5 items tagged "customer journey"

  • Marketing attribution in B2B: What's going on?

    Marketing attribution in B2B: What's going on?

    It’s no surprise to see more and more marketers explore and invest in attribution modeling in 2019 and beyond. After all, the B2B buyer’s journey has become increasingly complex, as each prospect engages with a number of digital touchpoints on their path to becoming a customer. It’s imperative for marketers to understand their customers’ journey and the role that each touchpoint plays in an eventual purchase, and marketing attribution is the one tactic that helps them do so.

    In today’s blog post we take a look at the current state of marketing attribution, and the latest marketing attribution trends you should be aware of. Let’s get into it!

    What is marketing attribution?

    Before we get into the latest attribution trends, let’s review the definition and main objectives of marketing attribution.

    Marketing attribution refers to a system used to determine how each touchpoint in a customer’s journey contributes to an eventual conversion. From there, a marketing attribution model will assign a specific percentage of attribution to each touchpoint. By assigning credit to each touchpoint, marketers are able to better assess and optimize the various campaigns and channels they use to engage their target audience.

    Here’s where it gets a little more complicated. There’s no singular model for successful marketing attribution. In fact, there are more than a handful of attribution models marketers use to track their customer journeys. 

    The three main types of marketing attribution are as follows: First-touch attribution, last-touch attribution, and multitouch attribution. First-touch attribution assigns 100% of the credit to the first touchpoint in a prospect’s path to conversion. Last-touch assigns all the credit to the last touchpoint. Multi-touch attribution models disperse credit among the many touchpoints in a prospect’s journey to converting.

    Trend 1: Multi-touch has become the most common form of attribution model

    As we stated above, there’s some debate over which marketing attribution model is best. Given the variety of options, it’s easy to see why only 22% of marketers believe they’re using the right attribution model (LeadsRX).

    Many businesses have stuck with a first-touch or last-touch attribution model, but they’re no longer in the majority. Over the past year, multi-touch attribution has become the predominant form of attribution modeling (eMarketer):

    • Of B2B marketers who have adopted marketing attribution, 45.3% use a multi-touch attribution model. Comparatively,  43.2% use first-click attribution and 24.% use last-click attribution.
    • 44% of marketers say they plan to implement multichannel attribution within the next year or two. 

    Make no mistake about it, the increasing reliance on multi-touch attribution is a good sign for the future of B2B marketing. One-touch models (first-touch and last-touch) have certain benefits, but they don’t paint a wholly accurate picture of a multi-faceted buyer’s journey. Multi-touch attribution models are much more realistic. They recognize every channel and piece of marketing content a prospect interacts with. 

    Compared to first- or last-touch, the only drawback to multi-touch attribution is its complexity. In other words, it’s easy to assign 100% attribution to a blog post that started a customer’s journey. It’s also easy to credit the webinar they attended right before conversion. But, assigning credit to each touchpoint in between is a more complicated process.

    The good news is, modern technology has simplified the process of implementing a multi-touch attribution model. Free tools like Google Analytics enable marketers to track multiple touchpoints and even create custom attribution models that let users assign attribution to individual channels. Considering that 41% of marketers say custom attribution modeling is very effective (Econsultancy), we’re likely to see more and more marketers embrace a multi-touch attribution strategy.   

    Trend 2: Attribution technology has impacted marketing budgets

    In a recent survey, marketing leaders were asked how attribution technology has affected their marketing spend across the channels they use. While responses varied, the survey results showed a general increase in spending on channels like content marketing, paid search, and organic search. Conversely, paid social and display advertising saw a general decrease in spending (Clickz).

    What do these results mean? For one, they show that attribution modeling has helped marketers develop a better understanding of SEO/SEM and content marketing ROI. But on a broader level, surveys like this one point to a trend in how marketers will allocate their budgets moving forward. 

    Marketing attribution is paving the way for more strategic allocation of money and resources. By optimizing their spending based on attribution metrics, marketers are able to ensure that every dollar they spend is actively driving conversions. 

    Trend 3: Cross-device attribution moves into the spotlight

    While the rise of multi-touch attribution is promising, there’s much more progress to be made. Modern customers don’t just use multiple channels to engage with a brand before the point of conversion. They also use multiple devices. In fact, Google reports that a majority of online consumers who use multiple devices start their purchase on a smartphone and complete it on a PC or tablet (Clearcode).  

