The Customer Journey: Who’s In Charge?

August 25, 2015

By Molly Casey, Vice President, Brand Marketing | Originally published in Face to face with Freeman blog

molly caseyI recently attended an event with fellow Marketers from many industries looking to hear how leading organizations are evolving their cross-channel marketing efforts. There were many great tips and take-aways, but the one that stood out the most for me was this:

You don’t define your customer’s journey. They do.

You hear a lot these days about using the customer journey to optimize and enhance the customer experience. But who defines that journey? As marketers we might fall into the trap of thinking we do when in fact, the customers themselves are in charge. That’s right, as much as we would like it to be different, the customer journey is not defined by Sales or Marketing but by the customer themselves. This means we need to continuously learn more about our customers – what their journey look like, what their pain points are, how they like to engage – so that we can build a narrative that is  personalized, and on their terms. Again, it’s not about us, it’s about them.

During the Roadshow, Marketo’s Shyna Zhang, shared the following five principles for engaging people. I believe they are extremely helpful to consider whether you are looking to engage people at a meeting or conference, through email, via mobile, social or on the web:

She said we must engage people:

  1. As individuals
  2. Based on what they do
  3. Continuously over time
  4. Directed towards an outcome
  5. Everywhere they are

Do you know enough about your customers to engage with them in this way? What methods are you using to learn about your customers so you can create a better personalized journey?