably one of my favorite of the components, because this is the chance where you get to take all of that pre-work that you’ve done and you put it all together, and this is where it starts becoming tangible for you. So, I get really excited when we get to journey map and if I could just journey map I think I would be a pretty happy camper.
So, what exactly is a journey map? It is a documentation of the customer as they move through your sales cycle and you’re talking about what the person is thinking and feeling before they ever get to know about your brand or about your service, all the way through to after they’ve made that first purchase and beyond. And it helps to put into context what it is that they’re thinking about and what’s motivating them and what may be holding them back, that you can then use and your organization can then use to target collateral at them, audit your customer experience, and there’s a lot of other actual really great benefits that we’re going to get into a little bit later in the show.
Steve Robinson: We talked about, like, the path of the customers they become a customer, but the journey map actually extends after they’ve become a customer right? It can include as you grow into them as a customer and then also after they ideally start to spread the word of your business to others and become an evangelist for your brand, right?
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah, and I think that’s a great point because just like I did, so often we get caught up in how do we get them to be our customer in the first place and once we’ve made that sale we kind of stop, but you don’t want to do that, it costs more to acquire a new customer. We want to keep that going. We know that people will buy from based on friends referrals, so there’s a lot of value in making sure that you continue to monitor and try to influence that journey as they move forward.
Steve Robinson: The other thing I think it’s important for our listeners to know is there’s a lot of different models for how you lay out that path from they don’t know us, we don’t know them through they are customer or client. The most common is the traditional funnel of like AIDA – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action, and we actually took a model from a gentleman by the name of Avinash Kaushik who’s this just brilliant guy who works for Google and his model is See, Think, Do, and we use that as kind of the backbone of our journey maps, right?
Elizabeth Earin: And we’ve actually expanded that to go past, again not just looking at the sales cycle but the entire customer journey and expanded that to Grow and Give as well.
Steve Robinson: I think Avinash through care at the end of it but we found that there’s really two stages after that customer becomes a customer, where at first they’re still growing into your business and then at some point they become, like we talked about, that referral source, that evangelist, the guy that you add to the reference list, right?
Elizabeth Earin: And I think it’s interesting, when we plot our customer journey out it typically is this linear document, because that’s just how it gets set-up and it flows, but it’s I think very important to note that that’s not what happens. I kind of envision more of a kind of like a game of Candyland is how I would look at it where you’re on a path and then you hit a shoot or a ladder and all of a sudden you’re back in. So, maybe you’re a customer and you’ve made it to the give or the grow stage but now you are in the need for a new car, so now you’re going back into that See, Think, Do, and so it’s not something that once you’ve hit a stage you’re only moving forward or you’re only in that stage. You are constantly moving back and forth based on what your needs are and where you are in the customer cycle.
Steve Robinson: And depending on what you’re selling, after that person becomes a customer you sell them their product or service, you get to the end of that sales cycle and they’re probably high on your product or service for a little while and a referral source or maybe they’re not, at some point they reset back to that See audience where they’re an unknown again and your brand is not top of mind. So, you can add there’s cyclical component to it too.
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah, great point.
Steve Robinson: So I think it’s probably important that we, now that we talked about what it is and we will get more in depth on how you create one a little bit later in the podcast, but let’s talk for a little while about why these are useful tool, why do we bother creating a customer journey map. In my mind the first thing, the most important thing is that a persona is a phenomenal tool but it really falls short in painting a full picture as to what’s going on with that individual at any given point in time.
Elizabeth Earin: I think that’s a great point. You referred to it this way and I think it’s a great way to capture it, but your persona is really a photograph, it is that one specific point in time where your customer journey becomes the video, that becomes you know, different factors are going to come in and influence what’s happening in that journey and the persona definitely plays a part in that. You’re going to find the pain points, you are going to find the motivations, you are going to find the things that are maybe distracting them from making your message the primary thing that they’re focusing on, but what the customer journey does is it helps you kind of puts you in their shoes as they walk through that experience and you can see how that journey is unfolding that story is unfolding for them as they move through the process.