    Marketers who implement an attribution model are beginning to recognize the importance of tracking customer behavior across multiple devices. To illustrate the value of cross-device attribution, let’s look at a hypothetical scenario:

    A person clicks on a paid advertisement for a security software on their smartphone. They’re intrigued, and later they visit the company’s blog and social media feeds while using their tablet. The next day, they use their laptop to visit the company’s website and submit a free trial form.

    In the above scenario, a standard attribution model may only recognize the final touchpoint of the prospect’s journey: they went to a website and filled out a form. Meanwhile, cross-device attribution would recognize the prospect’s previous actions on their smartphone and tablet, which led them to the point of conversion.

    The question is: How does one identify and track users across different devices? As you might expect, there’s no easy answer. But, there’s been a strong push among marketing software providers and data management platforms to solve this cross-channel conundrum. As technology becomes more adept at tracking users across devices, we should expect to see cross-channel attribution become the norm in the coming years.

    Trend 4: Attribution has driven more businesses to consolidate their sales and marketing technology stacks  

    Attribution modeling provides more insight into the buyer’s journey and allows for more accurate, comprehensive reporting. But, marketers fail to fully realize these benefits when their technologies do not integrate with those used by their sales department.

    For example, let’s say your marketing team uses a specific tool to track your various channels and assign attribution. If that tool does not integrate with your CRM, important prospect and customer data become siloed, making it more difficult to analyze and create comprehensive, accurate reports.

    Consolidating your sales and marketing technology stacks yields a number of benefits that contribute to better marketing and sales alignment. As marketing attribution becomes more ubiquitous, fully integrative technology stacks will become even more prominent among sales and marketing organizations. 

    Trend 5: More job titles include 'attribution'  

    Marketing attribution is not a minor undertaking, nor is it a simple set-it-and-forget-it tactic. In fact, it’s on its way to becoming one of the most essential components of a data-driven marketing strategy. As businesses recognize this development, the demand for employees with specific expertise in the realm of marketing attribution rises.

    Unsurprisingly, there’s been a recent surge in job titles related to marketing attribution. Search any online job board, and you’re likely to find a number of open positions calling for a 'Marketing Attribution Analyst' or 'Attribution Specialist'. It’s likely that over the next decade, marketing departments across all industries will include entire teams dedicated to marketing attribution. 

    Final thoughts on marketing attribution trends

    Marketing attribution is far from a fully-realized concept. It’s a tactic that continues to develop and improve, as marketing technology advances towards the idea of a 'perfect' attribution model. But, the trends we discussed today prove that the buzz around marketing attribution is much more than flash-in-the-pan industry hype. 

    If you have yet to explore the value of marketing attribution, now’s the time to start. A word to the wise: The benefits of marketing attribution aren’t always immediate. It’s likely that you’ll experiment with a number of attribution models before you find the one that works for your organization. Work out the kinks now and you’ll stay ahead of the curve as marketing attribution continues to evolve into a vital business strategy

    Author: Sam Holzman

    Source: Zoominfo

  • The benefits of analyzing the customer journey of your users

    The benefits of analyzing the customer journey of your users

    Skills related to User Experience (UX) design are high in demand. They are among the top 10 most demanded skills in 2019. ranked by a recent LinkedIn study. Finding qualified UX designers is tied with finding software engineers in terms of hiring priorities, according to a recent Adobe study. Within that UX bucket, designers who have skills related to data analytics and research are particularly sought after, with those qualities being named as a must-have.

    But the ability to analyze the user journey to create delightful experiences for end-users isn’t just a skill that is exclusive to (nor required only by) UX professionals. For stakeholders across the spectrum of software development and delivery, access to interactive data visualizations on how the user is moving through a task can help each group more successfully deliver on their own goals. From engineering, to product management, to marketing. And while access to this data may be expected in a cloud-based application, it’s equally (if not more) important for on-premise software publishers to enable this type of analysis in their products.

    By looking at data related to user flow (also known as ´path analytics´), product stakeholders begin to identify the series of steps it takes users to reach their goals. With a deep view into the steps surrounding a key task, several helpful pieces of information that may have been difficult or impossible to visualize now become readily apparent. Things like unanticipated actions, broken workflows, or shortcuts that power users have discovered that could be promoted or productized. 

