We recently discussed the need for marketing to move beyond buzzwords and to instead re-claim the definition of customer experience, which forms the very core of marketing theory. Our thoughts have now been viewed organically by over 5000 people in just 48 hours via LinkedIn, and continues to be actively being shared across key social media channels.
Interest in this article has demonstrated why marketing needs to reclaim its core remit, so today we are going to exploring another buzzword: customer journey.
In defining the customer experience, we returned to the core of marketing theory through the marketing mix. The overall customer experience is going to be defined by the impact of the impressions that are made across each of these elements.
We need to return to fundamentals to explore the customer journey, as we explore the steps that are taken for someone to become a customer and ideally remain so on an ongoing basis.
Phases in the Customer Journey
There are three interconnected phases within the customer journey:
- Pre-purchase – where the aim is to raise awareness with your target markets and ensure that your brand is actively considered by these prospective customers.
- The Purchase phase – where the prospect becomes a customer. This is where they commit to purchasing your product or service and the perceptions of its brand.
- The Post-purchase phase – where your customer considers the outcomes and value they received, based on their perceptions and the outcomes that were achieved.
The three phases of the customer journey as mapped to the decision making process.
The Decision Making Process has its origins in consumer behaviour stemming from the 1960s. We have adapted this model to explore each phase in the customer journey, as viewed through the decision making process. It explores both the rational (such as pricing and function) and perceptual (attitudes and subjective impressions) aspects that influence the decision.
The customer journey is not linear and this particularly true if there is a desire to build loyalty and repeat purchases. The experience you are creating through the marketing mix will impact on the ability to successfully transition your target market through the customer journey. The customer experience relates to their interaction with your business or brand, while the customer journey views this from the customer perspective as they identify the best fit for their needs.
Like other buzzwords in marketing there is a need to return to core principles, a Marketing Manager should have the ability to influence factors that assist in transitioning customers through the journey. We will be continuing this series as we turn our attention to measuring both the customer experience and journey.