Steve Robinson: Yeah, I love that word “story” and I think that that’s really–you said that you love this phase, this actionable component, I do too and it really comes down to storytelling, you’re painting that picture, you’re taking that stick figure and animating them as they move through that process and adding all of the context and thoughts and emotions that move along with it.
Elizabeth Earin: And I think that’s really what the point of the customer journey map is, is that we are trying to find a way to communicate to our own organization, the context of the persona as it changes over time. How it applies in each of the different situations before they know about us, after they know about us, when they are considering our product, and it allows us to, if documented and discovered correctly it allows us to really again get inside of their heads and to help to take what we’ve developed in the persona and turn it into something that’s actionable for us.
Steve Robinson: And it’s not just actionable for us as marketers, it’s also actionable for other parts of the company, right?
Elizabeth Earin: Oh! definitely.
Steve Robinson: I know that when we’ve created customer journey maps in the past you know obviously the sales team needs to be involved because they are a huge part of that journey, but then also customer service, even product development can get involved in understanding how does this product fit within the customer lifecycle and what can we do to help extend that customer lifecycle or push people into possibly being more of an evangelist or giving the evangelist the opportunity, I guess you could say, to better share the messages of the brand.
Elizabeth Earin: And I think it applies on the operations side as well. Having worked for companies that have very strong customer service and loyalty programs this is I think there’s a really great application here because you’ve got a chance to take a program that is meant to not only help with acquisition but then also retention of the customer over the lifecycle and you’re able to talk about these different benefits and so you know when you’re considering, hey, what else should we add to make this a more attractive program to them, you can really see where that fits in the customer journey, at what point it would be best to introduce it, what are some of the different systems changes that are going to happen, and again how is that going to influence their journey.
Steve Robinson: I think another benefit, another huge benefit to having a documented customer journey is, now, just like your persona and your persona names set up a shared vocabulary for discussing who we’re targeting, your journey map and having defined stages within there, sets up a shared vocabulary for talking about when we’re targeting them or when this experience is supposed to happen or when this piece of content is best absorbed by the audience.
Elizabeth Earin: That’s a great point and I think another benefit of that is it helps to set a more realistic expectation. Just because a customer has reached out to us and asked a question of our sales team doesn’t mean that they are now ready to make that purchase, and it helps to really explain that yes you may be talking to them, but they’re in the Think stage right now, they still need to be, they need some additional information, and so how can we provide them that information in a way that supports their process but kind of pushes them towards the direction that we want to go or maybe guide is a better word.
Steve Robinson: Yeah and I think that it’s important to note that it’s really more about guiding or creating the best experience for that individual at that stage. It’s really hard to push somebody from one stage to the next. If I am not ready to sign at the bottom line the harder you push the harder I push away, but if I have the best experience I possibly can for the stage that I’m at, if I’m just thinking about a product and I’m not ready to make that commitment yet and here and there with every answer I could possibly want and they’re providing additional information that helps me, while helping me understand why I would choose you over somebody else, but not telling me to choose you then you’re creating a far better experience and it’s that experience that’s going to end up making the consumer choose to move to the next level, to the next stage instead of the brand pushing them there.
Elizabeth Earin: That makes a lot of sense.
Steve Robinson: I think now it is probably a good time for us take a quick break. When we come back we’ll talk more specifically about what makes a good journey map versus one that’s kind of not so good I guess and then how come we really should be applying these things. So why don’t we take a break and let’s figure out how we can help some people.
Elizabeth Earin: Before we continue I’d like to take a quick moment to ask you Iterative Marketers a small but meaningful favor. We don’t have sponsors for this podcast. Instead of asking you to get a free digital scale or enter some code for 10% off your website we ask that you give a few dollars to a charity that’s important to one of our own. This week’s charitable cause was sent in by Bette Leque of Hatco in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Bette asks that you make a contribution to the University of Minnesota’s Eric Johnson Music Scholarship Fund, a fund started in Eric’s memory for full-time music students in need of financial support. Learn more at give.umn.edu/giveto/ericjohnson or visit the link in the show notes. If you would like to submit your cause for consideration for our next podcast please visit iterativemarketing.net/podcast and click the Share a Cause button. We want to support what’s important to you.