    Having this knowledge has benefits that extend beyond streamlining and optimizing the user interface. This insight can help better determine training requirements and guide users, and also provide points for comparison between old and new user interfaces that inform product development.

    How does user flow analysis work?

    It starts with choosing a ´hotspot´ event to analyze. This can range from launching the application, to launching any event within it such as using a wizard, opening a menu, or accessing a particular feature. Next, pick a path direction within the hotspot to drill further into. This can be the start, the end, or somewhere in between. This is where it is crucial to understand the question you’re trying to answer. For instance, the hotspot would be the starting point if the goal is to understand where users go from a particular point, the steps taken, and whether that meets expectations. The hotspot would be the endpoint if you’re trying to answer a broader question about the value of the experience, such as the steps leading up to the user clicking on a link to explore upgraded functionality.

    Choose the number of steps to analyze, and the number of events within each step, as well as any paths that you don’t want to look atAs you audit the events you have tagged, there are a couple of best practices you can follow.

    First, make sure to have a naming convention for events that makes interpreting them easier in user flow reports and visualizations. Secondly, make sure that all of the high value events are tagged, to get data on them as soon as possible or before a specific marketing campaign or product roadmap decision.

    Having a window into these user flows has several key benefits, as it enables the organization to:

    Validate design: Confirm that users are taking the path designed for them or identify if different workflows may produce a better result.

    Visualize the journey: Quickly navigate through path reports to see traffic patterns through events and relative popularity of next/previous steps with a single click. This includes the ability to filter reports to view paths of specific sets of users based on their properties, and exclude noise events such as system generated events that are not user-initiated for clean user paths. The best tools will enable chart-based analysis, and provide the ability to export the data to CSV for offline analysis.

    Verify campaign effectiveness: User flow analysis can also be applied to measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns being pushed out through in-application messaging, with the ability to see the path a user took after seeing that message. User flow analysis lends the ability not only to see click-throughs, but also drill down within that to see the exact path users took.

    Author: Victor DeMarines

    Source: Dataversity

  • The different levels of a CX strategy and how to level up

    The different levels of a CX strategy and how to level up

    Customer experience (CX) needs to be an essential part of your business plan to stay competitive.

    About seven in 10 customer experience management professionals (67%) say their organizations are already competing mostly or entirely on CX, according to a recent Gartner survey. By two years from now, nearly nine in 10 CX managers (86%) expect to mostly or entirely compete on the basis of CX.

    If you want your business to beat the competition, you need to create a robust CX strategy.

    In this article, we’ll cover the current state of CX marketing strategies and popular CX initiatives at other organizations. Use this information to identify gaps in your organization’s initiatives and to propose investing in improvements.

    Where organizations are now in their CX strategy

    Most organizations are still in the early stages of customer experience maturity, according to Gartner’s CX maturity model. This model is a tool to help organizations assess where they are and where they want to be in their CX strategy and initiatives. The model consists of five levels, ranging from an ad hoc approach to a fully embedded, organization-wide approach.

    About two-thirds of B2C organizations are in the earliest two stages of CX maturity, representing an initial ad hoc approach (32%) or an early established CX road map (33%). In comparison, just 5% of organizations are in the upper two levels, which are characterized by optimizing and fully embedding CX considerations across all levels of the organization.

    What a CX strategy looks like at different levels of maturity

    To get a stronger sense of what CX maturity looks like, take a look at the following table, which lays out key characteristics of what an organization’s customer experience program looks like across the five maturity levels.

    Ask yourself where your organization is now and where you want the organization to be.

    From there, you can begin building a strategy to close the gap between your current level and goal level.

    Customer experience maturity levels

    1. Ad hoc

    • Purpose and strategy:Reacting, fighting fires
    • Customer insight: No research team or budget
    • Personas and journeys: None exist
    • Voice of the Customer: Irregular surveys

    2. Establishing

    • Purpose and strategy: Reducing complaints, developing strategy
    • Customer insight: Dedicated researcher
    • Personas and journeys: Developed
    • Voice of the Customer: Standardized surveys

    3. Performing

    • Purpose and strategy: Implementing a unified CX strategy
    • Customer insight: Dedicated research team
    • Personas and journeys: Used to identify and prioritize efforts
    • Voice of the Customer: Limited, closed-loop feedback process

    4. Optimizing

    • Purpose and strategy: Optimizing to meet CX goals
    • Customer insight: Continuous
    • Personas and journeys: Detailed, represent full journey
    • Voice of the Customer: Fully operationalized across organization

    5. Embedded

    • Purpose and strategy: Pursuing innovation, whole organization buy-in
    • Customer insight: Insights widely distributed, used daily
    • Personas and journeys: Used throughout the organization
    • Voice of the Customer: Continuous monitoring

    The maturity model is not prescriptive. It’s important to note that not all organizations will even want to reach level 5, which involves continuously monitoring customer feedback to make real-time decisions. The technological and financial requirements for this approach are likely prohibitive for small and midsize businesses, not to mention the time and staffing it would require.

