There is no denying that the pandemic has changed the world of marketing in a big way. Marketers and companies had to quickly adapt to the rapid changes in the market. More professionals began to work remotely, and companies began to focus on digital marketing.
Accordingly, marketers looked for innovative ways to improve the online user experience. But why did this happen?
Recent studies show that lockdowns around the world have completely changed customer behaviour.
In this article, you’ll learn what the User Journey is and how it can help you improve your user experience. By the end of this 5-minute read, you’ll know all about its benefits and how you can incorporate it into your marketing strategy.
What is the User Journey?
Due to the Covid-19 situation, most people have started shopping online and expect companies to be more engaging. This fact has created new customer priorities and changed the way a successful customer experience looks like.
In a few words, the user journey is exactly what its name suggests: a representation of the timeline of a customer’s online (or offline) experience. Unlike traditional approaches, the user journey has everything to do with the customer’s perspective.
So this visualisation (graphic) is all about the customer and how they interact with a product or service.
To illustrate, let’s say you have developed a photo editing software and are promoting/selling it through your website. In such a case, a user journey map shows a customer’s experience with your software.
The timeline shows the customer’s behaviour from the moment they discover your product to the moment they decide to buy.
What’s the User Journey Role in Customer Experience
User journey visualises all the steps of an overall user experience:
Awareness: Where an online user searches and finds out that your product/service is one of the solutions. This happens through search engines, social media, etc.
Asking Questions and Collecting Data: In this part of the user experience, potential customers identify other alternatives (your competitors). They ask questions and gather information about each product/service.
Consideration: Where the clients have collected all the details, know who you are and how you can help. In this stage, they compare your product/service to your competitors.
Decision: In this stage, they decide if your solution is the best way to go.
Conversion: Once a user chooses your product/service over competitors.
Retention: Where customers expect you to guide them through your product, solve potential problems.
With user journey mapping, all those stages are visualised from the client’s perspective. This helps you understand what you do right or wrong.
Why is User Journey Important? How Can it Help you?
As the marketing industry changes, businesses are called to quickly adapt to digital. Delivering a great user experience must be top priority for marketers. In this, the user journey is critical.
Designing the journey from the customer’s perspective is an innovative and intuitive way to improve the overall experience. Let us take a look at the benefits of user journey mapping:
Understanding your customers’ behaviour/emotions: There is no better way to understand the behavior and emotions of your customers than user journey mapping. This visual map can help you answer critical questions and understand how clients think and act in the buyer decision making process.
Identify problems: Customer journey maps will help you find potential problems in the overall engagement with your clients.
Reduce marketing costs: If you identify what your clients need and what you can improve, you can alter your strategy accordingly. Thus, a great user journey map will help you reduce costs in the long term.
Customer satisfaction: User journey maps will increase positive client comments and lead to a bigger, more satisfied target audience.
Increase your conversion rates: Ultimately, this is the goal for most businesses. Understanding what your clients need will help you boost the user experience and rapidly increase your sales.
It becomes clear that the user journey can help you in many ways. However, user journey mapping is only one part of a more general approach in buyer behaviour theory.
Buyer Behaviour Theory. What Is It and How It Changed Digital Marketing?
Buyer (or consumer) behaviour is a study that helps businesses understand their consumers. Like user journey mapping, buyer behavior theory helps you understand what’s going on in your customers’ minds, i.e. how they think.
This theory is based on various factors (psychological, personal, and social). Also, this approach helps businesses to change their marketing strategy and improve user experience.
For this reason, digital marketing has recently adapted to this type of “consumer-centric” strategy. Let’s take a look at how you can incorporate such techniques into your marketing.
Customer Journey Mapping: Creating An Innovative Marketing Plan
Since we have concluded that customer journey mapping is a smart marketing approach, let’s have a look at how you can organise it. First of all, hiring a marketing consultant is a brilliant thing to do. In fact, hiring a professional will simplify the entire mapping process.
If simplified, successful customer journey mapping consists of six different steps:
- Identify your goals
- Create your customers’ profile (utilising the information you have about your audience)
- Define the map scenario (timeline and touch-points)
- Understand your target audience expectations and motives
- Sketch each stage of the map
- Analyse and refine the map based on insight
By following these steps, you’ll get closer to developing a unique marketing strategy that focuses on the user experience.
Businesses that focus on user experience are more likely to grow their audience and generate new leads. This blog post identified all the reasons why creating a user journey map is a great thing to do.
Since customer behaviours, motivations, and priorities change occasionally, it’s important to adapt to the new reality. These days, if you do not understand what your customers need and how they think, you are less likely to succeed.
Investing in the user journey and innovative digital marketing strategies, in general, is a smart approach. This way you can improve the impact of your business and build a strong relationship with your audience.