The Customer Journey in 2018
The Engine Explained
There’s a six-step path every customer takes in the JourneyEngine.
The Customer Journey Engine illustrates how your content and marketing should bring a prospect through those six steps..
There's an engagement point that’s perfectly suited for Paulie at each step.
Channels & Content
Each of the six stages of your customer journey has its own Channels and Content.
Your Channels bring prospects through each stage of the journey and introduce them to the Content that’s built for them at each stage.
The next section helps you understand how to design touch points for your customers at every stage of their journey.
STAGES OF THE JOURNEY
Stage I | DISCOVER
Everyone who has a need or might have a need for your business in the future. No one who doesn’t.
Start by thinking of the largest possible way you can frame your audience. Largest.
If you’re in the clothing business this would be everyone who wears clothes, no one who doesn’t. If you’re in the shoe business this would be anyone who wears shoes and no one who doesn’t. If the product is a meal planning app your target is health conscious people..
Your first goal is to introduce yourself to Paulie Prospect. Today’s digital marketing channels give us the opportunity to find and target him in a way we never could before; based on his actual behaviors and intents (beyond just broadly targeting age, gender, location..).
Facebook and Google ads (search, display, YouTube) the perfect channels at this stage, because of their ability to effectively lazer-target users behavior, interest and intent by almost any qualifying criteria you can think of.
The only goal at this stage is to catch Paulie’s attention and get him to interact with your content in any way (watch, comment, share, click-through..) That’s all he needs to do for now!
Stage II | EXPLORE
The subset of people above who express even the slightest amount of intent or consideration.
At some point, when he’s in the market, Paulie Prospect will begin to think about buying. There’s a chance he’ll already be ready to buy at this stage, but usually he won’t be there quite yet.
Before you even think about selling him anything, your job is to provide him with value.
Put yourself in Paulie’s shoes. If you’re in the market, just researching your product or service, what would bring value for you?
Imagine you are in his home having a conversation with him, as friends. You’re dedicated to giving information and motivation to provide him the greatest benefit possible, until you meet again. Remember that the focus shouldn't be you.. it’s him!
Say you’re an orthopaedic surgeon. We know your prospect has shoulder pain from arthritis. They're going to value content that helps them with their problem, like a blog article or video about the best exercises, supplements or nutrition to help deal with pain.
We can apply this concept for any type of business or interest, the important thing is that our content always provides value, from day one and through your customer’s lifetime of business with you.
Stage III | TRUST
Prospects who have explored your business, know your value and are interested enough to hear more from you.
Paulie has investigated your business and is beginning to see your value. Awesome. Now your content should nudge him into the next stage; TRUST.
At this stage you need to provide enough value for Paulie to raise his hand and give you permission to keep in touch. Your content needs to give him the opportunity to provide contact info in exchange for more helpful information or resources.
Think about content you can use to “upgrade” the value of the content you created in the last step. This will be your “lead magnet”.
Your upgrade should be something of great value to your THINK audience, help position you as an authority in the space and move them into a deeper level of consideration. Again, put yourself in their shoes and think of creative ways to accomplish this.
Let’s use our example of the camping business. For visitors that have read your article on a specific camping tip, a great content upgrade may be;
- A free mini eBook on camping
- A list of the top 50 camping locations in the US
- A video series showing how to survive in the wild
- Discounts on camping items
- Free camping supplies
At this stage your goal is to catch the attention of people interested in camping, get them to raise their hand for the upgrade and opt-in to your mailing list in return.
Next you’ll start building a deeper relationship with this “hand raiser”.
Stage IV | TRY
Qualified leads who are seriously considering your business.
Paulie is aware of you, he’s explored your content and he’s seriously considering your business as the solution to his problem.
Now you’ll continue building that relationship by providing even more value, and eventually give them the opportunity to try the first taste of what your business has to offer.
Once your prospect is on the mailing list, you’ll continue to provide them with more great content. We do this through a system we call the Relationship Builder System.
The RBS begins with a custom email sequence (based on each type of customer), that educates them about how your business solves their unique problem. Building the relationship will warm them up for your initial offer.
The initial offer could take the form of a webinar, free evaluation/ consultation / strategy session or a trial offering (based on your industry and sales cycle).
The goal is to present a risk-free way for your audience to get a taste and show them what you can do for them in a value-packed way.
Once a prospect determines they need to know more about your specific offerings, it’s important that you have a set way to present your organization.
Your job is to start adding even more value in the relationship by presenting what you know, while also discovering more about their unique challenges.
Whatever form it takes, you'll want your prospects to sign on for this offer.
Your TRY content will set your leads up for the next stage, where they’ll make their first actual transaction!
Stage V | BUY
Warm leads who are considering their final short-list of options, almost ready to purchase.
You’ve created a significant way to differentiate your business, you’re consistently building trust through educational content and you have built a group of leads who have tried your initial sample offer.
Now let’s talk about the group most companies obsess over.. the 2% of your total audience that are in market and ready to BUY.. right now!
If you’ve followed the last four steps to create a system that moves Paulie through the journey, you’ll notice that by the time he gets serious about a buying decision, he’s basically already sold himself!
The first stages of a great Journey Engine can often make selling a non-issue, but there’s still some work to be done to close the final deal.
The way you price and package your offer is crucial to pulling prospects through the final stage and making them a customer. Content that converts in this part of their journey includes great proposals, package offerings and low-price, or “tripwire” offers for first-time buyers.
Stage VI | COMMITT
Customers who have made their first purchase.
You’ve done it! The engine has pulled Paulie all the way through his journey and he’s made the first purchase. *Fist bump*
But remember that your job as a marketer is not over once you get the first purchase.
Earning the love and loyalty of your current customers so that they make repeat purchases and refer you business can often be the highest ROI'ing part of your engine..
That’s why your customers require their own, separate content and marketing strategy.
Getting Paulie’s commitment will take some “coddling”. Continue the educational approach by teaching him how to get the most from what he’s agreed to buy.
Give him content that helps create a smooth transition from “Paulie-Prospect” to “Paulie-Customer” and sets the tone for additional purchases and referrals.
When he’s ready, you’ll want to provide content that upsells, cross-sells and gives him the opportunity to create word of mouth so he can sell to new prospects for you.
And your selling system isn’t complete without a process that allows Paulie to communicate the results that he’s experiencing. A great way to do this is through a planned results review process.
This step helps you send the message that results matter, allows you to collect valuable feedback and gives your happiest clients the opportunity to generate their own sales content in the form of success stories and testimonials.
BANG! There it is. Content and Marketing layers for your CJE.
You now have a framework to reach the right people with content that’s made to pull them closer and closer to your brand at each step of their journey.
But there’s one crucial component left in your engine; Measurement.
Take an honest look at your own business and ask yourself if you have the channels and content strategy to meet your prospects at every stage. Once you do, you’re ready to climb the food chain and reap the rewards of becoming a data-driven marketer!
NEED HELP JUMP-STARTING YOUR ENGINE?
What's included with your free toolbox:
- The exact tool-set we use to build, streamline and automate journey engines for our clients
- A measurement plan template for your JourneyEngine
- An optional, free 7-part series with details on building the JourneyEngine.