    Take your customer experience strategy to the next level with these 3 popular CX initiatives

    As you can see from the maturity model table, personas, journey maps, and a Voice of the Customer program are key characteristics that can help define where you are in the development of your CX program. Here are some tips for implementing or optimizing these initiatives.

    1. Develop customer personas to better identify CX needs

    A customer persona is a finely honed profile of your best or target customer and should be as specific as possible to help you visualize their wants, needs, behaviors, and motivations.

    Think beyond demographic information such as age, gender, income, or geography type. Psychographic (e.g., values, opinions, aspirations), transactional (e.g., purchase histories, service records), and behavioral (e.g., engagement on your website or social media profiles) information are key components of a richly-built persona.

    Where to start:

    If you don’t already have a customer persona, start by working on a persona for your most valuable customer type.

    Level up:

    If you already have a customer persona, consider creating additional personas to acknowledge other valuable customer types. Validate your existing persona by checking back in on the data you used when you created it and updating it as needed. Use your customer personas to identify CX needs.

    2. Build customer journey maps to better prioritize CX efforts

    A customer journey map is an externally focused map of your customer’s experience through the full cycle of a particular journey. For example, the journey could start at the customer’s own awareness of a need and end with a product purchase, with steps for every interaction and impression in between.

    The process of building a customer journey map is an act of empathy; you should put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine their actions and feelings along the way. By the end of the process, you should have a deeper understanding of gaps or flaws in the customer experience and your customer’s motivations, desires, and feelings throughout.

    Where to start:

    If you don’t already have a journey map, have a workshop with key stakeholders involved in any customer-facing touchpoint.

    Level up:

    If you have a journey map already, validate that it’s still accurate every year or so. Use your journey maps to identify pain points within your customer’s journey and brainstorm solutions.

    3. Create a Voice of the Customer program to improve CX efforts

    A VoC program helps measure customer experience (CX) by capturing and analyzing multiple types of customer feedback to identify customer experience areas that need improvement. As one of the core ways to better understand your customers, VoC programs enable organizations to follow one of the foundational pillars of strong CX.

    Data sources for a VoC program can include customer complaints, customer surveys, employee feedback, company reviews, interviews, and social media. Through rich, diversified sources of customer feedback, VoC programs help companies better understand customer experience and sentiment.

    Where to start:

    If you don’t have a VoC program in place, start by improving your customer survey program: Standardize surveys and make timing regular and consistent.

    Level up:

    If you already have a VoC program in place, consider adding other forms of feedback to enrich your VoC. Use this data to track progress on your CX efforts.

    Envision your long-term CX strategy goals

    Using the customer experience maturity table above, ask yourself where your organization’s CX program is now, where you want it to be, and how you can get there.

    Starting or improving your efforts in one or all of the popular CX initiatives laid out here (personas, journey maps, and VoC programs) is a great place to start in leveling up your CX maturity.

    Auhtor: Kristen Bialik

    Source: Capterra

  • The four customer journey archetypes

    The four customer journey archetypes

    Most marketing experts agree that it’s not enough to give customers a satisfying initial experience with a product. Instead, product managers must offer them a compelling series of experiences—a customer journey—to keep them coming back for more. The design of customer journeys is the new marketing battleground.

    However, marketing experts have yet to develop a framework that can help managers with that design challenge. Too often they tell companies to routinize customer journeys—to make them as effortless and predictable as possible. Our research shows that this advice is overly simplistic. In fact, following it can sometimes backfire on a company.

    Though some journeys might require little effort (for example, watching movies on Netflix or reordering meals on Seamless), others demand considerable mental or physical exertion (learning a new language on Duolingo or working out on a Peloton bike). Customers value both kinds of experiences.

