Are you struggling with digital transformation in your commercial and customer facing end of the business? It’s only natural, it is a big elephant to eat in just one sitting. And first you have to catch it. And it’s most likely acting like an angry female elephant protecting its cubs… it’s big and it’s faster than you think!
Most likely you notice all of the great technological things that are happening around you. People are bombarding you with fantastic solutions. Everything from Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in your marketing thru facial recognition in your stores. Not to mention Artificial Intelligence (AI) in your customer service, 3D scanners, Big Data, Thick Data, new types of websites, connectivity via the Internet of Things (IoT), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), AdWords, Google Shopping and all the various ways of displaying products online including how you should deal with various market places… Amazon, Zalando, Alibaba and all the local online retailers breathing down your neck. And on top of that, new ways of marketing your products via local influencers in the shape of YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat stars whom so many of today’s CxO’s have a hard time understanding.
And on top of that, you and your company may even have a bit of history, as so many brands and businesses do. Which means that you might have to deal with wholesalers and retailers from another century. So you can’t just go from 90 or 180 degrees’ interaction with your customers to 360 degrees’ interaction, omni- or multichannel, in a split second. Not without potentially disrupting yourself – and maybe even a significant part of your revenue stream.
I’m almost out breath…you?
So, where to start and what to prioritize? And what will the consequences be from the choices you make?
What to do to avoid confusion, initiative overload and failure in implementation?
I can only recommend that you focus on the customer journey, no matter if you’re B2C or B2B oriented.
The thing is, that we live in a digitally-physically connected world where we are influenced 360 degrees in our living and shopping space. That’s just a fact, at least for most of us. So this is the playing field and it could be outlined in a loop like the one below. It’s all about where we are touched and where we touch our costumer in their journey towards a purchase of some sorts.
Another way of visualising it is by splitting the journey into a typical lead flow of physical and digital touches across the journey. Below you see such an example.
And suddenly we are getting closer to where you should be prioritizing your efforts. Each of these dot’s , in both models, are touchpoints. And touchpoints consist of a combination of a platform and a step in the journey, the flow if you will. And once you can map out which touchpoints have the most impact on the decision journey of customer and combine that knowledge with your ability to serve relevant content on that platform at the right time, you can start prioritizing your efforts – being it digital or physical or both. You will start seeing clear patterns, signals for prioritizing your time and money, low hanging fruit and the world will suddenly seem much simpler… you might even be able to sleep at night without being haunted by the fear of missing out.
Now, you might be thinking, ok fine, but how to do it. Well, it’s actually not that difficult if you follow this checklist:
1) You choose a target customer.
B2B or B2C – it doesn’t matter, there is a human at the other end anyway. And if you want to make life easier for yourself, you create a short but precise persona. So let’s say I want to sell hydraulic pumps – then I know that the typical decision maker is 45 years of age, a man, technical education etc. etc. and quickly I know where he is influenced digitally and physically in the different phases of the journey.
2) You list your channels and platforms where the target customer is influenced.
You can do this yourself, or with your sales and marketing team but if you go further, you might want to ask some customers where they actually get their information from – you might be surprised.
3) You start looking at the content you provide at each touchpoint.
Let’s say your target costumer is Michelle, she’s about 30 years of age, has two kids, live in a city etc. etc. and she is on a journey to buy a dress for the spring. So she could become aware on Instagram or via a blog which she follows. So, you start looking at the content you provide on Instagram and blogs. Is it relevant, is it served in a relevant format, is it served at a relevant time (you know, she’s always on after she puts the kids to bed etc.) and so forth.
And suddenly you will have a picture of when to serve what – in what format. Once you see the customer journey for a certain customer (person) it’s much easier to prioritize Virtual Reality over Text or vice versa. And you can use this information to avaid failing at digital transformation and certainly to challenge the almighty Advertising Agency whos trying to sell you everything from here to the north pole.
So bottom line, a simple exercise for you as a CxO to challenge your team and understand your costumer journeys – both digitally and physically. And essentially help you evaluate and prioritise investments… it is after all, all about the costumer and how well you can offer a seamless buying experience, right?
So figure out what questions your customers ask (Google, their piers, LinkedIn etc.) and ad what content they share (on social media) and what channels they use in the different phases of the journey. All you need is a few bright heads, a wall and some post it notes.
Happy Journey Mapping. Let me know if you need help…
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