Steve Robinson: Welcome back! So before the break we talked about what a journey map is and why everybody should put the effort into creating a customer journey map. Now I think it’s important that we talk about what’s actually on this document and what makes it valuable.
Elizabeth Earin: I think before we get into that, if you have never seen a customer journey map totally recommend that you check out iterativemarketing.net, we’ve got some blogs about customer journey and some examples of customer journey maps that I think will help to put this into a little bit of context if you’re not exactly sure what it is that we’re talking about.
Steve Robinson: And we will link to that in the show notes so that you have access to quickly link off to that and I think we’ve also got some templates out there too, so that will be valuable resource for everyone.
The first component that I think is most important to get on the journey map is getting inside of that personas head at each individual stage and understanding what are they thinking or expressing and then also what are they feeling that they might not express. So what are the external cues that you can see going on with this prospect at this particular moment, if I’m at the See stage it might be that I don’t really care about your particular product or service because I’m not in the market for it, but as I move into Think here’s where some of the concerns around features and benefits might arise and which features and benefits are important, but underneath that there is generally a more of a psychological feeling or fear or motivation that is driving them as they make that selection process and getting that documented down and into the customer journey is very, well it could be challenging, but it’s extremely valuable because now you know what emotional appeal you need to make either as a salesperson or as a marketer as you are creating collateral.
Elizabeth Earin: That’s a great point and I think it also helps you kind of read between the lines and we actually just helped one of our clients put together with their creative agency a visual map of the customer journey and it was a lot of fun and we found a really unique way to incorporate some of those internal fears that may be holding them back or may be influencing their decision. We found a way to incorporate that into the visual map, and I’m excited. I’m excited to get the feedback from their sales team and see if this is something that is useful, but it’s almost like the secret power to kind of read between the lines and so they may be saying one thing but here’s what’s really going on behind the scenes and how you as a marketer or your sales team can help to alleviate some of those fears that they may be having but not necessarily expressing.
Steve Robinson: It can be really hard to get to the bottom of some of those fears, but it can be so powerful particularly for sales to understand exactly what’s going on in there because we don’t express that stuff rationally.
Elizabeth Earin: No, we don’t. No matter if you are a consumer making a purchasing decision or you are a person making a purchasing decision for a business you’re still influenced by your emotion and that changes over the course of that sales cycle and I think that’s one of the other reasons that the customer journey is so useful and that you know what may have originally attracted the customer or the client to your brand or to your product or service that can change over time, and so one of the other things that the customer journey does is it really helps to identify which of your brand attributes are most important at that specific stage in the journey because that could change it. It may not, maybe that they are looking for the stability of the brand and that’s the number one reason they chose you in that, they will never step away from that need, but what we found in our own exploration is that typically that those needs evolve and so what is important that the See stage or the Think stage maybe something that is still important to them but there may be an additional factor that’s influencing them when they get into Think and Do.
Steve Robinson: All of our brands are multifaceted right? There’s never just one single face to our brand. If they were they would be kind of boring. It’s these other layers, these other different components that really make up that full brand, but different parts of that are better exposed at different times. It’s just like if you’re dating, it’s not like you’re going to want to show all of your true colors all at once, some of that stuff that becomes endearing at later stages of relationship really push people away at the beginning stages. So it’s a matter of letting those bits and pieces of that personality shine at the right time and if you can document that then the entire organization can get behind exactly when is it that we show this softer side or this more innovative or crazy side to our brand. At what point is that welcomed in the journey.
Elizabeth Earin: That’s a great point and I love the example with dating, its great way to tie it to, real life, that we all have experience with. So, that’s fun. Now one of the other things that makes the customer journey useful is I think its setting realistic expectations and you talked about this before and I know this is kind of one of your pet peeves when it comes to customer journey mapping, but do you want to talk about how much influence we actually have over the persona as they move through the journey?