    Likewise, some journeys tend to be comfortingly familiar (like using Old Spice aftershave or grabbing lunch at Panera Bread), while others are unpredictable, surprising, and exciting (like meeting and chatting with other users of the dating app Bumble or playing World of Warcraft with friends). In many circumstances, customers actually relish the unexpected.

    Drawing on five years of research into customer experiences across a wide range of product categories and on feedback from workshops with marketing academics and executives, we have created a framework to help managers design compelling journeys that keep customers returning many times over. We call it the customer journey matrix. It includes four archetypes:

    • routine is effortless and predictable.
    • joyride is effortless and unpredictable.
    • trek is effortful and predictable.
    • An odyssey is effortful and unpredictable.

    None of the archetypes is universally superior to the others; all four can be used to keep customers returning frequently. They can be applied to a variety of physical and digital goods and services (all of which we refer to as “products”). Each kind of journey can unfold at any pace—daily, weekly, or monthly—and last for any duration of time, from a few weeks to several years.

    In this article we’ll first describe the four customer journey archetypes and their corresponding design principles, and then offer managers a guide to creating the ideal journey for their product.

    The Routine

    A routine is a simple procedure for completing a recurring task and typically involves a trigger for an activity that produces a reward. (For instance, the morning is a trigger to brush your teeth and be rewarded with fresh breath.) While all journeys follow patterns, routines are especially repetitive. They’re sometimes also called customer habits or rituals.

    Routines are well suited for utilitarian products that make tasks incrementally easier and more predictable. For example, ultrasonic toothbrushes increase the efficiency and effectiveness of customers’ oral care regimens. Mobile banking apps allow busy people to skip unnecessary trips to the bank. Quick-service chains give commuters an easy way to pick up food and beverages. In any routine, the less friction encountered, the more satisfied the customer is.

    Product managers can help customers build enduring routines using two design principles—streamlining the user experience and ensuring consistency across encounters. The goal of streamlining is to eliminate all non-value-added touchpoints, whereas the goal of ensuring consistency is to help customers learn the routine and perform it without much thought.

    Among quick-service chains, Starbucks has been especially relentless in streamlining its mobile ordering process, especially for grab-and-go customers at high-traffic locations. The Starbucks mobile app remembers customers’ preferred stores and payment methods, enables rapid reorders of favorite items, locates the nearest store and estimates the wait time, and shows where to pick up orders inside the store. The chain has even opened Starbucks Pickup stores that fill only mobile takeaway orders. And it has mastered consistency by creating standard protocols for preparing menu items. A caramel macchiato is made the same way in Los Angeles as it is in Omaha.

    Amazon leads online retailers in facilitating shopping routines. Conveniences such as one-click ordering and next-day delivery streamline its customers’ journeys. The site’s ordering process rarely changes—and only subtly when it does—minimizing the need for customers to relearn it.

    The Joyride

    Joyrides are amusing journeys that allow people to escape the tedium of everyday routines. Effortless, unpredictable, and a lot of fun, joyrides work well for products that deliver an on-demand thrill, such as music-streaming platforms, sports media, and video games. Joyrides can also be used in brick-and-mortar settings such as fast-fashion stores with high product turnover, local cinemas with weekly releases, restaurants with rotating menus, and bars with happy-hour specials.

    Just as it is for routines, streamlining is necessary for joyrides, though it isn’t enough to create them. Streamlining only mitigates pain points; it doesn’t induce pleasure. To facilitate joyrides, companies must also apply the design principle of endless variation across the customer journey to generate frequent moments of delight. In the game Candy Crush Saga, for example, players swap adjacent candies to create rows or columns of three matching candies. To make that activity fun, the game varies the candies, color schemes, sound effects, challenges, and constraints across nearly 10,000 levels.

    Many movie theaters facilitate joyrides by premiering a new film every week, but those of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema go a step further by frequently updating their menus. The company’s chefs also occasionally plan themed menus based on the movies shown (such as African cuisines for Black Panther).

    Consumer-generated content is another way to provide endless variation. On TikTok, new users are instantly immersed in a For You feed with trending videos they can swipe through. One video might feature a cat pouting while sad music plays; the next might show a cooking demonstration set to pop music. The staggering variety is part of the fun. Over time, users might like or comment on videos and discover creators they want to follow. TikTok’s algorithms constantly process the engagement data and use that information to customize the feed.

