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Diving into the Customer Journey

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The topic of the consumer journey is front and center at this year’s Response Expo in San Diego April 25 – 27, where it will be highlighted in a series of six sessions. According to the event’s agenda, “With consumers asserting more control than ever over how, when, and where they receive your marketing messages, Response Expo tackles the biggest topic in marketing: The Consumer Journey.” Here’s a look at the facets of the consumer journey.

Awareness

Customer awareness is the process of educating customers about your company and its product or services. Also known as brand awareness, this is the first step in the marketing and sales cycle because prospects are more likely to buy – and buy quickly – from companies they are already aware of.

Engagement

Gallup defines customer engagement as an emotional and psychological attachment to a brand, product, or company. Every experience a customer has with you, from an email survey to a drive-through window, forms a strong emotion about your brand. Consumers base their buying decisions on these emotions. According to Gallup, “Any customer strategy that does not account for this phenomenon in human nature is flawed.” The research company found that customers who are fully engaged represent a 23 percent premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue and relationship growth over the average customer. In other words, it pays to understand and work to improve this step in the customer journey.

Purchase

Understanding how and why a consumer becomes a customer is a key component in any mature marketing strategy. Sales attribution is the process of assigning a value to each touchpoint throughout the customer journey that leads to a conversion or purchase. With this information, you can better assess the success of your various marketing channels in order develop more effective campaigns and determine allocation of marketing dollars.

Post-Purchase

Post-purchase behavior is when the customer assesses his or her satisfaction with a purchase and is an important influence on future purchases. Post-purchase considerations include how easy it is to change an order, the effectiveness of your customer care plan, and post-order and shipping communications.

Advocacy

Every marketer’s dream is the point in the customer journey where a brand advocate is created. Also known as a “brand evangelist,” this customer markets your product more effectively than any other method: she takes to social media to rave about you to family, friends and followers. Many companies, from Heineken to Microsoft, develop brand ambassador programs in order to cultivate these relationships.

The companies that thrive and survive into the future will be those who keep the customer relationship at the forefront of everything they do. The only sure route to understanding them and their changing expectations and desires is by understanding their journey. SingleComm has a private meeting table in the "Cut Lounge" at the Response Expo April 25 – 27.


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