Steve Robinson: Yeah, because one of the key components of a journey map is understanding what is going to change in that personas mind that’s going to move them from one particular stage to the next stage. So, if you break Think down into a couple of different stages, one of them being researching and the next one being maybe a comparison stage, what makes that persona stop researching and move into that comparison mode? What makes them move from that comparison mode into maybe more of a Do stage where they’re ready to buy. And we as marketers think that and even as sales people think that it’s our job to chorale and push these personas and push them from stage A to stage B to stage C and we’re not doing our job if we’re not pushing, right? But the reality is that it’s nearly impossible to make that push occur. When you start to document why somebody moves from one stage to the next chances are it is some action that they took as the prospect or it is some external factor that you have no control over as a marketer, and your influence over those things is almost nil, like I said before the best thing you can do is to create a phenomenal experience for them when they’re in that stage, so that when they’re ready to move forward, when whatever criteria changes that makes them move from researching to comparison or from comparison to getting a quote to make sure that there’s no reason in their mind that they wouldn’t move forward with you because chances are you’re not the only brand in consideration whether it B2C or B2B. If you create that phenomenal experience you’re going to be at the top of the list when they move to the next stage.
Elizabeth Earin: That’s a great point, and I think part of creating that phenomenal experience is with your messaging and that’s one of the other areas in the customer journey map that you have the opportunity to identify what the key message is because again that message is going to be different when someone is first coming into contact with your brand versus someone who’s ready to make that sales decision, and those needs are going to change and the tone that you talk to them and the information that you give them and what you actually ask them to do. Like you said earlier, if you push them too hard in the See stage you’re going to lose them. You’re going to turn them off your brand and they’re not going to come back, and so one of the components of the customer journey is key messaging at that specific point in time, and the way you put that together is going to help influence whether or not you’ve given them information they need. You’ve met their needs that is going to let them get to that next stage.
Steve Robinson: Right. And this is you know, if you think about it, the brand attributes that you let shine at each stage is really your personality that’s the emotional end of it. This is more the logical end of it. This is making sure that they are receiving the messages that reassure them that inform them as they move through the different stages so that they’re getting the right message at the right time to help them feel comfortable, to help them be armed with the information that they need in order to talk to other stakeholders. Every journey is different, what they need to hear from you is going to be different, and likewise the content that they need to get is going to be different. So that’s the next kind of phase and we kind of, when we work on this with clients we have sort of two sections of the journey map, we call it kind of above the line and below the line. The above the line stuff is really where the discovery is that’s understanding what’s going on in the personas mind, what parts of the brand do they want to experience, what key messages do they want to get, what they are admitting to verbally externally, what are they kind of keeping secret. The second part is what are we going to give them? What do we need to create? How we’re going to align this with our channels and with our media? And so that becomes the next step and to some extent when the hard work begins, right?
Elizabeth Earin: Exactly, and I think you know one thing that we always say when we’re sitting down with clients, we ask them is what content or tools would they pay for, and we don’t physically mean an exchange of money, instead what we’re talking about is an exchange of information to get them into your pipeline and to get them into your CRM database you need some information, you need to know who they are, you need to know how to contact them, and to get that information they have to give it to us and they have to give it to us freely. And so what can we do to encourage them to share that information with us and that’s what we’re talking about when we say what content will they pay for. What is going to be so valuable to them that they are willing to give up the very precious information of their cell phone number or of their email address because I know there’s plenty of times I am like that looks like interesting content and then there’s a data collection form and then I am like well I don’t know if I want it that bad, I could probably find it somewhere else, and other times I gladly enter my email address because I’m that interested in what it is that they have to say.
Steve Robinson: And even if you don’t have that content collection form there’s still some friction associated with getting this information, especially today where we’re using our mobile devices so often, you hit even a white paper that’s given away free without contact information that’s challenging for you to access on your mobile phone. If we want you to watch a video better be a lot of valuable content for you to take time away from your Facebook stream to watch that video. Whatever the content is there’s a tradeoff. We all have so much information and so much entertainment and so much life available to us that we have to make a sacrifice in order to be able to experience anything that a brand is going to be feeding us, and so if you focus on, if there were an exchange of money what would we be willing to pay for, I think that you set yourself up for success in producing content that will overcome the distractions of life, different things competing for attention and maybe even get people to give up some contact information here or there.
Elizabeth Earin: One of the final points that we’re going to get into in a lot more depth next week actually is talking about how your content and your media aligns.