    The Trek

    Treks are predictable journeys in which customers labor to achieve challenging long-term goals such as learning a language, recovering from surgery, and saving for retirement. Typically associated with personal service providers such as tutors, coaches, and financial advisers, treks are now increasingly facilitated by mobile apps and smart products, including educational apps like Babbel; wearable devices that monitor health indicators, such as the Apple Watch; and financial-planning tools like Mint. Customers return frequently to products that enable treks because they need considerable support to make progress toward their goals.

    Companies often ease the work involved in treks with the design principle of goal-posting. Essentially, that involves breaking ambitious objectives into increasingly smaller ones until the next goal is so small that it spurs the customer to act. Rewards for hitting each target—which can be as simple as a few words of congratulation (“Good job!”) or changing colors from red to green on a tracking dashboard—are often added to motivate the customer.

    A product that excels at goal-posting is MyFitnessPal. One of the app’s core features is a food diary, which breaks a customer’s long-term objective (such as losing 20 pounds) into weekly, daily, and per-meal targets. Per-meal targets are further broken down by macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates), net calories, and other things that the customer might wish to track, such as sodium. The app streamlines the work of entering meals in the diary with tools such as a searchable library of foods and the ability to copy friends’ meal inputs when dining with others.

    The budgeting program You Need a Budget facilitates treks for customers with the relatively large and abstract objective of saving money. It encourages them to set concrete goals for major outlays, such as a home purchase, college tuition, and retirement, and break those goals down into smaller targets. The program also invites customers to set spending limits and debt repayment goals. All these goals can be scheduled in a variety of ways, including weekly, monthly, or according to specific dates. Immediate positive feedback from an intuitive interface encourages customers to keep making progress.

    Some marketing experts argue that high-effort journeys must be infused with exciting gamelike features to keep customers motivated. In other words, they advise product managers to convert treks into odysseys. This advice is worth considering, but not all customers love the bells and whistles of gamified services. A trek with a well-defined series of achievable goals and affirming rewards can be just as motivating as an odyssey.

    The Odyssey

    If routines are the most ordinary type of customer journey, odysseys are the most extraordinary. Odysseys are challenging, thrilling, and unpredictable adventures that are fueled by a customer’s enthusiasm, determination, and sense of purpose. They tend to require great effort and generate a lot of excitement. While customers follow many routines in their lives, they usually have only a handful of odysseys at any given time.

    Odysseys are perfect for products that facilitate passion projects that customers are already highly motivated to pursue, such as cultivating a social media following, playing a strategy game, learning a performance art, filming a documentary, and training for a fitness contest. They keep customers returning to a product because they want to learn and grow. Unlike treks, odysseys don’t need a set end point; as outdoor enthusiasts often say, the journey is the destination.

    Odysseys are particularly common in the recreation industry. A key design principle here is substantive variation, which involves offering a diverse mix of customer thrills and challenges for functional reasons. Take CrossFit. In a typical session, coaches lead athletes through warm-ups, skill development, and high-intensity workouts that incorporate aerobic, calisthenic, and weight-lifting exercises. No two workouts are the same. Another key design principle for odysseys is journey tracking. CrossFit athletes closely track their own progress, but there’s no defined end goal. The journey is effortful, unpredictable, and seemingly never-ending—a true odyssey.

    Odysseys are also common in creative fields. Consider the intensive journeys facilitated by Adobe Creative Cloud’s portfolio of design, photography, video, and web-editing apps, or by the Juilliard School’s performance arts programs, which help actors, dancers, and musicians reach their potential. What Adobe Creative Cloud and Juilliard have in common is that they facilitate personal and professional development. (For more on the strategy of marketing personal transformation, see “The ‘New You’ Business,” HBR, January–February 2022.) Elements such as passion and purpose lend odysseys a unique sense of transcendence above the relatively ordinary experiences of routines, joyrides, and treks.

    Designing an Ideal Customer Journey

    A five-step process can help you craft the right kind of journey for your product and customers.

    1. Identify the best archetype for your product.

    Is it relatively effortless or effortful to use? Is the experience predictable or unpredictable? The answers to those simple questions reveal whether a routine, a joyride, a trek, or an odyssey will be most appropriate.

    2. Put the archetype’s design principles into action.

    If, say, your product’s archetype is a routine, strive to deliver a predictably satisfying experience by ensuring consistent touchpoints in familiar sequences. Marriott’s standardized check-in and check-out processes, for instance, make stays at its hotels easy for travelers, even in a new context such as a visit to a foreign city.

