Perhaps one of the most important activities you will engage in as a digital marketer is customer journey mapping. Putting yourself in the mindset and virtual shoes of your target customer and imagining all the steps he or she takes along the path of discovering, engaging with, considering and ultimately purchasing your product or service gives you an incredible roadmap make better websites, online media, social media content, email marketing, television commercials, outdoor boards and more.
I have the pleasure of watching Josh Crandall develop and explain customer journey maps to our clients at Cornett rather frequently. He’s amazing at it and I always pick up a new idea or two when I sit and listen. As I was watching him this week, he actually used a couple of words that were reminiscent of something familiar. I finally put my finger on it.
Customer Journey Mapping and the Therefore-But Then Story Technique
A few years ago South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone sat in on a New York University writing seminar and shared some tips and experiences from writing an Emmy Award-winning cartoon series, an Oscar-nominated major motion picture and a multiple Tony Award-winning broadway musical. Their storytelling technique of checking your story for the “Therefore — But Then” transitions is writing gospel, though not 100 percent originally theirs.
The technique is one that can also be applied to strong customer journey mapping.
Let’s use an example:
Our consumer saw our television commercial and made a note that it was interesting THEREFORE, he did a Google search to learn more about the product. BUT THEN he got distracted THEREFORE we retargeted his IP address with relevant creative inviting him back. THEREFORE he came back the next day and search more, BUT THEN he jumped off the site and started searching for reviews. THEREFORE we have paid search campaigns around review oriented keywords driving people to reviews and testimonials on our site THEREFORE he clicks through and begins reading. THEREFORE we present him with a pop-up chat bot asking if he has specific product questions THEREFORE he answers no. THEREFORE we ask for his email address to send him a discount code should he decide to purchase … and so on.
Like the Parker/Stone advice, if you ever check your customer journey map and have the phrase “and then” you’ve made a mistake. “And then” means something random just happened after that last thing happened. The next action in the narrative (or customer journey) has to be the result of the preceding action. Without causation, you don’t have a song. You have a skipping record.
What other tricks do you use when mapping your customer’s journey? Share them in the comments or along with a link to this post on your favorite social network so your friends can chime in too!