Steve Robinson: Yeah, it’s probably too big of a topic for this podcast, so I’m glad it’s a separate component in the six actionable components in a separate podcast, but you do have to take and align everything that you’ve produced in the past and everything you’re producing in the future and make sure that not only is it targeted at a persona but it is targeted at a particular one or more stages of the journey of that persona, so that it hits them in the right context because otherwise if you send the wrong message at the wrong time you’re going to be exposing those wrong bits of your personality, of your brand, you’re going to be sending the wrong messages.
I think now is probably a good time for us to dive into how we go about creating an effective persona, what some tips maybe that our listeners can take as they set off on creating personas of their own. Do you have a good idea for one of your first tips here?
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah. Getting the right people in the room is I think probably one of the most important things because if you don’t have the right people in the room you’re going to have a really hard time discovering what this journey is and so again these are people that have contact with the customers or the clients that you’re trying to target. It’s great that your marketing team is there but you want some first-hand knowledge, so whether that’s your customer service department, your sales team, if you’ve got reps that are out in the field, those are all great people and great resources to really rely on when you start to put this journey together because again we’re trying to get inside the heads, we need to understand what kind of questions and what concerns they have and the type of information they are looking for, and you’ve got some really great resources if you ask the right people.
Steve Robinson: Absolutely, and I love these collaborations sessions too because you get sales in the room with marketing and those two never, I shouldn’t say never, in most organizations the back and forth between sales and marketing can be a little rough sometimes. So to get them in the room collaborating on the same document at the same time is great for getting everybody on the same page and then these documents also further that, the same thing with customer service operations, getting those folks around a table to give you this additional information what happens after the sale, what happens after they become a customer, and feed through the later stages. Again, it’s some great bonding.
Elizabeth Earin: And I think that really leads into kind of the second tip for success is that we are not fabricating this journey, we are not writing this journey, we are uncovering it, we are discovering it. It’s not something that we’re making up and that’s where getting those right people in the room really helps because we want to make sure that what we’re putting on paper is what is actually happening out in the field and out with our customers, and so it really comes down to discovering that journey not creating it.
Steve Robinson: I mean this document can become the basis for other initiatives within the organization to go and change and enhance the customer experience, but for the sake of understanding, for the sake of this exercise and for marketing, its first and foremost important to have a document that clearly reflects what reality is because that’s the context that we’re going to be marketing to, right? That’s the context the persona will be in at the time that they’re receiving our messages that they’re engaging with our content. As we move along that journey I think it’s really important that we don’t overcomplicate things. I know that particularly…
Elizabeth Earin: Wait, wait, wait! Are you saying marketing overcomplicates things occasionally?
Steve Robinson: Yeah, just occasionally. You get a bunch of creatives in the room and bigger, better, more complicated is kind of a where our minds tend to go, but the reality is in journey mapping, just like in personas, less is more. So if you can start with a simpler journey map, fewer stages along the way, it’s a whole lot easier to later go and split a stage out if you feel that you need to create a different experience at two different subsections of those stages. It is a lot easier to split something out later than it is to combine it later when you find out that we kind of overcomplicated this in what we were thinking at.
Elizabeth Earin: I think it’s also important to keep in mind that your customer journey is static, and so unless the–well let me back up–above the, what did you call it earlier?
Steve Robinson: Above the line kind of…
Elizabeth Earin: Above the line, yeah. When you look at the customer journey document the one that we’re going to share sort of the template, I always color code mine because I like color coding things, but you know above that line that portion is static, what the customer is thinking, what’s going on in their head, what are those key brand attributes. Those are not changing over time. The only time that they would change is if the sales process changes or you decide to Steve’s point that you do need a new buyer stage then yes you would see some modifications there, but for the most part this is going to remain consistent. What is going to change is that below the line and that’s where you’re starting to align that key message that you’ve already identified above, but what is that exactly, how is that being delivered, what’s the content, what’s the channel that’s going to vary based on what you have in your arsenal at the time, but everything that goes above it that really doesn’t change.
Steve Robinson: No, no, unless there is major changes to the sales process or organizational structure or how the service or product that you’re offering that might make an impact above the line, but the best way to approach documenting that is as if you are a field researcher, as if you are trying to accurately portray a picture of what that customer’s journey is, what they’re going through along that path.