    If your archetype is a joyride, generate endlessly varied moments of delight, perhaps with in-house teams of content producers or machine-learning algorithms, or by crowdsourcing content from consumers (as Instagram’s feeds do).

    To create the goal-posting that a trek demands, partition the customer’s long-term objective into a series of much shorter term goals and reinforce the customer for achieving every small target. Fitbit, for instance, reminds users to take walks throughout the day and rewards them with badges, check marks, or progress icons when they do.

    For the journey tracking and substantive variation that an odyssey requires, you might set up a performance dashboard and offer a diversity of individual and communal activities that collectively advance the customer’s goal.

    3. Cue purchase decisions at the right time.

    The best time to invite these largely depends on the predictability of the journey. With routines and treks, which have knowable outcomes, customers are generally motivated to sift through pricing details at the outset. Once customers have developed a routine or embarked on a trek, however, they usually don’t want to be bothered with those details again.

    For joyrides and odysseys, which have unknowable outcomes, customers generally aren’t motivated to make big decisions at the start. Instead, they’re eager to get a taste of excitement as soon as possible. Only later, once they’ve become more involved in the journey, are they willing to invest in a major purchase or subscription. You need to give them ample time to use the product before asking them to make cognitively demanding and financially significant decisions. If providing free services at the beginning of the journey is too costly, consider offering a cheap starter option.

    4. Streamline the journey at every opportunity.

    This is the design principle that applies to all four archetypes. To keep their brands competitive, product managers must continually find new ways to eliminate non-value-added touchpoints from the customer experience.

    To facilitate routines, for instance, PayPal lists customers’ frequently used contacts on the landing page so that payments can be sent to those people within seconds. Customers just tap on a contact’s name, input the payment amount, review the transaction, and hit “send.” Customer routines should be so obvious that they require almost no thought or effort.

    Companies that provide other types of journeys have found new ways to streamline as well. Singapore Airlines’ in-flight entertainment system, which offers joyrides, recalls where passengers stopped watching movies on prior flights, so they don’t have to fast-forward to where they left off. To simplify its treks, MyFitnessPal offers a barcode scanner feature that customers can use with packaged grocery items to quickly log their calories and macronutrients. And to help streamline their customers’ odysseys, some Equinox gyms allow members to order a post-workout smoothie at the front desk on their way in so that they can avoid a wait afterward.

    5. Consider different journey archetypes for different customer segments.

    We’re often asked whether a single product can facilitate multiple types of customer journeys. The answer is a definite yes. In fact, many leading brands provide two or more journey archetypes in parallel.

    Tinder, one of the world’s most popular dating apps, facilitates different types of journeys for casual and power users. Some casual users are interested only in swiping through other users’ profiles and occasionally chatting with a match; their journeys are joyrides. In contrast, power users not only swipe through profiles but also message matches, juggle multiple conversations, meet potential mates, and then continue or end those connections after good or bad dates. Their journeys are odysseys.

    We’ve also observed joyrides among casual users and odysseys among power users at Pokémon Go, the mobile augmented-reality game. The aim of the game is to catch virtual creatures called Pokémon that randomly spawn throughout the electronically mapped world. For casual players the game is an occasional joyride during walks or work commutes. For passionate gamers, however, it’s an odyssey that can consume much of their leisure time. People in the latter group band together for in-game battles and go to great lengths to find rare Pokémon.

    Meanwhile, Amazon facilitates both treks and routines. Before purchasing high-ticket durable items like microwaves, sofa beds, and televisions, customers often sort through pricing information, ratings, and detailed reviews to make informed decisions. One could interpret those laborious experiences as treks. However, in consumable, low-ticket product categories, such as groceries and household supplies, Amazon encourages rapid repurchases via a buy-again feature and automated routines using its subscribe-and-save feature.

    When companies have customers enrolled in multiple types of journeys, they’re more likely to retain them. As some journeys lose their allure, others might begin to gain momentum. The net effect is that customers are continually engaged with the company’s products on one journey or another.

    To succeed in today’s hypercompetitive market, products must facilitate compelling customer journeys. But there’s no one right way to design them. The customer journey matrix offers product managers four proven archetypes to choose from—routines, joyrides, treks, and odysseys. Each of these archetypes and its design principles can help companies keep their customers returning again and again.

