The Customer Journey Approach
What is the Customer Journey Approach to Marketing?
At Intent Company, we believe in the Customer Journey Approach.
Every single customer starts on a journey before they can buy from your brand. They go from not knowing about your brand at all and, perhaps, not even knowing they need your product or service to someone that has not only bought from your brand but has fallen in love with experiencing this journey and wants to share that love with others.
We’ve broken down the Customer Journey Approach into three parts: Awareness, Action, and Advocacy.
The Awareness Phase of the customer journey is where you present your brand to the people that have never heard of you before.
And then to build a relationship with those people that cultivates a feeling of trust and affinity for your brand.
This level of trust-building MUST occur to make buying from you even an option.
In fact, people trusting your brand is more important than people liking your brand. Obviously, both are better.
You have probably bought from a brand that you didn’t like, but you did trust them.
You have probably never bought from a brand that you didn’t trust (and you probably didn’t like them that much, either).
Having a good awareness phase is all about developing a trust continuum with your potential customers first. Without trust, all other things will fail, end of story.
Developing trust is all about balance. You want to reach out to people often, so you stay on top of mind, but without being annoying, without getting to the point where they see your brand and roll their eyes.
The way you capture their contact info and what you do with it is very important. As long as you’re giving them interesting things of value every single time they hear from you, you’ll never wear them out.
There are a ton of examples of poor awareness phases out there.
We’ve all seen those brands that make you cringe, make you annoyed any time you hear from them.
They spam your email. Their landing pages, when you do find them, are full of aggressive content pressuring you to buy from them. End of story.
And they have so many shady practices to get you to their site, whether it be from page redirects or other methods.
The only thing these brands are trying to do is to catch that one person in a million that will allow themselves to buy from them… just once.
And then they’ll look out for the next person, exploiting thousands for just one sale. This is no way to grow any type of marketing strategy.
The action phase is specifically designed to convert people that have a buying intent, into actual buyers.
How many reasons does someone have not to buy from you? Millions. Distractions, better offers, uncertainty, and so on.
Too many brands get potential customers close to acting but then lack the proper tools to get them to act.
Even interested, potential customers still need to be persuaded to buy.
The right tools are the difference between a sale and not a sale.
Tools like persuasive sales pages crafted to get people to buy, automated email funnels designed to lead customers into action and beyond, and even product descriptions are all needed, together, to get these customers to act.
A good action phase is all about well-written content, like landing pages and emails, that allow the brand to funnel would-be customers into actual customers.
The timing is hard to master but when you’re able to hit customers with well-timed, well-written content that is persuasive when it needs to be, nurturing when it needs to be and has the right flow of traffic; you have an action phase that simply converts at a higher rate, both in size and in volume.
Having a poor action phase can come in several different forms.
Being too quick with your big call to action (the request for them to buy) will have people ignore you because you haven’t impressed them, you haven’t earned their money.
Being too slow with that call to action will leave people bored, waiting for you to take their money. But they won’t stay in this moment for long before finding someone else that will take their money.
But most of the time the problem brands have with the action phase is that the brand never actually has the intentional system to make people buy. These brands just hope their customers will take it upon themselves to contact you or make a purchase.
This is rarely the case.
The advocacy phase is the intentional pursuit of turning a person that has bought from you and turning them into someone that will buy from you again and again and recommend you to other people.
You do this, simply, by over delivering.
By going so above and beyond that you make them insanely happy.
You need the proper tools in place to remind your customers how much they enjoyed going on your specific customer journey.
By giving your happy customers content that is easy to consume, engage, and share, you’ve given them the tools needed to share that experience with others.
You’ve allowed them to go beyond just being a customer, they are now a brand advocate.
Having a good advocacy phase is all about making your current customers love your brand, love buying from you, and love sharing your brand with their network.
A constant process that allows customers to re-order, find more value with your brand, and keep engaging with you are all backbone components to a good advocacy phase.
Poor advocacy usually starts by not wowing your customers.
Often times, a brand forgets the idea that their best future customers are actually their current customers.
Too many brands think that once they get a customer, they’re done with them, and have achieved their goal instead of trying to nurture this valuable relationship.
Then a brand will only contact their customers with random, unspecific emails and outreach trying to get them to buy again. There is nothing interesting to this outreach. There is no reason to try to sell this product or service to this person other than the brand wants more sales.
This will sour the relationship with the customer, get them to unsubscribe, and, when it comes time to buy again, the customer will go elsewhere.
In this situation, the brand is not only putting time, money, and traffic into advocacy, but it will be more detrimental than if they had no process in place at all.
So, what should you do now?
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