Session 15: Customer Journey Mapping and Omni Channel Marketing | A Marketing Podcast

Session 15: Customer Journey Mapping and Omni Channel Marketing

In session 15 of A Marketing Podcast I discuss what customer journey mapping and Omni channel marketing is all about. First I dig into two methods to understanding the shopper journey, and then how to develop the journey for your specific audience. Thew I quickly explain what Omni Channel Marketing is and how I believe it differs from multi channel marketing. As well I provide two examples of great Omni channel marketing executions by a couple of well known companies.

Session 15: Show Notes

Customer journey mapping

Customer journey mapping works to identify the way in which your potential customers (as well as your current customers) move towards making a purchase from you.

The customer journey can be envisioned in two main ways:

  • Marketing funnel
  • Consumer decision journey

Both theories work to help you understand your potential customers journey towards making a purchase, however one is linear in nature and one is cyclical in nature.

Let me explain the difference and which theory you should focus on, depending on your marketing mix.

Marketing Funnels

Marketing funnels are made up of steps that indicate a shopper’s journey to making a purchase.

The process is linear in fashion and assumes the shoppers progress through the funnel step by step.

A typical Marketing funnel would include the following steps in this particular order:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Consideration
  4. Intent
  5. Evaluation
  6. Purchase
  7. Loyalty

However, as our marketing becomes more complex and the shopper is more in charge of their purchase decisions, the marketing funnels has become less accurate in predicting the process towards a purchase.

It’s still valuable in identifying the steps that may be taken by shoppers, but it’s not much more common for shoppers to move in different ways through the funnel. Sometimes skipping steps altogether, or even backtracking to perform steps that have already been performed.

Such as re-considering the alternative products that could be purchased (which is typically one of the first steps in a customer journey)

Some additional reading on the changes in shopper journeys and how marketers can no longer reply on the marketing funnel.

The consumer decision journey

Involves more of a cyclical approach to shopper progression towards purchases.

The consumer decision journey involves 5 phases.

Those are:

  • Initial consideration
  • Active evaluation
  • Moment of Purchase
  • Post Purchase Experience
  • Loyalty Loop
Consumer Decision Journey Diagram
Credit: McKinsey & Company

Initial Consideration

Involves the shopper learning about your product or service and performing a preliminary review.

The type of marketing that helps at this phase is typically advertising or marketing tactics that target a new customer base (those who’ve never heard or you business).

Active Evaluation

The shopper has decided that your product/service is a possible solution and begins performing in depth research and information gathering.

Content marketing is great for this phase of the journey as it provides the information to make evaluation of your business and product/service as easy as possible.

Those who communicate the best appear the most viable. Quality aside. tweet

Moment of Purchase

Pretty self explanatory – our shopper has made the leap – yay our marketing worked!

Post Purchase Experience

This is, what I believe, to be the easiest and most important part of the journey.

Of course getting a sale is a great thing to achieve, but now you have a potential advocate for your business who can tell your story with more power and conviction than you ever can.

But in order for that to happen we need to nurture our new customer.

Support marketing, or “customer support” is key and there are many ways to achieve this.

Such as:

  • Email marketing (follow up support sequences)
  • Phone call touch points
  • Providing guarantees and following through in the event of any issues
  • Superior customer support (use social media, or any number of online platforms to make it easy for your customer – Zendesk or Groove are two such platforms)

Loyalty Loop

If we do our Post purchase job correctly, the loyalty loop will kick into action.

This is the loop that demonstrates our repeat customers who no longer move through the Active Evaluation cycle as they already know what they need to know.

The Consumer Decision Journey is my recommended approach for understanding how shoppers eventually buy from you.

To close the loop on consumer journey mapping

So now that you have background on the two main theories around the process or journey your shoppers can take, it’s time to map your businesses consumer journey.

Back in Session 4 of A Marketing Podcast I talked about understanding and developing your target audience. If you haven’t go and check that session out, it will get you a long way towards understanding your audiences, and in turn how their journey looks.

Once you know your audience it’s pretty easy to envision their journey from a tactical marketing perspective.

So to perform the mapping you essentially work through each step of the journey as if you where your audience and identify channels for marketing that will provide ways for you to talk to your audience and in a way that matches the phase of their journey they are in.

And where possible always be modifying and improving the process by communicating with your customers.

Point blank ask them where they where and when in their journey to becoming your customer.

Omni Channel Marketing

Is essentially the execution of marketing once you understand your customer’s journey.

Which means that you are applying marketing through different channels that work together to help shoppers progress through their journey.

Where omni channel marketing differs from multi channel marketing is somewhat semantics, but I believe omni channel marketing to refer to always building progress to a main goal.

As opposed to multi channel marketing simply meaning you’re using multiple channels to perform marketing tactics. Not necessarily working together to achieve an end goal.

Like I said semantics, but an important clarification all the same.

A couple examples of Omni Channel Marketing

REI 

If you’re in the states you likely know of REI – if you’re not REI is basically an outdoors store with everything from bicycles to tents, to climbing gear, and so on.

They make use of catalogs, phone apps, in store booths to fulfill the shoppers requirements. From checking if somethings in stock, to finding out more about the product then is available on the shelfs, to promotional offers pushed through apps. A truly omni channel marketing execution

Starbucks

Another example of Omni channel marketing is the Starbucks app which does many things but as a cross channel feature allows you to top up gift cards to make purchases in real time. Allowing you to fill up your card while you wait in line.

It also focuses on the loyalty loop by gamifying rewards points to eventually reward you with free coffee, all viewable in the app.

Links & Resources

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