Every customer journey map we create has the potential to outline more specific moments that prospects and customers engage with our brand.
The customer journey template we provided, based on Avinash Kaushik’s “See, Think and Do”, is just a starting point. As our organizations uncover more layers of a prospect’s journey, these maps will need to be expanded. By expanding the customer journey, we can more accurately, and specifically, target our content and media to one persona.
This blog outlines the process for expanding your customer journey within the See, Think and Do consideration states.
Important Note: Before reading any further, you must download the free customer journey template. When the template loads, you’ll be prompted to subscribe for free to IterativeMarketing.net, where you will gain complete access to our premium content. The rest of this post will be very hard to follow without it.
Important Note #2: This is the fifth blog in a five-part series. Check out the remaining blogs for details on completing other sections of the customer journey: Mapping the Customer Journey; Mapping the Customer Journey: Persona’s Perspective; Mapping the Customer Journey: Marketing’s Perspective; Mapping the Customer Journey: Sales’ Perspective.
As you can see in the customer journey template, there is only one cell or state listed under each See, Think and Do consideration state. But in fact, there can be multiple sub-states listed under each state, depending on the persona’s journey. The following sections will provide questions to help us identify sub-states to expand our customer journey.
See (Column C)
As a refresher, the See audience member is qualified. They align with our brand and have use for our product or service sometime in the future. However, this prospect is not thinking about purchasing our product or service or changing vendors right now.
There are three sub-states that can exist in the See consideration state that don’t impact the prospect’s state of mind significantly, but these sub-states will have significant impact on how we market or sell to the prospect:
- The prospect doesn’t know our brand and is not in our database.
- The prospect knows our brand, and a bit of what we stand for, but is not in the database.
- The prospect knows our brand, and a bit of what we stand for, and is in our database. Or, they can be accessed directly in other ways.
Here are questions to ask to determine if the See state can be broken into more actionable sub-states:
- Do marketing and sales activities in See rely on leveraging a directly addressable audience (i.e. database or retargeting)?
- Is the state of mind of the persona, or how they interact with the brand, significantly different after they have “met” the brand?
Think (Column D)
Our Think audience is similar to See, in that they are qualified potential future customers. The difference is that Think audience members are thinking about our product or service or changing vendors, but they do not have a specific timeline or commitment to do so.
While the audience member is engaged in Think, they may be involved in an activity that puts them in a distinctly different state of mind. For example, in the first sub-state of Think, the prospect encounters an issue, annoyance or opportunity, but is not ready to take action. Other sub-states of Think may include research, vetting options or asking for referrals.
Questions to ask to determine if the Think consideration state should be broken into more actionable sub-states:
- Is there a breaking point where the prospect goes from only thinking about a problem or opportunity to taking action?
- Are there separate actions that a prospect takes prior to committing to a purchase?
- Do these actions occur simultaneously (same state) or independently (separate states)?
Do (Column E)
Do audience members are not only qualified and thinking about our product, but they made a commitment, either to themselves or someone else, to purchase our product or sign an agreement within a specific period of time.
At this point, the Do state generally reflects the sales process. When expanding the Do state, identify major sales milestones, or moments in-between. For example, “Negotiation and Agreement” would make a good sub-state because the prospect will be thinking, feeling and taking action over a longer period of time. “Contract Signing” is a poor sub-state because it is only a short moment in time.
Questions to ask to determine if Do can be broken into more actionable sub-states:
- What are the steps in our sales process?
- What periods of time exist between key sales milestones?
- When do the thoughts, feelings or actions of the prospect change?
Grow (Column F)
The Grow state includes customers that buy from us today or those who have been customers for more than a decade. Grow audience members can also include someone who just signed a new service agreement. If retail or e-commerce, Grow is generally customers who have bought from us more than once.
When we break down “Grow,” we’re generally looking for different states of mind of the customer based on the customer lifecycle. This could be an onboarding period, training, product re-order, renewals, cross-sells, up-sells, etc. Whatever our customer lifecycle looks like, it goes into “Grow.”
Questions to ask to determine if the “Grow” consideration state should be broken into more actionable components:
- Is there a big difference between someone who’s bought your product/service once vs. a second time?
- Do you have a client onboarding process?
- Does your product require training?
- Do you have an off-boarding or project close process?
Give (Column G)
Like Grow, the Give consideration state includes the customers that are buying from us today. However, these customers also believe in our company and mission so much that they are willing to refer a friend or family member — one of the most elusive marketing channels.
For a customer to refer us to a friend or family member, we know that they have already bought into our brand, which means they have some experience with us. For this reason, Give rarely includes an onboarding or implementation state, as that is reserved for new customers who are not familiar with our brand, product or service. Another thing to keep in mind is that not everyone in Grow will move to Give — and that is OK!
Questions to ask to determine if the Give consideration state should be broken into more actionable components:
- Which states from Grow are also applicable to longtime customers?