An Inside-Out View of the Customer Funnel
No one in business ever profited by change for change's sake. However, no one ever stayed in business long without responding to market changes and evolving customer demand. We live in a world of change. The methods, strategies and ideas that resonated in the past just don't work well enough any longer. We are pushed by market and business forces on all sides to adapt our marketing to a new era. Which means that the entire marketing organization needs to respond and adapt to a new way of interacting with our important audiences.
Customers want richer experiences that they control, and they want us to recognize them throughout their journey. They will stay interested as long as we (and our content and in-person interactions) are interesting. The product/service experience has to align with and strengthen the branded content experiences we create. Amazon has set a high bar of expectation for personalization and customer ease, and made it impossible for any company not to embrace the digital opportunity. Simply, customers demand it of every business and of every interaction—both online and offline
The old model of a linear customer experience just doesn't work today. Customers are stimulated (either by your marketing, or by an outside force or by other customers) and have those precious "Zero Moments of Truth" popularized by Google. Those ZMOTs are happening all over the marketplace and the customer journey as they lead people toward a brand experience—and one man's second or third ZMOT becomes another man's initial ZMOT.
To help define the typical customer journey with your brand and products, here are four questions to ask yourself:
- How do customers initially discover us and continue to see/hear about our brand?
- How do customers research, evaluate and prefer our brand vs. competitors?
- How do customers become loyal advocates and share their brand experiences with others?
- How do customers decide to buy from us and contact us?
Today, as customers move from awareness to consideration to purchase, automation technology lets marketers interact with dozens or even hundreds of thousands of them in the same instant. That requires a new way of thinking about brand interactions and content—and the sales cycle.