Is Your Marketing Missing the Mark? Maybe It’s Your Map
If your marketing funnel & customer journey map are missing the mark, focus on your existing customer base and build loyalty to get your strategy on track.
If you have been approaching your marketing efforts as though your only purpose is to compel people to buy your products or services, don’t be surprised if it’s not working out.
The goal of marketing isn’t just to get the word out about your company’s products or services. You also need to make connections.
The best marketers know how to influence would-be customers at critical moments, which are called touch points. Think your marketing game needs to get kicked up a notch? Read on for more information.
The Marketing Funnel
How customers move through these touch points and progress from one to the next is often called a sales funnel or marketing funnel.
The basic idea is that your customers start with a wide variety of choices between other brands and different products that may accomplish the same goal.
For example, if you sell computers, your customers may consider whether a laptop or desktop computer would work better for their needs. They might also consider using a tablet, a two-in-one or even a larger smartphone. As they learn more about the brands and products, they will start crossing off some of those options, deciding that they need a computer instead of a larger smartphone, or choosing Mac over PC, for instance.
Marketers using the funnel approach attempt to direct their efforts toward helping would-be customers make those decisions by producing ads and content that answer the deciding questions, displaying a sales price, talking about special features, or explaining all the ways the product can be used.
Why Does It Matter?
Sales funnels used to make sense:
A consumer decided they needed something, saw a few ads on TV or in the newspaper and made the decision to buy it from a local store.
Times are different now, as the buying process is no longer linear.
Thanks to the sheer number of options available to consumers, and the wide variety of unique touch points customers reach along the way, marketers need a more robust view of the buying experience in order to impact shoppers at the right times and the right places.
Loops, Loyalty, and Engagement
Understanding all of the possible ways your customers find you is called journey mapping, a process that helps you understand the route each customer takes to get from concept to purchase. The confusing part is that there are so many different paths and so many different outcomes. For many companies, big data and analytics are helping make sense of it all. Still, most paid marketing campaigns fail.
The trick is to stop looking at your marketing as a funnel or even a map and consider what happens after the sale. It is easier to attract a past customer than it is to lure in a new one. Your previous shopper already knows about your products and the way you do business; you just have to help that person see value in your offerings and give them a reason to be loyal.
For instance, instead of expecting customers to call in with questions or comments during business hours, you could set up 24/7 a cloud contact center that offers live chat so that your customers’ needs are always met. Something as simple as easy access to customer service could be the reason a customer becomes a return customer.
In order for your marketing to be successful, forget marketing sales funnels or customer journey maps; after all, those tools often provide an incomplete picture of what it takes to attract sales.
Not every customer is a stranger. Existing customers can become repeat customers when you include loyalty as a goal in your marketing strategy.
Ready to create customer loyalty? Check out this infographic by BrainBoxol to learn how.