The last point that I want to bring up on how to create this is really kind of gets in and segues into the last section of this whole podcast is, it’s really important that this document doesn’t just collect dust, just like personas this is something that needs to become part of your vernacular and part of the dialogue around the marketing department, and as marketing interfaces with other either external vendors or the team make sure that you are bringing this document out and using the language that’s contained in it as your dialogue as you go.
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah, and this is one of my pet peeves is when we create these documents because a lot of time goes into this. If you’re doing it correctly you’ve got a lot of man hours that have gone into it, you’ve pulled people together, you’ve coordinated schedules, you’ve gotten in the same room, you’ve gone over it together, you have thrown around these ideas and this great stuff is coming out of this teamwork and it goes into this Excel document, which I am not going to lie, it’s a little dry, and then it gets forgotten, and we actually had this happen to us where we went through the process of putting it together and then it sat in an electronic file and that’s when we decided we need to take the step and we need to make this visual. We need to make this something that we can look at that’s not so overwhelming and that was a super fun experiment or not experiment but exercise to go through and kind of putting together that visual journey, but you’ve gone through the work why not use it, and so really work on making sure that it is a document that you’re using and that you are sharing with your team.
Steve Robinson: And so how do you use it? In what ways can you put this document to work?
Elizabeth Earin: Yes, so I think right off the bat while you are sitting in that conference room with your sales team the very first time throwing ideas down on paper, the very first thing you realize is that you may have some gaps or holes in your content. Right off the bat you say I should be talking to my persona John about our warranty at this stage and I have no collateral that talks about that, no point of my discussing this with him or putting it out to him. It’s on my website but you really have to dig to work. And so right off the bat you start to see where you have some opportunities to develop some new content or repurpose a new content to make sure that you are meeting those needs.
Steve Robinson: Yeah, I think you also recognize gaps in your customer experience too. I can think of a couple of cases where we’ve gotten to the point where we start talking about evangelists and we realize well wait a minute, we’re not doing anything for those customers that want to go and talk about us. We’re not making that easy. We’re not giving them the message to go out and talk about us because we stop marketing to them once they become a customer, and after that point we don’t want them seeing our hands because we’re spending money on, wait, wait, if we send them ads then they know what to talk about us, and they’re talking about us to other people who would be interested in buying our products and services. So it makes a lot of sense to do that, but it’s not obvious until you start looking at that entire customer journey from that end.
Elizabeth Earin: I think one of the other ways to use this is, does it really helps to keep sales, marketing, customer service, really any of your customer facing departments on the same page as to when they need to be working together because nothing is more detrimental to your brand than inconsistency, and we talked about this when we talked about brand discovery, but you want to make sure that no matter who they’re interacting with within your organization that they are having a consistent experience and the customer journey helps to make sure that that happens, whether it’s collateral that they’re getting in the mail, it’s a digital ad they are seeing, or it’s when they call the 800 number to talk to one of your customer service reps.
Steve Robinson: Absolutely. And it’s not just, it really can be anyone in the company, but it also applies to your vendors as well. So, as you’re working with external vendors to create content or even as they become part of that customer journey post-sale making sure that they understand where what they’re creating or their contribution fits into a bigger picture is extremely important. I think this document sets that up well.
Elizabeth Earin: We talked about this a little bit ago and we’re going to get into it more next week, but it’s an opportunity to align your media and your content. So, again we’ve outlined what the key message should be, we’ve outlined how we want to deliver it. Now it’s a matter of taking a look and finding those appropriate channels to deliver that content on.
Steve Robinson: And on that note I think it’s a great time for us to end because if we start going down that road we will end up talking here for the next half an hour or 45 minutes and really that’s next week’s podcast. So please join us next week when we do get into aligning your content and your media channels to your persona and your customer journey and your brand, and until then onward and upward!
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The Iterative Marketing Podcast is a production of Brilliant Metrics, a consultancy helping brands and agencies rid the world of marketing waste. Our producer is Heather Ohlman with transcription assistance from Emily Bechtel. Our music is by SeaStock Audio, Music Production and Sound Design. You can check them out at seastockaudio.com. We will see you next week. Until then onward and upward!