Designing An Effective Top-Down Customer Strategy
Creating a customer journey timeline can be a lot like figuring out the right ways to lead a horse to water and making sure it drinks. It’s about finding the best ways to entice your flighty mount to follow the path laid out in front of it, to reach an end goal – keep the horse hydrated and coming back for more. The same can be said for a marketing funnel, which, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t mean the same thing as a customer journey.
But when it comes to your customer journey, it’s equally important to understand the role that the marketing funnel plays in building something memorable for everyone.
To draw your audience to your brand, it’s important to implement customer journey strategies that start from the top. Channelling a top-down approach keeps you focused on driving decisions and processes that meet your brand’s goals and motivations.
Here are some insights for designing an effective top-down customer strategy…
Taking a look from a business perspective
Once you’ve isolated the necessary information between audience and brand, it’s also important to take a step back and take a look at things from a business perspective. Sometimes, it can be easy to lose the woods for the trees, and when you’re looking at your own business, it’s important to identify where the gaps in communications are. Once you’ve figured out where the obstacles are, then you focus on finding the place where the goals of you and your audience align.
Examining current industry trends, knowing your competition and where they stand in the market, and understanding client challenges are some of the key points towards understanding the challenges faced on the business front. Does your client have trouble sourcing customers or converting them? Identifying these key factors will drive your business’ understanding of how to best improve your client’s branding approach and close those gaps.
Identify your target audience and customer personas
Engaging with your audience isn’t as simple as casting a net out far and wide. It’s certainly the easiest way, but rarely ever do you yield the best results. As the saying goes, when you market to everyone, you reach no one.
An important part of identifying an ideal target audience is aligning your goals and expectations for your brand with your audience. Obviously, your business and your audience should want the same things from an experience with your brand. The important part now is figuring out what those goals are. Narrowing down your focus on a target audience keeps your brand goals and approaches laser-focused to a niche that you can nurture, adapt to, and maintain without having to spread your resources out too thin.
To do this, figuring out your customer personas is also ideal. By identifying these homogenous groups and their key traits, you whittle down the unnecessary information between your target audience and your brand goals. Think of this stage as guiding your horse with a set of blinkers on or blocking all other paths to the water trough.
Be present at every stage
Keeping a strong presence at every stage of the journey allows your brand to keep tabs on the progress of your target audience as they move from brand awareness to brand loyalty.
The 5 key stages include but are not limited to:
An overall goal you should have as a brand is understanding where your audiences stand in each stage. Filling in the gaps, as it were. Knowing the level of awareness your target audience have about your brand and its products or services, and how much push your audience need to complete a purchase will allow you to craft impactful communication strategies at each awareness level.
Lay down a multi-touchpoint strategy
Different people convert at different stages and phases of experiencing a customer journey, but at least 47% of buyers view 3 to 5 pieces of content before even engaging with a sales rep (Demand Gen Report).
Knowing this, it is imperative that you lay the foundations of a multi-touchpoint path which will allow you to keep track of your audience’s experience and ensure that your brand is continuously engaging with them wherever they are in their customer journey.
Consistency is key — establishing a reliable path for brand communication
Establishing a line of communication between your brand and audience should already be a business goal of yours. It doesn’t start and stop at building an Instagram or Facebook account; it’s about engaging your audiences at a consistent and reliable rate. Building the trust between audience and brand starts with having a reputation of reliability. You’re not just there when they need you, you’re there because you want to be, and it has to show.
Test, test, and test again
It should come to no surprise that working on data-driven, results-based outcomes have proven to deliver the clearest results of target audience identification and acquisition. When you’re working out the best formulas and campaigns for your brand, it’s always good to optimise a budget on performing platforms, communications, and content. Thorough and consistent testing of their results will help guide the steps of your brand towards building a stronger outlook for future campaigns.
Always bring it back to your business when you look for insights on the post leads journey so that you can work on regularly re-strategising your campaigns based on your sales performance. Campaigns and sales should not work in silo.
These are just some of the ways that you can develop your customer journey mapping. Of course, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.