With a recent emphasis on brand awareness, it's easy to forget that there are other customer journey stages that should be considered when building out a marketing strategy. For many marketing agencies, their clients' primary focus has always been theirs — in this case, brand awareness. But based on Gartner's findings, customer experience should be close behind; two-thirds of companies have made improving customer experience a cornerstone of their marketing strategy. This is a signal to marketing agencies that it's time to broaden their focus in order to generate more value for their clients and themselves.
The mission for any marketing agency shouldn’t just be to drum up awareness and sales but also to ensure that audiences are nurtured through conversions and become a source of repeat business. If direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands and marketing agencies only focus on the beginning or end of the customer journey, they could miss opportunities to optimize their marketing strategies. Whether that's focusing efforts on the right channels, investing more in certain customer journey stages, or targeting the right audiences, agencies must account for all points of a buyer’s experience.
Customer Journey Stages
The customer journey starts with building the brand — when marketing agencies help clients share their brand stories to target audiences. From there, it's about establishing the message and keeping potential customers interested and engaged until they are ready to purchase. And, finally, it culminates into marketing agencies helping their clients perpetually grow loyalty with their most valuable customers. The end result: long-lasting customer relationships. Let's dive deeper into these customer journey stages.
Want to learn how agencies can help their clients manage the entire customer journey? Listen to this audio guide, featuring agency and customer experts, to find out:
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Attracting new potential customers
The difficulty of brand awareness isn't only driving relevant and engaged traffic but also accurately conveying a brand's story. It typically takes between five to seven impressions for someone to remember a brand. As a result, it becomes crucial for marketing agencies to highlight what sets their clients apart, and to harness the power of marketing storytelling to connect with new audiences. Agencies should help their clients share what they do, what their brand stands for, and discover their key differentiators from competitors.
It's also important to utilize the right channels and ad types during the earlier stages of the customer journey. While ideal marketing channels can differ depending on the brand and audience, there's no doubt that video is one of the most effective tools at a marketing agency's disposal. Marketers have found so much success with video that 95% of video marketers plan to increase their investment in 2020.
But when it comes down to it, identifying the right metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) is vital when optimizing brand awareness efforts. Some excellent brand awareness metrics/KPIs to track are:
- Website traffic
- Brand search volume
- Social mentions
- Increase of overall leads
- Social media engagement
- Video engagement metrics
Engaging known audiences
Marketers need to create customizable experiences, but the customer journey is more fragmented than ever. This inevitably leads to brands having to invest more in re-engagement to stay top-of-mind and move customers further down the path to conversion. According to Instapage, a staggering 77% of online shoppers are likely to abandon their carts, with only 8% returning to purchase without retargeting.
Agencies need to help clients deliver their message across multiple channels (e.g., display, social, email, paid and organic search) to ensure that a seamless brand story is told. It's important to note that pairing a multichannel approach with personalization tactics — such as dynamic ads, segmented email campaigns, and onsite product recommendations — is what will really strengthen the bond between brands and customers.
In this mix, agencies need to continually optimize their clients' marketing tactics by testing and measuring campaigns. An ideal attribution and measurement solution will help them increase customer lifetime value (CLV) and give their clients insights into every aspect of the customer journey — from the first interaction to conversion, and every touchpoint in between.
Delighting current customers
Getting a customer to convert is only half of the battle. It’s well-known that it is much more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to bring back a current one (It costs five times more!). Additionally, the relationship that’s built from sustaining loyal customers can have a massive impact on the bottom line. Just increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits by 25%.
So how do agencies help clients capitalize on customer loyalty? Start with storytelling. Using cross-channel retargeting campaigns to double down on messaging keeps brands relevant, which in turn leads to repeat purchases. It also makes it easier to tell a seamless story as customers move from channel to channel.
Additionally, leveraging data from past purchases and sending customized offers and emails can persuade current customers to purchase again. Loyal shoppers don’t want to feel like they’re being viewed as just another customer; they want perks and unique, personalized experiences that make them feel taken care of.
Are you interested in utilizing customer journey maps in future marketing campaigns? Check out this blog post to download your free template and learn more.