The purpose of this Digital I-Journey is to understand and satisfy the customer’s needs along each step that they take. We also need to recognize and optimize the external influences that can shift or shape our customer’s decisions. And, of course, we need to synthesize our understanding of internet behaviours to this.
When a person logs onto the internet, they don’t become a robot for the same reasons that a person doesn’t become a fish when they jump into the ocean. Sure, they may have to surf or swim instead of walking, but their humanity is still the same. And, by that, I mean we can expect them to act randomly, without any rhyme or reason, and in the most unpredictable way possible.
In an I-Journey, a customer does not travel sequentially or linearly from point A to point B; instead, their journey is defined and constantly reshaped by themselves and their environment. Whether or not the customer is aware of it, they always decide the trajectory of their own journey, though these decisions are still influenced by various stakeholders and situations.
The entire Customer Journey is, by definition, a map of the entire customer experience. It does not begin and end with the product itself, and even the customer’s experience of the product does not actually define the customer’s level of satisfaction.
Was the customer easily able to research the product and find relevant reviews? Was a portion of the proceeds donated to charity? Did their friends have good experiences with the product? Did the website crash when they tried to go to checkout? This and a whole array of other factors all play into the customer experience. Remember, in the I-Journey, customer satisfaction is THE KPI to live and die by, and we can measure it by various means, such as the “Net Promoter Score.”
Digital I-Journey Influences
The customer is influenced by many factors during their decision-making process regardless of where or what they’re buying, and, of course, this is no different in the Digital I-Journey. Since so much commerce, and really so much of our lives in general, happens online, customers are prone to influence in the digital world to a large degree in this day and age. According to Ecommerce News Europe, “Ecommerce in Europe was worth €534 billion in 2017” which amounts to an increase of 11% from the previous year. Furthermore, out of the approximately 743 million people living in Europe, you can bet a good number of them have spent plenty of time on social media, review sites, blogs, and the like.
The Digital I-Journey focuses in on those moments of influence when the correct use of digital marketing tactics helps to increase our customer’s satisfaction. Some examples include how-to videos that remove fears and solve issues, blogger reviews that increase product knowledge, Facebook promotions, and more. If we can optimize these avenues of attack (a.k.a influence), then we can tip the scale away from our competitors and towards our product.
Like with most things in life, tastefulness and timing are key. Our example tactics, along with the ones that you’re probably thinking about as you read this, are much more effective if we can find the right place and time in the Digital I-Journey to strike. It’s like finding a pressure point; you don’t need to strike forcefully, but, if you strike at just the right spot…
Technology Only Supports the Strategy
Taking your marketing strategy into the digital world is no panacea for a poor overall marketing strategy; any chinks in your armour will carry over into the digital world. Technology is a tool, and it doesn’t find the right spots for you to target in the I-Journey.
With this in mind, and with the goal of helping you to implement these tactics into your own digital marketing strategy, I will place commonly known platforms or tools used in the Digital I-Journey in the illustration so that they correspond to the moment and platform that best suits them.
This should give you a good idea of what type of content you should provide during each step of the Digital I-Journey, however, it is not a final “guideline”, but merely, an explanatory overview.
When designing our Digital I-Journey with this example, we should strive for excellence in each touchpoint, including our social media presence, our web content, our site’s SEO, our eShop’s ease of use, and proliferating how-to videos and blogs about our product. Our goal is to make every step of the Customer Journey into a relevant moment. Ultimately, we want to create a journey for the customer and not for the company. Keeping this distinction in mind helps us to keep our priorities straight—we should try to see our digital presence from our customer’s perspective and figure out how they would react to us.
Is this easier said than done? Well, to evolve the I-Journey and make it relevant, we should analyse each touchpoint and then independently and comprehensively enhance them. Nonetheless, while we do focus on each element separately, we also need to always keep the big picture at the front of our minds. We need to connect the dots and identify, define, and utilize the customer’s mindset if we want to increase our conversion rate. Think of it as a recipe for a delicious dish: if you buy high-quality, fresh ingredients, you will improve the overall flavour of the dish, but even the finest ingredients won’t save you if you put in too much Himalayan Pink Sea Salt on it.