1CustThe term “Customer Journey” has a broad denotation in the marketing and communications industry as it encompasses all contact points of a customer with a product/service up to the sale. As that explanation is quite generic, I would like to contribute a bit more to a better understanding:

Let’s clarify right from the beginning: Customer Journey is neither a tool nor a tracking system, rather a fundamental attitude to focus all marketing activities on the customers and their needs without losing sight of the own business goals.

And the fact is: The term has established itself differently in a variety of disciplines. In market and media research, it refers to all contacts between customers and the brand. In online marketing, we restrict the view mostly to the area "paid media", and in the consulting environment the view of the “Customer Decision Journey” is preferred that puts the customer experience with a brand or a product in focus.

Various instruments can be taken into consideration to look at the Customer Journey, but they usually only illustrate specific aspects of this complex issue. Customer experience management software that takes on panel-based customer observations, analysis of decision cycles, surveys on product and brand experiences, social media monitoring as well as digital cross-channel tracking, comes into play here.

Customer Journey is not just a marketing issue. Sales, product management, corporate communications, new product development, as well as IT and controlling can benefit from the views and instruments of this field, for greater transparency and better performance.

For sales generation, Customer Journey not only means the optimization of the conversion rate, but rather filling again and again the purchase funnel through innovative and targeted measures and to ensure that as few potential customers are lost as possible on the way to completion. This is achieved by an optimal coordination of the Customer Journey activities and skilled leading from one to the next decision phase.

So, successful marketing throughout the Customer Journey means to incorporate the various phases a customer goes through before making a purchase decision into the media planning and to track the points of contact between consumers and the product/service consistently. The second most important thing is not to lose potential customers on the way and to catch them at an appropriate point again, if that happens, and to lead them efficiently to making a purchasing decision.

By Daniela La Marca