    Authors: Ahir Gopaldas & Anton Siebert

    Source: Harvard Business Review

  • Three developments the customer journey is going through since 2020

    Three developments the customer journey is going through since 2020

    If you're working off a strategy that doesn't address data privacy concerns, rapid digitization, and your online presence, you're behind the pack.

    The customer journey has drastically changed since 2020. New challenges and restrictions have made both companies and customers seek out ways to adapt. This has informed much of the shifts we’ve seen in 2021 thus far, and continues to create a new customer journey with unprecedented speed.

    The annual PWC Global Consumer Insights Survey revealed how the past year saw a sudden boost in the pace of consumer changes in behavior and habits. In one of its core insights, more individuals are open to sharing their data if it helps bring about improvements. This is up from the previous year, and very indicative of the new direction that the customer journey is taking.

    Consumer accessibility has shifted

    The customer purchase journey has now become arguably more convenient, but it also means that access to resources has changed. Even the way companies interact with their target market has seen a palpable change. For instance, part of getting core analytics is being able to get members of selected demographics to share their data, provide key insight, and inform marketability. As individuals become more aware of the impact and security that goes with sharing information, there is a need for smarter market research. Consumers have responded better to surveys via encrypted platforms and have become warier about the reliability of companies they share their information with. With shifting public sentiment and a desire for convenience, consumers seek out reviewable platforms that also provide shorter surveys to cater to their attention.

    Currently, over 48% of transactions are done online and over 58% say they will continue to shop online even when restrictions ease. Now, it seems that consumer sentiment simply demands a solid online presence. Be it for shopping goods or reaching out to customer support, customers want to establish that connection quickly and easily from remote bases.

    Turnaround time and expectations have shortened due to digitization

    The past year saw a sudden acceleration in the adoption of technology. Digitization has suddenly jumped ahead from former projections, and in turn, consumers and workers alike have faced quicker expectations. As companies attempt to be more agile in meeting online consumer needs, they are faced with a public that expects faster turnaround, secure platforms, and efficient processes throughout their purchase journey.

    This applies all the way from the UI of a business’s landing page or the user-friendliness of an app, all the way to their payment options and checkout process. This also translates over into the marketing side of things, as consumers respond more to digital advertising than traditional forms. In turn this has led to a huge demand for learned and qualified professionals in the field. In order to keep up with this thriving industry, higher education institutions have increased their offerings of online degrees in marketing, which are now designed to focus more on digital trends, like interactive marketing. Digital marketing skills are consistently listed as in-demand skills from various job analysts in Forbes, HubSpot, and even the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Given that marketing is a crucial part of the customer’s journey, businesses need to strategize how it fits into their customer’s experience.

    It seems the biggest concerns have been fuss-free processes and data privacy, so companies have had to get a better grasp of consumers’ preferences based on the various interactions they have with brands, minus any pain points that mar online data gathering. As marketers have relied heavily on automation, smarter keywords, video research, and apps in the past year, we saw results in traffic as platforms like Zoom boomed with 1.7 million users at its peak.

    New limitations on customer interactions have sparked a need for business adaptability

    Many of the changes mentioned have also come with new limitations. Priorities have been reevaluated and consumers just don’t make the time for companies that seemingly don’t have their best interests at heart anymore. The new consumer is heavily informed by the connection (or lack thereof) that they have with a brand. Some 96% of consumers even say that they are more likely to support a business that values their experiences. This means that in lieu of in-person customer experience executions, brands are relying on their online personas instead. Creating an online platform is not just about creating a resource for information, but also for community.

    Constraints on location and accessible executions also mean that brand perception has largely been based on digital presence, online feedback, and viral news over the past year. Because of this, consumers have become more likely to cater to brands that have provided a good story or have a significant amount of genuine feedback to back them up.

    Seeing that most experts predict that more changes in digitalization, CX, and market research will come hand-in-hand over the next few years, proactive planning and action will be pillars in future-proofing our industries.


    After the unprecedented challenges of 2020, the field of market research was forced to adopt new procedures and drop old habits. The most apparent changes in this bustling sector are, namely: rapid digitization, new and socially intelligent means to gather data, and the shift in consumer interactions. As the past year witnessed countless consumer attitude fluctuations, market research is expected to become a thriving and dynamic field that all businesses should not neglect.

    Author: Romy Jacobs

    Source: GreenBook blog

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